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Kansas churches visit Arkansas MB church

Visit to Martin Box congregation highlight of two-day bus tour

From a report by Betty Seibel

Martin Box MB Church, a small rural congregation in Marshall, Ark., was blessed April 23 by a busload of guests from five Central Kansas churches.

Twenty-three people from Parkview MB Church, Hillsboro, Kan., eight from Buhler (Kan.) MB Church, two from Hillsboro (Kan.) MB Church and three individuals from two other Central Kansas congregations boarded a charter bus Saturday, April 23, for the fraternal visit.

“The purpose of the trip was to give support and encouragement to the Martin Box congregation,” says Betty Seibel, who organized the trip with the help of her husband, Bob, and a Hillsboro, Kan., travel agent. “However, the feeling of the visiting group was that we were equally blessed and encouraged.”

Wilmer Thiessen, a retired businessman from Hillsboro, Kan., who has also served as USMB minister and church planter, and his wife, Hildegard, recently begun serving the Martin Box congregation as interim pastoral couple. Prior to their temporary move to Marshall, Thiessen spoke of his new assignment with the Sunday school class he attends at Parkview MB Church.

“He encouraged any of us to come and give encouragement to a hurting church that feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the Southern District Conference,” says Seibel.“I really felt the Spirit leading me to do something about it.” The “something” that came to Seibel was organizing a motor coach trip.

The Seibels, who serve as tour escorts for Prudent Tours, a family-owned tour service located in Hillsboro, talked with the owners about the Arkansas trip. When Seibel approached Prudent’s Hank Wiebe, she learned that years ago Wiebe’s father had arranged a similar trip to the Martin Box Church.Wiebe encouraged Seibel to pursue the trip, and he offered to make some of the arrangements at no charge.

With this support, Seibel put together an informative flyer that she distributed to various individuals and churches in the local area.

“We had determined that we would need a minimum of 30 people to make it financially workable,” says Seibel, “and we ended up with 36. Praise God!”

The group spent Saturday afternoon and evening in Branson, Mo., and attended the musical “Joseph.” Sunday morning they traveled to Marshall for the morning worship service. A women’s trio from Parkview sang at the service and the Martin Box congregation hosted a potluck meal for the visiting group.

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