10 Things Only Teen Missions International FTMs Understand

Teen Missions Int’l is a short-term missions trip experience unlike any other.  Those who have completed a teen trip with TMI (The Lord’s Boot Camp, Field, and Debrief) are called FTMs (Former Teen Members)  Below are 10 things only FTMs and relate to.

1. BC, OC, SB, KP, SBC, BMW…
Ah… all the abbreviations we learn to speak as if they’re in plain English.  For those of you who don’t know what the above terms are, ask an FTM.

2. The 500-gallon milkshake
Words can’t describe the happiness that happens when you take that first sip of a COLD milkshake after a week of BC.  It brings a smile to your face to think about Bob Bland climbing that huge ladder to look inside the 500-gallon container.

TMI 500-gallon milkshake

3. Bob Bland’s hour every morning
You love Bob Bland, you really do.  But that hour he had every morning at BC about 1 Corinthians… “When I was a child, I talked liked a child, I thought like child…”  And running on seven hours (or less) of sleep?  You were doing everything you could to keep yourself and your teammates awake.

4. The Saber
Ah, the super-high-tech, hand-cranked, portable music player.  Pre-“downloaded” on this are popular hits such as “The Clappy Song” and “Chi-i-i-i-ild of the King”.  You still think that it’s a great way for countries and area without consistent electricity to have some music for the kids.

5. Single file, no gaps!
You may have found this rather ridiculous at first, but then see how valuable this skill when rushing at the airport.  The longer you were at BC, the more the “no gaps” gig became a game.  You watched the other teams’ lines and waited to pounce through their gap.

6. 40 references
One of the hardest parts of memorizing the 40 verses were getting all 40 references down.  If you were training to win points for your team in the Debrief Bible Quizzing, then you know that there are 7 Romans verses, 2 1 Corinthians, 3 from Matthew, 3 Psalms…

TMI Memory Verses

7. The first night in the tent
You hardly slept a wink.  There were so many new (noisy) bugs and other nocturnal critters keeping you company.  You probably thought you were the only one still awake, when in fact, most of your teammates were staring at the darkness too.


8. The Slough of Despond
You either loved it because of the feeling you got when you made it across everyday, or you hated it because of the miserable wet socks you had the rest of the morning.

Slough of Despondence

9. The all-leather, 6 to 8 inch, leather boots
You took time to find and purchase them before the trip.  You (hopefully) trained in them.  Or, since you neglected to train enough in them, suffered endlessly of painful blisters.  You were so excited at Debrief of going home and putting on flip flops – or better yet, being barefoot!  Yet not too long after being home, you kinda missed them.

The Boots

10. Count Off!
You still remember what number you were.  At least one member of your team shouted his number in his sleep.  You had seven (or less, depending on your team size) seconds for everyone to count off in Elijah’s Chariot every morning at BC.  It became vital to your survival at the airport or using your country’s transportation system.

10 Things TMI FTMs Understand @ Unreached by the Frost

What are some things you would add to the list?


13 thoughts on “10 Things Only Teen Missions International FTMs Understand

  1. 11. When you realize that it really is possible to eat breakfast, make it to the dish line and back, and put your dishes away in about 5 minutes.

    12. When it eventually becomes redundant to put more bug spray on

    13. When at a certain point, you try to remember what it feels like to wear clothes that aren’t wet from either the slough, rain, or sweat.
    14. When you get home, you feel SO SCANDALOUS for wearing shorts and a tank top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. When you can’t touch annnyyything after washing your hands for kp… and keeping that hair up!
      2. When you put too much on your plate and you have to form a real good relationship with the people there, so that when no one is looking, they eat it for you or run it into the forest and “dig a hole” for it…


  2. This is BRILLIANT! And by the way, Bob Bland (who I love…of course I do) was talking about 1Corinthians every morning in 1993 as well…my guess is, this must be his morning routine, Boot Camp or no Boot Camp.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 15. Remembering that no, we aren’t the only people on the Earth and realizing that civilization does in fact exist as you leave TMI headcourters to go to the feild.


  4. Okay, I’m gonna sound stupid, but what does SBC stand for again?
    16. When you feel something on your face and you all out slap yourself… Even when you’ve been home for two weeks…


    1. SBC stands for Second Boot Camp, or Super Boot Camp. You don’t sound stupid at all, especially since many years in the past had only one BC. 2016 will have one gigantic BC, but 2 Debriefs.


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