Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pastor Search has Begun

Since my last update we have begun to actively search for a new pastor.  I have contacted several people and schools.  We are looking for someone who either has some retirement income or someone who is willing to be bi-vocational.  So here is the big hurdle.  Most people want to be fully supported.  We are even looking for someone right out of Bible school.  In anyone knows of someone who might be interested in the pastorate here, please give me their phone number or have them call me. Please be in prayer for God to send us the right man to lead this precious flock.

We started an AWANA program a couple of weeks ago with seven kids and now we are up to ten kids.  The kids seem to love it.  We discovered a couple of boxes of old Awana materials and we were able to obtain additional material on Ebay and Amazon.
Our first AWANA kids
It is my prayer that the Lord will send us a pastor sooner rather than later.  The weather has turned cold.  The mountains all around us are covered with snow. The outside temperatures are in the 30's or lower.  The wind seems to blow constantly creating an even lower wind chill factor. At this present moment there are snow flurries.  We have have pulled out all or our winter clothing.  We put extra insulation on the trailer windows  n times past we loved the cold weather and snow.  But these days Dayle has much difficulty with the cold.  As you may know, she has osteoarthritis in her fingers and the colder it gets the more her hands hurt.  Fortunately, our new 5th wheel trailer is very well insulated and Dayle is very warm and cozy inside.  So Dayle will be remaining indoors most of the time until Spring or until we can get to a warmer climate such as Lake Havasu where right now it is 70 degrees and sunny.   Me? I'm looking forward to the snow.  I love to go hiking and tracking and traipsing through the mountains in the snow.  So, I will enjoy the great outdoors regardless.
The mountains directly west of us

The mountains southwest of us.

Currently, I am preaching through First Peter and I will finish up chapter one this week.  Our average attendance has increased to about 16 and we are continuing to make contacts in the community.  Our pianist has been gone for the last three weeks so I have been doing all the music on my guitar.  Dayle is teaching a junior church for the younger children.  We have also been busy taking care of the grounds as well as the building. Along with Awana, sermon preparation, music planning, and making weekly bulletins. It's all a lot of work, but we love it!

 On November 19th we will be driving 7 hours to Grants Pass where Dayle will receive her third infusion treatment for her osteoporosis.  We will also spend two nights with Mel and Annie and celebrate and early Thanksgiving.  If weather permits we will also drive to Sacramento to spend Thanksgiving with Stephen and Neeley.

Prayer requests:
1.  For a pastor for Orovada Community Church
2.  For Dayle's physical comfort is this cold weather
3.  For safety as we travel to Grants pass
4.  For these Boniva infusions to cure my Dayle of her Osteoporosis

To view more photos click here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Orovada for a Month

We have been in Orovada for a little over a month and the work continues.  A couple of the young moms approached us about starting up Awana again.  So, a modified Awana program will begin this  week.  We still have only one church service a week which is on Sunday mornings at 10:30.  I hope to add an evening service or a mid-week prayer meeting soon.  A women's Bible study began this past week and a men's Bible study will begin the first week of November.

We are getting quite the education about farmers.  Oh my goodness do they work a lot and long hours.  The harvest is over but they are still working from sun up to sun down six days a week.  But now the days are getting shorter and their work is slowing down. I am looking forward to being able to spend some time with them.  Their work load decreases as the days get shorter and the weather turns.

The week before last we took a couple of days and went to Stephen and Neeley in Sacramento.  We had a great time with them and the grand kids.  It's only a 5 hour drive so whenever we start getting withdrawals form not seeing the kids we just hop in the car and take a drive.  We only wish that the other kids were closer.  We are so looking forward to spending more time with them all.  I am told that the older we get the more we want to be with the kids.  When we first became "empty nesters" at age 45 we were so excited.  Now, 18 years later, we want to be with the kids. Go figure!

One of the men of the church took us on on a driving tour of the mountains to the east of us.  We got quite a thorough education and saw some great sights.  This is sure a beautiful area even though we are 42 miles from the nearest grocery store. Here are a few pictures.
Here is a privately owned cabin open to anyone at anytime.

This week the burn ban was lifted (not that there really is one here) and we burned up all the piles of cuttings that we have been accumulating over the past month.
So this is what a selfie is.

  On Sunday mornings I am now preaching through First Peter.  It sure is good to be preaching regularly again.  Attendance has been from a high of 28 to a low of 8.

Prayer requests:
1.  For us as we minister here in Orovada
2.  For the Lord to grow His church here in Orovada.
3.  For our Awana which starts Wednesday (10/14)

Here is the link to our photo page on Flickr.  We have many more pictures there. Click here for more photos.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Where in the World is Orovada, Nevada?

When we first learned of Orovada we looked it up on the map and discovered that it was in northern Nevada.  We were told it was a remote farming town and there is not much there with a population of about 300 people.  The official census says that there is only 150 people.  Well, this is certainly a remote place.

We actually arrived in Orovada on August 18th.  We dropped off the trailer in front of the parsonage and in the morning we drove to Sacramento, CA to spend two weeks with Stephen, Neeley and the grand kids.  We had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect.  I rode my bike for over 160 miles during the two weeks.  As a special bonus our son, Jason, and family took a week vacation and dropped in on us for a couple of days.  But we had to say our good bye's and return to Orovada on September 4th just in time to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary on September 5th.  We celebrated by driving to Winnemucca and went out for a late lunch and then we went shopping.

So now we are in Orovada serving as interim pastor of Orovada Community Church.  Last Sunday was our first service and we had about 15 people and half of them were from out of town.  It was a wonderful time of singing and spending time in the Word of God. I am now busy preparing sermons and bible study lessons as well as outdoor yard maintenance.  The membership does seem to be quite mature in the Word and they are very excited that they have a pastor again.  It's only been five years.

So we will be quite busy doing the work that we love.  I will still find time to go for bike rides.  As a matter of fact the off road opportunities are very exciting as we are situated at the base of Sawtooth Mountain.

There definitely is some adjusting that we will have to do:
    The nearest store is 40 miles away in Winnemucca.
    More expenses due to having to pay sales tax and more fuel expenses
    Now that we are not in Brookings anymore our auto and liability insurance rates increased by nearly 25%. But we just see it as just the cost of ministry and we know that the Lord will provide as He has promised and always had.

Please pray for us as we minister here in Orovada as we try to work ourselves out of a job.  We don't know how long it will take but we are here for the duration.

Please keep in touch.  We are never too busy to receive phone calls, texts, or emails!

    Shelley for the both of us!

Shelley (541) 218-9717
Dayle   (541) 450-5576

Here are some pictures that we took of the church grounds:  You can also click on this link to view more pictures on my Flickr page:  Click here for more pictures
The front of the church building

The front yard and parking lot of the property

My Dayle hard at work pulling weeds

View of Sawtooth Mountain from the back of the church

View southeast from the back of the church.  Pictured is the only gas station in town.

North side of church looking toward the gas station
Sawtooth Mountain from the parking lot

Our trailer nestled under the trees in front of the parsonage.

View out from the back of our trailer window.  Remember, we are in the center of town.
Bike ride destination on 9/8/15

The road to the foothills

Down hill all the way back to the truck.  Now that was fun!

Friday, August 7, 2015

August Update - Going to Orovada

We are winding down at Fir Point Bible Camp.  The four weeks of Fir Point youth camps are over.  This week we are completing a few other projects.  This weekend (August 8 and 9) we will go to Brookings to pack up my office and a few other personal things.  We will say our good-byes on Sunday then return to our storage unit in Grants Pass.  We have to spend a day or two re-organizing our stuff to see what else we want to get rid of, and the stuff we are keeping will be put in new boxes.  We bought a whole bunch of the same size heavy duty boxes.  It only took us a few years to realize that things stack better if all the boxes are the same size. Duh. 

So the last four weeks have been quite busy.  I tended to the youth camps making sure that everything was working properly and if something broke, I would get right on it. I also had several SWAT (servants with a task) team members to work with me around the camp. Together we cut and stacked several cords of firewood, picked up leaves, repaired and painted many things. Such as the flag pole.  Every morning the campers meet by the flag pole for flag raising and morning devotion.  One morning while all the kids were listening to the devotion the wooden flag pole fell over missing everyone. So we made a new flag pole. It was a 24' pole made of metal poles all welded together.  We cemented the base into the ground and several of the young men and I put it up like the marines on Iwo Jima.

Dayle worked in the kitchen as the salad bar queen for the last four weeks.  She was in the kitchen every day from 2 to 8 not only doing the salad bar but also helping out where ever she was needed. She also sewed curtains for some of the cabins and chapel.

Today Dayle was raking up around the wood shed when she disturbed an in ground nest of bees.  Within seconds she was swarmed and stung at least five times.  Dayle has been stung before but never five times. She started swelling up and feeling nauseous.  She took Benadryl and started feeling better. Now she still has some swelling .  If she isn’t any better tomorrow, I’ll take her to the immediate care in Grants Pass. Who would of thought that raking leaves would be so hazardous.

Some of the other projects completed around here the last few weeks included replacing worn out linoleum in the kitchen, cutting and splitting firewood, climbing up light poles and replacing the photo cells, replacing the wood ramp to one of the cabins, and much more.  Needless to say, we have been quite busy.
We did take a couple of days off and went to the coast and spentsome time with Stephen and Neeley and the kids as they drove up for a little vacation.  We have a real good time and we got to celebrate Stephen’s 40th birthday with him.

But the highlight of this past month, actually the highlight of the past five years was attending the 100th anniversary of Immanuel Baptist Church in Klamath Falls.  (This is the church where I was the pastor for 9 ½ years.)  The entire weekend was quite an event with a picnic on Saturday and then a wonderful service on Sunday.  I was asked to be one of four speakers. Each one of us was allotted 15 minutes.  During the service the platform was filled with musicians and singers.  Instrumentalists included guitar, violins, cello, piano, trumpet, bass guitar, and drums. The music and the song selection was the best that I have heard in a very long time.  But the best part was when I realized that most of the musicians were kids most of which we watched growing up. Now as if that wasn’t emotional enough, when it was my turn to preach I almost lost my composure as I stood behind the pulpit.  I had preached from this pulpit for 9 ½ years and to be standing there again reminded me of the best 9 ½ years of our life.  We had poured our lives into this church and to see how these kids have grown into fine Christian young men and women and to see how well the church is still doing was overwhelming.

So our plan is to leave Fir Point on the 18th right after Dayle has her second infusion and then drive east to Klammath Falls and then arrive in Orovada, Nevada on the 19th or 20tht.  We are so looking forward to getting back to work in a pastoral role.  It has been way too long.  I hope we don’t have to rake any leaves in Nevada.

We covet your prayers as we tie up things at Fir Point and as we travel to Nevada.  Also please pray for the ministry in Orovada.  Also pray for Fir Point Bible Camp and for additional help to maintain the property.

Our next update will be from Orovada.

Please send us an email or even give us a phone call once in a while. We’d love to hear from you.

Shelley for the both of us.
Semper Famulus
(Always Serving)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Working at Fir Point Bible Camp

If you are wondering what happened to the blog entry before this one, well so am I.  Somehow I deleted it and I can't figure out how to get it back.

We arrived at Fir Point on May 31st and after a short meeting to plan the work we we right to work on the chapel.  In the chapel we needed to setup and install the brand new sound system and remove the old sound system and see what was good enough to sell.  I was asked to remodel the storage room and turn it into a nice little meeting room as well as making a portion of it for the secure storage of the sound equipment.  I made a wall, ran electricity for lights and two additional outlets, installed drywall and carpeting and hung a door. After a full week the room was was totally finished.  See pictures below.
The beginning
Finished Product

Just as I finished I had to jump in the car and return to His Place in Brookings to prepare for a wedding which I booked.  I planned on preparing the grounds but much to my delight as I arrived the yard work was being completed by Isaac (the youth pastor).  Thank you, thank you!  The wedding went quite well and the Mothers of the bride and groom complimented me on the facility and said that this is a beautiful place to have a wedding.
After the wedding I drove the 2 1/2 hours back to Fir Point where I was to fill in for Dennis while he was away at a wedding in Portland.  There is much to be done here at Fir Point including re-keying several locks, repairing and painting cabins, and much much more.  The camp season began on Friday with a weekend group.  From now until the end of July it will be non-stop ministry and work (as if there is a difference).

On June 3rd I dropped my Dayle off at the Medford airport to go to my sister for two weeks to give her a break and to help her with mom and the house.  She returns on Wednesday June 17th and I am so excited.  We hate being apart.  I am very glad that telephone calls don't cost extra these days because we were on the phone a lot.

The preceding was written two weeks ago thinking that I completed and posted it. But I just discovered that I didn't.  So let me bring you up to date.  We have been working much here at Fir Point.  Below are pictures of the finished product that Dayle and I did.  We totally rebuilt the child's play area.

My Dayle testing the newly installed slide.

We have also replaced the stairs to the kitchen of the lodge, painted the girl's bathroom in the chapel, made curtains for the upper room in the chapel, replaced rotted floor int he registration cabin, and much more that I can't remember.
Replacing rotted floor in Registration Cabin
Perhaps the best part of working so hard here is that we are working together on every project. Just knowing that it is for the betterment of the camp and making it a beautiful place for campers to hear the Word of God is such a blessing.  I am reminded what James 1:25 says, "the blessing is the doing." Well, we are truly blessed  We have also been able to interact with some of the leadership of some of the rental groups  This is always a treat as we get to hear exchange testimonies and even pray with them.  Several people have been intrigued when they learn that we live in a 5th wheel trailer and travel to ministries that could use some help.

We have been praying for a church in which we can serve and just the other day we received a call from a church in Orovada, Nevada.  We are so very excited to get back to serving in a church with God's people.  Our plan is to arrive no later than September 1st.  This church has been without a pastor for five years and are down to just a few people.  So we have our work cut out for us. It sounds similar to the two previous churches that we served in.  So we are ready to go.  However, we are committed here at Fir Point through July and then we have to return to His Place to finished a few things there. Then off to Orovada, with a brief stay with Stephen, Neeley, Jack, and Pearl in Sacramento.

We have a busy two months ahead of us before we go to Nevada.  Please pray for continued health and safety.  We have had a couple of close calls with potential injuries but we were spared each time.  One was while dismantling the old playground one of the large posts was rotted off at the bottom.  Once I disconnected the supports it fell barely missing my head.  That could have ruined my whole day or worse.

Also pray for the church in Orovada and for our future ministry there. 

Dayle is doing fine and has had no reaction to the Boniva infusion.  Her next infusion is scheduled for August 17th. Please continue to pray that these infusions will correct her osteoporosis.

Two years ago when I had my knee surgery the doctor said that I may have develop some problems as part of  my knee is bone on bone. This, he said, would require a partial knee replacement.  Well, the pain has recently begun.  I am hoping that it is because I have not been on the bicycle very much and I have allowed it to get weak.  The good thing is that it is not a constant pain and it is minor right now.  So I will try to strengthen the knee as I do not want to have a partial knee replacement. 

Thank you all for your prayers and for your continued support.  May the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Him.

Shelley and Dayle
Semper Famulus
(Always Serving)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Continuing the Work

Shame on me for not updating this blog sooner.  So much has happened that I can't remember everything.  The ministry is going quite well.  Since my last update we have been extremely busy with the facilities.  We are still repairing, cleaning, organizing, and landscaping.  Last month Brother Bob Minshew (our benefactor) allowed me to purchase several needed items including a portable  outdoor sound system, a back pack blower, and several hand tools.  The sound system will allow us to have outdoor events in the amphitheater or elsewhere.  (We had planned to have the Easter Sunrise Service in the amphitheater.  But the weather didn't allow it.)  The back pack blower greatly reduces the time it takes to clean up the parking lot as well as leaf blowing.
Amphitheater view from the top

The first week of March we drove south to the Shepherd's Conference.  I dropped Dayle off at my sister's house in Pinon Hills, then I continued to my brother's house near the church.  The Shepherd's Conference was just fantastic with 18 speakers from all over the world speaking on the inerrancy of the Bible.

My first night in southern California, I received news that brother Bob Minshew had passed away.  This was bitter-sweet news.  Bob has been suffering with heart failure for quite some time.  He woke up that Monday morning and he knew that he was "going to go home to the Lord today."  He had called the pastor, the mortuary, and his lawyer.  He called his sister and daughter to say goodby.  Later that evening he was gone.  We had the memorial service out at His Place and his life was celebrated giving glory to the Lord as Bob always tried to do.

The second week of March we attended the NICE Regional Conference in Vancouver, Washington.  This was another terrific conference with the them of developing leaders in the local church.  The sessions were very helpful but as always the fellowship with friends and colleagues was the highlight.

After Bob's home-going we returned to His Place with lots of work to do.  We had a large 8 by 20 foot shed to empty out as well as an entire classroom fill of Bob's stuff.  We asked the ladies of the church to go through and see what they wanted to hang on to for use in the kitchen facilities and the rest we were going to try to sell.  After five days of setting up, we had our "World's For Sale."  This was a huge indoor yard sale which took up the entire chapel and two large classrooms.

The sale went quite well and my goal was to get rid of the stuff.  Almost everything was on a voluntary donation basis.  We made over $1800 and all but about 20% of the stuff was sold.  The remaining stuff was put into a single 7 by 16 foot trailer and taken to a local high school for their fund raising sale.  I now have ample storage, and a shed to turn into a work shop, and two more classrooms.

We recently had a His Place board meeting to work on goals and vision for the future and to determine officers.  I was unanimously selected as board chairman .  We also discussed future goals and vision as well as projects that need to be done.  Much of this in on hold pending the receipt of the funds that brother Bob bequeathed to the facility.

Perhaps the highlight of the last two months was the Easter services.  We preformed the Easter program "HeRoes"" and I played the part of Simon of Cyrene.

"We had the Sunrise service with 55 in attendance and then at the church we had a "family breakfast" and then the regular Easter service which literally packed out the church.  The services were very well planned and the pastor gave great messages.  I even did a couple of songs on the guitar.  At the Good Friday service I did a duet with Naomi Hoard (the youth pastor's wife) singing Beautiful, Scandalous Night by Bebo Norman and on the Sunday service I did He's Alive by Don Francisco. I guess all those music and singing lessons are starting to pay off because the people loved it.

This coming weekend we will be driving to Sacramento, CA then taking a plane to Southern California to attend my cousins Donna and Al's, 50th wedding anniversary.  This event is very special to me not only because I was at their wedding and my sister, Andrea, was their flower girl, but because Al was the first example that I have ever witnessed of how to love a wife.  Al is one of the most influential men in my life.  Not only did he continually demonstrate true love for his wife but he encouraged me to join the Coast Guard and was a positive influence in my Coast Guard career.  He himself retired as a USCG Captain.

Then the third week of April we will pack up the trailer and head north to spend a little over three in Port Angeles, Washington with Jason, Shelli, and the kids.  We are so looking forward to taking a little vacation.  It has been work,work, work for the past 8 months.

Dayle recently had another bone scan to determine the seriousness of her osteoporosis.  The bad new was that it has not gotten any better after two years of diet and exercise.  The good news is that it hasn't gotten any worse.  But the doctor said that she needs to be on a treatment program.  After much research we decided to go with quarterly Boniva infusions.

Dennis May from Fir Point Bible camp called the other day and asked us to come for June and July which is their busiest time of the year.  Since we are getting things under control here at His Place we told him that we could come.  I can still prepare the institute courses while there and everything else pretty much shuts down here in Brookings during the Summer.  Dennis did ask us to come on a permanent basis, but I told him that we cannot commit to that at this time.

We just got back from the dentist and Dayle needs a crown put on.  She has another cracked tooth.  It will be put on the day we leave for Jason and Shelley.  Grrrr, my poor Dayle.  She is really afraid of any dental work.  So this Thursday they will do the crown prep then on the 21st they will put in the crown.

Until next time please remember us in prayer as we travel and continue to serve here at His Place under First Baptist Community Church. Also pray that the Boniva infusions will work for my Dayle.

Shelley for the both of us.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Off and Running for the New Year

We were on the road for most of December.  We visited our supporting church in Lake Havasu City, Az and then spent a week with my mom, sister, niece and nephew in Pinon, Hills, California and then spent Christmas with Stephen, Neeley and the grand kids in Sacramento, Calif.  One of the little joys of the trip was the cost of fuel driving all those miles. Our new car averages 45-50 MPG and we spent just a little over $100 dollars for the entire trip.  If we were to have driven the truck we would have spent 5 to 6 times more than that. Upon returning to Brookings we hit the ground running.  Dayle had a women's seminar to prepare for and I had two courses to finalize for our new Bible Institute which begins on 2-2-2015.

But first we had to get rid of the mouse infestation in our new trailer.  When we left four weeks earlier we winterized the trailer, removed all open food, and locked it up tight.  However, we kind of forgot that mice can get in practically anywhere.  We had stored under the bed some unopened bags of sunflower seeds.  When we came home and opened the door we saw sunflower seed shells throughout the trailer.  Yuck, those mice had four weeks to run-a-muck...and they did.  We were cleaning up sunflower seed shells, mice droppings, vacuuming, and washing for days.  I found where they had gotten in and sealed it up.  I also set up traps which did away with a few mice.  We haven't seen any evidence of mice now for two weeks.  Yay!

The women's seminar went off quite well and Dayle spoke in three sessions to about 40 ladies. I ran the sound booth and recorded the sessions.  I am so proud of my Dayle.  She really did a good job!

I have been busy preparing my Bible Institute courses.  These are basically the same courses that I taught to the men when I was pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church.  But the problem was that my original courses and notes are missing.  I thought that they were in our storage unit but even after going through every single box (twice) they are nowhere to be found.  The last place I remember having them was in 2011 when I was interim pastor in Lake Havasu.  But even after searching the entire building, this past December, they are still listed as missing.  Then I remembered that two of my  Klamath Falls students had asked for copies of my original notes because they wanted to teach the classes in their churches.  So thanks to Vane Day and Les Tucker I am now in possession of all of my Institute notes.  I am still missing all my original college and seminary notebooks so the search continues.

We have been busy doing a lot of hard work not just preparing seminars and courses as well as sermons and Sunday school lessons but also on the facility.  We finally ran electricity  to the outdoor amphitheater, installed the ice maker, and cleaned the exterior.  But we take some time to bike and hike.  We especially enjoy hiking the Oregon coastal trail which offers some of the most spectacular coastal views of  all of the country. 

I have even managed to get a couple of bicycle rides in which I desperately need for exercise.

Our financial support has increased and we are close to meeting our goal.  We are currently need another $50 a month to reach 100%.  Thank you to all of our faithful financial supporter as well as our prayer supporters.

Please remember to keep us in your prayers as we launch the Brookings Bible Institute (name subject to change).  There is still much work to be done here at His Place.  We don't know how long we will be here in Brookings but we expect to be here for up to another year.  Much depends on how quickly we can make His Place self-sustaining.

Prayer Requests:
1.  Wisdom and strength as we work at His Place
2.  For His Place to become self-sustaining
3.  Dayle's continued fight against osteoporosis and for the new doctor here in Brookings. (She has a bone scan scheduled next week. All blood test came back normal.)
4.  For Shelley's sister (Andrea) to find a job.

1.  For Dayle's new doctor.
2.  For safety as we traveled to Arizona and back.
3.  For the continued opportunity to serve here in Brookings