Most of you know that we are full time missionaries and mainly serve in a small town in Tennessee. What many of you don't know is what we do from day to day. Well, really, what we do day to day can change depending on the season. Our summers are much different than what we do during the school year. I will be writing about our summers soon, but first I wanted to share a newsletter with you all that was written late last spring. It's rather long, but I think that after you read it you will understand what I mean by our lives being crazy at times. Enjoy reading and please feel free to leave a comment.
Hello Precious Prayer and Financial Supporters,
While visiting with our pastor and Good News Mission committee member, Tim Buford, I was telling him about a recent day here at the mission. He sat there with an amazed look on his face and told me that I needed to write that down and send it to our prayer and financial supporters. He reminded me that so many people don't realize what goes on from day to day at the mission and that they needed to hear stories like this. So, here is a day in the life of Good News Mission.
The day began with me heading over to the mission building to
make coffee. I usually make the coffee over their because we have
frequent visitors and a cup of coffee is often a welcome drink while
we sit and talk. For those who may have never visited, our mission
building is attached to our home, but we have to walk outside to
enter it. Somewhat inconvenient but we are very happy for a
wonderful building like that to use.
As I entered the building I found that Joanne was already there with
the dishes washed and the kitchen area cleaned. Joanne and her
husband, Mike, have had a difficult time lately. They have attended
the mission for a few years and used to live here in the projects but
were asked to leave. Since then they, until recently, have been
basically homeless and jobless. Their four children are living in foster care until they can get on their feet, find suitable jobs, and find a
suitable home for the family to live. A precious volunteer, Judy
Moeller, has been helping us to guide them in finding jobs and a
better place to live so that their family can once again be together.
They had been using the mission as a home base and doing odd
jobs around the mission to make a little extra money in the
meantime. Since then, Joanne has found a job in a local factory. Mike does odd jobs for friends and relatives but is still looking for a permanent job. Unfortunately they only had enough money to turn the electricity on so for the time being they are using our restroom and shower. They are both hard workers but have made some unwise choices. Pray that they can
find a larger place for their family, better jobs or extra jobs, and
be able to meet all of the requirements for their family to be
It's a delicate balance between helping/encouraging and enabling.
We try to guide, advise and help the people that attend the mission
while they do the work. Pray that God will continue to give us and
our volunteers wisdom in how to help and advise the folks that
we work with.
Miss Glenda happened to see Mike and Joanne's truck so decided
to come up for a visit. Miss Glenda is the "Grandma" of the projects.
Until this past summer she would frequently get up at three in the
morning to sweep the sidewalks of the projects and collect cans to
make a little extra money. She tells a story of how a car pulled up
behind her one early morning while she was sweeping. It was the
city police. When asked what she was doing, she matter of factly
answered "I'm cleaning the sidewalks". When asked why she was
doing it at three in the morning she just shrugged her shoulders and
said "I reckon it's as good of time as any" and went back to
sweeping. The policemen politely told her to be careful and left her
to her job.
Last summer, however, Miss Glenda fell and broke her shoulder and
then, later, broke a vertebrae in her back. It's been a hard row to hoe,
but, after many months of bed rest she is back on her feet and once
again walking all over the place. She can't do as much as she would
like but she visits and encourages her neighbors and is still the
"Grandma" of the neighborhood.
Miss Glenda and I visited for a while and then, before she left, I filled
a bag with groceries from our food closet. Pray for Miss Glenda's
continued healing and pray for her food situation. Since she is
back on her feet her insurance decided that she is able to care
for herself and therefore doesn't need a home health nurse nor
needs to be on Meals on Wheels anymore.
Soon after Miss Glenda left I saw a face peering in through the
mission window and then heard a knock on the door. There stood a
young man in his twenties. He said that he was curious. He had
passed by our building several times and wondered what it was. I
explained that we had weekly Bible studies, a clothes closet, and a
food closet. When I mentioned a food closet his ears perked up.
"Food? Could I have a little food? I'm homeless and live the woods
outside of town." Back into the food closet I went. He said he had a
can opener, so I began looking for canned food that didn't need to be
cooked. I had put about five or six cans into the bag when he asked
me to stop. He explained that he still had a long ways to walk and
didn't want to be weighed down too much. Then he left and was
gone. Pray for that homeless boy. Pray that perhaps he will stop
by again so that we can minister to him more.
A few minutes later a heard the laughter of children outside. I looked
out the window and their were a group of children from the "Double
Deckers" going to visit a friend of their's who had recently moved to a
house two doors down from us. The "Double Deckers" are a group of
low income apartments about two blocks away from us. Until a few
years ago the people who lived their were very closed minded about
our ministry at Good News Mission. Whenever we would go to visit
or pass out flyers they would run into their homes and close and lock
their doors. Sarah and I continued to pray that the doors to their
hearts and the doors to their homes would open and about three
years ago God did just that. God opened the hearts of the parents to
allow about 20 of them to come to the day camps that we have
during the summer and from then on we have slowly began to
develop a relationship with the families. Recently, however, a few of
the families have been evicted but thankfully are moving to areas
close by. Pray that we can continue ministering to the families
that had to move. Pray that the new families that move in will be
open to our ministry.
A little later Lauri and her daughter Patricia stopped by for a visit.
Laurie has had a tough life but is doing her best to serve the Lord to
the best of her ability. She is widowed and lives with her mentally
and physically disabled daughter Patricia and with new husband. She and Harley recently married because Lauri wanted to do what was right in God's eyes. She also has two other daughters that we
know and that live locally. Laurie used to live in the projects and still
often attends the mission and visits Sarah for counseling and advice.
That particular day was a distressing day for her. Her daughter's
fiance had just been diagnosed with cancer. Three years ago her
other daughter's husband died of cancer and that memory was fresh
in her mind. We sat and talked for a while before Laurie left for home
to get ready for church that evening. Unfortunately her day was about
to get worse.
A few minutes after Laurie left we got a phone call. It was Laurie, in
tears, saying that one of her best friends had been flown by medical
helicopter to Nashville because her heart had stopped. Once again
Sarah counseled her over the phone. Once she was calmed down
she hung up to go to church. About an hour later, though, I got a call
from her daughter telling us that she was missing. She hadn't arrived
at church and she wasn't at home. She asked if she was at the
mission. Unfortunately she was not. I was about to drive to her home
to make sure she was okay when she pulled up in the mission
parking lot. She hadn't been missing at all! She just arrived late for
church so the folks who usually greeted her hadn't seen her. The
incident provided a little levity in Laurie's day. She came to talk more
about her friend so we piled in the car, went to McDonald's and
talked for an hour over a soft drink and fries. Pray for Laurie's
future son-in-law who has cancer. Pray for her friend who,
thankfully, is now back home. Pray for Lauri and Harley as they strive to live for the Lord.
You might think that would be the end of our day but while we were
at McDonalds we got a call from our oldest, John Allen, asking if
Danny could come in. Danny is a 21 year old boy whom we met
about two years ago. Interestingly enough, he as asperger's
syndrome (on the autism spectrum) just like Joshua our middle
child. Asperger's children often have difficulty understanding how to
act in social situations and Danny is a classic asperger's child. He
often doesn't understand why we do things and also doesn't always
understand why his mother, sister, and brother-in-law do the things
they do. Therefore, when telling us how things are going at home, he
doesn't always explain things accurately. We often don't know if what
he says is totally accurate or if he is just misunderstanding a
situation. However, we have been able to piece together enough
from friends and neighbors to know that things aren't always great in
his household. Danny has become great friends with John Allen and
is often at our home visiting and ends up staying for a meal. Pray
that God would give us patience as we often are dealing with not
two but three young people who are on the autism spectrum.
Pray that there will be open doors to minister to Danny's family
I honestly can't remember how much homeschooling or work around the house got done that day or, for that matter, any other day but, although those days are becoming the norm, somehow it is all getting done. Summer plans are also being made as well. Below you will find our summer schedule so far as well as a few other prayer requests on top of the ones listed above. As always, we covet your prayers for our family and our ministry at Good News Mission. Thank you, again, for being faithful friends and supporters.
In His Service,
The Tinkel's - Tim, Sarah, John Allen, Joshua, and Jacob
Additional Prayer Requests and Praises
- John Allen is once again planning on working at Cortland Bible Club Camp (a BCM camp) in upstate New York for a few weeks this summer. It has been a joy to see him grow and desire to serve the Lord in mission work. Please pray for traveling finances.
- We have been asked to come back and work at another BCM camp in Canada - Mill Stream Bible Camp - this August. Pray also for traveling finances as well as finances to travel and visit my sister in New Jersey the week afterward and then on to BCM's North American conference the week after that.
- Please praise the Lord with us that the problems that Joshua was having last summer all seem to have been taken care of with the change back to his old medicine. He had to switch medicine because there was a nationwide shortage of the medication that he had been taking. Thankfully that seems to be resolved and he was able to switch back. Pray that their will not be another shortage of the medication that he is on because there doesn't appear to be any other medication that works for him.
- I have been taking our dog, Jojo, for daily walks around the projects. It has opened many doors for me to stop and visit with some of the folks that are new to the projects or don't come to the mission regularly. Another local ministry who weekly picks up day old bread and distributes it to low income families has contacted us about distributing some of their extra bread to the folks in the projects. Almost weekly we have been able to pass out bread to folks in our neighborhood and to others that we know of that are needy. Pray for these walks as well and pray that the bread deliveries can continue. Pray with us as we are facing another busy but exciting summer.
Here is our schedule:
June and July - The local school has contacted us once again to see if
we would like to be part of their summer lunch program. This has been
a very valuable tool into getting to know the families with children who
live in our area.
June 16-20 Day Camp 1 at Good News Mission
July 7-11 Day Camp 2 at Good News Mission
July 13-17 We will be directing a VBS in our church, The Bridge
Community Church, where we will be transporting the kids from the
July 18 - Taking John Allen to Cortland Bible Club
Camp in upstate New York
July 20 - August 8 - John Allen at Cortland Bible Club
Camp. We plan on working there for a week as well but we are not sure
if it will be the week we take him up or the week we pick him up.
August 10-16 Mill Stream Bible Camp in Canada - Tim serving as Bible
Teacher, Sarah working in the kitchen, John Allen working in
maintenance, Joshua going to camp and Jacob hanging out.
August 17-23 Playing tourist and visiting my sister in New Jersey
August 24-29 BCM's North American Missionary Conference in