Category Archives: serving

Pacific Northwest Trip – Colville Reservation – Reno

May was quite a whirlwind for us! Not too long after we got home from Albuquerque we went to Washington State for a regional United in Christ conference on the Colville Reservation. (You can read about the UIC conference from last year, here.)

It was so much fun to drive out there as a family. Dad was the only one of us who had ever been to Montana or the Pacific northwest before now.

riding luggage carts in a Montana elevator

The conference was nowhere near the coast, but since we were in Washington we had to go to the Pacific Ocean, which was another first for us. The night we arrived we found a place to eat called Moby Dick’s—if you are ever in Ocean Shores, this is a tasty option!

delicious…and Abby is about to try clam chowder for the first time

In the morning we made the trek from our hotel to the mighty Pacific Ocean.

And one of the most interesting signs we saw on this trip really told us we were far from home…On our way to Colville from the coast we drove through the Cascade Mountains…so amazing and beautiful, especially with the waterfalls!

at Deception Falls

The conference in Colville went Thursday through Saturday. This event happened as a result of a lady who came to the one in Bemidji wanting her people in Colville to have the same experience.

here she is with a couple who ministers in Colville

conference location

So many people pulled together to make this happen. Our family stayed busy doing kitchen work, tech, leading music, and singing in the evenings. We had such a good time working alongside friends from home and abroad as well as new ones.

testimonies

Personal stories of coming to faith in Jesus are so powerful. No one can argue against a changed life, or against your own personal experience. I think one of the highlights of this conference was hearing the testimonies of believers…each story is different, but they all demonstrate the same thing—Jesus saves!

these sisters prepared a traditional meal for everyone

prayer time for Native America

the conference center was on the shores of the Columbia river

After the conference we went to visit a missionary couple who had an impact on Dad when he was a teenager. Dad hadn’t seen them in almost thirty years! We had such a great time of fellowship and hearing missionary stories… good reminders of how amazing our God is.

Our next stop was in Reno to sing and to record a testimony for The Storyteller.

Then we made a visit to some friends in Idaho that we figure we haven’t seen in at least ten years. It was so much fun to reconnect with them for the short amount of time we had.

Abby made a friend right before we left

Next, we’re headed for Vessels of Honor for what is always a great young adults Bible conference.

Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Psalm 150:1-2 NKJV

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