Hello from the Fast Family.
We have been in Florida since the middle of November and “Sunny Florida” has certainly lived up to its name. We are learning to put on lots of sunscreen and enjoying the warm ocean waters. We are both working in the Promotions Department which has been a very exciting and exhausting at the same time. It is full of all sorts of learning and growing opportunities.
Teach them Diligently
Most recently, Teen Missions formed a partnership with the “Teach Them Diligently” homeschool conference which is allowing us to run their three-day teen program in exchange for providing volunteers for their children’s program. The first conference took place in Rogers, AR where we were joined by local volunteers, Teen Missions’ staff and Bible school students. While there we were able to minister to 180 children and 140 teens. As a result, we were able to see students and volunteers sign up for Teen Missions from this event.
In April we traveled to Waco, TX, the home of the Baylor Bears, where Ryan’s parents met and got their college education. While there we got to work with 150 children and 65 teens and had a wonderful group of former team members, TMI staff and local volunteers to help run the children and teen programs. Our central theme for the teen program was “Identity: Who am I in Christ?” which has really been well received. It is truly amazing to see the students engage in this topic, wrestle out what it really means to be in Christ, and how this naturally leads to being on mission for Christ both here at home and around the world. In Waco we have even had the privilege of praying with several teens to surrender their lives to Christ!
Memorial Day weekend we will make our final trip for the “Teach Them Diligently” conference in Denver. If you are interested in joining us as volunteers at this event in Denver please email or call us.
The Fast Kids!
Micah, Abby and Zeke are doing really well. Abby has recently joined Micah in the ranks of homeschooling, and by all accounts is really enjoying this transition. We share the homeschooling duties as Ryan works with Micah and I work with Abby. It truly is a joy to take a more active role in our kids’ education. Zeke continues in public school and is starting to learn how to read… which is great to see! Since moving to Florida, Micah has been participating in a homeschool co-op drama group. Preparations are certainly underway as he is a pirate in the play “Pirates of Penzance.” He has enjoyed making friends, although the musical has defiantly stretched him and placed him outside his comfort zone.
This year has certainly been a year of transition for us, transition in ministry, transition in where we live and transition in life as we now have a teenager in the house. But through it all, we continue to see the Lord’s tender hand guiding us and showing us that He has a purpose and a reason for each of these transitions! As we look ahead, we are excited about our summer ministry opportunities in Canada (Ryan, Erin, Abby & Zeke) and Fiji (Micah) and are also earnestly praying about the role we will be playing this next “school year” with Teen Missions. The president of our ministry has expressed appreciation for the new roles we have taken within the ministry and has asked us to consider relocating down to the ministry headquarters in Florida. So, while we see a need to maintain these roles in Florida for the time being, we also recognize all the work that the Lord has done through us on the West Coast and with Student Connexion. Please join with us as we pray about what our life/home should look like after the summer (Florida, Oregon or a mix of both).
Ryan, Erin, Micah, Abby & Zeke
Praises and Prayer Requests
▪ Praise: We received a significant one-time gift that has temporarily covered our low support level! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
▪ Praise: God has provided all of the funds we need to take Abby and Zeke with us on the Canada Team this summer and for Micah who is going on the team to Fiji to work at an Evangelical Christian camp there.
▪ Pray that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and have a listening ear as we continue to consider where the Lord is leading us to live for the foreseeable future, whether remaining here in FL or to return to Portland.
▪ Pray that the leadership at Teen Missions will continue to be sensitive to God’s leading.
▪ Pray for the Marketing and Promotion Department that we (Ryan and I) oversee right now.
▪ Pray that we will be able to replicate the recruiting efforts we have been doing in the Pacific NW in other regions of the country. Specifically pray for additional staff to join the promotional team, who will live and promote Teen Missions in different regions and be available to lead mission trips during the summer.