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FSM 268/FN 377 Special Issue DO
LESS IS MORE!--The Advantages of Small Homes!
Copyrighted February, 1995 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       Introduction       1
       CURED OF "BLOBITIS"! Or--How to Live Happily in a Small Home!       1
       Stepping Out by Faith!--God Meets Us There!       3
       Small Is Worth It!       4
       Teens Write about the Big Scale-Down!       4
       Let's Break the Box!--And Let It Roll!       5
       Things Will Never Be the Same!       7
       A Sample of Small Home Effectiveness!       8
       Back to the Basics!       10

       Throughout the Family, in various Areas and for different reasons, people have recently been working in small teams. Whether part of a "SWIFT" venture for witnessing on the road together with their family, to pioneer a new location, or just to have a change, many have found the set-up of a small Home very much to their liking! They have borne lots of fruit, as they have been able to concentrate on witnessing & feeding their friends & sheep. The Lord has provided the finances they needed. Their young people have been inspired, as everyone is busy & challenged & needed. They have been able to give more attention to their children's schooling & training. Although every situation is different, we thought you'd be interested in the following inspiring testimonies we have received from small Homes & small teams. God bless all those who took the time to share their experiences with us all!

       CURED OF "BLOBITIS"! Or--How to live Happily in a Small Home!
       By Stephen Kind, Europe
       {\ul \i (Note from European Shepherds}: At the beginning of this year we were desperate to break up the big blob that one of our main Combos in Europe had become. It was very difficult to find existing Homes for these folks to go to, so after prayer & counsel it was agreed by all that the Lord was leading Stephen & Angela to go out pioneering, which they did with a team of six adults, two teens, four JETTs & eight children. The result was that they just did great & became the pioneers & forerunners of our "small Home" push & influenced the beginning of the SWIFT. Here's their account of life in a small Home after being in a large Combo.)

       To begin, I'd like to paraphrase an old saying: "It's easy to get the man out of the blob, but hard to get the blob out of the man!" It's not so difficult to get out of a blob--just step out & pioneer--but then one starts to realize just how much of the blob we carry with us in our day-to-day actions--habits that are just so hard to break!
       For instance, to start on the humorous side, let's take the trash run! Imagine yourself in a large Home. You've just cleaned the bathroom or kitchen, & it's time to put out the trash ... you simply drop it by the door, where someone "in charge" will take it out to the trash shed, where it collects. Then "someone" loads it up in a van & takes it to a dump on the nightly "trash run". Since it's not your department, the door is as far as you yourself take it. Simple, right?
       Well, then you move to a smaller Home where there is a large trash can just across the street from the house, which very seldom overflows. All you have to do is simply take the trash out to the can. But, old habits are hard to break, & we still leave it by the door! This is quite a comical example of just a little thing, but when it happens to you, it's kind of shocking!
       Rather than list all the negative traits of "blobitis" that we have picked up over the years (which can be simply solved with a little prayer, honesty & going on the attack together as a Home against our bad habits), let's list all the amazing advantages of being a small team!
       1. Less work for everyone! In a small situation there's simply less maintenance & less upkeep each day. Being so close to each other, it's also obvious how every member is so needed, & so as a result, everyone pitches in. Jobs are smaller & things get done much faster & more efficiently!--We all clean up after ourselves!
       2. This allows for more teams out & more witnessing! Even though we have only one car, we are able to get at least one team out daily, & three days of the week we get two out, since a singing team goes out in the evening also. For instance, today we had four teams out!--Two day teams in the car, one day team by bus & one night singing team! (Today was Attack Day.) Those at home had a great time & went swimming in the afternoon with the kids who weren't on a witnessing team!
       3. Easier access to a witnessing spot. In our particular case, we live right on the lake in Summer housing, so as we take the children out for their daily get-out, we often witness & even get out a Tape or two!
       4. Easier scheduling & being able to be more flexible. When there are not so many factors requiring tight scheduling, it's easier to be more Spirit-led & adapt when needed, to break out of the schedule to fill a need. For example, when our German neighbours were preparing to return home a couple of weeks ago, we were able to send a small team to witness to them before they left. The children at home that day did this--simply by walking out the front door!
       5. Our children learn the local language faster & easier, as they are in contact with people daily. At first we thought this might be a disadvantage, & we explained to one of our YCs that the children she saw in the park were not good samples. Her reaction? "Uncle, we need to pray with them & get them saved!" God bless her!
       6. More shows & follow-up! In our situation, we have a younger children's group, plus our JETTs & teens sing together. We were not only able to take them out busking in separate groups, do "Family" type shows together for senior citizens' homes, etc., but even do a type of "Travellers' Meeting" or "Meaningful Meeting" with the JETTs & teens at a local drug rehabilitation centre. Also, we've been invited by a neighbour to participate in a local community gathering! The open doors are endless. Not being so bound by the schedule, & having less people, it's easier to change the schedule if we have to follow up on a special person, which we try to do regularly!
       7. More fun! Since we're a smaller group, it's easier for those at home to organise things & do more with the kids, like swimming daily, bike riding, fishing, & going on excursions like the Zoo Safari.--Our whole Home got to go on Family Day!
       8. It's easier to implement the side-by-side vision. Since we're so few--six adults & six JETTs & teens--every member is needed, & our young people can get a lot of personal attention & work together with an adult to learn those ministries they always wanted to!
       9. There's easier & better provisioning! We have a few supermarket contacts now which help us regularly with canned goods, soap powder--basically everything we would get in a weekly bulk shopping!--And enough to spare to start building up survival stock! The Lord provides just exactly what we need, thanks to a very sweet man who makes sure we get well-rounded provisions.
       10. More individual attention for the children! In a small Home, you can have more special days for the children, & really make the children feel special & loved individually. They are treated more as individuals rather than as a group, & they actually get more personal attention from their parents, & more parent time than in the larger Homes!
       11. More inspiring & fun home schooling. Since we're less people, our schooling is less "institutionalized", & we have a lot more excursions & "being-aware-of-the-World-around-me" type of classes. For instance, one day our 15-year-old teen boy provisioned entrance to a castle museum for all the kids. The next day, since it was someone's birthday, he also provisioned a two-way fare on a ferry boat for all the kids across the lake & back, where they had a picnic & went swimming. The kids also learned all about boats at the local yachting club, & one day had a class in civic education--by simply going around the block with a notepad, drawing the different road signs & learning their meanings. We still have classroom work, make notes, & have Superworkbook time, but generally the kids are more inspired & learning a lot more about the World around them.--Not to mention all of the cooking classes with their JETT teachers!--And yummy meals as a result!
       So, the list of advantages is actually almost endless! Not that we're trying to put down the larger Combos, which all have their purpose, but for us here it has been a real renewal, almost like being born again in the Spirit, as we are really exercising our faith muscles once again. Everyone, including the little ones, gets a chance to go out witnessing weekly, if not daily on our get-outs & walks!
       Our whole Home is buzzing & alive, with everybody excitedly making plans for witnessing the next day, JETTs & teens helping to make the schedule, or coming up with fun activities to do with the kids, etc., etc. We still have our problems with our never-ending NWOs & our own personalities, which tend to get in the way at times, but we sure are having a lot of fun!
       Try it, you just might like it! We love you!

       Stepping Out by Faith!--God Meets Us There!
       From Angela (of Stephen), Europe
       After spending five years in a big Combo, pioneering again & coming to live in a small Home has been quite a big change for me!
       First of all, when a change was first proposed to me (which was very needed after five years in the same place) in the beginning I was happy & willing to go anywhere. But when I heard the suggestion that we were being encouraged to go out & pioneer a new Home, my heart sank! A mixture of feelings took over--from feeling like I must have really blown it & seeing the whole thing as a punishment, to feeling absolutely incapable because my faith muscles were so flabby!
       Thank God, my mate Stephen had the faith & determination to get up & go, & left with our JETT daughter & teen son. To be honest, none of us were doing well at the time, so the Lord had to really go before us, as we felt like such a mess & almost no good for anything. They were away for a few weeks trying to find a house, or at least a base. In the meantime I was still back home, deeply involved with the work there, & secretly hoping they would never find this house, so we could all stay in our "mother" Home a little longer! Lord help me!!
       The day arrived that they did find something & asked me to come up to check it out. My heart sank again, & very reluctantly I travelled to the new spot by train. As soon as I got here, I started getting the vision & something in my heart started changing. Like Dad said, "When you pioneer some place, you have to get there to feel it, to see if it's really true.... Then you get there & you feel it & you know it & you know that's it, it's true!!" ("The Way of Pioneers!", DB9, par.7).
       What did it was getting out witnessing right away! It sure gave me a burden to reach these people with Jesus, & the courage to leave everything behind & start all over again.
       The very first time we went out singing, we witnessed for quite a long time to a rich lady, the owner of a very fancy restaurant. As it turned out, she had spent a few months in the Family when she was 18, around the same time I joined! Now she is very much in the System, but so needy & hungry!
       At first just our family moved in to this new house the Lord provided & that was quite an experience--to take care of all my kids fulltime, some of whom I felt miles apart from, almost like I didn't even know them any more. It takes a lot of loving to make a house a home, so I found myself washing dirty socks, preparing snacks, etc., doing all sorts of little jobs. A few times I asked myself: "But Lord, is this the way you want to use me? Isn't there anything more important I should be doing?" I guess I had been so used to "titles", "big assignments", etc., that getting down to the basics of daily pioneering also meant some humbling, but it was definitely very good for me!
       I was able to rediscover the joy that comes from the little things, from having love & unity, & most of all seeing our kids coming to life again, being challenged & benefiting from more personal & undivided attention. I had to change a lot of my ways, as much of my past training didn't apply here. We really had to follow God & hear from Him fresh every day!
       Now we are living with a few more families, & we are all learning pretty much the same lessons. I can only say that I'm very thankful for this opportunity to pioneer, & that even though I didn't volunteer for it & wasn't so cheerful about it at first, I really needed it!

Teens Write about the Big Scale-Down!
From Irene (15), & Judith (16), Europe
       For a long time our Home has been wanting to close down & move closer to town so we could do more outreach, but it was a real battle & we couldn't seem to find the right house. So the Home Teamwork got everyone together in prayer, and we all asked the Lord what He was trying to show us & what He wanted us to do. The Lord encouraged us that if we just put witnessing first, especially getting the children, JETTs & teens out, He would "add all these other things to us & help us build our house". (See Mat.6:33; Pro.24:27.)
       You can imagine how excited we all were when the day after our prayer meeting we received the news of the SWIFT revolution! Our Home decided to go ahead and move by faith, and that's what we did! It was like the story of Etta, because we knew it was God's Will for us to go, so we started packing & cleaning, even though we didn't have a house yet!
       After our Home had taken a step in the direction He had shown us, He revealed the next step, which was to not move into another big house, but get caravans & a flat! The Lord then started providing not only caravans & open doors for flats, but He also drew us closer together as a Home, all having the same united vision & goal.
       Moving from a big house into something smaller, it was obvious that we needed to trim down & become suitcase missionaries again. We've noticed that we have collected a lot of unnecessary junk, belongings, provisioning, etc., in our storage, and so we are going on the attack to cut down.
       To us teens, this is life-changing & radical, & is getting us out of our old ruts! It helps us to see that you need to be a 110% disciple to be in the Family. God bless you! We love you!

Small Is Worth It!
From Aaron, Australia
       We're a small team of eight adults, one teen, three JETTs & 12 children & we have been together like this for the past 10 months (at the time of this writing). One of the main advantages we've had has been to have the same team working together for a while. It has taken time for all of us to get to know each other, learn to work together in unity, & for the Lord to give our Home a ministry & vision that we can all get behind.
       Speaking from a Shepherd's viewpoint, because we are a small Home I have needed to get into just about every facet of the Home organization, right into the grass roots. Our financial squeeze forced us to get together & get desperate for the Lord's solution, & when He showed us to get out & attack more & do more witnessing, I couldn't very well stand back & send out the troops on their own!
       I had to lead the way and, although somewhat rusty, it didn't take long for me to get the fever! The flock expected it--and in our particular situation it brought a greater unity, bond, & united vision & goal. It now seems I don't have a lot of time for my other "important" shepherding responsibilities (the ones I thought were important), but I have made our witnessing & outreach the priority of late.
       One thing that helps our working together in unity is all going out together on attack days, JETTs on up. This has brought real togetherness & broken down any dividing walls between JETTs, teens & adults. Because we have been spending more time doing things together like this, which is easier as a small Home, it's caused us to get together & make united decisions as a whole Home. It doesn't take much to get most folks together & bring out a few points that need to be decided on, & then we all go away knowing that everyone has had their say.
       This united outreach push has spread down to the younger children, & different folks are involved in getting them out too. Our conversation has changed from dull talk about trivia to talking about witnessing, outreach, raising funds, sheep, etc., etc.
       On the shepherding side of things, in a small Home I am constantly intermingling so it seems so much easier to take care of people or help with problems, as I am right there all the time, not hiding away in my room or office. The battle we all have now is that there is not enough time in a week!--There is so much more we want to do.
       Also, our JETTs & teen don't seem bored or unchallenged as I've seen before in larger situations. Of course, we still have our problems & I know a lot of things are left undone that we should be doing, but for the most part we are all inspired because we all are working together, mainly on the witnessing front.
       It's really a lot harder work (as a Shepherd) to get involved with all aspects of Home life. But it's so much more inspiring knowing that your Home is going somewhere, rather than stagnating from lack of inspiration, vision & goals.
       My vote is for small Homes!--It's a battle to keep it small, but it's something worth fighting for! Thank You Jesus!!

       Let's Break the Box!--And Let It Roll!
       More on the Advantages of Small Homes!

A Letter from Spanish Andres (of Ruth) in Eastern Europe, to Peter Amsterdam (August, 1994)
Dear Peter,
       God bless you! I pray that this letter finds you well in His wonderful service. I would like to share with you some things that I have had on my heart, with the hope that somehow it will be a help. Thanks so much for taking your precious time to read this.

The Need for Each Individual to Be Sold Out
       It is my personal opinion that when each one of us faces the Lord, it is going to be on a very personal basis. I don't think that because I am "in the Family" He is going to see me as a "special person", or that I'll deserve special treatment or privileges that other Christians don't get. In fact, it may be completely the other way around!--If anything, He may require more of me because He has given me so much! "Unto whom much hath been given, much will be required." (See Luke 12:48.) I believe that He is going to look at my heart & not so much at the group that I belong to.
       I'm inclined to believe that some of us Family Members can feel that because we are here, plugging along day by day, that's all that matters in the Lord's service. The Lord will of course bless us if we are doing the best we can in whatever situation we are in, but, as Dad has said, we can even be "in" as a disciple, but a backslider in our hearts. Lord help us, sometimes it can be easy to just follow a daily routine & feel that we've arrived, that we've "made it", without giving it all we've got from the heart. Personal problems & battles can too easily beset us & we can lose the overall picture & vision of what the Lord is doing & wants to do with us & through us. The main problem I can see in this tendency is that our young generation & new disciples can follow the same sample or pattern. Sometimes they can then get discouraged & dissatisfied, & as you well know, we cannot expect more from them than we do from ourselves, the Family adults.
        That's why I am for small teams or small Home situations, & that's the main reason for this, my letter to you. I believe that living & working together in small Homes & teams can be a big blessing for our spiritual life & work for the Lord.

Benefits of Small Homes over Large Homes
       Sometimes I have the feeling that the Family today is like the situation that inspired Dad's talk in the Letter "The Monster". Many of our Homes have become very big & complicated operations. It takes a lot of manpower, leadership, teamworking, time & effort just to keep it running decently. We can find ourselves with so many rules, reports, problems, counsel to follow, battles to fight, areas to work on, ministries to fulfil, etc., that sometimes it can be too much for us. We can end up at the end of every month just doing the bare essentials to keep the Home going & hold our ground. Whatever we fail to do or accomplish on a monthly basis, we have to leave for the next month.--So then we start the next month doing the work we need to do, while at the same time trying to find the balance with the things that we failed to do the previous month.
       As you know, in small Homes & teams, everybody's role is more obvious, & each job seems more important. It is not the same as doing things because "the Shepherds said so" or because our name happens to be on the schedule. In a smaller situation the need is right there, everybody can see it, & there is nobody else to do it. You look around & realize that the Lord is asking & expecting you to go for it. (Besides, you may be one of the Shepherds, with the responsibility falling on your shoulders to start with!)
       Under such circumstances it could be much easier for our young ones to get on fire for the Lord & to experience the thrills that the "Revolution for Jesus" brings. For us, the old timers, it could mean a beautiful opportunity in the spirit of rededication to the Lord's Love & service. Living for the Lord & by faith can more easily become real meaningful & personal to our young people--and to us all!
       I understand that the sample of the Family working & serving the Lord together, our Schools, & the lessons that working in teamwork brings are wonderful & a very needed learning experience. But maybe these can also be applied & used on a smaller scale in small Home situations.
       Because of the complexity & size of our average Homes & Teamworks, I believe that sometimes much of our day-to-day work for the Lord & interaction with each other can be done by following simple routines & habits. We all basically know how to act & how to follow & mainly just try to serve the Lord the best we can without "getting in trouble" with our Shepherds or others. The problem with this is that our relations with each other can be the result of our trying to be nice & loving, which is good, but there can be a lack of a genuine spirit of unity that I believe clear vision & common goals can bring. I believe that this true spirit of unity comes easiest when serving the Lord in a more personal way--like small teams fighting together, holding to the same standard, for the same goal & purpose.

Easier to Reach Out & Bring Others In
       Sometimes I ask myself if there is too big of a gap between us & the people in the System whom we are trying to reach, our friends, & supporters, etc. I like to think of our Homes as an oasis in the middle of the desert. We indeed are rich & have an abundance of water & green pastures, but maybe somehow we need to make it easier for people to reach us, & easier for us to reach them. I may be wrong, but sometimes I feel like we have become quite a complicated organization that sometimes moves too slowly, considering the big demand & need around us. Time goes so fast & we are spending a lot of it just living & getting ourselves decently organized.
       I'm very thankful for the counsel that was given to the Homes here in Europe about scaling down our Home population, and for how things are moving in that direction. Praise the Lord! Homes of 12 to 20 people can work together with friends, kings, other Christians, etc., bringing the doorknob down to where they can reach it more easily, shortening the cord between us & them, & looking upon them more as potentials, sheep & co-workers, rather than as "Systemites" or "strangers". We should be able to make it easier for them not only to occasionally "help us with a donation", but to join us & our missionary Work in a deeper way & together change this World with the Love of Jesus & His Words of Life!
       Small Homes could enable us to work & operate more on specific ministries & callings. Instead of every Home trying to do & cover every single angle of our outreach methods & Home operations, we could concentrate & specialize on some specific methods or areas where people could really shine & get lasting fruit & results for the Family & the Work in general--similar to the experimental Homes of Marianne in the Philippines with the military or the recent team in the former Yugoslavia. You can really go further & get good results when you can specialize on a specific method or area, instead of trying to cover a lot of ground at once, or trying to use a little bit of each method.
       When you are in a small & open Home, right there where the need is, giving the Word, living & working in an indigenous way, the sheep will hear His voice & follow Him more easily. Not only that, they will also hear God's calling more clearly, as they themselves see the Work & the need firsthand, right then & there. When a need arises in such a situation, you know that God is the One on the spot, not you, & He'll take care of it somehow! Your light is right there, shining in the midst of the darkness, & there is no doubt that the Lord is with you & you can feel His help, guidance, protection & blessings so clearly. Thank You Jesus!! The sheep around you can easily feel it, too. I believe this situation would make it easier for them to become the friends, kings & supporters that the Lord wants them to be & that we need in order to keep growing & going on for the Lord.
       I remember very well some of my most fruitful & happiest times in the Family were in pioneering situations, in small Homes. We did not cover all aspects of Family ministries, but we did concentrate, specialize & work toward specific jobs & goals & the Lord blessed it mightily. As a small Home we enjoyed more unity, a more personal touch, a common & clear vision & good personal relationships with each other. There was not much time for personal problems, & everyone knew his very special & important calling & place in the Lord's service in the Home & in our specific mission field. I think that people grow closer to the Lord faster & deeper under such circumstances.
       There is no doubt that the Lord has blessed us with the best "New Wine" for this generation. Because of the obedience of Dad, we enjoy rivers of living waters, & the best Christian training literature available in the World today. Certainly we have lots of "pure gold" to roll! Thank You Jesus!! In the Letter "Rolled Gold" the vision is crystal clear: Our main job is to pass the Word to others, so they can get to know Him. Dad doesn't mind breaking the box & letting the gold roll! That's our main purpose for living here on Earth & in such a time. Maybe if we could scatter more & work in smaller teams & situations it would make it easier & the Word will do the work!
       Please understand that these are only some thoughts & ideas that sometimes come to me as a way to do a better job for the Lord. Of course I can only see a part of the picture, but I hope that somehow this can be a help. Thank you so much!
       A big hug with love & gratitude, Andres
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Thank you, Andres! As you can see in this FSM, many in the Family feel as you do, & many are making the move toward smaller Homes! You were on the right track in writing! God bless & keep you! We love you!)
       * * *
Things Will Never Be the Same!
From Willing, Europe
       The SWIFT is completely changing my thinking! We've been pushing as many teams as we can out on the field and trying to keep our usual 60-80 population down to around 20-25 here at our Home base. There's more to do than ever, especially with two other Shepherds both "SWIFTing", but it's such a blessing not to be caught up in the continual organizational and administrational whirlpool of trying to meet the needs of so many people in the Home all at once.
       It's doing everyone a world of good to be out of the nest, taking care of themselves! A number of the teams are remarking that after having found the joys of not being tied down to the big blob and operating with a small team, they're going to be having quite a difficult time returning! Most are saying how they want to be in small Homes or keep on "SWIFTing"! Life's obviously not going to be the same at the end of the summer! Thank You Jesus!! Yahoo!
       * * *
       A Sample of Small Home Effectiveness!
       Excerpts of a visiting Shepherd's report
       A small Home in the South Pacific which I visited some time back, has only two couples, two teens & two children. Due to its location, far removed from leadership, they have had a minimum of visitation. All the members of the Home are nationals. Isaac, who joined the Family when one of the first teams went to the island, is the main Shepherd along with his wife Sarah.

Friends & Fruitfulness!
       Isaac has many friends & seems to be well-known by a lot of people. Their house was built for them by their main king, who is a self-employed carpenter, & though simple & basic, the standard of the house is good.        For the past three years, their Home has been one of the biggest givers in our Area, & many times would send in an extra 10% of their income above their tithe, or even more, to help different areas of the Work. As Isaac was formerly in a Home in Australia, his present Home often sends gifts to help the Australian Work.
       Looking through the Home's PR album, I could see that they had reached people extensively through performances at different institutions, gatherings, etc. Apparently they had also done quite a lot of postering & tapenessing, but then persecution elsewhere affected their situation, and they felt the need to lay low somewhat. This has forced the Family there to depend more on follow-up, & thereby cultivate & feed their sheep more.

Sold-out Sheep Who Love the Lord & the Family!
       The Home presently operates one of the most inspiring & fruitful "Church of Love" set-ups I have seen. The DO Home regularly meets with a core of about five couples who for the most part call themselves "The Family". These couples all hold jobs & have children, but they get together every weekend in the DO Home's main king's house. They arrive on Friday night, have inspiration, share testimonies, fellowship together, & then stay together until Sunday evening. During this time they give their children united classes & Word time, the adults have devotions & inspiration together, & keep a regular schedule just like a normal DO Home, complete with get-out & JJT. On Sunday they have a Communion, & at this time more sheep come who are not quite as committed as the other regulars, but nevertheless they consider the Family their church.
       The inspirations with these couples were some of the most inspiring I have been to for a long time, & all the regulars were really pouring their hearts out, & were very enthusiastic. The two DO teen girls also played a major role in the inspiration & the singing. Meeting their sheep was a real pleasure--not only to see their enthusiasm & fire, but also to see their spiritual hunger. We were treated like visiting evangelists, & they constantly asked questions about what the Family was like in other parts of the World.
During the Bible studies I taught to these regular sheep, I was very impressed with everyone's hunger for the Word. After an hour & a half I wanted to stop, but they all wanted to keep going! I didn't realize this until I arrived there, but it turned out that these live-outs all paid for our fare to visit them, which was around $4,000!
       Another thing that really impressed me about the sheep was the way they valued our tools. We had a dance after the inspiration & they were putting some of our Tapes on. It turns out one of their favourites was "Come Fly with Me!" They would look at me & say things like, "Isn't this Tape just great?!" The simplicity of these people along with their thankful spirits really stood out to me. We couldn't help but reflect on our other DO Homes, who have so much, yet many times are not as appreciative or thankful as they should be, having become familiar with our many spiritual blessings.

Very Sweet Good Sample Teens!
       YA Lisa accompanied me on the trip, & she & I were both very encouraged to meet the two teen girls, who had such beautiful clean spirits. They didn't have all the hang-ups that seem to bother many of our teens who are into comparing, coolness, peer pressure, worldliness, etc. For example, Lisa would ask the girls certain questions about which movies they had seen, but in almost every case, they hadn't seen them, & just commented that they hardly have time to watch videos. They said that it is very seldom that something good comes out, so to them it was like a waste of time.
       One night around 9 p.m., after a busy day, Lisa was wondering what to do next, & the girls said, "We haven't had prayer vigil yet!"--And right away they went off to have their prayer time. Lisa was also very impressed with how much the girls would redeem the time, without being reminded that they needed to.

An Attitude of Serving the Lord No Matter What!
       After seeing how fruitful & on the attack the work in this small Home was, I asked Isaac how he felt when he knew an overseer had come from Australia a couple of years back, with the purpose of judging whether the Home should remain DO or be reclassified as TSers, & his reaction was very precious. He said that he knew he could put on a big show, & try to impress his Shepherd, & try to be something they were not, but he decided to just be himself, & trust the Lord for whatever the outcome might be. He said in thinking about it, the only thing that would have changed is that he would lose the privilege of receiving the DO Letters, & that to him would be very sad. But as far as the rest of the way they lived, nothing would change. He said, "We would still go witnessing, tell people about Jesus, & try to follow Jesus the best we know how."
       I was really touched by this reaction, especially by the fact that he wasn't dependent on the Family structure, or all the wonderful trimmings that many of our Homes take for granted. He was sincerely there for the sole purpose of trying to reach his people with the Message, & even if he had been reclassified, it wouldn't have made much difference in his way of life, & what he was going to do from day-to-day.

A Beautiful Sample of Following God Together!
       Visiting this Home was quite an experience for me personally, as it was a real example of "changing the World heart by heart." I think the biggest thing that stood out to me was how the DO Home wasn't the centre of the action, but rather everything revolved around their sheep. During my eight-day visit, I spent three days living in their king's house with the other sheep, I went to dinner at three different sheep's houses, I taught two classes, & we all (25 of us) went out to a farewell dinner at a Chinese restaurant. All these same sheep saw us off at the airport, as is the style in this part of the World. Usually when I visit a Home, most of our time is spent talking to the Home Members or the Teamwork about personnel problems, trying to sort out financial, business or organizational difficulties, giving talks on how to raise the inspiration level, or how to get more witnessing done, & how to make the Home more fruitful, etc., etc. So to say the least, this was quite a refreshing change!
       I realize the Home is very different in that they only have a total of eight live-in Home Members, & only two small children, so they should be able to do more. Even though they never see any Family Members other than just those in their Home, I was impressed that they just accepted their situation for what it was, got on with the job, & gave it their best shot. They can't rely on visiting leadership, as they never know when they will get another visit. In their case they have to pray & get the Lord's direction from the Letters, & as a result I thought they were doing pretty good, & were right on course. I would like to see a lot of other Homes being as fruitful & as inspired as they are! They just read the Letters & try to follow them as best they can.
       Another factor that perhaps makes them get on with the job is that they have to work with whoever the Lord provides. They can't have personnel changes whenever something doesn't work out right, so they are in a way forced to work with each other, & let a lot more things pass that might otherwise blow up into major issues. As I mentioned above, they are dependent on each other, the Letters, & their own walk with the Lord, & not so much the organization or structure of the Family. I feel a lot of our Family could learn a lot from this small Home's example, especially from their attitude & fire. God bless them!
       * * *
       Back to the Basics!
       A weekly log of one family's witnessing & schooling experiences as a small team!
       (In order to meet the needs of his own children, plus visit teens in other Homes, the Lord showed one of the Teen Shepherds in Australia to set up his own small Home. Paul & Peace have five small children under 9, two foster JETTs, one senior teen, & a YA working with them.)

From Paul A. & team:
       Well, our situation seems to be going from strength to strength, praise the Lord! Following are some recent portions of our weekly log.

       WEEK THREE: We started travelling with the kids when we realized there just weren't any other opportunities for me to do my job of visiting the Homes & working with the JETTs & teens around the country.
       In our new smaller Home, Peace & I have had to accept that we can't give the kids as much regular, sit-down type of schooling as we had before, but we began to realize that perhaps it isn't the Lord's Will for us to give them as much. The main reason for this is that witnessing has suddenly become our main objective & goal--not only because we need the finances, but because we feel it's vitally important for our children, as well as the JETTs & teens with us, to gain a burden & love for those we minister & witness to.
       We all are realizing that our friends & sheep are an integral part of keeping our Home running. Most of our discussion around the dinner table is about witnessing & follow-up. We have been basically forced to go on the attack to survive. It's exciting!--And everyone seems to have a new lease on life. Starting a new Home from scratch takes a lot of prayer, faith & initiative. The JETTs & teens are playing a major role in making this vision bear fruit, God bless them!
       Peace & I are concerned about the children's schooling. We came up with a schedule where they do academic-type schooling three afternoons a week. We are coming up with lots of different home schooling ideas, too, as we have found we just need to pack more into our daily "suitcase."
       As our faith grows for our situation, I'm realizing that our next important step is to find a balance between academic-type education for the kids, & the type of education real home schooling can offer--which I feel, if done properly, our Family can & should be able to excel in. As well as the usual subjects like spelling, grammar, maths, also included in the JETTs' academic schooling is letter writing to our sheep, keeping stats, writing up testimonies & laying out portfolios for their vocational programme. One of the JETTs does the stats for the Home. I try to include all the JETTs & teens in the "keeping of the books" for the Home finances.
       It's interesting talking with the JETTs about Home finances. Everyone has to share in raising funds whatever way they can, whether it be in saving water or food or electricity, or just being a blessing while out witnessing, or helping us to be faithful with our follow-up. Mama's recent Letter on finances has been a wonderful encouragement to us, and helped us all have the faith that as we're faithful, the Lord will make our little Home work.
       We recently built a chicken house, & one of the JETTs has been involved in provisioning chickens so that we will have our own supply of eggs. I was a beekeeper before joining the Family, so I have a hive that I use to teach the JETTs & teens about bees, which is one science programme we have for them.

       WEEK FOUR: We have been facing many challenges since embarking on this project. We have the usual problems that bigger Homes face, such as educating the JETTs & children, witnessing, raising support, etc. It's difficult to do all these things at once, but not impossible.
       One lesson I'm personally learning is to trust the Lord more. Our whole Home is revolving around the kids & their inspiration & ability to shine for Jesus. It's so new for me to try to promote our kids to the System, & I guess that's where I need to show more trust. It's only Jesus, & if anything comes of this it will be His doing.
       I think the most exciting progress we've made in the three areas I mentioned has come in our witnessing. We quickly realized that with all these children to care for & train, it would be important to revolve our Home around them. So we asked the kids what they had a burden to do. One of our JETTs (Cherish) said she wanted to make puppets & use them as a witnessing tool. Immediately our Home became a puppet workshop. Our teen, Victoria, sprang into action; she's a whiz with the sewing machine. She began making puppet costumes, clown suits for all the kids, & anything else that needed to be made that we could use in our travelling show troupe.
       JETT Jonathan was given a guitar by a king. He started teaching our younger children songs to accompany the puppet show that was quickly taking shape. In the meantime, the Lord supplied a portable stage made from PVC piping, & enough face paint to make 400 faces. I (Paul) was able to exercise my artistic talents by helping to paint some of the backdrops needed for the puppet show.
       After praying, the Lord supplied the funds to buy some top quality textbooks for school. One interesting thing happened: After selecting the books, we got into talking to the shop owner & by accident walked out of the store without paying! One of the children had left one of her story books on the floor, so Peace had to go back & get the book, but nothing was said by the lady. I only realized what had happened about three days later when I looked in my wallet & saw the money sitting there. At first I didn't know where it had come from, as at this point we didn't have a whole lot of cash sitting around doing nothing. I rang the lady back & explained to her what had happened. She told me she knew it was missing, but had no idea where it had gone. So I took it back & she really commended us for being honest. She then said to choose any book off the shelf that we wanted as a reward for returning the money. She already knew that we were missionaries, so I told her, "Well, we preach honesty, so we should practise it too."
       Now that we have the textbooks, I would like to set school work for the JETTs in one-week blocs. I now compile a week's worth of work for the JETTs, then hopefully they can be taught to work at their own speed & choose how they want to work on the different subjects. We had desperately needed good textbooks, so that we wouldn't always be having to make up our own drill work & study programmes.
       Peace & teen Victoria are teaching the little ones school, & coming up with some very inspiring ideas. Our country has lots of project ideas offered by government companies like the electricity commission, etc., who send out school projects to all ages.
       I'm very inspired by our little Home. The shepherding is closer & more personal; it's easier to get everyone together to pray and/or discuss Home matters; we all feel we play a big part in keeping the Home operating. You get to see what everyone is doing & how they're doing it, which makes it so much easier to correct & train those around you. We have a common goal: WITNESSING!

       WEEK FIVE: It's interesting to see how when a visitor comes to our Home everyone is involved in ministering to them. The older ones especially are very much involved in our follow-up, witnessing & fund-raising programmes. However, the younger ones play their part too; they pour out so much love & affection to those that visit that it must be bearing fruit. They all play a part in our Consider the Poor ministry, too, because that's our major push right now--to get a show ready for an upcoming appointment.
       We took the plunge today & went out clowning with JETT Jonathan & two of the kids. We are trying a new fund-raising idea where we ask people & businesses to support our ministry to such-and-such an organization by sponsoring a set of Videos. But if they can't sponsor a whole set, then if they give a certain amount of cash, we give a free Video to a needy institution. If they give smaller donations, we give these institutions Tapes or Posters. This way I'm hoping to raise our community's awareness of our tools such as the Kiddie Viddies.
       Only one of our children has done any clowning or high-profile ministries to the public, so it is taking lots of encouragement to bring the others out. We gained a lot of encouragement from Ho & Esther's performing with children testimonies in the Heavenly Helpers ("Performing with Children", HH2, pg.251). The kids just love their new ministry, especially dressed up as clowns.
       Peace has been in contact with different welfare organizations, & it seems what we have to offer really interests them. Some organizations can finance our one-and-a-half hour show, but mostly we have to do our own fund-raising. We are waiting for a reply from a society that helps children of prison inmates while the parents are in jail. There are literally dozens of welfare societies that could do with our help.
       Daniel YA moved in today. He said he always wanted to do something like what we're doing. He is excellent with stage-type work & is a wonderful skit man. We are so blessed to have all the kids that we have. Victoria (teen), our whiz with the sewing machine, has come to life, having found something to sink her teeth into. Cherish (JETT) is an incredible puppet maker; she makes them out of papier-mâché & then moulds a clay face on. They are so realistic! JETT Jonathan is good with the guitar & seems well fitted for playing parts in our show. Our kids do not lack energy & have lots of potential for this type of ministry.
One of our friends helped with a $500 donation, a guitar, & a camera for our Work. He wants to buy us a talking cockatoo & teach it to say "Jesus loves you!" so that we can take it with us when we do children's shows! Maybe it's worth considering! Even if it never learns its lines, the kids will have a pet bird.
       We are all learning as we go, & that's part of the fun. What we would like to zero in on more is logging all that's happening for the kids' home schooling folders.

       WEEK SIX: Our friend Peter offered to give us an allowance for weekly fruit & vegetables, God bless him! He also gave us $200 to buy a dinner set & wine glasses. He helped because he saw our prayer list on the kitchen cupboard & those needs were on it. He has also taken the kids to the zoo, beach & out to dinner once. Next week he wants to take the whole Home to the beach.
       Daniel YA met a professional welfare worker today who knows lots of important people in welfare circles. She is very interested in our Work, so we'll see what comes out of that.
       We met a Chamber of Commerce member today who offered to interview & advertise us in his local area newspaper. He also offered free use of the shopping mall that he oversees for our puppet show & busking. He told us that he wants us to do a spot in the Christmas show he is organizing. Praise God, He's really moving!

       * * *
       I'm beginning to feel that I might be doing more to help others by pouring into the JETTs & teens in this little situation. They are really getting on fire & excited about witnessing & serving the Lord. People from other Homes get to see & hear from the JETTs in our Home, & there is excitement in the air & it's spreading! I think the secret is that we are able to have our whole Home revolve around the kids & what they want to do for the Lord. They put so much more effort into what they are doing now.
       Here's a little poem that was sent to me that really spoke to me along these lines:

       Just where you stand in the conflict,
       There is your place.
       Just where you think you are useless,
       Hide not your face.
       God placed you there for a purpose,
       Whate'er it be;
       You can know He has chosen you for it;
       Work loyally!
       Gird on your armour! Be faithful
       At toil or rest!
       Whate'er it be, never doubting--
       God's way is best.
       Out in the fight or on picket,
       Stand firm & true;
       This is the work which your Master
       Gives you to do.
       [EDITED: "end"]

Copyright 1996 The Family