Hello Family, Friends and Former Team Members,
We trust you have had a blessed summer. We are excited to share our family and ministry with each of you through our newsletter. Brielle appreciates encountering animals of various kinds and has adopted a love for Lego from playing with sets. She is also talking in clear and complete short sentences. David has started Kindergarten and is learning to persevere through school studies that he does not always prefer. Cruising on his scooter and eating – specifically pancakes, pizza and yogurt – are some of David’s preferred things to do. Rebekah continually asks to play with some other staff children who live down the street from us and is proud to show friends how she rides her bike without training wheels. She has also learned to swim and enjoys oil painting – topped with a generous glitter sprinkle. Lately, Christi has been experimenting in the kitchen creating new family favorite recipes and Lego remains my treasured activity. I’ve realized each Lego piece is precious to me, just as each person is cherished and dear to God. I enjoy using Lego to build a picture of God’s immense love for us. Psalm 139:16-17 (NLT) shares how much value God has for us, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”
Last spring, Christi and Rebekah served Teen Missions by helping prepare key chains to be given out during our annual mud run. Christi folded and hole-punched premade notes that explained how the key chains were from Malawi, Africa and a little background information on the man who made them. She then cut leather string which Rebekah and her used to lace the key chains to the notes.
This summer, I had a great time accomplishing a wide array of tasks. Instead of serving as a leader, I was one of four summer staff who assisted at headquarters. To my surprise, Boot Camp was considerably busier than when guiding a team as much of my attention was directed at getting to know each team personally while filming them. I then used some of the footage from filming to compose the daily videos which were shared online for loved ones to watch and I further had the privilege of filming evening rallies for those who tuned in online to experience a snippet of Boot Camp with us. After the teams left for their project sites, I continued to do some projects for the video department, but I also supported our home base by doing lawn and pool maintenance. Often I served on night phones being prepared to take emergency calls and calls from teams on the field who had concerns to report with our home base. These calls included everything from flight changes to health and behavioral issues with team members. During the time the youth were on their trips, Teen Missions had a work retreat come in and I was placed in charge of instructing the group what they would be assisting with. Finally, during Debriefs – once the teams arrive back in the states and are preparing for how God may use them back at home – I was responsible for cooking 900+ hamburgers for the teams.
With summer past, we are back in post-summer swing at our Florida headquarters. I remain particularly busy as I am the only person serving in the video department until January. Thankfully, one of Teen Missions interns who serves in the video department has been traveling to numerous African countries gathering footage which we’ll be able to use once she arrives back.
Mary Jane M. from the Holy Land team shared, “When I started this trip, I wasn’t right with the Lord. I used Him as an excuse and I thought, why be so strong with your faith in the Lord right now? Just have fun because God will always be there whenever you need Him because the Bible says He forgives every sin. So when I got here, I was sort of overwhelmed by Boot Camp. The first week didn’t really change me but then movie night came along and we watched “I Can Only Imagine”. Everything clicked, I don’t know how, it just did. I had questions, many I didn’t want the answers to. My mind was at the point where I thought I couldn’t do the things I enjoyed if I followed the Lord. I thought I’d have to change a lot, like I thought I couldn’t spend a lot of time getting ready for school. I couldn’t hang out with friends on the weekend or go shopping. I just was so confused on what a relationship with Christ was, I was lost. Then I started my journey on finding the answers to my questions. I got the answers I prayed for and they gave me peace. I also stopped worrying about what my friends were doing this summer or who they were hanging out with. After that, my faith in the Lord kept growing. He showed up for me time after time at Boot Camp. I started praying and my prayers were answered. One night my heart was really feeling heavy and I didn’t know what to do, so I cried and I prayed and I prayed and I cried some more. I needed major guidance on what I needed to do when I got home. Do I need to do swim? Do I need to stop and do something else? God what do I do? After that night, a speaker came and gave me the exact words I needed to hear. Words straight from God’s mouth. I couldn’t believe it. My body filled with a sense of peace and happiness. I realized how powerful the Holy Spirit is. Then Boot Camp was over and I finally got to see my parents for the first time in two weeks. We talked and it felt amazing. My whole family has a sense of peace, and it felt good to know that I had what I needed to finish the journey I started. Then we got to the Holy Land and it is absolutely breathtaking. I said that I never want to leave. My time here started out great but then I started to have some ups and downs. I started to feel guilty for my past and all of my mistakes. I prayed about them and laid all my sins down at God‘s feet. I was told that all your sins are forgiven and so I’m thinking why do I feel a burden if He forgives all my sins? It’s Satan trying to get in my head. I talked to Mrs. Michelle, she is such a wise woman. I love her so much. She gave me some verses and told me to dig into God’s Word. So I started reading the Bible and not only just praying. As I kept reading, all these answers just kept popping up. They just kept coming and I found what I was looking for. I haven’t struggled with feelings of guilt since. Now I’m hungry for God and I want to know Him more. I want to learn more and I want to make Him proud of me and do everything to the glory of Him. I’m ready to live in the fear of the Lord. My time in the Holy Land has made me want to better myself.”
This testimony from Honduras illustrates the message found in Isaiah 58:10 (KJV), “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day.
We have not doubt that all the activities at the ministry here are meaningful, but this time was special. The students went to do ministry and work at “La Montaña de La Flor”. They were working on the preparation of the campus to build a childrens’ dining house (a place where they are going to eat for free), doing home visits and giving out some shoes and food that we collected as donations. We had a list of the homes we should visit, but on the way, the sister Tiofila (a Tolpan believer) who was our guide decided to review the list to make sure that no home left without being visited. At the time we stopped and saw a small path and she told us that the little road reached one of the poorest houses of the village. We checked the list and that family was not included, so we decided to visit them. We went and found a widow and her two daughters with special needs, with nothing to eat and very resentful with the rest of the people of the village because they felt abandoned. We prayed for them, gave them some food and we encourage them to return to church, since they said they used to go to church but they stopped going for some disagreements.
In the end, the mother who was very grateful for the visit and for the food said that they would return back to church. This reminds us that God sees and takes care of those that we don’t even know exist, and sometimes we need to do a stop on our way just to see the little path that guides us to his perfect plan.”
Thank you for encouraging us to remain a light to the darkness of this world as we serve through Teen Missions.
- 1. Praise for our new supporters!
- 2. Praise as I had some dental work done which alleviated most of the pain in my mouth.
- 1. Pray for continued support of Teen Missions and our family.
- 2. Pray for Rebekah and David to have increasing desires to learn throughout the school year.
- 3. Pray for David to persevere through school studies that he does not always enjoy.
- 4. Pray for David as he is seeming to take more interest in spiritual matters. He is 5 years old and we want to be able to share with him in a way he’ll understand and discern when the time is right to do so.
- 5. Pray for our health and safety in all we do.
- 6. Pray for me as I have tinnitus and these past months I have had a difficult time hearing in my right ear.
- 7. Pray for Christi and I to balance and prioritize everything we are involved with.
- 8. Pray for Christi as she is home-schooling Rebekah again this school year and that they would keep focused.