As another dynamic year comes to a close we want to write to you with very thankful hearts. Knowing people are reading our letters and remaining engaged in our lives is such a blessing. We also want to give God the praise He deserves for those that support us financially and prayerfully. Without these gifts of prayers and finances, it would be impossible for us to carry on our work for the Lord. This is why we come to you this month with an urgent request. December tends to be a very slow financial month for Brittany and me at Teen Quest. Churches are busy preparing for Christmas and our supporters have so many things going on in their own lives. For this reason we need to prepare for a very lean financial month. We are asking that those people who have given in the past and that those people who have never given would consider submitting a year end gift to our support account. We know that without these gifts, this month will be difficult, but we are already praising God for the support He will send our way.
God has been so good to us this year. A huge blessing we were able to experience as 2009 drew to a close was the birth of our nephew. Brittany’s sister Meghan and her husband Jason welcomed their baby boy into the world on November 12.
As you can see from this picture, Ferdinand is an adorable bundle of joy! We had such a great time seeing him on our trip to Canada and we ask that you pray for his health, growth and salvation in the years to come. Please lift Meghan and Jason up in your prayers as they adjust to being new parents. Ferdinand was God’s biggest gift to us this year. He brings our entire family so much joy! But we would be crazy to not recap the multiple blessings the Lord given us in 2009. Please take a few minutes to read about it.
While Brittany officially started working at Teen Quest in October of 2008, she spent several months working part time with me and part time at the salon. As we entered 2009, and ten back to back weekends of Snow Camp, we saw the reasons to have her leave the salon all the more. While her years working as a beautician were a great time in her life, her heart was set on youth ministry. After much prayer and consideration, she joined the team on a full time basis and ended her four year career at Modern Perfection Salon. We knew going into this that we would take a major financial hit, but because of normal people responding to our hearts for teens with extraordinary gifts, that financial crunch is beginning to become less significant. While we are still not in the financial position we experienced before Brittany left Modern Perfection, we are approaching that place as God works in the hearts of new supporters.
In April we spoke at Horizons Church in Lost Creek, WV. Brittany and I gave a message entitled “Pure Dating” to over sixty teenagers. Purity is such a passion for us, and sharing about it with teens is an exciting opportunity as we see so much in their culture that wars against it. Kids desperately need to hear what it means to have a godly view of their bodies. If we did not have supporters, this message would not have happened. You can listen to the message we gave this April by following these four easy steps.
- Go to http://bgymonline.com/podcast.htm
- At the top of the page you’ll see the audio player. Click the button on the player that says “posts”.
- Scroll through the messages until you see one titled, “4-1-09: ‘Pure Dating’ by Travis & Brittany Rusko”.
- Click and listen!
In April and May hundreds of kids came to the Teen Quest Ranch for weekend retreats and day trips. Countless students made decisions for Christ and got excited about serving the Lord! This wouldn’t have happened without our supporters. One youth group that spoke to our hearts deeply was from New Day In Christ Fellowship in Hagerstown, MD. While we love serving youth groups at Teen Quest and seeing them grow spiritually, the youth of this church came to serve the Teen Quest missionaries! They built us a beautiful prayer tower that stands atop the highest point in our ranch. It gives campers the opportunity to retreat to a quite place and view the beauty of God’s creation while they seek His heart. They also made us a fort in our paintball arena to add an extra bit of fun and strategy to one of our most popular activities at the ranch! Seeing their heart and dedication to our ministry drove Brittany and me to tears. It is such a blessing, and such a humbling experience to see the kids we work with giving back to Teen Quest.
This summer was an all out blast as we spent the majority of June and July at the ranch for our camps and mission trips. We had a fourteen day mission trip where we and a group of teens ministered to the needs of people in our local community of Somerset, Pennsylvania. We took another group of teens on a mission trip to Costa Rica at the same time. Our small team presented the gospel in orphanages, drug rehab centers, and prisons. Students that went on these mission trips got fired up about sharing their faith with a lost world!
We want to apologize because we’ve run out of room to recap the year and we haven’t even been able to tell you about the rest of the summer and the teens, preteens, and preschoolers that were impacted by our summer camps. Nor do we really have any more room left to delve into the details of this fall. What we can tell you in our limited space is that almost 600 students camped with us this autumn between September and October retreats and our brand new fall camp called Power Charge that we just finished up November 22nd. None of this would have been possible without faithful prayer warriors and financial gifts!
Now that we’ve had the privilege of sharing with you all that Christ has done this year through the faithful gifts of our supporters, we would like to end our letter with the same challenge that opened it. Teen Quest is a youth missionary organization depending on God’s people to pray and give to sustain our mission. Since 1976 God has raised up those who believe in this ministry to pray, give and get involved. Every ministry team staff member is asked to raise their own personal support. Gifts are written to Teen Quest (for tax purposes) and are placed into an account earmarked for Brittany and me. Every week our pay check comes out of that account if we have funds still available. Unfortunately during these tough economic times our account is in the hole which makes it very difficult for us. We would like to challenge you to be a part of our support team by filling out the coupon below. Our support team prays for us on a regular basis and gives monthly. When you join our team we will send you our monthly newsletter with updated information on how God is reaching students for Christ. Please consider joining our team today! Thanks so much for reading the update!
Travis & Brittany Rusko