Eleven young people and three leaders recently took our Vacation Bible School (VBS) program (remember Boot Camp?!) to La Pine, Oregon, to share with La Pine Community Church.
This La Pine Team trip marked the 16th year of this partnership!
I’m excited to let you know that the week was full of answered prayer!
Our prayers before going were for unity on the team, chances to build relationships, the opportunity to provide a clear presentation of the gospel, receptive hearts, for many kids to attend, and safety.
The Lord graciously granted each of those requests beyond what we expected!
We had 71 kids attend the VBS program. It was a thrill to witness the love, joy and excitement grow throughout the week!
In addition to the VBS program, we also hosted two youth nights for the community, for kids ages 13-18. These events were completely planned by our team and included games, a meal, worship, testimonies from our team, and fellowship. We had 39 in attendance! This is a pretty good turnout, especially considering there are only about four youth in the church! Word of something happening travels fast. Most of the kids didn’t want their parents to pick them up!
Here are a few glimpses of relationships that have been built and how the Lord is at work in the hearts of our brothers and sisters in La Pine:
- One new leader asked a kid, “So how did you hear about this VBS?” The child responded, “Are you kidding? I’ve been waiting for you all to come for months!”
- Aiden, who grew up coming to the VBS program and is a son of the family that hosts us each year, waited until we were there to get baptized. He said, “You all have been a part for my life for many years and I wanted to experience this special moment with the group.”
- Another girl, Kylee, who also grew up coming to this VBS, was also at the baptism and said, “Well, I’m not waiting another year to get baptized.” She, too, wanted to take this step of faith in community and decided right then and there follow Jesus in baptism.
What a thrill for our youth to see such beautiful fruit and to be a part of this event! Our young people have made an impact on this little community in Oregon. The way they conduct themselves, do ministry, and touch the lives of so many is something to behold.
It was also a big encouragement to see and hear how the Lord was at work among our own team members and ways He answered their prayers:
One prayer that has been on my heart for a while now is that I could see a friend of mine, Kylee, grow in her faith and take the step of baptism. She had wanted this since about two or three years ago, but wasn’t sure when the right time was. This year she decided to get baptized at our BBQ on the last night and it was amazing! – Zoe Longsine
The highlight of the trip for me was definitely watching some of my friends and fellow team members step out of their comfort zones and share their testimonies at the youth night! Being able to hear their stories, how God has been a constant throughout the trials and tribulations of their lives, was something that inspired me. I feel that it impacted many of the La Pine teens as well. – Taylor Aguilar
The team was incredible, flexible, and willing to do anything. It was a blessing and honor to serve alongside each of them.
Thank you so much for your prayers, support and love for this short term missions outreach!
Until next year, Lord willing,
LaPine Team Leader
(on behalf of leaders Janet Donnelly & Mandy Mendoza, and team members Taylor Aguilar, Jared Almendras, Grant Cushman, Sarah Jurado, Elliott Konoske, Mila Kuiper, Zion Longsine, Zoe Longsine, Lexi Longsine, Caleb Regan, and Henry Schaeffer)
P.S. This trip is one part of the big picture of missions here at Church of the Open Door (COD). To hear more about our longer term missionaries and their work, as well as learn about ways you can be involved, plan to take part in WORLDREACH 2022. This is our annual week of focusing on missions here at COD, and it’s happening August 21-28!