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Anthony & Shawna Myers Newsletter (Fall 2021)

Anthony & Shawna Myers Newsletter (Fall 2021)

Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps”

This was evident to us in many ways this summer! We were originally supposed to stay at the office, but we were truly blessed to be able to lead the original South Africa team to the Teen Missions base. I say that, because of Covid we ended up having two South Africa teams! It worked really well though. We had our own kitchens, meeting and sleeping areas. We were able to do things together when time permitted. At the end of Boot Camp, teams had to have a Covid test within 72 hours of flying to be able to go overseas. The results came back and we had eight of our team (including one leader) with positive results. We were surprised as well as saddened as everyone came into Boot Camp with a negative test. So those who were positive had the opportunity to stay and be quarantined then do projects on the TMI base with any others who tested positive. They formed the “Dream Team” and got a lot of work done during the summer which was a great help to the staff’s future workload!

We flew out of Orlando to Amsterdam, then on to Johannesburg, where we were met by our missionaries, Robert and Dorah Yoder. Robert is from Florida and Dorah is from Zambia. They met at the TMI Zambia base and now run the South Africa base. They have three children—Esther, Ethan and Elisha. They were such a blessing to our team and were a great help, especially with two teams on the base. We kept them pretty busy. 

Our team was able to paint the conference center buildings, which was a blessing to them because they have been praying for someone to do it for over three years! It really looks nice and has made the buildings look updated. We enjoyed fellowship with the staff and students also. The temperatures were in the 30s in the morning so we were dressed in coats and long sleeves until around noon when we could shed a few layers. It would get into the 50s and 60s, which was nice. There was no heat in the rooms, so everyone bundled up and bought more blankets! Anthony did buy a small heater for our bedroom, which took the chill off. We left it for the base to use in the office. We had electricity most of the time if needed, which was nice because it got dark around 5:30 PM. 

The day we arrived, the President of South Africa closed the province because of a rise in Covid cases. This meant no large groups were out and we couldn’t really go out unless to  grocery shop or for emergencies. This was disappointing for us as we were looking forward to doing some evangelism with the students and to see the Sunday school ministry running. We waited two weeks to hear from the President again and received the same news. Things slowly started looking better during the last week we were there, so we went out and visited a Zimbabwean refugee camp and shared balloons with the children. The team stopped by a tree on the way, which sheltered a man who lived there. They shared the Gospel with him and found out he is a believer. We were able to go back to see him before we left and gave him some food. There was a Muslim man who ran the small corner store that the team was able to witness to also.

One of the highlights of the trip was being able to take a few days away to do a safari! It was only about 40 minutes away, but we were able to do two three-hour safaris and enjoyed heated huts with warm showers and the meals were wonderful! Our guides were great! We did not get to see all of the Big Five (hippo, lion, elephant, black rhino, and leopard), but we did see some animals in the wild. It was such a relaxing and fun time together. 

We were blessed with a national meal of chicken and many other dishes that I don’t remember the name of! It was delicious! Our team was able to help with the process right from live chickens to ready to cook. It was a new experience for some, but it was good for them to see that food doesn’t just show up in the grocery store! The staff and students also taught us a national dance and songs which the team loved!

We were able to see the Lord work many times this summer, but the most obvious to us was when we went to get our Covid tests for our return to the U.S. Two of the team members tested positive and they couldn’t find my results (and wouldn’t tell me the results). So the three of us went back to the testing clinic (less than 24 hours before we were to fly to the U.S), to see what we could do. The nurse finally found my negative results and told us that “a positive is a positive”, but if we want to retest the girls we could. So we waited until the next morning for the results. Robert kept checking for us, and finally around 7 AM on the morning we were to fly out, the negative results came in. We had seen a miracle! There were so many things that would have had to happen and be changed if the results were positive, so we are thankful that the Lord intervened. 

Our flights back to Debrief were uneventful but long! We arrived at Debrief a day early so we were able to get some laundry done and work through some of the jet lag. Debrief went well and we were able to see the team members that we had to leave behind on their new team. Everyone was doing well.

We are thankful that we said “yes” to leading this team. They were a special bunch of young people who were willing to serve the Lord this summer, especially during Covid times. We are so thankful for Pazia, our other lady leader. She was such a blessing! We are thankful for the many things the Lord taught us and for His protection. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement this summer. They were felt!

We already have 30+ registrations for the 2022 summer teams! Pray for us over the next few months as we close things up from 2021, then get ready for 2022. Only the Lord knows what the summer of 2022 will look like, but we need to move forward and be faithful in serving Him.

A few days after Debrief, we took Darin to college and to visit family and supporters. For those of you who have sent their kids off to college or dropped them off, you know it is bittersweet. But this is what we raise them for—to do what they feel the Lord wants them to do. Darin chose Geneva College which is a beautiful, old campus in Beaver Falls, PA. We took him up three weeks before classes as football camp started at that time. If you want to write him a note, I’m sure he would appreciate it. His mailing address is Geneva College Box 2002, 3200 College Ave., Beaver Falls, PA 15010-3599. Pray for us as we continue to look for scholarships to help cover his schooling. Our church has set up a college scholarship for anyone who would like to help with Darin’s schooling. Please let us know if you are interested in more details. We have been back to see one of his games and hope to be able to get back up for one more. We can watch the games on the Geneva website, which we are thankful for. Pray for safety and good health for Darin. He also needs clear direction for his major.

We enjoyed spending time with Brandon, Brooke and Sophia as well as Anthony’s family, while in PA. Sophia is growing so fast! She is adorable and keeps us smiling. Being up there this time of year, different things are in season such as peaches, sweet corn and we were able to help grandma and grandpa raise the potatoes. It makes me thankful for farmers and all their hard work! We plan to go back up for Christmas. It was also fun spending a long weekend with John and Jess in Texas in early October.

Since we have returned, Anthony made a two-day trip to the hospital. His iron and hemoglobin levels have been low for a while and treatment was hindered by Covid. He went to the ER and received two pints of blood as well as two doses of iron. It brought his numbers up a little, but he is still anemic and needs to get it up to where he doesn’t feel tired all the time. He is still having various tests and procedures done and they found a hole in his colon, which is part of having crohn’s. Pray for healing for this. He has so much that he wants to do and is used to going full force, but he needs to know when to slow down and listen to his body! 

We are overwhelmed with the love and encouragement shown to our family in many ways and are blessed to be serving the Lord here. We appreciate those who stand with us and provide through your support and prayers. We pray for you and your families that God will give you wisdom as you continue to live daily for Him.