Category Archives: ministry

Spirit Lake

In October we had another chance to go to the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota. Paul Young from Dakota Baptist Church had several singing opportunities lined up for us, including going into another public school!

our first concert was at Dakota Baptist Church

Mr. Gary, the music teacher at the school we were in last year, was teaching at a different school this year, just off the reservation. He had us come and sing for just about the whole school. We told the airplane story, complete with pictures, and shared how Jesus protected us. Before we sang we went into two different music classes to show the kids the instruments and tell them a little about bluegrass music, and we sang/played a song or two. Then the teachers¬† opened it up for questions, with the idea of having the kids ask about music…one girl raised her hand and said, “Are you Christians?” She obviously was listening to the words of the song! It was also fun that we knew some of the kids there…as we passed one of them in the hallway, he told his friends, “Hey! I know them from church!”

setting up

God can open doors for the gospel anywhere!

Our last concert was at another church that we hadn’t been to before on the reservation. It was for the Sunday morning service, after which we enjoyed meeting people and eating lunch together.

The Young family, who takes care of us when we go out there, is faithfully serving God in Spirit Lake. Please pray for them.

food and fellowship with the Youngs!

O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? Deuteronomy 3:24 NKJV

Arizona and Oklahoma

After Southwest Bible Camp we headed west to Phoenix, Arizona. The first night we were there we sang for CHIEF ministries and enjoyed meeting and visiting with people.

the CHIEF compound scenery

It was extremely warm there, and during our stay we took the opportunity to utilize the sunshine to quickly dry our laundry! On one of the days we were there Dad was doing some recordings with Huron Claus of CHIEF, and since our grandma happened to be in town that week we went to go visit her in their winter home.

enjoying mini golf in the back yard…and how did we end up with no pictures of Grandma?

On our way out of Arizona we had the opportunity to go to Immanuel Mission on the Navajo Reservation. It was the first time our whole family got to go. The evening we arrived we enjoyed a home-cooked meal with Mr. and Mrs. Bloom, and then went to the weekly night of singing with the staff. That night some of us got to sleep in a tree house! In the morning we got up bright and early to eat breakfast at the school with the students…the little kindergartners were the cutest ever! After breakfast we joined everyone for chapel and then sang some songs for them. I’m guessing that was the first time bluegrass music was part of their school morning.I couldn’t help but think of all the potential for the Lord that was there in the school chapel. What if all these 70 or so students went on with Him, for Him? What a great thing that would be!

The drive in, and thus the drive out, was on a road unlike any our van has been on before…basically under the gravel it was bedrock, which required driving very slow. It took about thirty minutes to go eight miles. Definitely adventuresome! And our van did quite well.

Our way home took us through the beautiful Rockies in Colorado. We had to take a family picture in this scenery, even though it was way chillier than we had been used to for the past couple weeks!

It’s always fun when we see interesting things along the way…

Our way home also took us to a family camp in Iowa for a week…after which we swung home to do a concert…and shortly after that loaded up again to head down to Oklahoma.

Blue Baptist church was holding a youth revival and asked us to be a part of it. We always enjoy being able to minister with them! It was encouraging to see the young people that were involved with leading it.

We always enjoy seeing our friends there that we have gotten to know through ministering together in South Dakota for a number of years.

That Sunday three or four people were baptized. That was really special to see! It’s not something we get to experience very often.

After church that day they had a big meal and fun outside for people of all ages. Some of the riders of the Glory Train may have just been a little bigger than most people were expecting…

…and maybe it wasn’t as comfortable a ride as the intended recipients had. But it was fun(ny) nonetheless.

Our hosts for the weekend were so gracious and hospitable. The Cobbles made us feel very much at home and gave us good fellowship and laughter.

…and food!

We are so grateful to God for everything He provides to sustain us…prayer support, safety, the family of Christ in so many places we go.

And the next place was North Dakota…stay tuned!

Down to Southwest Bible Camp

At the end of August we headed south for a few weeks. (Sounds like a strange time of year for that, doesn’t it?) We had been asked to speak and sing at the Labor Day family camp at Southwest Bible Camp in New Mexico. We’d never been to it before but we knew a lot of people who go, so beforehand we heard about exciting things there like scorpions and vinegaroons…which would only be found in a museum if anywhere in Minnesota. But that’s getting ahead.

We went through South Dakota and visited our grandparents, then we stopped at Wall Drug and Mount Rushmore. That was the first time our whole family has been to either of those landmark places. (More siblings were added since we were there in the ’90’s, and otherwise just a couple of us have been there since.) Both were such fun places to experience together!

enjoying the free water at wall drug

brothers having too much fun

thankful for friendly tourists at Mount Rushmore to take our family picture!

After three days of travel, and staying with friends along the way, we arrived at the camp!It was a nice size for a family camp…not too big that you couldn’t meet everyone and not too small. We enjoyed lots of fellowship!

Dad was the speaker, and his messages were all geared toward challenging us in our relationship with Christ. Do we really love God? Are we cultivating our relationship with Him? Or are we just doing this Christian life out of duty and a lost focus? Have we left our fist love?

Two of the evenings we did outreach concerts and invited the community. It was neat to see people come out for that and get to share the gospel with them. Again, the airplane story has been an amazing tool in helping people see God’s hand at work and getting them to think about eternity.

the “mound house” where the sessions, meals, and concerts took place

Saturday afternoon a group from the camp went to an old mining town that’s now a ghost town, somewhere in the mountains where we wonder how anyone ever discovered anything valuable back there. The road in went along the edge of a mountain—single-lane, nice sharp turns, a drop-off on one side, and usually no way to know if another vehicle was coming at us around a curve. Sound exciting? Maybe a little too exciting…?

drop-off to the right, behind the well-placed trees in this rare instance

But we did arrive safely in one piece, and enjoyed our time in the town and its surroundings.

a few of the explorers

we got to see old mine carts and other pieces of history that were left untouched

Sunday afternoon we went on a hike on what was called “The Catwalk.” Mom and Dad and the other parents enjoyed the man-made catwalk above the river, while the young people ventured beyond that. Basically the adventure consisted of making our way through a river canyon, over rocks, under rocks, through water shallow and water deep (relatively speaking), to a cave with a waterfall thundering into it. The whole experience was incredible. We were in awe of God’s power and majesty as we explored His creation.

on our way back

That experience was such a highlight for us!

Our friends the Delanys were excited to take us scorpion hunting at the camp…like I said, scorpions are a foreign concept in Minnesota. So a couple nights we went out with a black light flashlight to find them. We never would have thought that these things actually glow!And thanks to another friend, who cut the stinger off a scorpion, some of us had the experience of holding one as well.

they’re smaller than we had imagined!

We were also introduced to the vinegaroon, the scorpion’s mortal enemy, although harmless to humans.

they smell like vinegar, hence the name

We made new friends and got to know “old” friends better…what a blessing everyone there was to us! We left feeling refreshed and so encouraged.

some of the young people…friends new and old!

(Thanks to the people who sent us a couple pictures used in this post.)

After SWBC we headed out to Arizona. Pictures and update on that coming soon!