It’s time for another installment of “Hmmm, I wonder what God is doing?”. In the last episode, I was in Canada helping out at our base there. Still here! It’s been a somewhat mild winter so far, but Canada decided I needed to experience a REAL winter before leaving, so we are having some extreme cold and some snow. Forecasts are showing lots of single digit highs and negative double digit lows. Yes folks, that’s Fahrenheit! I always have to clarify that now, since everyone up here uses Celsius.
There’s always plenty to do here at the Canada office. Todd is the only one here long term right now, so he appreciates getting help, even if it is only temporary. His wife stays home with their four little ones. He does all the finances, but we work together on most everything else, from property maintenance to office work to promotions. We are looking toward to running a Boot Camp up here in 2020, so there has been a lot of research and paperwork to start paving the way. We have a team coming up this summer from Florida to work on preparations at the campground.
Many of our promotion opportunities are Homeschool Conventions and Missions Fests. Todd and I drove across the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, BC, for Missions Fest Vancouver. It was a gorgeous drive and we got in a quick visit to Lynn Canyon Park in Vancouver. We enjoyed staying with friends of Todd’s, and then with Kalan, one of my team members from this last summer. It was great getting to see him and getting to know his whole family! What a blessing! In addition to manning a booth in the Exhibit Hall, I got to teach a workshop for middle school kids. I hope I didn’t bore them too much! I managed to get them to laugh a little and interact with me some, while I taught on the event theme of discipling (which I learned, apparently, isn’t a real word in the dictionary – yet!). I had three groups for 30 minutes each, with somewhere between 250 and 300 total. What a big responsibility! At the booth, we had some great conversations with people and are praying for God to lead some of them to participate on a team. We met a handful of former team members, some recent and some from the 1980’s and learned that some are in full-time ministry. It’s great to see the fruit of “training tomorrow’s missionaries today”. In February, Todd and I divide and conquer as I host a booth at Missions Fest Alberta and he hosts one at a Homeschool Convention on the same weekend. He’ll have two more to do after I’m gone. I’m looking forward to seeing my other Canadian team member from the summer, who lives near the event in Alberta. See you soon Belauna!
Speaking of being gone, immediately after Missions Fest Alberta, I will begin my drive back to Florida, taking 3-4 days to travel the 2500 miles. I will head to Tampa to celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday! I worked through our Christmas holidays, so that I can take the first two weeks of March instead. I wasn’t too lonely here for holidays though. I enjoyed phone and video chats, and visits with local friends! Once I’m back at the office, I’ll still be producing the M.A.D. Mothers Newsletter and anything else they need me to do. We are planning to be in involved with the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conventions in the spring, and I have been asked to be part of that as well. For some of the conventions, several of us will be involved with the youth and children’s programs, and for the others, I will just be hosting a booth for TMI. This means I get to travel a bunch more! I get to be at all seven of them, so look it up and see if I will be in your area – maybe we can meet up!
For the summer, I have been asked to lead the Zambia Well Drilling team. The last time I was in Zambia was 2007. I sponsor an orphan at one of our Orphan Rescue Units in Zambia. Is it too much to hope we will visit her village? I am told that I won’t likely get bounced around to different teams this time – we’ll see. . . changing needs are often unpredictable! Wherever I go, I’m sure I’ll love it!
Here’s a quick “year in review” for 2018 – three months at home in Florida, five months in Canada, four months traveling or overseas (each category is cumulative) and support level for 2018 – 55% of target, but I haven’t run out of money yet! A big thank you to everyone who makes it possible for me to serve God through Teen Missions, whether through finances or prayer.
I have learned many new things this year, from the optimum temperature to switch to winter tires (40 degrees) to regulations for a charity organization Board Of Directors in Canada and everything in between! I gained 22 more “spiritual children” through my summer team to Mongolia. I got to visit with old friends and make new ones. And . . .I gained another 5 pounds!
About those 5 pounds, and the 45 that came before it over a lifetime, I need some kind of real accountability! James 5:16 “Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.” So, here goes. I hereby confess my sin of gluttony and humbly ask for your prayers to heal this spiritual issue. I know many of you understand the struggle! Gluttony is what happens when you eat for pleasure, rather than eat for the “glory of God”, and you can be thin and still be a glutton. Take a peek over at that verse I always have in my newsletter. (1 Cor 10:31) Mmhmm, it ain’t been happening! I actually have a great deal of self-control, but it takes only a little lack of self-control to undo it all! Fifteen hours of being “good” can be undone in fifteen minutes of being “bad”. It’s not about finding the right diet, understanding nutrition, little tricks like swapping whole milk for skim, or cutting out all desserts – it’s a spiritual battle! My body needs to shed excess pounds, but what’s really important is gaining victory in the mindset though the process found in the middle of verse 2 of Romans 12 “. . . but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . .” The diet starts with devotions! How many of us sitting in church have eradicated the “major” sins from our lives, but pretend like this one doesn’t really matter. Help me take this one seriously! I want to be able to lead teams for many years to come and I need a healthy body to do it! I’m asking for your prayers, encouragement and maybe occasionally checking up on me to call me to accountability. You are my team and I am reaching out to you for help. I pray for you all as well, please let me know what specific things I can be praying for. Let’s all get honest with each other!
Blessed to serve Him,
Here are a few pictures from the drive and the park visit, enjoy!