Category Archives: serving

Lombard Youth Group 2015

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Beach ball volleyball

Our family has been blessed by our sending church each year as they send their youth group up here to Minnesota to do a VBS with children on the reservation.  For the past eight years, they have made the 12 hour trip from Illinois to spend the week with us and put on a VBS.  This July we once again enjoyed a sweet time of fellowship and ministry together.  We are so thankful for our church family that partners with us in the work that God has called us to do.

Mornings started out with group devotions and then a work project.  Evenings were a time to pray, recap, unwind, and enjoy a relaxing time of fellowship and games.  The afternoons were the busiest part of our day with the 45 minute drive to and from the community, and several hours spent playing with the kids and running the VBS.  Here’s some pictures from our week of ministry up there:

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♫ “Making melodies in my heart to the King of kings!” ♫

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Everyone’s favorite game… Drip, Drip, Drop!

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Deborah did a great job teaching the Bible lessons

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The big, colorful parachute was a hit

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Crafts is a great time for conversations and relationship building

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Playing with the kids was one of the ways to show them the love of Jesus!

We saw the Lord answer prayers throughout the week as the place where we were ministering can often be challenging and difficult. One of the prayers that was answered was that there would be adults from the community that would come out to the Thursday night picnic. There was an incident that took place earlier in the week, and we knew that it could very likely keep people from coming. We also were dismayed to see rain in the forecast.

Not only did the Lord work out the situation and bring out adults from both of the families that had been affected by the incident, He also used the pouring rain to cram everyone into the little chapel for the picnic where some great fellowship with the community members took place. Some of us also went outside and played with the kids in the downpour and saw relationships strengthened because we were willing to get soaked!

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The pouring rain didn’t deter the kids from playing outside

Lombard Gospel Chapel youth group + Fraser kids

Oh Canada

It’s that time of the year again when we head up to Pickle Lake, Ontario. Actually, last week was when we went up–we got home this week. For the past several years we have been invited by missionary friends to sing at a conference for Christian workers who work in the north.  After the conference we helped with evangelistic meetings at the town hall. We have lots of pictures… so for the most part I am going to let them tell the story.

it's a long, long road

it’s a long, long road

We left for Pickle Lake on a Monday and spent that night at NYP headquarters in Dryden. They are always such willing and hospitable hosts…what a blessing to us! We spent the evening after supper singing, first us for them, and then they sang for us.

trying out instruments

trying out instruments

beautiful a capella music

beautiful a capella music

much fellowship and many laughs!

much fellowship and many laughs!

We arrived in Pickle Lake the day the Christian workers conference started. It was so good to see our missionary friends and the church family there.  One thing we really enjoy about Friendship Baptist is the way they sing. They love God and sing like they mean it. It is a joy to be a part of that.

we shared a few songs each night

we shared a few songs each night

Deborah and Mrs. Rassmussen sang

Deborah and Mrs. Rassmussen sang

lots of food prep and cooking to be done

lots of food prep and cooking to be done

the lovely chefs along with generous others kept us well-fed

the lovely chefs along with generous others kept us well-fed

After the 3-day Christian workers conference the outreach, called “Freedom in Christ Conference,” began.  One of the meetings specifically addressed the issue of alcohol addiction.  Some needy people came out to it.  The day it began it began some of us went into town to hand out fliers to invite people. So many people up there have alcohol addictions and they need Jesus in their lives. We were praying for people’s salvation.

setting up chairs in the town hall

setting up chairs in the town hall

tuning instruments

tuning instruments

cable man

cable man

setting up the sound system

setting up the sound system

sharing a salvation story…

…and another

"Father hear us when we pray"

“Father hear us when we pray.”

"There is hope!"

“There is hope!”

Gary Quequish spoke each night and Sunday morning

Gary Quequish spoke each night and Sunday morning

"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;

“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;

with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness

with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness

to all generations.

to all generations.”

...Psalm 89:1

…Psalm 89:1

coming forward for prayer

coming forward for prayer

On the last of the three “Freedom in Christ” nights, a man accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior! Pray that he will grow strong in the Lord.

pray for him

pray for him

Gary Quequish has pancreatic cancer and was not, according to the doctors, supposed make it to Christmas of 2013. But, as you can see, God still has plans for him. He needs prayer; he is in pain but he is still serving God. It was so good to see him again. He had us in stitches a good part of the time with his hilarious stories and comments!

he's holding a portrait of himself that Daniel drew

he’s holding a portrait of himself that Daniel drew

Both of these conferences were encouraging to be a part of. Praise God with us for what He did in people’s hearts! Thank you for all the prayers!

The following were also an enjoyable part of our time in Pickle Lake.

Canadian bowling

Canadian bowling

our crowd

our crowd

the mama's are always reliable scorekeepers

the mamas are always reliable scorekeepers

tag after the town hall meetings

tag after the town hall meetings

Jonathan made friends with many Pooh-bears

Jonathan made friends with many Pooh-bears

a quick selfie before the lava hit the the house

a quick selfie before the lava hit the the house. no wait, this was the bonfire after church one night. duh!

Monday after one last breakfast with our friends, we said farewell, and headed down the long, long, road home, caravaning (is that a word?) with Mrs. Rassmussen’s step dad who was heading back to Minnesota as well. Before we left, Mr. Crisco played us a hilarious version of “Happy Trails to You” that had us laughing so hard we were still laughing when it was done.

Jonathan and Mr. Crisco

Jonathan and Mr. Crisco…and Abby being mischevious

We stopped in Sioux Lookout at Tim Horton’s for lunch (where you can get a doughnut as a side!), and had an unitentional-but-would-have-been-intentional-if-the-phone-had-service meeting with Mr. Quequish and his wife, who live in that town. So we visited a good while before continuing on. It was great.

ten people, two booths, and one chair

ten people, two booths and two chairs

rugged beauty

rugged beauty

Now we are home, trying to catch up with life since it’s been a month since we’ve had any kind of “normal.” What a ride it has been! We are calling to mind things to bless the Lord about like it says in Psalm 103. He is faithful, and without Him we can do nothing.

Special thanks to Mrs. Rassmussen, Deborah Rassmussen, and Mrs. Sweat for taking pictures for us. We appreciate it!

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And more to come on Alabama…

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

La Plant, SD

Many of you were praying for us last week as we traveled out to South Dakota to minister on the Cheyenne River Reservation alongside brothers and sisters from Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Dakota. Last year a missionary couple (Jed and Sally) from La Plant, SD, had invited us to sing at a Native family camp that they were helping run, and this year we were excited to return to work with the same group of believers, only this time at the church where Jed and Sally work.P1070626 (2)To get here we had to cross the Missouri River. The rolling hills surrounding it are beautiful anyway, but the golden evening sunlight was splashing on the hills and it was a sight to behold.P1070399 (2)Blue Baptist Church from OK was holding Vacation Bible School in the afternoons and revival meetings in the evenings. We arrived Monday night in time to join their first meeting. It was so exciting to see familiar faces again! Even though we walked in late, they made us feel right at home.P1070438That first night Brother Larry (above middle) had each person from the Oklahoma church stand up and say their name and why they love Jesus. Some of the responses were: “I love Jesus because He loved me first”; “I love Jesus because He saved me”; “I love Jesus because He resurrected”; and from a five-year-old, “I love Jesus because He makes me happy.”

In the mornings after breakfast there was a time of singing in the church and then John Morris would give a message from the Word and an update on the work at Haskell Indian Nations University where he is serving the Lord.

singin'

singin’

we sang a few songs each morning

our family sang a few songs each morning

John Morris

John Morris

Following the morning meeting was lunch…the cooks from Blue Baptist made some amazing meals. At 2:00 VBS (or “classes”–including one for adults) began. Jed and Sally drove around to different communities to pick up people, mostly children, to come.

youth class

youth class

reading Bible stories in 3rd and 4th grade class

reading Bible stories in 3rd and 4th grade class

more 3rd and 4th graders

more 3rd and 4th graders

younger children

younger children

a few of the kids

a few of the many kids

We had so much fun with the children that came! God has had us working with kids on the Reservation near us for the last several years and it has prepared us to serve Him in other places He has opened the door to. And we love doing it! Yes, there are times when you really don’t want to play another game of tag…or you think your arm might be longer from being pulled around…or someone loves you one day and hardly talks to you the next…but God has given us opportunities and it’s worth it to be exhausted from loving on the kids.

Abby and friends

Abby and friends

smiles

smiles

lots of tag!

lots of tag!

Sara and Carlincia

Sara and Carlencia

After supper everyone gathered in the church building for more singing and a message from Jess French. The gospel went out every evening, and throughout the week God was working in people’s hearts, resulting in some who renewed their commitment to Christ and others who were saved!

the good ol' "shake somebody's hand"

the good ol’ “shake somebody’s hand”

singing praises

singing praises

these brave ladies sang two nights

these brave ladies sang “Our God” two nights

we sang a few songs

we sang a few songs

lots of people in God's house

lots of people in God’s house

Jess French preached the gospel

Jess French preached the gospel

Harley and Hayley, father and daughter, put their trust in the Lord

father and daughter put their trust in the Lord

Rochelle and Henry were added to the family of God

decisions being made

Please pray for these and other new believers who came to know Jesus here, for rapid growth and spiritual protection. Also pray that others who made commitments will be faithful.

Recently our family was talking about how we can so easily pray just because it’s the right thing to do. We hope God will answer our prayers, but we have little faith that He will. For those who had faith that God was going to save souls last week, look what He did! And for the rest of us who need encouragement to pray in faith, look what He did! He saved souls from an eternity without Him. And He also was moving in others’ hearts who may yet come to know Him–Sally would say things like, “So-and-so came out for the first time in years!” “She was here. That’s big.” Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” May we allow His workings to strengthen our faith, so that if God is for us, we will believe that no one can prevail against us.

There was always some down time before and after meals. These times were filled with fellowship, playing games, and hanging out with kids. Sometimes during the earlier part of the day a few of the kids from Blue took it upon themselves become hairdressers for a few of us.

how many braids...?

how many braids…?

somehow Dad got roped in...the kids loved it!

somehow Dad got roped in

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volleyball

boy fun

boy fun

love those kids

love those kids

Jed and Sally put us up in their home and were so gracious to us. Please pray as they labor in La Plant. The work is not easy, and they need strength to keep going. They love the Lord and want to see His work continue there.

Jed loves Jesus

Jed loves Jesus

the Blue Baptist group

the Blue Baptist group

Mom and Daniel

Mom and Daniel

Dad and Eddison

Dad and Edison

I've never been this homesick before!

“I’ve never been this homesick before!”

“I will mention the lovingkindness of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us…” Isaiah 63:7