Ryan & Erin Fast Newsletter (Winter 2020)

Dear Friends and Family,

Ten years ago, this January, we stepped out in faith and joined staff with Teen Missions (TMI).  We had very little idea of what ministry would look like with TMI. We had a vision to share about the program with kids in the West, but we didn’t know all the places that this vision would lead us. We would travel to 38 states to share about TMI, Ryan would tour for three years with the Winter Jam Christian concert tour, we would participate in numerous mission conferences and help build a student-specific conference in the NW, Ryan would share at countless Christian schools, church youth groups and even a few public schools. Throughout these years, our most rewarding time has been spent every summer discipling teens on the mission field. We have participated in ministry in nine different countries and have had the privilege to see God change lives both domestically and internationally. We didn’t think 10 years ago we could have ever dreamt where God would take us as we served him at Teen Missions, but we are grateful for the journey He has us on.

This fall has been a season of intentional and unintentional rest. In October, we returned to the Northwest to begin to prepare for Student ConneXion, a youth-oriented missions conference which Ryan facilitates. Our time in the Northwest was wonderful. We were able to reconnect with family and friends. We returned to our home and began to live in it again, as our renters had purchased a home of their own. Ryan worked steadily preparing for the conference and sharing about Teen Missions locally. Throughout this time, he was experiencing some pretty severe pain in his left knee which was making it difficult to walk and required him to frequently elevate and ice it. After many visits to the doctor and specialists, it was determined that he was going to need to have knee surgery, although the doctor could not determine the scope or severity of the surgery until he “got inside”. Ryan ended up having the surgery in mid-November and he could immediately notice the difference. The doctor informed him that he needed to “take it easy” for a few months while his knee heals.This was difficult, but as we reflect on it, a much-needed time of rest. He has spent the past six weeks in physical therapy, trying to rebuild strength in the knee and says that he feels like a “new man”. 

In spite of these unexpected “adventures”, our fall has been very fruitful. We, along with a fantastic group of local volunteers, helped coordinate the fourth annual Student Connexion Missions Conference. We were very excited to have 420 registrations for this year’s event, which was up 40 from the previous year. On Friday night we saw a number pray to receive/renew their relationship in Christ. Then on Saturday, we witnessed 14 respond to an invitation to pray to overcome sinful strongholds in their lives and 16 stand to commit their lives to full time missions or ministry. To God Be The Glory!

We hit the ground running in January, sharing about TMI at local churches, schools and mission conferences. Specifically, we had two major missions conferences in Portland and Vancouver, BC where we were able to connect with many ministries and youth who were seeking opportunities to serve this summer. It is always encouraging to see a young person’s face light up when they hear about how they can serve this summer on the mission field. In February, the time most of you receive this newsletter, we will be back in Florida working out of Teen Mission Headquarters for much of the spring.

This spring we will begin to prepare for the 2020 summer ministry. We have been asked to lead the South Korea English Camp team. We are excited to return to South Korea for our third summer and work alongside Child Evangelism Fellowship to conduct English camps.  We are blessed to already have our entire leadership team in place and a large group of teenagers have already signed up, including our niece, Ella, who is excited to teach English in Korea. Abby and Micah have each decided to embark on their own teams this summer. Abby will be joining a Preteen team to Greece, where she will be working at a Christian Evangelical Camp on the Aegean Sea, near Thessaloniki. Micah will be going on his third mission trip this summer to the country of Iceland. He will spend half of his summer working at a YWAM base doing construction projects, then the second half of the summer at a Christian camp where he will help run a family camp. It will be strange to only have Zeke with us this summer, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy all the attention. As you may already know, our children need to raise financial support for their teams each summer. If you feel lead by the Lord to contribute to their summer ministry expenses, please complete the “coupon” at the bottom of this newsletter and mail your contribution directly to Teen Missions.

Before the summer teams begin to arrive, our family will have a very full season of ministry.  As many of you remember, last year Teen Missions made a unique partnership with Teach Them Diligently, a Christian homeschool conference, where Ryan had the opportunity to lead the teen program and TMI alumni and friends provided the adult oversight in the children’s programs at three different cities. This was an amazing ministry opportunity both to the teens and the young children who participated. We saw teens turn their hearts to Jesus and children continue to strengthen their faith in the Lord. This year we have been asked to return and coordinate these programs in seven cities!  We are excited about this expanded opportunity, but it will require an investment from our TMI friends and families to make this happen.

We need volunteers with a heart for ministry, like you! If you live near:

  • Nashville (Feb 26-29)
  • Rogers, AR (March 26-28)
  • Waco, TX  (April 2-4)
  • Mobile, AL (May 7-9)
  • Denver (May 21-23)
  • Columbus, OH (May 28-30)
  • Athens, GA (June 11-13)

And would be interested in ministering to children for a weekend please email ([email protected]) or call (503-201-0127) Erin and she can give you more information. Housing and meals are provided, so consider driving to the venue of your choice.

As we enter this new decade, we are grateful for the opportunities that the Lord has given us these past 10 years to serve full-time in a ministry that both challenges us and allows us to use our gifts to the fullest. We continue to see evidence of God’s love and grace as He continues to direct our path as we minster at Teen Missions. We are grateful for the family which He has provided us and pray daily that they will seek HIM alone for their strength and direction in their own lives. We are grateful for you, our prayer warriors and partners in ministry. Your sacrifices have allowed us to continue to minister to teens, not just in the summer but throughout the school year. Thank you for your dedication to our ministry.

In Him,

Ryan, Erin, Micah, Abby & Zeke

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