Category Archives: serving

Operation Christmas Child

For the last several years we have wanted to volunteer at a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox processing center. This December we finally did!

so excited to be here!

getting started with our wonderful coach

It was so exciting to dig in and start processing! As the boxes came through the assembly line, some of the jobs were…



putting shoeboxes into cartons…

scanning and heavy lifting.

we had the right amount of people to fill a station

Another splash of fun was added to the mix when we ran into a couple of different people we knew…the most unexpected one being the director of the camp we go to in Iowa!Thousands and thousands of shoeboxes are processed here in one day.And if you think about all those “one days” that are added up, from eight different processing centers in the US, that is a lot of people that will be impacted with the gospel if each box only reaches one person. But in many if not most cases, each box affects more than just the one who received it.

shoeboxes were prayed over a number of times during the day

There was also a prayer wall, full of pictures of children for volunteers to write prayers on the back of.This was the last year of having a processing center in Minnesota before it moves to Chicago.The stories that come from a child hearing about Jesus through a shoebox are amazing. A simple gift like this can be used to bring so many people to Him. Why not plan to pack a shoebox or two for next Christmas? Find out more info here.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-15 NKJV

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.


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


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:


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


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


Deborah did a great job teaching the Bible lessons


The big, colorful parachute was a hit


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