Releasing Preteens to Minister
It is a true joy seeing the impact of churches around the United States and international. I talked with Russ Zacek, and he is seeing the fruits of releasing children in his church to lead. His preteens are leading out and teaching in their children’s church services. His son, Freedom, taught one Sunday with amazing confidence. He even turned a backflip during his message. I love how the Lord is raising up children and preteens in our midst and using their gifts to His glory. It is amazing to step back and experience God’s presence and power, just like we do when they discover God’s purpose for their lives.
August 2019 Newsletter
From Fear to Fearless Preteens Hearts Were Set on Fire for the Gospel
One of the things I love seeing on the L.I.T. Mission Trip is watching preteens turn from fearful to fearless. As we watched them arrive this summer in Waxahachie, Texas, Catoosa, Oklahoma and Lewisville Texas, there was a little bit of a fear that you could see on the L.I.T.s faces, especially for those who were on the mission trip for the first time. Their fear turned into fearlessness in a matter of four days. What brought this about for them was experiencing their faith firsthand. Many times they cried out to God for help and strength and we then watched Him come and intercede on their behalf. I truly love this form of discipleship. We get to witness God’s hand working in their lives throughout the week and it becomes obvious in how their countenance changes. The confidence builds and when they leave the trip they are ready to go home and conquer their world. This summer over 200 preteens (4th, 5th and 6th graders) lead 84 people to Christ. It is our prayer that they will return home and continue their mission trip experience.
Last week was an amazing week for our 29th L.I.T. Mission Trip in Waxahachie, Texas. Nine churches came together to work as one. Doors were opened at the Salvation Army and the Children’s Home for us to minister. This past week, more than 70 preteens went into the community to minister. They arrived a little fearful, but their confidence level excelled throughout the week. These shy introverted preteens became fearless for the Gospel as they experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence speaking in and through them. These young missionaries led 50 children to Christ! What I love the most is that they get it. Our discipleship plan is working because many of them will take it home with them and reach their neighbors and friends as well. We celebrate with the angels over these 50 whose names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We also rejoice in taking part in discipling these preteen L.I.T.s and lighting a fire in their hearts for the Gospel.
Celebrating our 30th Preteen Mission Trip This Summer
As we were preparing for the mission trips this summer—numbers 29, 30, and 31—it hit me that by the end of the summer, we will have been on more than 30 mission trips with preteens in the last 14 years. Along with many others, I have witnessed many God moments that have blessed my life immensely. I will never forget what I have witnessed. This newsletter will highlight a few of these amazing events. I still love the mission trips; however, it takes me a lot longer to recover after each trip now that we are doing three per summer. Please keep Vicki and me in your prayers this summer, that we will get rest and for God’s supernatural strength to endure throughout all three upcoming trips.
Testimony from Vine and Branches Ministry, Piedras Negras, Mexico Alex & Diana Aburto
Recently, we took our Leaders In Training students, local interns, and visiting missionaries from Central Baptist, Round Rock, Texas, to minister to the residents of a special needs orphanage. Students had brought in donations to bless this home with needed items, and the Texas mission team provided the meal. How awesome to watch our L.I.T. students delight to share the Gospel through the "Oceans" drama, pray, share their testimonies, and engage with the residents. Our hearts were joy-filled to observe these students step up and out as missionaries into their role in the Great Commission right here in their own city. Last year, we began taking students to the surrounding neighborhoods and on short mission trips just outside the city. Next, L.I.T students, Aleana and Elliott Aburto, traveled to another country to share the Gospel. This past Christmas, we were blessed to take a team of 13 students from 3 churches to a neighboring state for a week-long mission trip!