For Freshwater Church Jefferson City, Missouri, missions trips are a family affair.
This summer 32 people ranging in age from 4–65 partnered with churches in Montana for service and ministry. From June 23– July 1 the Missouri Baptists worked alongside believers from Big Sky Country to serve the community and point people to Jesus.
They served on two teams, one in Billings and another in Joliet. Both churches made connections with Freshwater during a vision trip to Montana last fall; the Missouri Baptist Convention has had a partnership with the Montana Southern Baptist Convention since 2020.
Freshwater Church members helped in Valley Baptist Church Billings’ wood-cutting ministry. This is not typical work for Missourians, but Freshwater pastor Robert Strong said it is a vital need for many in that community.
“It’s a poorer neighborhood, and many people live in trailer homes without heat,” he explained. “I would not want to live there during the Montana winters.”
Focus on ministry
Valley Baptist cuts wood and gives it away during the colder months. Last year the church distributed 45 truckloads of wood, and with Freshwater’s help, cut 54 truckloads during the week of the missions trip.
“Our goal was to cut all the wood they needed so they could focus on the ministry part and share the gospel,” Strong noted.
Freshwater also worked with Valley Baptist’s children’s and youth programs and painted the interior of the church building.
Freshwater helped the two-and-a-half-year-old Refuge Church in Joliet run a Vacation Bible School and refurbish ministry space. The final night they helped host a family block party for the community.
“It was great to see families serving together,” Strong said. “The hope was that parents would spend as much time as possible empowering their kids to serve and lead as they served and led. Our kids did a lot of the leading during the Vacation Bible School and teaching the Bible studies.
“We didn’t have a single issue with the kids the entire week; they served well.”