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Richard & Gina Barber Newsletter (Spring 2021)

Mud Run Update

Things are looking much brighter than they were a year ago. We held our annual Mud Run this year and had our largest number of participants ever. We were concerned whether we would even have a Mud Run in early April. Suddenly registrations started pouring in. We don’t know if people were just waiting to see if we would actually sponsor the run or if they just decided they had been home long enough. Either way, we were happy to see everyone. Jon and Brandon worked hard to make the run a success. They added a few new obstacles and with everyone’s help they cleared and cleaned the trails and did a lot of maintenance upgrades on some of the obstacles. We use the Boot Camp Obstacle Course and runners think it’s great. Many of them think we have one of the best courses around.  

The run was quite successful raising about $34,890.00 for medical supplies for our Orphan Units. Needless to say, we are quite pleased with the outcome!

In preparation for the Mud Run we also put up our brand new Big Top. It’s a fun day of fellowship and hard work, but we have a great time together. Many of you have seen pictures on FaceBook, but we’ll include a picture for all of you to see. We all like the look and hope it will be just a little bit cooler for rallies. 

Boot Camp

In just a couple of weeks teens will be arriving for Boot Camp. There are 292 team members registered this year on 12 teams. Arrival day for the teens will look a little different than in the past. Everyone must have a negative COVID test prior to arrival, and teens being driven in with their parents will be met near the main office by a leader and taken over to the Boot Camp side of the property. We will also require everyone to wear a mask when in the meal line and washing dishes. They will not be required to wear one throughout the day because they will be with their individual team only. Commissioning will also be closed to visitors this year. Our goal is to have happy healthy kids leaving for an exciting summer of ministry. 

Work Assignments

I am working in the Volunteer Department. I never knew how much paperwork was involved in signing up to volunteer: general information, where they would like to serve, background checks, Ministry Safe course, travel info and other info. I have enjoyed speaking with some of the volunteers as I answer questions for them. Everyone has been so gracious as I am learning a new job and one that is changing as I learn. We all continue to work together and I am encouraged by the number of volunteers we have so far. This summer I will also be working in the kitchen. I’m pretty good at the ordering end of things and Cathy G. will be running the show. I am also cooking for the students and starting to work on the food needed for the summer teams. 

Richard? Well, he only has one job. He oversees everything…He is truly enjoying the opportunity to get to know our overseas staff via ZOOM calls which I shared about in our last letter. What a blessing technology can be! He loves his role here at Teen Missions and genuinely cares for every person serving on staff. 

Summer Plans

It looks like we will be going to Honduras to visit the TMI bases and just pop in to see how the U.S. teams are doing. We will then travel to Ecuador. We will only be gone a few weeks this year and then head back home. 

In August, Richard, myself, and a couple of other staffers will be going to Zambia for an African Summit. Our staff from various African countries will join us in Zambia for a time of sharing, encouragement and training. Some of the staff Richard has already met, but I have never been to Africa. I look forward to meeting everyone and the exciting news they will share about the ministry of their bases. 

Miscellaneous

Greta and I have been painting and cleaning the room that Richard and I will be staying in during Boot Camp. We got off to a good start, but haven’t had a chance to finish with the interruption of the Mud Run. So, in our free time Richard and I have been trying to finish up the job. We should finish just in time for Boot Camp.

My health remains the same. My oncologist is happy with my numbers so I go back to see him in six months. I do appreciate all of your prayers. 

Jon and Greta will be getting married in September. We’ll get home from Zambia just in time to get on a plane to Ohio and then drive from there to Michigan. We look forward to the happy day. They make a beautiful couple. (She’s met most of the family and still wants to marry into this crazy bunch!)

We want to once again thank you for your prayers and support. God is doing great things world wide and we have the opportunity to share in His ministry. This is only because of you and your faithfulness. 

In Christ,

BMW Facility Update

In our last letter we shared that we were going to start remodeling the old print shop building into a new Bible school facility for our students. We have almost everything we need to submit the paperwork for permits and then work can commence. We hope to see our students move into the building in September.