Traveling in the northwestern United States

Brianne Parson
Senior - Campbellsville, KY - Music Ministry
Hannah Singleton Sophomore - Heaters, WV - Secondary Education
Alaina Parson
Junior - Campbellsville, KY - Music Ministry
Anna Collins
Senior - Newport, NC - Music Ministry

Monday, August 3, 2009

Headed home...

As we return home and reflect on the entire summer, we are overwhelmed at how our Lord has blessed us. He has taught us many lessons and has used many of His people to encourage and bless us. It is amazing to see what the Lord is doing through His people! Yet, it is staggering to see the need and the work still to be done in our own country and neighboring Canada. Over the summer, we have grown to love each other and thank the Lord for the bond that He gave us early on. We are grateful to Pastor and Mrs. Sexton for sending us out west this summer and we thank others who have helped us prepare: Mr. Gordon, Bro. Gray, Mrs. Sengmany and Bro. Cheney. We have enjoyed serving our Savior together and pray that He will continue to use our lives for His glory and honor. Please pray for the Morlans as they embark on a new season of ministry in their lives. We thank all of you- friends and family who have kept up with us and prayed for us. May God bless you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Second Baptist Church

Pastor Gary Satterfield
Festus, MO

Sunday evening's service was very bittersweet for our group. After 12 weeks of traveling across the northwest United States and southwest Canada, we have come to the end of the summer. At our last service we were welcomed by the pastor and members of the church. Several Crown students have called this church home, and we were glad to also meet some who are planning on attending this fall. We're so thankful for the Spirit of the Lord that is so evident here. We hope that this ministry will continue to do great things for God in Festus.

Lighthouse Baptist Church

Pastor Hylton Lawrence
Independance, MO

As we arrived at Lighthouse Baptist, we were greeted by Pastor Lawrence, who instantly made us feel right at home. Pastor Lawrence actually used to be Hannah's pastor in West Virginia when she was a little girl. We joined the Lawrence family for a meal at Cracker Barrel, where Pastor had everyone sing happy birthday to Hannah, who turned 19 the day before.

The Lord has given this church such a great spirit, and we were put right at ease by the pastor. Bro. Derrick preached in the Sunday School hour and was greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of the people. The church is approaching its 7th anniversary and has seen great growth in the lives of its members. God has blessed us through Pastor Lawrence and we were so thankful that we were able to have our last morning service at this church.

Everyone "shakes hands" at Lighthouse Baptist

Friday, July 31, 2009

First Baptist Church

Medicine Lodge, KS
Pastor Matt Wilkerson

We have been looking forward to this church for quite some time. The Wilkersons, who are good friends of Crown College and Temple Baptist Church, came to Medicine Lodge 3 years ago to pastor this church. Since then, they have seen many converts and been able to help many young Christians. We had services on Thursday and Friday night and Pastor Wilkerson was encouraged by the attendance of the young Christians and their eagerness for the things of God.

Friday we helped out around the church, painting and remodeling. We painted a classroom and the church foyer, while Bro. Derrick and the Wilkerson boys worked on tiling the foyer. We had a great day few days with the Wilkersons and are so thankful for what the Lord is doing through their church. It is so exciting to see the young families that are on fire for the Lord there! We pray that they continue in their steadfastness!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

West Omaha Baptist Church

Omaha, NE
Pastor Doug Robertson

We were so pleased to be with this young church during its very first Vacation Bible School. We arrived for the Monday night program and were able to stay through Wednesday night. Their theme was "Following in the Footsteps of Jesus" and the program was taking the kids through the promised land to different "locations" important in Jesus' earthly life and ministry. We were able to sing some songs with the kids, aid in the lesson time, and even helped perform the skits each night. We had such a great time interacting with the kids as well as enjoying the fellowship of the Pastor, his family, and all the church members who worked each night. We were so encouraged not only by the turnout of children each night, but also the involvement of the church family in this endeavor to reach families for Christ. The church was so excited by how many children were attending and learning about the Lord.

Mrs. Jamie Robertson is Kelly Radank's sister and their mother, Mrs. Chamberlain lives with the Robertsons and she works at a nearby assisted living facility. On Wednesday, we went to sing for several of the folks who live there. We had such a good time sharing our testimonies, singing and playing and had time afterward to spend getting to know them. We called out Bingo, helped with crafts, and enjoyed talking with them over a delicious bowl of peaches and cream. It was a lovely afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed talking and visiting with them. Thank you, Mrs. Chamberlain for letting us minister to these wonderful people.
We would like to say a special "thank you" to Pastor Robertson and his wonderful family for allowing us to stay in their home for three nights and for taking care of us so well. We had a wonderful time fellowshipping with you and we will be praying for your family and ministry.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Liberty Baptist Tabernacle

Rapid City, SD
Pastor Wayne Williams

We were especially privileged to be in the Sunday night service of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle. This warm and loving church is the home of Mr. Bob Dustman, Sr. and his son Jack and family. We were able to stay with "Grandpa" Dustman on the ranch, as Bri's group did last year and we enjoyed it immensely. We were only sad we could not stay longer. After enjoying a wonderful weekend around Rapid City and the Dustman ranch (we went to see Mt. Rushmore on Saturday), we had a great service in Liberty on Sunday night. We know just from being there one service that the spirit of the Lord is working in this church and we thank God for Pastor Williams and his wife and their faithful service in this church for thirty years. After the service, we enjoyed a lovely meal with the Williams' and the Dustmans and we are so thankful for all the kindness and hospitality shown to us in Rapid City. May God continue to bless this growing church.

Bible Believer's Baptist Church

Custer, SD
Matt Furse
We had a great Lord's day this week, as the Lord continues to show Himself mighty through the churches of the American West. Pastor Matt Furse and the people of the Bible Believer's Baptist Church could not have been more welcoming and we praise the Lord for the great morning that we had with them. It was so encouraging to see so many families in the church and could not help but notice the emphasis placed on soul-winning and discipleship. Pastor Furse is actually teaching his adult Sunday School class through Pastor Sexton's Following Christ and Fishing For Men Material and this theme was continued with a great message about bringing others to Christ. After the service, we all went to a nearby park for a picnic. It was beautiful weather and we enjoyed all of the food and just chatting with some of the church families. We were so glad to be with this church and see how the Lord is expanding their numbers providing for their needs. We pray that the Lord would will to bless them and that they will to glorify Him through their ministry.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Emmanuel Baptist Church

Pastor Ken Schultz
Box Elder, SD

After a quick visit to the home of Mr. Dustman, Sr., we drove to Emmanuel Baptist Church where Pastor Schultz and his family were awaiting our arrival. After we sang, Bro. Derrick preached on "Why Christ should be Precious to us" out of I Peter 2:1-8. After the service, the church families had prepared a wonderful meal for us. Everyone was very interested in Crown College and asked many questions concerning the different ministries offered at Crown. Many teenagers knew different Crown students from attending the BIMI Camp this summer. We had such a good time fellowshipping with all the people at Emmanuel Baptist Church and one of the ladies in the church made each of us girls a bag full of goodies for the road. We thank the Lord for what He has done through this church and look forward to seeing what He is going to do in the future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grace Baptist Church

Pastor Ben Bogardus
Cody, WY

After a lengthy drive from Montana, we arrived for a Wednesday night service in beautiful Cody. Pastor Ben Bogardus (brother of Pastor Bill Bogardus in Seeley Lake, MT) was there to greet us and helped us set up for the service. We were so encouraged by the welcoming spirit of the people and very happy to see this ministry with a young pastor who just took the church last September. We were also very happy to meet the Kiser family, who now attend Grace Baptist. Lariena Kiser works at the Crown College British Division with the Zenkers and Bri was priviliged to meet her and her family last year. Although Lariena was not in town, we were so pleased to stay with them for two nights and even got to go see the Cody Stampede Rodeo on Thursday night. It was a lovely stay in Cody and we are very grateful to Pastor Bogardus and the Kisers for their kindness to us. We are encouraged to see the Lord work in Cody through this growing church and we pray the Lord will continue to bless them.

Stony Creek Bible Church

Pastor Rick Hammond
Dillon, MT

Sunday evening we were welcomed at the Stony Creek Bible Church. After we sang, Derrick preached on how easy it is to affect and to be affected by others. After the service, we enjoyed a delicious meal prepared for us by the church family and we were made to feel right at home. They were all so eager to talk and we especially enjoyed playing with and watching the Pastor's granddaughter, Autumn, who had been born prematurely. She was such a tiny and adorable baby and we loved making her laugh. The Lord really watched over the baby - even though she was very small she was very alert and as healthy as any baby her age. That night we went to Mrs. Yarborough's house and stayed with her for a couple days. The Yarborough's are Mrs. Genevieve Zenker's parents, and even though Mr. Yarborough was out of town due to the sudden death of his sister, we enjoyed Mrs. Yarborough's extremly kind hospitality. Her Christlike spirit and her gift for winning people's affection was incredible. We went to town with her the next day, and we were amazed at how many people knew and loved her. While we were in town two people told her they would like to come to her church. Her testimony revealed to us how very much you can " affect others" by you attitude. We learned a lot by watching her and were sad when it was time to leave. Mrs. Zenker is definitely blessed with a wonderful mother.

First Baptist Church

Pastor Walter Widdis
Laurel, MT
Sunday morning we were able to be with Pastor Widdis again, who currently runs the Castle Rock Baptist camp, which we were at earlier this week. It was nice to see some familiar faces from camp, both staff and campers. We were especially excited to talk to Tristan and to hear that he accepted Christ as His Savior on the last night of camp! We had been praying for his salvation during the week of camp and were so excited to see that the Lord answered all of our prayers. Many young people, like Tristan, came back from camp excited about the Lord and seeking to do His will. We were also again reunited with fellow Crown students, Hannah, Jen, and Rebekah, who are traveling through the New Testament Church Pioneers program and are working at the camp for another week. We were priviliged to sing in the Sunday School and worship hour at the church, and were encouraged to speak with so many people who were supportive of the college and our ministry. We pray that the Lord continues to bless Pastor Widdis and the ministries of the First Baptist Church of Laurel.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Arapahoe Baptist Church

Riverton, WY

Pastor Tony Cole

We returned to Wyoming this week to spend 3 days on the Arapahoe Indian Reservation. Pastor Cole and his wife, who are originally from Tennessee, have been at this church for two years. We had the opportunity to minister in services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. It was wonderful to see some of the same families every night, eager to hear from the Word of God and be with fellow Christians. Also, because of our services being on weeknights, some of the local pastors were able to visit. We enjoyed speaking with them and it was encouraging to see how the pastors in this area have such good fellowship with one another. The Cole’s are very excited about what the Lord is doing and also for the upcoming arrival of their first child. We hope that the Lord will continue to strengthen this church for His glory.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gospel Baptist Church

Billings, MT
Pastor Jeff Benton

When we arrived at Gospel Baptist we were all exhausted from camp, but when we met Pastor Benton we were uplifted by his great big smile and an enthusiastic welcome. As we began meeting more people we realized that the whole church shared that same joy and energy that their pastor had. We arrived at the church expecting to have to work unusually hard at being cheerful and enthusiastic about the meeting everybody and singing for them, but the people had such a cheerful and loving attitude that we thoroughly enjoyed every moment with them. The song service was a special blessing because the congregation truly sang each hymn their whole heart. Pastor Benton mentioned during the service that sixty-six people had come to know the Lord as their personal Savior in the past week! This church's spirit of revival and consuming desire to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ was a enormous encouragement to us. We only wish that we had more time to spend with them.

We sang one last song for Pastor and Mrs. Benton before we left

Castle Rock Baptist Camp

Bozeman, MT
Camp Director: Pastor Walter Widdis
Dean: Pastor Dave Sprunger
Evangelist: Rick Moore
Castle Rock Mt. on a beautiful rainy morning

On Monday, we arrived at beautiful Castle Rock Camp and enjoyed a lovely couple of days there. The camp is located just outside of Bozeman right next to Castle Rock mountain and a gorgeous rushing river. The staff was very excited to see their largest junior high attendence in the eight years Pastor Sprunger has been leading Junior High camp. We helped out with meals and games, sang in the services, and Bri filled in as a counselor in one of the girls' cabins. It was a great time to get to know the camp staff as well as the campers and we were so encouraged by the spirit of Pastor Sprunger and the way he conducted the camp. There was plenty of fun activities for the kids as well as good times of searching God's word, preaching, and quizzing over the sermons and daily Bible reading. Evangelist Rick Moore was speaking this week and he preached powerfully both services we were in. We are so grateful for the girl that was saved Wednesday morning just before we left and we hope for many more decisions for Christ.Singing with the NTCP girls: Hannah Jones, Jen Cole and Rebekah Moore

We knew before we arrived that the Pioneer group for the Northwest was planning on arriving at camp the same day we were. Unfourtunately they had some serious car trouble and were not able to make it until Tuesday. Once they arrived, we enjoyed swapping stories of our travels and even got them to sing with us for the evening meeiting. They are staying for the rest of the week and all of next week, so we are praying the Lord continues to use them in the lives of the campers.
Sword drills during the Bible quiz

On Wednesday before we left, Bro. Derrick, Bri, and Alaina had the opportunity to hike up Castle Rock Mountain and enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and rivers. Every other year they take the campers up the mountain and we were amazed and impressed that the Junior high campers could make such a trek. We loved the time we were able to spend with the campers and staff in the midst of a lovely portion of God's creation and we continue to pray that the Lord will bless and work in hearts through the camp.

View of from the top of Castle Rock (the camp is at the bottom center, left of the river)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Florence Baptist Church

Florence, MT
Pastor Tim Johnson

We had a 3 hour trip to get from Great Falls to this Sunday evening service and we barely made it in time. When we did arrive, we were warmly greeted by a kind church family who did all they could to help us set up for the service. We sang many songs, showed the college video and Bro. Derrick preached a stirring sermon. We were encouraged by the varying age groups in the church and were kindly treated by all the families there. After the service the Pastor and his family as well as the assistant Pastor took us to Cracker Barrell (our favorite!) and we enjoyed great food and fellowship. We are so grateful for the wonderful accomodations we were provided with and we pray God's continued blessing on this growing church.

Fairview Baptist Church

Great Falls, MT
Pastor Richard Dion

Sunday morning we joined the congregation at the Fairview Baptist Church. Although Pastor Dion and his wife were out of town, we enjoyed fellowshipping with Pastor Jonas, Bro. Brian and the people of the church. We were welcomed in the Young Adult class for Sunday Shcool, where Bro. Brian taught from Nehemiah on keeping sin out of your life. We were privelidged to sing in the morning service before Bro. Derrick preached a convicting message from Philippians 3 on "Enemies of the Cross." After the service, Bro. Brian took us out to lunch before we headed on to our next meeting. We appreciate all that the church has done to make us feel welcome. The congregation and Bro. Brian were such an encouragement and we are thankful for all that the Lord is doing through this ministry.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Glacier National Park

Friday morning we returned to the Bergstrom home, and Jonathan, Andrew, Abigail and Anna Bergstrom joined us for a day at Glacier National Park. Pastor Schrepfer had given us some suggestions of things to see at the park and his list of favorites helped us get the most out of our visit. We got to stop at several waterfalls and hiking trails and even made it through the snow to the Hidden Lake. We had a wonderful day, and we are so thankful for the opportunity that the Lord has given us again to enjoy our wonderful country.

Valley Baptist Church

Eureka, MT
Pastor Matt Schrepfer

Upon arriving at the church we were greeted by Pastor Schrepfer. He and his wife started the church around 2 years ago out of their own home and now hold services in their renovated garage. It's great to see how the church has grown and they have several faithful families who are seeking to grow in the Lord. After the service, we enjoyed the food and fellowship with the church. We especially enjoyed talking with Amber and Ashley, two sisters who are both praying about going to Bible college. This is a young church that is setting out to do great things for the Lord. We are grateful for their dedication to the Lord and good witness for Him in the community.

A new trio!