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Jon Barber Newsletter (Spring 2021)

Dear Friends and Family,

We are three weeks away from Boot Camp! These last few months have flown by at a dizzy, rapid speed. In April we were able to put up our Big Top tents. This is the start of many days that the staff of Teen Missions gets to work together as a large family. We normally spend hours preparing the tents, such as cleaning and laying out. This year we got to use a brand new tent for Big Top #1, and we could not be more excited! It is a blue and white tent; the removal of the red stripes will help the tent stay cool and help with the color correction of our rally videos during our Boot Camp rallies. 

Mud Run 2021 has come and gone. We spent April setting up for our run. We marked and trimmed paths, set up obstacles, made mud pits and built new obstacles. This year we were able to add three new obstacles—a sandbag hoist, tire drag and bucket carry. We even had someone come out and sponsor the Fitbar, which has been used in many large local runs. Our Mud Run was run on May 8th and we had approximately 650 people attend. This is the largest turnout we have ever had. We were blessed that everything ran smoothly and that there were no major injuries. We were able to raise approximately $34,000 to go overseas to help support the medical needs of the people. We are truly blessed!

Currently I have been working on fixing the buses that we will be taking to the airport. I have been spending many long hours in the shop looking at buses, getting new tires, checking oil and lights. We have started to clear and set up the tent and eating sites for the teams.They have been a bit overgrown due to the fact that we have not had Boot Camp in two years. Now that we are close to Boot Camp, all of the staff work outside on Wednesdays and this has been a huge blessing! This allows us to get big group projects done, or just check off many small things that we have on our lists. We have made great headway in our preparation for Boot Camp. Even though at times it can feel like too much, or that we will never get caught up, we know we will in God’s timing. 

Boot Camp is just around the corner! After not being able to travel overseas last year, we are doubly ready to minister! Teen Missions has taken many precautions to ensure that the leaders and kids will be healthy and remain safe while they are traveling. This year I will be leading a team to Malawi. This will be my second time leading a team to Malawi, and I am excited to rekindle some of the old relationships that I have built with the local staff. During the team’s time in Malawi, we will be building a security wall around one of our Rescue Units which will help protect the orphans that we minister to at this location. Due to COVID  and for the protection of the team we will be staying on the base in Malawi. Please pray for me and my team, that we would be COVID-free, and that things would run smoothly. 

Greta is leading a team to Alaska this summer. Although being separated for the summer will be difficult, we are both excited to be able to minister. We are soon approaching our wedding in September. We are having a micro wedding in Michigan on Greta’s family’s farm. After the wedding, Greta and I will come back to Teen Missions and move into our new home. We are planning to live on base at Teen Missions. Since Greta runs the Conference Center this will be a great blessing for us, so we are close if anything breaks or goes wrong. Please continue to pray for us as we get closer to the wedding. 

With the wedding, we are trying to raise additional support as Greta is joining staff with me to finish my commitment. Please be in prayer as we are looking for additional supporters.