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Tanzania Foot Wash 21009

It's our last week at Merritt Island's Boot Camp! This is Anya H., assistant female leader. It's Thursday, June 24th.

Today is the last day of classes. We're finishing music with a presentation, drama, and advanced evangelism with plenty of practice and critique. In advanced evangelism, students learn about the Bible and how to evangelise to people, using logic, hospitality, confrontation, and more. Mr. Peterson shows them video examples of evangelism and 5-10 minutes of one-on-one practice. The team will get to the field with experience talking to people about Jesus and expect to witness. The leaders monitor during practice, and I've heard the teens using Scripture and answering questions well.

Mr. Paul Veit, Ms. Deb's father, came to speak the last three days. He's a creationist who helped teams understand why creation is geologically supported and how to explain that truth. Last night at Rally, he shared his powerful testimony of how Teen Missions helped him come to know the Lord, and our whole team went to the altar to pray. During mealtimes and free time, Mr. Veit communed with our team, ministering to them as individuals, telling stories, and listening to their interests. One team member, Ellia M., is interested in paleontology as a profession but doesn't want to study under secular teachers; he counseled her on study and career paths. If you watched rally last night, you heard Mr. Veit mention Nathan E. a few times; they've developed a precious relationship. The team calls him 'Mr. Dad' and was sad to see him go home this morning.

In other news, we served two team special blessings, or SBs, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both were due to disqualifications on the obstacle course, one on Jacob's ladder and the other on the books of the Bible. Both times, the team hiked a mile into the swamp and shoveled roots and dirt off sidewalks. The mosquitos came in blankets; bug spray did no good. Team members spent half their time smacking the bugs. However, I witnessed wonderful teamwork on Wednesday. We split the team and went on opposite sidewalks; in my team were Ellia M., Neylan J., Lydia J., Bryson A., Ellie D., Abigail H., Elijah S., Allison T., Josh H., and Simon S. We got to a point where the sidewalk was completely covered and blended with the woods; they split up the work themselves, where two worked with pickaxes to define the edges and six shovelers came behind to clear the soil. Bryson A. and Allison T. cut away foliage with machetes. After 20 minutes of work, they came to a spot where fallen trees blocked the path. Bryson A. cut down low hanging tree branches, and Allison A. and Elijah S. cut a fallen tree about eight inches in diameter. When the team reached the spot, they surrounded the tree and held it steady so Elijah's swings were impactful. When the tree broke, they were nearly silent and listened to every precaution, carrying it slowly and listening to front and back carriers. Josh H. gave clear directions, and they lowered the log to the ground.

Yesterday, Ms. Deb taught a special class on foot care and washing. They practiced with saltwater and disposable washcloths similar to what they'll use overseas. She taught foot conditions, how to treat them, and materials to use. They appreciated the training specific to their team.

We've had afternoon rain several days in a row, and the air is thick with mosquitos. Ellia M.'s toes are healing beautifully from her ingrown toe surgery; Dr. Dark said she could switch to regular Band-Aids. Some of the students have sniffles and are getting cold medicine. Team members with malaria medicine will start taking it on Friday the 25th, two days before departure. Our goal this week is to pack quickly and travel safely. Please pray for good weather and attitudes. Keep sending emails to team members; they love the encouragement and connection to home. God bless!

"Hey family! Boot Camp is almost over, and I can't wait to get to Tanzania! My favorite class is advanced EV. I miss you all!" -Lydia J.

"Hey y'all! Boot Camp has been rough but not super bad because of my great team. I am so excited to start flying to Tanzania on Sunday and I am glad Boot Camp has prepared us for it." -Ellie D.