This month we are introducing Betty Means, one of the missionaries we support. Betty moved to Connecticut in 1994 and joined the Barn community at that point. She served as an elder and as director of Children's Ministry, as well as with Day Camp and other ministries. A number of years ago, there was a growing restlessness and a sense of call to Adventures in Missions, an inter-denominational organization that mobilizes people to the mission field through mission trips (both domestic and international). Their focus is on both the mission work and the discipleship of the individuals and teams that they send.
In 2011, she moved to Georgia to serve full time in their home office and has spent most of her time creating, building, growing and running their Parent Ministry. Her primary focus is the parents of "World Racers" - participants on an 11-month/11-country mission trip - and Gap Year World Racers (4 countries/9 months). Through phone calls, emails, written resources, FB groups, videos, Parent Launches and Parent Vision trips she addresses their concerns and fears, helps them understand the vision and mission of the organization, and encourages them to embrace this as a journey for themselves as well. In addition to the general communication and availability to all parents, she is the primary contact person between parents and the organization when there is a crisis or emergency situation, a need for "hard conversations" or a fear that surfaces as anger.
Each year, Betty and her team of 1-1/2 other people communicate with approximately 1500 parents, host approximately 1000 parents and other family members at Parent Launches and mobilize approximately 600 parents on Parent Vision Trips (an opportunity to join their Racer on the field).
Through this ministry, many parents are discovering - or rediscovering - a life-giving relationship with Jesus. They are allowing the Lord to take them deeper in their faith as they release their children to Him in new ways and as their eyes are opened to needs around the world. As they allow the Lord to stir things in them some of them are volunteering to serve future World Race parents as Parent Navigators and Launch Volunteers. Some are providing "Landing Zones" for returning Racers. Others are rethinking retirement and empty nest plans - and are even considering spending some time at one of the Adventures in Missions bases being established around the world.
Betty has a son and daughter who grew up at the Barn and who now live in Chicago and Richmond.
For more information about Adventures in Missions -
Betty blogs on occasion. You can find her thoughts on parenting,
missions and miscellaneous topics at bettymeans.myadventures.org
- I have my final pre-treatment appointment with the radiation oncologist on Friday and my treatments will start on Monday (Sept. 24). I will have daily treatments, Monday through Friday, for 6-1/2 weeks. Requests related to that:
- For complete eradication of any cancer that may be remaining.
- For the side effects (most likely fatigue) to be minimal.
- Parent Ministry is strong and growing. But we are headed into a year where changes in our other programs - particularly World Race - will force us to revamp our biggest Parent Ministry programs, rewrite many of our materials, create new communication timelines with parents and so much more. We are going to have to fight hard to maintain our numbers at certain events - and the numbers are an important metric that we are measured against.
- The Parent Ministry team is small (2-1/2 people) and we are all feeling stretched - even before these new challenges. Pray for a "yes" in our Spirit to the new demands on us from other departments, as well as the ability to serve them well while still being wise about our own limits.