Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Our September 29th, 2012 Prayer Letter

September 29, 2012

Dear Friends,

            We hope this finds you doing well. We have had another busy month with various ministry and family activities. In fact, we are scrambling to get our prayer letter done a day early so we can finish the month with a busy weekend! On Saturday, Kent will travel to and from Kansas City to attend a performance with a friend while Lisa spends the day in Salina with her father. Sunday will be a full day of ministry opportunities as Kent preaches at Living Hope Foursquare Church here in Concordia and then in the evening serves as the host for a Teens For Christ Family Film Night in Miltonvale.

Students having fun during the game at the September TFC Rally.
            Having mentioned Lisa’s dad, Harry Marty, let us give you a little background. He has just finished up week number two of radiation treatments for prostate cancer in Salina. He has seven more weeks to go. We have been blessed to find a good place for him to stay down there during this time and many other details seem to be coming together.  Still, we would very much appreciate prayers for Harry during his treatment time and recovery. (Harry would appreciate that as well.)
            A couple years ago, I (Kent) stood on Sixth Street here in Concordia after one of our Teens For Christ programs as a good friend listened patiently to me as I vented some frustrations to him. I was frustrated about the lack of participation we get from area churches. My friend, whom I respect very much, had this line to offer when I asked what his thoughts were. He replied, “The churches are afraid that you will get the credit.” When I stated that we weren’t chasing the “credit”, he assured me that he knew that and understood where our heart is on that issue.

Jossalin turned four on September 21st. While we were at El Puerto, she got the Birthday Whipped Cream Treatment. She declared loudly when it was done that it was “Rude!” We thought it was cute.
            Now fast forward to this past month. At the September Teens For Christ Rally, guest speaker Andrew Laughlin gave a good message to the students who were at the program. The response for the invitation was modest with one student and one adult responding for prayer. The student had her youth group pray with her along with several of her friends, while the adult found some quiet one-on-one time with a friend of ours. Overall, I was thinking to myself that this response was good considering the size of the crowd we had that night.
            On September 18th, Andrew shared this email that was sent to him by Gabe Hughes who served as our Praise & Worship leader at the September TFC Rally:
"Hey, just so you know, we had 4 re-dedications on Sunday morning, and one young man gave his life to Christ for the first time. I can't remember if the guy went to TFC, but three of the four girls did."
            I smiled when I read this and responded to Andrew with this simple phrase:
“Some plant, some water, some reap.”
            That simple phrase that I typed out in my reply is a very simplistic view of this passage of Scripture:
"For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." ~ First Corinthians 3:4-9 (NASB)
            The biggest impact we can have through Teens For Christ is to “plant” and “water” while God causes the “growth” as He takes the lead as Lord of the Harvest. Lisa and I, along with our sponsors, volunteers and support team (you!), together work the “fields” for the Lord. Sometimes it is just to “plant” and “water” with the thought that we may never see what the “harvest” is this side of Heaven.
            As we wrap this up, let us say, “Thank You!” for keeping us in the fields. It can be frustrating at times, but James reminded us that life is a “vapour”, so we will be faithful until He comes. As always, we are in need of financial and prayer support and send these letters out to share that need with you. If you can help, please use the enclosed envelope to send in the gift that the Lord has laid on your heart. Thank you once again for your time and your prayers. Take care and may you have a very blessed October.
Yours For Youth!
Kent & Lisa Otott
Romans 10:15

Our August 31st, 2012 Prayer Letter

August 31, 2012 

Dear Friend,
          Lisa and I hope this letter finds you doing well. It has been an interesting month for us and we are trying to figure out how August flew by so quickly. After completing the mileage log for our Park Avenue, we know time on the road contributed! Driving 3,800 miles in one month surely takes time, don’t you think?
          Many of these miles racked up during the two trips made to the Colorado Springs area in a space of two weeks. I wish I could say the two trips were for leisure, but they were business trips that formed around taking Duaine and Romy to Summit Ministries for a two week Christian Worldview Conference for high school seniors and college students. The boys sat in on 70 hours of classroom time while they were there and in between classes were able to take in some sights around the area.
          These two trips turned into overnight events that included visits with a number of friends I have ministered to and with over the years. During the first trip out to Manitou Springs, I stayed overnight in Pueblo and had supper with a friend who attended the TFC Rallies at the same time I did when I was in high school.
          Then on Monday morning, the 6th, I headed back into Kansas via a route through Garden City. While there, I had a meeting with a friend who is the director of that region’s juvenile detention facility. It was interesting to tour the facility and we even talked about how it would have been nice to build something like that in Beloit instead of closing that facility and moving the girls to Topeka.
          After my first meeting of the day, I had lunch with a girl who spent time at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. She lives in Garden City and wanted me to meet her friends. It was nice to have the opportunity to visit and see how well she was doing. If her plans have panned out, she has started college now.
          Leaving Garden City, my next stop was in Ellis which is west of Hays on I-70. There I visited a TFC alumnus who graduated high school in Clyde back in 1992. As I walked into his house, he shouted out that I looked the same now as I did twenty years ago. (I must have been a pretty rough looking 27 year old.) This visit was a tough one, as this young man lost a leg while serving in the United States Marine Corp fourteen years. To complicate things, he wound up having heart bypass surgery back in July. We spent about 90 minutes catching up and had a very good time of prayer together.
          As I left Ellis, I wondered when I would see Donny again. Then I received a call the weekend of the August TFC Rally, which was also the day I picked up Duaine and Romy from Colorado, that Donny had to be flown in an air ambulance to the K.U. Medical Center. He spent the next two weeks having invasive surgeries to remove diseased muscle tissue that could have killed him. The past two Tuesdays, I left for Topeka early so I could visit him in the hospital. By now, he should be back in the Wakeeney hospital for several months of physical therapy and recuperation.
          I don’t share these stories to pat myself on the back. I share them to say thank you for supporting our work with Teens For Christ. The visits I had on both trips to Colorado (some by phone) involved people from all stages of my career serving the Lord here in Concordia. There are other stories from the past two weeks which would make this an eight page prayer letter if I got into details. Instead, I will close with this verse:
"And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"" ~ Romans 10:15 (NKJV)
          You, my friend, give us the means to preach the gospel of peace as the Lord directs us in and out of the lives of so many different people. Some of the encounters might be brief, but the eternal results will be lasting. Just as in Donny’s case. Years ago, I prayed with him after a TFC Rally as he trusted Christ to be his Lord and Saviour. That brief moment will be what sustains him for the long months ahead!
          Thank you for your prayers during the month of August. Please keep us in your prayers as we enter into another school year of ministry. It will be interesting to see what all takes place. We will have many things to share, I’m sure!  Until then, take care and God Bless You!
Yours For Youth!
Kent & Lisa Otott

Romans 10:15

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Our July 31st, 2012 Prayer Letter

July 31, 2012

Dear Friend,

        We hope this letter finds you staying cool and doing well in the Lord. For us, July has been a pretty typical month - which pretty much means anything but normal. Some activities, such as Duaine’s senior photos and his week at God’s Mountain, were scheduled events and enjoyable. Other activities were not scheduled and proved to be a bit testing.
Jossi and Lisa share a Frosty at the Wendy’s in Salina.

Duaine took a moment to pose with Kent before his week at God’s Mountain.

        Starting early in the month, a not so young Lisa took Jossalin to the pool. During a maneuver to keep Jossalin from going underwater too deep for her, Lisa managed to give herself some aches and pains.  A trip to the doctor resulted in a CAT scan and lab work to rule a number of things out. The initial diagnosis was a probable injury to her ribs and connective cartilage.  A few days later, she had a dizzy spell accompanied by a very high blood pressure reading. After a battery of tests at the hospital, we found out a few more things she didn’t have (stroke, heart attack), but no solid reason for the “episode” other than a possible reaction to the pain medication she took for the rib injury.

        After settling back down with the intent to ride out the rib injury with ibuprofen, we received a call that the chest x-ray they took during the “episode” showed a spot on her left lung. Yesterday, a follow up CAT Scan was done and a little after 5:00 p.m., the nurse called to tell us the spot on the x-ray wound up being nothing to worry about. Needless to say, as parents of a three year old, we are both grateful and thankful to the Lord for having the clear results.

        We share all this to illicit much needed prayer support! At 47 and 46 (Lisa had a birthday on July 17th), being the proud parents of a 17 year old who is embarking on his senior year sounds about right. Being the parents of a three year-old is another story. Our health and stamina are not always going to match our desire to keep up with the little one. We are excited though to find ourselves with new opportunities to encourage other parents of youngsters. We know God is going to open up whole new avenues of ministry for us as Jossalin gets older.

        In a few hours, I (Kent) will be heading off to Topeka to minister at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex. Lisa will have a Mom day that involves taking Jossalin to gymnastics and Duaine to his sports physical for the new school year. Duaine will be preparing for his meeting on Wednesday with his Air Force recruiter (a monthly event for him now). On Saturday, I will take Duaine out for his two weeks at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Romy Rohovit, who helps out with the TFC Rallies, will be going as well. They will get back in time for the August TFC Rally and the beginning of their senior year.

        We want to thank you for your prayers and for your support of our work with Teens For Christ. It is nice to know that people are praying for us and cheering us on as we seek to impact teenagers and families for Jesus Christ. Please pray for the funds to cover all of Lisa’s recent medical tests and praise Him with us that things all came back clear! Thank you once again for reading this and may you have a blessed August! Take care and God Bless!

Yours For Youth!
Kent & Lisa Otott
Micah 6:8