Updates 2015

…And One Last Thing!

Going to Australia and serving others along with each one on our team was such a blessing!  Make sure you take some time to read the Team Australia testimonies of how God worked in the hearts of our team members and in the hearts of others... Check out our 2015 Team Australia trip testimonies at http://australia.yomteams.org/team-2015/meet-our-2015-team/trip-testimonies/ God Bless, John & Continue Reading

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Home But Never Forgotten

Saturday 18 July 2015—oh, that’s July 18 now that we are back! We have arrived safe-and-sound in Los Angeles and several as well are now in New Orleans as this concludes our trip and will be our last update as the team members depart to their various locations. Even though Lamentations 3:51 is given in a negative context, the truth Continue Reading

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Finishing Strong

Friday 17 July 2015 Acts 20:18-21, 24 18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by Continue Reading

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The Desert Place

Thursday 16 July 2015 Mark 6:30-31 30 ¶ And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no Continue Reading

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A Bittersweet Ending

Wednesday 15 July 2015 Our last official day of ministry is over (Sniff, sniff). It was a busy day but an amazing one! The day began at Mildura Christian College (or academy to you Americans). The school graciously allowed us to present a three-hour program to the entire school. We split the children into two groups, kindergarten through year 6 Continue Reading

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The Blessings of Ministry

Monday/Tuesday 13-14 July The Lord has given us several different opportunities for service as we finish our time here in Australia.  It is amazing that the time has gone so quickly and in just a few short days we will be heading back Stateside--we truly can say as the song says, "There is joy in serving Jesus..."  It has been Continue Reading

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Being Stretched During the Home Stretch

Saturday/Sunday 11-12 July 2015 Our last week has begun! Dr. Cirone planned out the rest of our Final Week Team Australia Ministry Opportunities schedule (click on the hyperlink to see schedule), and we were all saddened by how little time we have left. Saturday was rainy so we relaxed after a busy week of camp which not only was physically Continue Reading

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Back At Home

Friday 10 July 2015 Is it over already?! None of us were ready to leave after such a great week of camp. We helped our campers pack up and then went up to breakfast. You could choose spaghetti on toast, sausage in porridge, or any other combination of leftovers from the week as it was a "clear out the refrigerator" Continue Reading

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The Climax

Thursday 9 July 2015 It's our last full day of camp! It began with a cabin captains meeting as usual, recounting the weeks successes and praying that lives would be touched in the remaining time at camp. After a delicious breakfast, we met in the chapel for the first morning session. It was a time of songs and then a Continue Reading

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Trusting Through Trials

Wednesday 8 July 2015 Camp is almost halfway over! Many of the campers are beginning to really open and be touched by the messages and devotions. The day started early with a cabin captains' meeting and time of prayer for the campers and the day. We then returned to our cabins to rouse our sleepy campers for breakfast. After breakfast Continue Reading

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Remember Those Days

Tuesday 8 July 2015 For those of you who went to camp as a teenager—if you’re like me it brings back many fond and lasting memories! Especially those of you who attended a Christian camp, camp was a time in your life where you usually made life-changing decisions. There’s just something about being away from the hustle and bustle of Continue Reading

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Over the River and Through the Woods to Camp We Go!

Monday 6 July 2015 Devotions @ the Bight: …and the fun begins as this is our last full week of ministry—Christian camp counselors in the hills of Adelaide in the middle of the Australian winter! After staying over the night at South West Baptist Church, this morning we got up early and got ready for a new day and new Continue Reading

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A Busy Weekend

Another week is about to begin as this coming week we're serving as camp counselors at South West Baptist Church's Winter Teen Camp and particularly for the teens from the Murray River Baptist Church. Yesterday (Saturday) was quite a day! The men, again, went to the Men's prayer breakfast at the Lamsheds where their hospitality continued to be second to Continue Reading

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A Great Week!

Friday 3 July 2015 Another week will soon be over! Our missions trip is almost halfway done and we can't believe that two weeks from tomorrow (Saturday) we will be flying home--it seems as if we just arrived in Melbourne a few days ago. I think we can all say that we have all enjoyed every minute of our time Continue Reading

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Count Your Many Blessings

Thursday 2 July 2015 Today began early for several team members. John Cirone took Megan, Mark, and Amy to Banjo’s, a local bakery, in the CBD, or Central Business District, of Mildura. While they were gone, Tim and Daniel walked to another nearby bakery. The other team members enjoyed a quiet morning at the house. Once everyone got home, we Continue Reading

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The Cleanest Windshield

Wednesday 1 July 2015 Another day has passed with many adventures and many blessings! This morning, many of us caught up on some extra rest. Then, we picked up Pastor Foley’s children and headed to Wentworth for another exciting day of Holiday Bible Club. Megan got to drive Pastor Foley’s van all the way to Wentworth! We quickly prepared for Continue Reading

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God Gives the Increase

Tuesday, June 30 “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (1 Cor. 3:1). It was another amazing day at the Wentworth Holiday Bible Club. Praise the Lord we more than doubled our attendance today! We began the day with a quieter morning. The Cirones were able to spend Continue Reading

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The Wild West

Monday, June 29 Today was the first day of our 5-day Wentworth Holiday Bible Club. Wentworth is a sleepy little town right on the edge of the Outback with a population of about 1,200 people. An interesting fact is that many years ago, Wentworth along with Canberra was in contention to be the Australian capital, but the local farmer’s didn’t Continue Reading

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Homecoming at the Murray River Baptist Church

Sunday, June 28 We left our home this morning around 8:55 and headed over the Murray River to Buronga to the Midway Centre—the home of the Murray River Baptist Church. This was a special day today as many folks showed up to worship the Lord, to greet us, and to also enjoy the lunch to follow. Mitchell was able to Continue Reading

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A Cold and Clear Lord’s Day

G'day on a Sunday morning, 28 June--ah, you've got to love these winter time mornings in Mildura--this morning being a crisp 2 Celsius (36 degrees) as the sun is beginning to break the eastern sky with a beautiful orange, red, and blue hue.  Both sunrises and sunsets in Australia are just spectacular.  Please pray as this morning will be our Continue Reading

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Ministering in Mildura

Friday/Saturday, June 26/27 After arriving back at our homes last night (Thursday) around 11:15 p.m., we were all really tired, …but we weren’t allowed to go to bed until after we had packed our belongings to be ready to head out tomorrow (Friday) morning around 7:30 a.m. Once morning came and our trailer was loaded, we said our goodbyes to Continue Reading

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Fellowshipping With the Saints

Thursday, June 25 Now, this was our last day to be with our wonderful friends at Bible Baptist Church. Our ministry began by meeting over at Pastor’s home where the twelve of us including Pastor’s daughter and friend prepared to go out letter-boxing to deliver some tracts. After finishing boxing several hundred and then driving around our mini-bus picking up Continue Reading

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One Night–Two Services

Wednesday, June 24 Today was our last day to minister to the wonderful folks at Condell Park as we would be spending most of the day with them—the Christian School in the morning, lunch, the Christian School in the afternoon, and then concluding with the Wednesday Evening service at Condell Park Bible Church. This morning, the day began with a Continue Reading

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Arrived Safely to Mildura

A quick update to let you all know that we've made it safely to Mildura--it was a long drive (over 1,000 kms/600+ miles) but other than hitting a cockatoo (actually, it flew into our van/trailer), that was the only eventful moment on our trip.  We are very tired and are going to bed--will update the rest of the week tomorrow Continue Reading

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Prayer Request–The Longest Drive

Good Evening to All (morning for us, that is), Just a really brief update as we sincerely ask for your prayers as we leave Sydney in about 30-40 minutes and head west toward Mildura--this will be about a 11-12 hour drive and we really need to get there before dark as the roads out that way tend to have much Continue Reading

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The Value of One

Tuesday, June 23 Condell Park Christian School Like yesterday, today again began at 9:00 am at Condell Park Christian School as we were debriefed on the day by Mr. Don Leys, the school administrator. We must first pause and introduce you to Brother Don, a godly and meek man who has been the person coordinating our Condell Park activities with Continue Reading

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Divine Appointments

Monday, June 22 As one goes through life, it seems like there is an endless supply of things to do—more things to accomplish than time allots and you consistently feel as the saying goes, “a day late and a dollar short?” But then, there are those wonderful moments when God interrupts our hectic schedule with a divine appointment: something or Continue Reading

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We LOVED It!

Sunday, June 21 Going on a mission trip, we believe, is the closest thing to being in Heaven because in such a concentrated time you are 100% focused on serving others. This brings such joy to the heart as this is consistent with having the mind of Christ as Christ “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the Continue Reading

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Beautiful Australia

Saturday, June 20 Oftentimes the question is posed: How Do I Know There Is a God? With that being a great question, the Bible gives an even greater answer as it says in Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Continue Reading

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On the Road…

After we left the Sutton’s home on Friday morning, we headed up the Hume Highway toward Sydney with a stopover at Mt. Carmel Christian School in Wodonga to do their 1:00 Chapel program. After arriving around 12:30, we met their principal Mr. Larry Gunn as he helped us set up in their Chapel room. Our planned program was as follows: Continue Reading

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Major Prayer Request-Busiest Day of Our Trip

Greetings from the Land Down Under as it is 7:04 am Sunday morning as we all prepare for possibly the busiest day of our 30-day Australian ministry which involves ministering at two different churches.  Due to the time constraints, we are not able yet to elaborate on the happenings of the last couple of days (which will come later this Continue Reading

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Home with the Suttons

Thursday, 18th June, 2015 We finally arrived in Melbourne! Praise the Lord that our luggage arrived safely (with the exception of Stephanie’s one piece of luggage which should arrive in Sydney soon). We waited outside with our luggage in the cold, Melbourne winter while John Cirone picked up the twelve-passenger Toyota van and a trailer.  It wasn't that bad, though, Continue Reading

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It’s Finally Here!

Do you remember how you felt when you’ve looked forward to something for such a long time and that event had finally arrived?—maybe it was vacation, that first day on the job, the day of your wedding, or the birth of your first child. As Team Australia members began to arrive in Los Angeles, there was that anticipation and slight Continue Reading

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The Greatest and Latest

The Greatest This should be "the latest and greatest" post, but I wanted to begin with the "Greatest" and that is our God!  Sitting at the table this morning and watching the dawning of a new day reminded me of Psalm 90:2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from Continue Reading

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Don’t Forget…

Have you ever gone into a store and after you've shopped and have left the store and headed back into the parking lot you totally forgot where you parked your car?  That happened yesterday as Michelle and I were in Charlotte, North Carolina, and walked out of the local IKEA.  (At least this wasn't as bad as the time we Continue Reading

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The Countdown–Welcome Back!

It's Getting Close! Officially from yesterday we now have 27 days until Team Australia meets in Los Angeles and takes off to the land Down Under and we can't wait!!!  Since this is officially our first Update since November 2014 when we finalized our team, here's what has happened with Team Australia: Training: Both throughout the Fall and this Spring Continue Reading

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Answered Prayer

Answered Prayer 5 Ladies and 4 Men Exciting!!  As of Tuesday, November 4th, we have finalized our team!!  As we interviewed for Team Australia during the month of October, there were so many good candidates that it was difficult to choose at times, but God has given peace and direction in providing exactly the right people for our team.  We Continue Reading

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