Dear faithful financial and prayer supporters,
I know that I have been quite vague about some things on Facebook the past few months and I have promised to fill you about what was going on when the time came. A few people that need to know already are aware, but many are not. I feel that since it is the end of the year and many of you are making your financial giving decisions for the next year that this is the time to reveal the exciting things that are happening!
First off let me tell you that we are not leaving BCM International nor our ministry here in Livingston, TN. Our ministry, as you are about to read, is going strong and we feel strongly that God is going to continue to bless our efforts in this next year.
The bus that was generously given to us has had its ups and downs, but is working once again. We had a wonderful summer doing 5-day Bible Clubs on the bus where we saw three children trust the Lord. We also began using it for adult Bible studies where two were saved. Late in the summer the bus once again broke down but is fixed again. We continued doing the one established adult Bible study in a home, but we were unable to start the planned Bible clubs. Now that the bus is fixed we hope to begin the Bible clubs after the Christmas break and also use it for other adult Bible studies.
We have continued to serve the low income folks with much visitation and help with needs. I (Tim) have a vibrant ministry of taking folks several times a month to local food banks. I also visit, encourage and pray with many adults in the low income areas where we minister. The adult Bible study held in a home in a trailer park has been very successful and the folks are growing in number and spiritually.
The one ministry that has been overwhelmingly successful this year has been my ministry to teen boys. It began about a year and a half ago with three boys attending a Bible study but has grown to many more that are being ministered to. I say “ministered” to because this past spring and summer four of the boys have been picked up by DCS and put into foster care for various reasons. I have been able to visit them all since they were taken. Three of them were put into boy’s group homes because they needed more help and guidance than a regular foster home could provide. One of them has been able to go home but the other two, brothers, are still in the group home. The fourth boy is a third brother and was in a regular foster home but was moved to a group home because of some problems he was having. So, all three brothers are in two different group homes. I have been able to visit them almost every week since they were taken and have been able to continue to minister to them as well as other boys in the home. If you read my blog regularly – www.familiesagain.blogspot.com – you know that I periodically will write blog posts about my ministry with these boys and will be writing another post in the next couple of days about our ministry at one of the homes this past Christmas. Be on the lookout because it is a story of how God laid a special burden on Sarah for one of the boys she has never met.
This brings me to one of the exciting announcements. God began speaking to me last summer about possibly taking the three brothers that are presently in foster care into our home. I didn’t really say much to Sarah about it because I thought that there was really no way we could do it. However, God had other plans. Unknown to me, God was also speaking to Sarah’s heart about the same thing. A couple of months ago Sarah came to me and said that she felt that God wanted us to take “the boys”. When I told her that God had been speaking to me as well, we knew that it was of the Lord.
However, there was no way that we could do this in our present small apartment. We knew that we were getting an inheritance from Sarah’s mom and I had a retirement fund from my teaching days that I could cash in, so we began looking for a house. After a few months of looking and many ups and downs and twists and turns, we finally, last week, signed a contract for a house and barring any slight mishap, we should close by the end of January. Pray for this new, much larger home. We are excited that there will be plenty of room for our present family and future foster children and we are excited about the ministry potential.
DCS knows that we would like to be foster parents to the three brothers as well and the process for that has begun. Trust me, it was not a decision that we have taken lightly. Even after it was revealed that God was speaking to both of our hearts, we prayed continuously for God’s guidance and still are praying. We have had numerous discussions with John Allen, Joshua and Jacob about it, and have sought counsel with other Christian friends and mentors. Through all of that, God has made it clearer than ever that this is what we should do. I wish I could tell you every sign that God has given us, but it would take much more space than I think I could give in this letter. Needless to say, our boy’s are excited and so are we. So, soon after we move into the house our family will prayerfully increase by two as David (16) and Skiler (15) will be added. Robert (14) will be able to come after he has completed his time in the boys home where he is currently living. Call us crazy for taking in three more teen boys, but we are certain that God is in this and are looking forward to how He is going to bless. The three brothers have a lot of baggage that they are dealing with so prayer will be greatly appreciated for them and for us. Pray also for us because their family is one of the families that we minister to quite regularly. Their grandmother is the one who hosts the weekly Bible study in her home. Their family is aware of what is going on and is supportive, but I know there are going to be some bumpy times. I can’t go into all of the details why they will be coming to us and not going home but please be in prayer.
David Skiler Robert
So, there you have all of our little secrets. We have finally spilled the beans and, personally, I am glad we have because I know that all of you will be praying and we value that very much. Please continue to pray for our finances. Sarah is working at the hospital to supplement our income and we will be getting some assistance as foster parents, but we are still under supported as missionaries and having three extra hungry teens to feed will definitely increase our food bill. Thankfully, the inheritance and cashed in retirement will allow us to put a large down payment on the house and to also pay off most, if not all of our bills, so we will be debt free other than the mortgage.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and financial support. They are much appreciated. We could not do all that we do without you.
Tim Tinkel – 904 Lee Drive – Livingston, TN 38570
Mission Address – BCM International - 201 Granite Run Drive, Suite 260 - Lancaster, PA, 17601 USA
To donate to our ministry or to our support please send a check or money order to our Mission Address and say that it is for the Tinkels - missionary number 642