Two churches join forces to serve in Wolf Point

Denver volunteers travel to Montana for summer mission trip

0
143
Gospel Fellowship Church hosts Vacation BIble Adventure in Wolf Point, Montana, with the assistance of a team from Mosaic Church in Littleton, Colorado. A similar collaboration iis being planned for Jully 2024. Photo: Diane Andrews

For two Mennonite Brethren churches, distance is not a hindrance to their collaborative effort to serve a northern Montana community.

Mosaic Church in Littleton, Colorado, and Gospel Fellowship Church (GFC) in Wolf Point, Montana, are separated by more than 500 miles, but a summer mission trip has provided an opportunity for teamwork and hospitality.

In summer 2023, members of the Mosaic congregation traveled north to serve alongside the GFC congregation in Wolf Point for a week-long mission trip involving community service projects, outreach and a Vacation Bible Adventure (VBA)—a children’s program created by GFC similar to vacation Bible school.

Wolf Point is located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, and the VBA program and service projects are two of GFC’s primary means of outreach to the reservation.

“Sadly, as with many Native American reservations, crime, alcohol and drugs are rampant issues,” says Mike Andrews, GFC senior pastor who previously served as Mosaic’s pastor of discipleship and care ministries. “We see a lot of homeless on the reservation, broken homes and children that are abused. It’s heartbreaking to see but definitely makes a place where we want to share the light of the gospel.”

Ready to serve

The opportunity to serve alongside GFC to bring the gospel to the reservation and community intrigued members of Mosaic when they first heard of it in 2019. Andrews says COVID-19 postponed initial plans, but in 2023, a group of 13 adults and children from Mosaic arrived in the town of 2,500 ready to serve.

A team of 13 adults and children from Mosaic Church served the Wolf Point community in a variety of ways.

The group helped paint a local daycare, touched up the parsonage, fixed and served sack lunches to people experiencing homelessness on the reservation and shared conversations about the gospel and served approximately 100 kids on the reservation in grades one to five at VBA.

“It truly is a collaborative effort,” Andrews says. “The two churches really have almost all hands-on deck planning the projects to be done, physically setting up VBA and fixing and serving meals to those who are coming from so far to serve. It is unique seeing so many gifts and talents together and so special to see the Church with a capital C come together in that way.”

While in Wolf Point, Mosaic members are split between staying in people’s homes, Airbnbs and the local hotel but come together for meals served by GFC either at the church or wherever the team is serving. Andrews says having the Mosaic group allows GFC to offer more one-on-one time to children who attend VBA than the Wolf Point congregation could do themselves.

Mutually beneficial

The 2023 mission trip, Andrews says, felt like a home run for GFC, which 2023 Mosaic group leaders Brian and Abby Blaskovich say was mutual for their team as well.

“Seeing God work in and through the people who served, as much as the people we were serving, was an amazing opportunity,” says Abby Blaskovich. “It was eye-opening for us as a church and individuals to see some of the harsh realities kids and adults face and made us grateful and eager to serve to help.”

Members of the 2023 Mosaic group pause for a team photo at the Wolf Point bridge over the Missouri River. Pictured (from left) are: Renee Campell, Wendell Bash, Sandee Mogle, Diane Andrews, Nicholle Leafblad, Martha Cercy, Terri Blaskovich, Jackson Blaskovich (child), Kristi Atcheson, Lydia Blaskovich (child), Brian Blaskovich, Abby Blaskovich, Charlie Blaskovich (child), Mike Andrews and Reece Leafblad. Photo: Abby Blaskovich.

Brian Blaskovich says that the members from Mosaic were touched on a personal level as well.

“It’s beautiful seeing the church truly unified,” he says. “Coming together to be an example of the Church and getting away from the busyness of our own lives and just having the time to truly personally be in the Word, filled with the Spirit and being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Planning for 2024

Two 2023 participants, Martha Cercy and Sandee Mogle, are preparing to lead another group from Mosaic to serve at Wolf Point, July 20-27, 2024.

“We are so excited and looking forward to leading the mission trip and helping with another year of VBA,” Cercy says. “For us, the highlight really is building the connections with people and hoping to build those further in this year’s mission trip.”

In the planning stage, Cercy says Mosaic members will visit with members of GFC to brainstorm ideas for VBA, arrange lodging logistics and discuss service projects that could be most helpful to the reservation and community while using the skill set of participants from Mosaic.

Although the specific VBA theme and service projects for 2024 have not yet been decided, Cercy says that a growing number of adults, seniors and even families with young children are signing up and brainstorming ways to use their skills to serve.

“We want it to be all about Jesus and point to him,” Mogle says. “That’s why we travel so far, go to some of the hard places and seek to serve.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here