The week following Memorial Day was the Youth in Mission (YIM) training camp. This is the event that Joel plans for the college students participants who have committed to an 8 week YIM team experience. This year 92 students are serving on 21 sites around the world. Training Camp is one of the highlights of our kids' year, as we participate as a family. The kids always make some new friends with the college students and the staff. The picture above shows Annikah entertaining the crowd one afternoon.
After sending the students off to their sites, we wrapped up our time in KC and headed to Mississippi, where Joel's parents live and minister. Pam's parents met us there as well, and we spent a day all together. We had arranged for the kids to stay there with both sets of grandparents, while Joel and I took a ministry trip together.
On June 8th, Joel and I left for Europe, with plans to visit Spain, Scotland, Germany, and the Eurasia Regional office in Switzerland. We were able to visit with missionaries and ministry leaders in each of these places, as well as visit 3 YIM sites and make some connections with missionary potentials. Also, we were able to stay with Pam's brother in Madrid, Spain - Paul and Ellie, along with their son serve as missionaries with OMS, International. The entire trip was a blessing in many ways!
When we returned to the States, the kids were glad to see us. However, they had a wonderful time while we were gone! We are so thankful to our parents for giving them a fun and memorable time. We celebrated Nicolas' fifth birthday the day after we returned.
Earlier this week, we drove the 20 hours home across Texas! Now we are settling into life here again. :-)
We have added one more responsibility to our job description, so you can pray for us as we work together. Through the World Mission office, we are now working directly with young people who are called to missions and helping them to develop and to discover their place.
This next weekend, Joel will be traveling to St Louis, where the USA/Canada Nazarene Youth Conference will be held. He, along with our fellow missionaries Barry and Charlie Carney, will have the opportunity to connect with youth leaders about the Border Initiative ministry.