Mission Blog

Cookson Hills 2016

July 12, 2016 Hello Friends of the Cookson Hills VBS Mission.   We are off to a glorious start, with God leading our steps all the way! The kids were invited to participate in The Master Baker Training Event at the opening. Special guests,  Master Bakers Betty C.Rocker, Eaty Gourmet Croissant, and Shuga Muffin, taught the kids about baking tools, and yeast and careful handwashing. Tim Hillenbrand helped Oklahoma storyteller, Sarah Fleming tell the Bible story and start teaching the memory verse.  "For your Father knows all that you need before ask Him."  Today we learned about TRUST and God's provision, as Elijah trusted that God would provide for him along the brook and in the widow's home where they always had enough flour and oil for bread. The Master Bakers helped the older kids mix and knead batches of bread to share. It is covered and rising overnight in the walk in refrigerator at the Mission's Nutrition building. The hour long Bakery session was made possible by a grant from Ki ...

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Cookson Hills 2015

July 19, 2015   Prayers please. All driving team members arrived safely. Praise God! Ann Lee and Jan Miller's flight was delayed then cancelled. They went back to Allentown, but now have to leave early Sunday AM and weather is still a concern. The old refrigerators here need prayers also. Pray for cool outside AND where our food is stored! Set up is after Sunday Services but we look forward to lots of kids on Monday! T-shirts saying: God is LOVE UNSTOPPABLE are ready! Thank you Asbury UMW!    Blessings, Jenny Gast July 21, 2015   Hi Asbury!      We arrived in the heat of the weekend and some of the "city" girls wondered if they would survive, but we brought Oklahoma dry weather for at least a few days.  We worked hard on Sunday to set up our program areas and the Worship area with the puppet stage and the G- Force meter that 'measure's how the kids are moving, acting, caring, following and sharing in ways that glorify God. We had about 56 childr ...

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Cookson Hills 2014 - An Open Letter to the Asbury Congregation

Written by Jan Miller, based upon Paul's letter to the Church at Thessalonica To the church at Asbury and the support team for Cookson VBS in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you. Our team as well as the brothers and sisters in Christ in Cookson always thanks God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We believe that we were sent from you to strength and encourage the church at Cookson. We were sent with many spoken and unspoken questions regarding the ministry and mission there. We come back to you reporting good news about the faith and love of the Cookson community. We are so encouraged by the witness of the Christians there. Little sisters and brothers in Christ at the Bible school spread the joy of the Lord as the adult sisters and brothers sowed seeds of knowledge and love. We bring to you the news that the Christians there are under many trials. Dwindling resources are trying to meet ongoing and growing needs. Loss of faithful se ...

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Cookson Hills 2014 - Summary of Trip

The following summaries were provided by Jenny Gast. Thurs, Fri, Sat -- Jim and I arrived in Cookson late Wednesday.  Kirk Brown arrived early Thursday morning from Tulsa for a one day tour!  As most of the staff was busy, we ended up giving him the tour.  Well, Jim did most of the tour... I was helping with the children's program for a while and then I just HAD to hold 3 week old Emily, the new baby of one of the day care staff I had worked with in 2012 and at our VBS programs. It was so exciting to see Anita's boys so much more grownup (3 and 7) as big brothers.  We had the opportunity to spend time with friends on Friday and on Saturday we bought some groceries and worked on prepping the new youth craft/game room created in the upper level, end of the gym, where the embroidery shop used to be.  A lot of work had been done by VIM teams to get the room ready, but there was more to do and there turned out to be AC problems, that were finally fixed by the last day of VBS.  Oh ...

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Cookson Hills 2013 (6/8)

Hello from Oklahoma!   We've had a very busy week, so I apologize for not writing sooner.  We worshiped at Cookson UMC on Sunday and met with our VBS partners afterwards. We organized our many craft supplies and donations. Thanks to everyone for contributing. We started off with over 45 kids on Monday and more came each day, reaching about 60! They learned about Betty Silfies' experiences in Japan, worked diligently on their fish kites and Japanese lanterns and watched a mini volcano erupt at the ‘exploration station’ with Sarah and Ellen. Of course they always looked forward to creating photo displays and other apps on the iPads brought by Cindy and Joe Brown. Tuesday, we were able to share about our neighbors in Africa and they were so creative with their paint and collage masks, it became a 2 day project! Jan Miller and Betty  kept the crafts organized with the help of Cookson volunteers. Jim and I kept the kids rocking and rolling with the music. They loved dancing to the ‘Step Right Up' vi ...

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Cookson Hills 2012 (8/28)

I'm really sorry it's been so long since I communicated to the blog. I have so much more to tell you than I have been able to put into words.   I apologize that I let so many weeks go by and I still need to get it on paper to have the record!   I guess everyone has been busy (and hot) this summer. I suppose that surviving the heat was about all I could do in the evenings until recently. Jim had a team working in the heat the week after VBS, but then we took a short trip to San Antonio, Texas for a few days.  It was still quite hot, but we enjoyed seeing the Alamo and the old Spanish missions in the area.  We came back to a hot 4th of July where fireworks had to be cancelled due to the burn bans in the 3 counties, actually MOST of the counties in Oklahoma. Jim continued working with VIM teams over the next weeks and I  helped with the Children and Youth Programs.  The children came for activities about once each week, sometimes twice.   We did crafts, water play, a ...

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A OK and Berry Blessed in Oklahoma

The final day of Cookson Hills VBS was fun.  Scattered thunderstorms were expected so our attendance was down, but we only had a sprinkling of rain.  Our Cherokee storyteller was Richard, who has worked at the mission in the past and is grandfather to quite a few of the children involved in the program.  He recalled a story about Rabbit, Bear and Buzzard and shared it with us in the gym. The youth studied Matthew 25 and learned about Jesus desire that we help 'the least of these', and we are ALL the least of these.  They got right to work, helping our cooks prepare lunch, moving boxes, filling snack 'n pack bags for the families in need, and assisting younger children with painting their mustard trees and taking their ipad pictures.  The younger children learned that tiny yeast particles help the bread dough grow as they donned aprons and added the ingredients to make the bread. Cindy was sitting with a very thoughtful 9 year old who was trying to figure out what yeast an ...

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OK and Blessed in Oklahoma

VBS is going great!  Wednesday we had 46 or so kids( they keep moving around) and today we had over 50.  A group of teens from Debbie Humphrey's new church in Stilwell came over to join us! The teams are really working well together and the Spirit of the Lord is in this place! Yesterday, Jaselyn shared a story by Ray Buckley, a native author/illustrator called The Give-Away. It is not actually an old Cherokee tale, but a new story incorporating the old native tradition of the 'give-away' where a family or a person gives something of themselves.  It is considered a great honor to give and to receive the gift. The story ends with the Creator choosing to give-away the most precious gift of all, the Savior of mankind.  Again, the story fit perfectly to our lesson with the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Our God is a Generous God and He chooses to give us grace no matter how or when we come to Him.  It's not because of anything we have done, but because of who He is ...

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Cookson Hills 2012 (6/13)

We are more than OK in Oklahoma! It's here!  Cookson Hills Center VBS started today with about 40 Kids! More will be coming tomorrow. We are Discovering our Treasures through the parables that Jesus told.  This is truly the VBS that God has planned.   He brought together people from 4 different churches in 3 different states and so far all is going well!. Liberty UMC from Missouri brought 10 people!  Four are working with Jim, fixing a roof and finishing a ramp. Six ladies are helping with VBS and 2 of them are cooking for the children and for the team!  They brought lots of additional craft and additional ideas, though they weren't as used to doing an outside VBS, they are very helpful and are having a good time! They will be teaching some of the lessons, so we are finalizing plans day by day. Joe and Cindy Brown came up with a lot of fun applications for the kids to do on the ipads he brought on loan and we shared picture collages, animated puppet shows and an ac ...

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Cookson Hills 2012 (5/23)

Hello family and friends!   Sorry it's been awhile since we posted, but the mission is always busy.  Rev. Meri Whitaker likes to say she works in a bumblebee  hive - it's always buzzing!  Thank you for the prayers you send.  We definitely feel the power of the Holy Spirit through them, helping us do more than we ever thought possible!  Last week, Jim and a VIM team drywalled T's entire house!! They worked very hard on it  and she was so pleased.  Now she is able to get her electricity and heat finished and move on to windows. A couple of the septuagenarians who did this drywall work,  even want to come back next week and help with the spackling!  This is awesome since Jim did not have any teams available to do that! The mission is still short of teams this year, but a few have been added.  We're still praying for more.  Also keep Colleen in your prayers, as she is facing more surgery this summer.  She's been in a lot of pain as she h ...

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