God opens a door

I’m excited to share about our October trip with you all.   Our friends in Spirit Lake, ND invited to sing and share on the reservation again this Fall… and God opened an amazing door for us there this time.

On our way to Spirit Lake we stopped in Fargo for Mom to attend a  education seminar, and the rest of us headed for the historic museum town of Bonanzaville. We figured it had been fifteen or sixteen years since we had been there, so this was the boys’ first time.

Bible and hymnal in Native languages

Bible and hymnal in Native languages

exploring old houses

exploring old houses

Jonathan

Jonathan

in the fire station

in the fire station

One of our memories from last time is the telephone room full of all sorts of old phones that are activated to call around the room. It was a highlight this time as well!img_2094_1img_2097_1

"Hi Abby!"

“Hi Abby! Can you hear me?”

"Huh?"

“Huh?”

wouldn't he make a good telephone operator?

wouldn’t he make a nice telephone operator?

Then it was off to Spirit Lake! Last year when we came Mom had to stay home, so we were very grateful that she could be here this year.

On Sunday, our first morning there, some of us sat in on the children’s Sunday school at Dakota Baptist Church. It was great to see so many kids there! There were probably at least twenty. Some of them we knew already, and of course, it didn’t take long to make more little friends. We played lots of tag. Dad gave the message that morning, and in the evening we did a concert. It is such a blessing to be able to be in ministry as a family!img_2241_1-2

The next evening we had a concert scheduled at the community college, where we were able to tell the story and show pictures of the airplane crash. We have found that this experience that God has given us, as scary as it was, has an eternal purpose.  God has enabled us to use it to encourage His people in their faith and to point to Him those who need a Savior… by saying, “Look at this. God is real. Jesus is real. You can call on Him.”

setting up in the auditorium

setting up in the auditorium

The next day we had an opportunity we will never forget. When our friends at Dakota Baptist had been planning and arranging our schedule, someone had the idea that maybe we could share in the public school there.  Well, God opened the door for us.  The music teacher, who is a brother in the Lord, arranged for our family to be the inspirational speakers that day.  This was our first time doing something like this in a public or tribal school.  It’s hard to describe all that was going on in our hearts.  We sang, talked about the airplane story, and shared the Good News. We did this for two assemblies, the first being K-4th grade, and the second was 5th-12th…so virtually the whole school heard Jesus’ words in John 3:16.  What He has done for us has been life-changing.  We were glad for the opportunity to sing and share about Him here.img_20161004_155048678-2

Mr. Gary, the music teacher

Mr. Gary, the music teacher

oh what fun

oh what fun

We had such a fun time! The little kids clapped along, or a least tried to, and the older kids tried to clap not along and get us off our rhythm. It was fun to interact with them before, during and after we sang.  About mid-way through the concert, we told the airplane story and showed pictures of the crash.  The response was interesting – especially with the older kids. There was a lot of talking going on while we were singing, kind of this hum of laughing and chit-chat, but when we got to the story and pictures they were so quiet. They listened as we told them Jesus is real and they can cry out to Him, that He cares about them.

Sara shares about the crash, with pictures on the screen

Sara shares about the crash, with pictures on the screen

We know that God was the one who made this possible. And we know that we may never have an opportunity like this again.  It was amazing.

such an opportunity

An amazing opportunity

It’s likely that many there had never heard the gospel before. So now the seed have been planted.  Pray for God to give the increase.

Our time in Spirit Lake was encouraging.  We love the people there.  We are so grateful for everyone who pulled together to help make this trip happen, including the Young family, who provided helping hands, many meals and much fellowship!

Daniel and Jonathan and the Young kids

Daniel, Jonathan and the Young kids working on a puzzle

On our way hone, just before we left the reservation, we stopped at a wild game preserve, where we saw an elk and a buffalo, and climbed to the scenic lookout.

the buffalo

the buffalo

at the scenic lookout

at the scenic lookout

Thank you for all your prayers. Stay tuned for our exciting November/December trip!

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:7

First Flight

This has been a very different year for us. Sometimes it seems like it’s been defined by the plane crash. And in a way it has been. But maybe it’s more accurate to say that this year is defined by God working through the plane crash. We’ve been able to share the story with so many people and speak of our powerful God. Of course, it’s not an experience we would have chosen to go through beforehand…but on the other side of it we are so grateful for the testimony we have to share. A friend recently challenged us that this a gift God has given us, a ministry tool to use for the rest of our lives. And not only that, but for us personally it is a faith-builder! Having lived through that experience, it reminds us that God is in control and we are immortal till He is finished with us.

A question that people ask us frequently is, “Have you flown since?” or they wonder about the fear factor.

The answer to the first question has been, “We haven’t had to,” and the answer to the second has been, “It will be hard, I’m sure, but God will give us the grace if He wants us to fly again.”

Now the answers have changed. Now it’s, “Yes, we have flown again. It was hard, but God helped us.”img_1731

The ministry that owned the first plane bought another one. It is very similar, with six seats and the same set-up. A few weeks ago, the pilot Dan and his family flew out here in the new plane with the idea of our family going up in it. Dan is a good pilot and we trust him.

walking out to meet the new plane

walking out to meet the new plane

exploring

exploring

img_1741The first flight after the crash is a hurdle all of us siblings would have to get over sooner or later, so our whole family decided to go. Before we climbed in Dan huddled us up and prayed.

And then we went flying. Mom and the girls went on the first flight, and Dad and the boys went on the second. Each of us experienced our own levels of difficulty, but God gave us each the grace and strength to do it.

off we go

off we go

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our house (center)

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Dan

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Jonathan

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on the ground again

We are so grateful for our God and for each other, and for His grace and help in our first flight after the crash.

img_6545-4And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oklahoma

Our summer has been quite normal so far…which means really busy. And there are a few things we’d still like to blog about.

So going way back to the beginning, we took a trip down to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. A couple years ago we were down there to sing/preach at some revival meetings, and this year it worked our for us to go back with the same purpose. Our friends the French’s were very gracious to host us again. We always have such a good time with them…much laughter included!IMG_1390

The revival at Eldon Baptist Church lasted several nights. We were blessed by the people of the church taking turns to bring us a meal and fellowship each evening. Dad preached from 2 Chronicles, drawing a parallel between God’s Temple and our hearts. Do we have idols that need to be destroyed? Rubbish that needs to be taken out? Do we have a low view of God?IMG_1325

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Jess French has such a heart for God

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every night started with music

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we shared a number of songs each night

Dad preached from the Word

Dad preached the Word

God was working in people’s hearts and after the last night we got word that a young boy who had been there received Jesus as his Savior.

And a challenge to all believers remains: “Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.” 2 Chronicles 29:5

We have some friends who moved to OK last year, and we were so glad to be able to see them again. One thing that usually happens when we’re with each other and around instruments is we sing a song or two together. And this time was no exception as we sang and visited into the night.DSCN0551 (2)We also went to Braum’s one night with them for ice cream. We were introduced to this tasty place last time we were here and were happy to go back!DSCN0570 (2)

Addison and Abby

Addison and Abby

good friends

good friends

After the revival meetings were finished, we were able to visit our friend Leo and his family. They fed us Indian tacos (a.k.a. frybread tacos), probably our favorite but not-often way to eat tacos. After the delicious meal and visiting, we drove out to a church building that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere for Dad to record the testimonies of a couple of Leo’s family members for The Storyteller. It’s so neat to be able to travel and meet other believers who love the Lord.

it was a beautiful drive

it was a beautiful drive

Leo and relatives

Leo and relatives

Leo's mother sang Amazing Grace in Cherokee

Leo’s mother sang Amazing Grace in Cherokee

we're pretty sure this huge tree is covered in poison ivy

we’re pretty sure this huge tree is covered in poison ivy

a dog we met there...look at those eyes

a dog we met there…look at those eyes

Leo and Frasers

Leo and Frasers

It was really a profitable time in Oklahoma…thank you for every prayer on our behalf. Also thank you to everyone who made our time there possible and special. We apparently don’t have a picture of our hostess, Mrs. French, but we so appreciate both her and Mr. French.

And I do have a picture of her flowers.

IMG_1405“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:12