Continuing a partnership that began when Greenhouse Community Church launched in Saratoga Springs, Utah, in 2013, Henderson (Nebraska) MB Church has helped raise funds to send Greenhouse students to YouthCon 2019, the USMB youth convention to be held April 3-7 at Glorieta Camps, near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Greenhouse lead pastor Jason Quiring grew up at Henderson MB—he and his wife, Nicole, lived in Henderson prior to moving to Utah—and Henderson MB has partnered with Greenhouse relationally, financially and spiritually since the beginning. For the past four years, Henderson has sent ministry teams to Utah to help with Greenhouse’s Summer Bible Adventure camp, an outreach to students and families in Saratoga Springs.
“With my missions background, one of the things I had learned and experienced was how much one’s understanding and perspective changes after visiting a location,” says Henderson MB lead pastor Luke Haidle. “So when I arrived, I started arranging vision trips with different influencers and leaders from the church to go visit. This eventually expanded to community businessmen and other pastors.”
So, when the opportunity to support Greenhouse youth presented itself, it was natural for Henderson MB to respond.
Henderson MB youth held a Spud Fest potato bar after church Jan. 13 to raise money toward YouthCon expenses for both churches and collected $700 for Greenhouse students.
“Our youth group was blown away when they heard the news,” says Greenhouse youth pastor Drew Pankratz. “We spent time at youth group writing thank you notes to Henderson and other generous partners from Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. While our students may not personally know who gave, their hearts were full of gratitude.”
The gift made it possible for more Greenhouse students to attend YouthCon.
“When we first announced YouthCon to our group, we were expecting a small response,” Pankratz says. “We were hopeful four or five students would have interest. However, due to the generosity of Henderson MB and others, we were able to lower the price significantly for our students. We now have 15 students registered and eager to get to Glorieta.”
To help offset YouthCon costs, Greenhouse youth led games, crafts, made a meal and babysat during a “Date Night Childcare” fundraiser the night after Valentine’s day.
Because of Greenhouse’s ministry context in Utah, YouthCon provides a special opportunity for life-change.
“Due to the unique context of Utah county, the majority of the students attending come from Latter-Day Saint or unchurched backgrounds,” Pankratz says. “We have met these students through coaching, bi-vocational teaching jobs (or) neighborhood relationships. Most of them are just now hearing the gospel for the first time and have never been to a Christian youth conference. While they are anticipating having a ton of fun at YouthCon, our prayer is that Jesus would invite them into more than they can even imagine. We pray for the radical grace and truth of Jesus to change the lives of these students at YouthCon and for years to come.”
Henderson MB is sending six youth and three adults to YouthCon, and Haidle anticipates a continued partnership between Henderson and Greenhouse.
“It’s much bigger than us serving them,” Haidle says. “We have a lot that we need to learn from them, so we still dream of a day (or) event where they send a missions team our way. Or perhaps we meet in the middle for a joint event. Also of importance is stirring up support from other churches and businesses. But the key to those is to have the leader/influencer from that church/business actually visit Jason and Nicole and catch a glimpse of the need, passion, vision and circumstances (in Utah).”
Janae Rempel is the Christian Leader associate editor. She joined the CL staff in September 2017 with six years of experience as a professional journalist. Rempel is an award-winning writer, having received three 2016 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence and an Evangelical Press Association Higher Goals award in 2022. Rempel graduated from Tabor College in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in Communications/Journalism and Biblical/Religious Studies. She attends Hillsboro MB Church.