Happy New Years to my family and friends!
During Thanksgiving vacation, instead of going home and spending the time with family, I had the opportunity to go volunteer in the Panhandle with Samaritan’s Purse. When I first signed up, they told me that I would need to bring non-perishable food and there might not be water either. But I still decided to go and later I was emailed that I no longer had to bring food.
I drove up on Wednesday, about a six-hour drive, to the town of Wewahitchka. I’ve never heard of that town, but it is close to Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe. Everywhere I looked, there was so much damage from Hurricane Michael. On Thursday we worked part of the day and then had a Thanksgiving meal. We also watched some football and had good fellowship with the other volunteers and the staff of the Canadian Samaritan’s Purse. (I never knew there was a US and a Canadian Samaritan’s Purse.) The team I was on did mostly yard work. We did do a “mudout”, which is where we go into the house and either take ruined items out to the street or put the good items somewhere for the homeowner to keep. We cut out the drywall about 2 – 4 ft so new drywall can be installed later. We also pulled up the carpet. Doing the mudout was not my favorite job because you usually have to wear a mask because of the mold; but people needed help, so I did it. I drove back home on Sunday. I was so glad that I had this opportunity that I wanted to sign up again. So, I signed up to volunteer after Christmas.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, all the staff came back to TMI. December was busy with Teen Missions being represented in two parades—one in Merritt Island and the other in Cocoa. I helped in this one. We also had our staff Christmas party.
All the staff left for Christmas vacation to spend time with family and friends. At the beginning of the break, my roommate ended up moving out, so now I get to try to live by myself. I enjoyed being with my family for the first week of vacation. On Friday, December 28th, 2018, I drove back up to Wewahitchka and got there at lunch and went out and worked that afternoon. I ended up working through Saturday, January 5th. I wasn’t planning on that, but because I was available, I decided to stay and help. We did outside work the whole time—moving branches, cutting up trees, and hauling them to the street. I was taught how to use a chainsaw and I loved it. I learned on a battery-operated one and then tried on the real one. One of the guys, who was with us, ended up getting a cut on his knee even though he had chaps on, so he went to the hospital and had to get eight stitches. Praise the Lord it was not too bad. We were able to talk to the home owners and I enjoyed having a couple of conversations with a few of them. We were able to give them a Bible that we all signed and left encouraging notes. I left on January 5 and should have been back around 2 or 3 AM, but because there was accident that blocked I-75, I got stuck in traffic for about an hour so I didn’t get home until 5:30 AM. I do praise God that I wasn’t involved in the accident. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse.
We are now back in the office. Almost the whole office has changed with people moving around except my office and US Teams/Leaders, so we have been busy catching up. We have over 250 registered for 2019 teams. I am busy with the mailing of Winter Staff Newsletters and also the year-end tax receipts. When team members and leaders sign up for teams, I mail out their packets and I also file paperwork for the teams and whatever else I’m asked to do. We have several winter volunteers helping us which is really great.
The ministry of Teen Missions is going through a transition in leadership. Richard Barber is our new Director and I am looking forward to all God has for me and the ministry this year.
As of right now I’m leading the Florida Preteen team; things could change. Our team will be involved with several projects. One is volunteering at House of Hope, a local feeding ministry. We will also have the opportunity to volunteer at Seafarers International, a ministry that works with crew members from all over the world who work on ships that come into Port Canaveral. We will also build picnic tables for use at Teen Missions. We will have opportunities to evangelize in nearby Cocoa Village along with the beaches and local churches. We don’t have to leave the country to tell others about Jesus—people here in Florida need Jesus, too!
Teen Missions is in need of summer volunteers! Summer volunteers work during the Lord’s Boot Camp and help with setting up, running and taking down everything involved with Boot Camp. During the times that the teens are here, they can be found all over the property, running the kitchen, teaching construction or evangelism classes, serving in the Nurse’s Station, or just offering general and maintenance type help wherever they are needed. Summer volunteers also have the opportunity to help counsel and work with the youth involved in our program. Without these volunteers, the Lord’s Boot Camp could not successfully happen each year. Meals and housing are provided for all those willing to come and serve. Please call our office for details on how to register today!
Thank you for everyone who has prayed for me and is financially supporting me. You are a big blessing in my life.