Week 2 has come to a close at Spruce Hill—the first of four Maranatha mission trips this summer. We praise God for such a wonderful team this year. The group from Northern Ireland has “gelled” (as they say) well with our group, with everyone working extremely well together. Thank you for your prayers for our team and please continue to pray for the remaining trips in the months ahead.

I would now like to share with you two more testimonies from our missionaries.

The first is from Rebecca Lutton, one of our Northern Irish (“Nirish”) partners. Rebecca has had a trying second week, as she has been in the hospital a great deal for knee troubles—a real spiritual struggle for someone so eager to serve. 

Compared to last year, traveling to Philadelphia from Northern Ireland proved to be quite a difficulty with our small team of nine. After waiting on our flight from Dublin for almost three hours, we faced our first struggle when learned our flight was canceled. This immediately became a challenge for myself as I had to trust God as only he could get us through this. After spending the night in a hotel we traveled to Paris and then finally made our way to Philadelphia.


No matter what, the children and their need to know God made this trial completely worthwhile. Spruce Hill is undoubtably exhausting and stressful, but more importantly, the most rewarding two weeks as it gives me an abundance of opportunities to spread the word of God. I have been blessed to hear about these children’s lives and help them find out about the love of our incredible God, despite any circumstance.

The other testimony is from Peter Shevchenko, a rising Junior who is a first-timer with summer missions. I can attest to the fact that his Eagle Scout training has prepared him well for missions and came in handy on more than one occasion.

This is my first missions trip with the Maranatha youth group. This past week and a half I worked at the Spruce Hill camp with fifth graders who are going into sixth (“Patience”). There are eight boys in the Bible Buddies group that Isaac Forde and I have been teaching every morning. The boys have been challenging to keep in line, but when they are focused they ask questions that are inspiring to us as counselors. The questions and their responses show us that they are paying attention to the Bible lessons and learning about God. I hope to return next year and work with the same kids as they have helped to show me the gifts God has given me.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Jonathan Cruse. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org