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Linda Evans Newsletter (Fall 2020)

Dear Family, Friends, & Former Team Members,

Joyous greetings to you! Despite being a VERY weird year, God is faithful and is still in control. I am encouraged to see so many of God’s people making the most of the opportunities that troubling times bring to share the good news of God’s love and provision through Jesus. Bring on the revival!

COVID Update

Teen Missions had to cancel all of our summer teams for 2020. At this point, we are actively planning on teams for 2021, and we already have over 195 registrations! Many are from teens who were planning on going this year. Pray with us that next year will go as planned. If you know a teen who might be interested, send them to our website (teenmissions.org) to check out where in the world we are going!

The ONLY TMI team in 2020!

In my last letter, I asked for prayer for a “virtual” online team we were planning. Thank you so much for all the prayers! We weren’t really sure what to expect, but were really blessed by what God did. My department (Promotions) handled everything from conception to completion. It was a very busy and exciting time for all of us, and it was a great thrill for me to be part of the only team this year!!! We called it #MissionHere – and we were encouraging teens to find ways to be a missionary at home this year and to deepen their own walk with the Lord. We started with brainstorming, and then developed our tools and strategy. I helped plan out our “welcome pack” contents for registrants, which we sent to all 2020 team members (but they still had to go online and officially register). I coordinated the packing crew and then handled all subsequent mailings to registrants. We set it up as a seven-week program and sent them a calendar with all the activities. We also included some evangelism tools (Wordless Bracelets, Gospel Coins, etc.), a small book with 3-5 page stories on missionaries, a devotional, a t-shirt and other fun stuff. They were encouraged to memorize one Bible verse a week, read two stories, have a daily devotion time, and participate in spiritual challenges and fun contests. We had over 100 teens sign up! Every Friday we had a Zoom call and we had 20-30 who regularly joined us for that—we even had a few from other countries! The Zoom calls were everyone’s favorite time of the week. Evan was the Verse Guy, Mike did a Mission Snippet (the stories on the missionaries), Erin was the Game Gal, I was the EV (Evangelism) coach, and Ryan was our fearless leader. We had some great discussions with the teens, and we were able to have overseas missionaries join us for several Zoom calls. I coordinated the game and contest winner mailings, and also got to do an “equipping video”. You can find it on the Teen Missions YouTube channel, titled “How to be a missionary at home”. We all really enjoyed getting to be part of the only TMI team this summer! It definitely was a great way to fill the gap of not leading an overseas team. We got a lot of great feedback and appreciation from both participants and parents, and hope to utilize the concept in other ways in the future. Here are a few quotes from the teens about how #MissionHere impacted them:

#MissionsHere Wall“#MissionHere took me out of a dark place and gave me the light I needed to help others.” - Leah

“It helped me stay more in touch with God this summer.”

- Hannah

“I definitely feel better equipped to share my faith with those around me!” - Faith

“I work at a restaurant and I started wearing the bracelets to work and when people would ask about them, it would give me a chance to tell them about Christ and give them a bracelet.” -Kenneth

Now What?

Normally, promotion activities don’t really gear up into full swing just yet, and with COVID still a driving factor, we aren’t sure what will happen with some of the conventions we normally attend. We are focusing on our online presence more, but still working on other avenues. All of our teams are online already (go check out our NEW website), but we will still be doing a physical mailing in November. Also, Mike has been able to set up a few opportunities to speak in chapel services at schools, which looks very different right now—simulcast into different classrooms, or completely remote! Our department head, Ryan and his wife Erin, also part of our promotions team, have answered a call from God to shift in ministry. They will now be working with CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). We will miss them very much, but will continue collaborative efforts on occasion. As a department, we are working on how to effectively reassign their duties. Please pray for our transition and for more staff. I am working on understanding what and how everything is done and developing a department manual to help the flow of work (among many other things!). We have started the new term of our Bible school and have 10 students. They all have classes in the morning and work in the ministry in the afternoon. We have one of the new students helping in our department!

On the Home Front

SoniaIn June, Alexandria came back and is living with me again. She is one of our former Bible school graduates who will be doing her internship in Honduras. She has been volunteering while waiting for travel to open up. Praise the Lord she will be going in early November. I will really miss having her around. In the yard, I’ve added a mango tree and some dragon fruit cactus to my edible landscape. In July, I got to celebrate two family birthdays that I always miss because I am overseas—my great-niece Clara and my sister-in-law Sonia! I also got to welcome a new great-niece into the family (Evy) and spend some fun time with my great-nephew (Depree).

EvyIn August and September, I was able to travel for three weeks to meet up with some of my financial and prayer team members. Because of COVID, I didn’t plan much ahead of time, not knowing what could change. I made sure everyone knew it was OK to tell me if they were uncomfortable with a visit because of the virus, and I tried to take some extra precautions. I knew God had everything planned for me and I just had to discover it. It was like being on a scavenger hunt to find the treasures He had hidden for me! I didn’t take very many pictures, but not everything has to be posted on social media— the memories will always be with me. A special thanks to everyone who gave me lodging, bought me a meal, or just made time for me! I hope to meet up with some of my Tampa Bay peeps in the coming months on a weekend visit or near the holidays. Give me a shout if you want to get together. And remember, my guest room is always ready for visitors!Depree

As promised, here’s my weight loss journey update. I lost a couple of pounds, then one of them found me while traveling, and I’ve managed to shake it loose since returning. At least I have gotten pretty regular at doing a half mile on the treadmill (uphill!) on most mornings. Please continue to pray for my feeble efforts to honor God with my food choices. And don’t forget to pray for my time management choices too! Alas, these are my two strongholds. . . Let me know what I can be praying for you. My treadmill time is often also my prayer time. It’s a great way to add more value to those minutes.

Car Fund – It’s time to upgrade my vehicle! It’s a 2007 with 215,000 miles. I’ve already been saving toward this goal, but unfortunately $2,200 of that savings will be diverted to the dentist, ugh! If you’d like to make a special donation for this, just make a note on the coupon below, or if giving online, just click on “add instructions to the finance office” on the payment page and mention it. All donations are tax deductible.

Blessed to Serve Him,

Current Support Level = 60% of target

Thank you for making it possible for me to serve in full-time missions.

Did you know that you can set up a one-time or recurring donation electronically? The new Teen Missions website makes it easier than ever. You can even set up a login now to track your giving.

Here is the direct link to donate specifically for me:

https://teenmissions.org/missionary/levans.