Today, as I celebrate my 35th birthday, I am spending the day at a missions conference for teens with an emphasis on short term missions. I shared my ministry this morning along with a few tips for serving God. What a blessing to see 100+ teens who have a desire to serve God.
Dad, mom, and I spent a week in Puerto Rico. For the first time, Dad preached with an interpreter four times and once in English for chapel. He did very well, and the people really enjoyed his sermons. Mom taught the ladies Sunday school class, and I taught the girls Sunday school class. Mom and I also spoke at the ladies' tea. It was a blessing to be back with Pastor Luis Martinez and the church and school. Since they need teachers this next school year, I have decided to return in August to teach.
While in Puerto Rico, we were able to tour the rainforest, view of the ocean from several points, and swim with fish at one of the beaches that is on a reef. Dad came face to face with an eel, and on the last day, one dolphin came in to feed and swam around for awhile. We also saw a a beautiful double rainbow that day. Dad ate several types of seafood, and he really enjoyed it. He even ate conch and octopus.
We were supposed to leave PR at 3:55pm Tuesday, but our flight in PR was delayed two hours. We finally left, and arrived in Baltimore where our connection was also delayed two hours. We arrived in Boston at 1:30am. Due to mom and I needing to fly at 5:45 am Wed., we stayed in the airport. We then flew to Chicago, spent time with a friend and my aunt and cousin. My sister and a friend drove from Iowa to pick us up, and we drove 5 hours to my sisters house. After a late night of preparing my mission display, we all got up and left the house by 7:30am to drive two hours to the Ignite Youth Missions Conference. Mom is coming today to pick me up, and we will head for Missouri where I will give an update at Agape Baptist in Stockton. We will also spend a couple days with my brother and his family, and I will hopefully get to see my sister. After that trip, we will head to Indiana to see another sister. This is a whirlwind trip, but it has been good so far. Please pray for our safety.
The Ignite Missions Youth Conference is an amazing idea. Harvest Baptist College in Fort Dodge, IA hosts this conference for teens who are interested in missions. I have met veteran missionaries who are reaching people in so many places. One missionary is reaching people groups here in the US from Africa, Arab countries... The teaching and preaching has been intense. One man is involved with training missionaries to live in third world countries, jungles... He and his team have a boot camp that teaches, survival, medical, food prep including killing, skinning, and prepping the meat... I do not know if I could survive it, but it would be worth being able to observe. God is doing a work, and I pray that this idea of promoting missions to kids will catch on with more and more churches.
In closing, the near future will include teaching in Puerto Rico for the school year, and next June, I will head to England and Europe for at least a year.