Greetings from beautiful Merritt Island, Florida!
We hope you and your family are doing well and energized as the winter months are behind us (though some still have snow in April!), and Spring is well upon us. Things are heating up here at the TMI base in more ways than one. Yes, the temperatures are rising already and many projects are going on heading into Boot Camp time.
Anthony has been involved in a lot of projects this Spring. New roofs are being put on the main office and kitchen buildings and two new air-conditioning systems are being installed in our dining room at the kitchen. He has also been overseeing the new hood system that’s being installed in our kitchen as well. These are all projects on top of what we normally have to do as we prepare for Boot Camp. I am working out details for the adult team going to Zambia and the GAP year program participants (we have two going to Malawi for a year). I also cook lunch one day a week for the students and volunteers. I have been busy ordering supplies for the teams (hard hats, tents, duffels, ponchos, etc.) also.
The adult team is scheduled to go to Zambia in May to drill at least one well (hopefully two) in a local village so they can have clean water. Village chiefs have asked us to come and drill wells for their villages! It is an excellent way to share with the people about the Water of Life as we provide water for them to live.
The Teen Missions Mud Run is May 4 and we have over 400 registrations so far. It has been a great way to get the word out about Teen Missions and the ministries overseas, and is a big fundraiser for the ministry. We have a lot of swampy jungle-like property and so along with many of the obstacles from our Boot Camp obstacles, we add a few more and make a very good 5k Mud Run. Some have stated that it is the best one they have ever attended and most challenging. Pray for safety for all who participate.
There are over 320 team members registered for the summer teams. We cut down the number of teams, so some are larger, but also postponed the Peanut and Mustard Seed programs this year to focus on the teens and preteens. This has also brought down the numbers some, but we know that the Lord will send whoever He wants here. There are many things to pray for: travel, good health, spiritual growth, safety on the projects, etc. We appreciate you lifting the teams and leadership up in prayer for these things.
It will be 10 years since Anthony and I took a team to Thailand, and we are excited to be going back. Our team is fairly large, with five leaders and 23 team members. We appreciate your prayers for the leaders as we lead this team together, led by the Lord. We want to be a blessing to the team members, and help them to grow in the Lord. Traveling can also be challenging with a large group. We will be doing some painting, upgrading and renovations on a small orphanage building in Ubon Ratchathani area. We hope to be able to share in a school by teaching English as well.
At this time, Darin plans to stay home and do lawns this summer, as well as attend the workouts for the upcoming football season, which starts on August 1. He is also attending some 7v7 football tournaments and doing Spring football. He had a tournament last weekend and they won the championship! Pretty good after just a few weeks of practice together!
Jessie is excited to be going as a leader on the outreach team to Greece and Kosovo with YWAM this summer. Pray for her as she raises the needed support (about $2000) and prepares for her time there. She is doing well in TX and is kept very busy being a dorm mom, working with international students and the different schools that YWAM has to offer. She is learning how to manage her time and when to say “no” (as the Lord leads!). She was here in Florida for the SEND conference in Orlando in February so it was good to see her then. What a movement that is! It was sponsored partially by YWAM and they had a huge part in preparations and making sure it happened! Jessie was able to take Darin’s Spring Break time off and come home for a week in March.
Brandon and Brooke
Brandon and Brooke are doing well. It was so good to have them down here in February, as well as Brooke’s mom and sister. Brandon is with a painting company and is learning more as well as being put in charge of jobs. It is coming up to a busy time for Brooke at her family’s greenhouses, so that’s why they came in February. They are also leading a mid-week Bible study at their house, which is going well.
We are so thankful for what the Lord is doing in our (His) children and how they have grown up to want to follow Him and be good examples. Pray for daily strength and guidance for them.
We have had a number of medical procedures the past few months. One of them was to check on Anthony’s Crohn’s. It showed that the original scarring seems to have cleared up, which is the Lord! He does have an ulcer in his ileum which is a result of Crohn’s. So we are trusting the Lord that his Crohn’s is disappearing! Continue to pray for his iron levels which are still low. I also had procedures done this Spring. I have a hiatal hernia, inflamed and eroding esophagus as well as some ulcers, for which I am currently being treated.
My twin brother, Steve, came for two weeks, and his wife, Gloria, was able to come for one week as well as their daughter Kristin. They were here over our 27th anniversary which was special. Anthony’s parents plan to come at the end of April and help out with the Mud Run on May 4. We cherish the times we have together with family.
Thank you to those who have been praying for us and with us in the transition of leadership here at Teen Missions and in looking for a full-time pastor for our church (for which we are still in the process). It has been a busy and sometimes stressful 14 months, but we are doing well and the Lord is in control of all.
You are in our prayers.
Anthony, Shawna & Family