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Dinosaur Baptizes 10: Church Ends Seven Year Dry Spell with Multiple Baptisms
By Ginger LeBlanc
Dinosaur- Catchy headline! No, there are no dinosaurs running around baptizing people but there are some exciting things going on in the far northwest corner of the state where dinosaurs once roamed. For the first time in several years, there was a baptism at Dinosaur Baptist Church. In fact, there were 10 baptisms at Dinosaur Baptist Church on April 15. Here’s how it came about-
Two people, Terry and Dana Pickens, were living in Mississippi and active in church and serving their community. The couple had reached a time in their lives when they could relax and enjoy the fruit of their labor. They had a cozy camper that they could hook up and travel wherever they wanted. There are lots of beautiful places to travel to and so many sights to see all along the vast highway system in the United States. But there’s more to their story than this.
They’ve chosen to use their time and resources as Mission Service Corps Missionaries and just like Abraham packing up and heading out on a trip planned by God, the Pickens did the same. Ahhh! Just think of it…Dinosaur in the winter…in a camper…are they crazy???
No, they weren’t crazy. The Pickens were on mission serving God in a community that was ready for someone to come in and love on them and help the small church fill a huge need in their community, all the while reflecting the love of Christ. They began by fixing meals for the students and teachers at Dinosaur Community Charter School.
Then, last summer, three mission teams came to host a vacation bible school, provided construction and outreach to the community. For the first time, many heard the good news about Jesus. This sparked questions in the mind of a young girl named Maria. Maria asked her parents about Jesus and they discussed it with her and then shared her questions with the missionaries. This started a discussion about salvation with other family members.
First one, then another
Over a short period of time, through the prayers of many, teaching by the parents at home, Character Class, Sunday School and church, Maria’s brother Austin was saved.
Maria’s mom realized that she and two of her sons who had already accepted Christ had never been baptized. They shared this news and the plan of salvation and prayed with friends and family and as a result, Maria, her sister-in-law, their friend Dylon and his parents were saved.
On April 15th, Richard Blakely had the blessing of baptizing his wife, four of his children and his daughter-in-law. His friends were also baptized that day along with another young boy from another church. This was the culmination of prayer and hard work and planting of seeds that had been done in preceding months.
Used by God
Since the time Terry and Dana arrived in Dinosaur, they have been preparing and serving meals at the Dinosaur Community Charter School. In March, the students had state testing, which meant two weeks of crazy schedules and stressed students. This was a little extra work for Terry and Dana, adjusting the menus and making sure there were plenty of fruits and veggies for “Brain Food”. They tried to make test week food fun and extra special so the students would not dread the test so much. They also had to substitute teach several days while the teachers were testing students.
In addition to their work at the school, the Pickens also teach “Character Classes”. In March, the classes were focused on Moses, from his birth to the crossing of the Red Sea. They had pictures that they had taken of the Nile River when they were on a short term mission trip in Uganda and they showed these to the students. It helped the students realize it was a real place and they’ve been amazed by all of it and made the history come alive. In another class, Terry teaches a class about the choices individuals make and how those choices affect everyone around us.
Another great outreach to the community is Friday night game or movie night. Each time new children, youth or adults join others at the event and at a recent event there were thirty there and ten of them were adults. Some people think it must be crazy to enjoy having that many children & youth in one place playing and it does get LOUD. You may think this number is small but there were only eight church members at the time and about seventeen attending worship. Thirty people getting together for anything in Dinosaur is a big crowd.
It was during these events and activities that hearts began to be open to Christ and questions began to be asked. Terry and Dana are recognized in the community and one day as they were in the B&B restaurant, a family came in and their five year old daughter, Sydney, saw Dana and remembered her from VBS the previous summer. She came over and asked about Sunday School and has started attending and loves it.
Results are still being seen from God’s work through the missions teams. Please pray that hearts will continue to be open to Christ.
God is ‘in control’
The Pickens did move out of their camper and into a rented house. In March, their landlord passed away. Please pray for her family as they mourn their loss and as they make decisions about the property.
Terry and Dana do not know at this point what may happen with the house they are living in but, they do know God is in control, that He brought them to Dinosaur, and He will provide. They still have their camper and know they can live in it even if the temperature gets to thirty below zero with two feet of snow on the ground. They’ve done it before.
As the Pickens were preparing to head back home to Mississippi during the school’s Spring break to see their 4 month old grandson, Caden, and the rest of the family, they got a call that Dana’s brother-in-law had suddenly passed away.
There were so many things to do to make sure the students meals were taken care of on the last day of class and arrangements made for the meals when they returned after Spring break just in case Terry and Dana were delayed in returning (they’ve learned a lot about Colorado weather and travel). They also had things they needed to pack and take with them.
Thankfully, God had prompted them to prepare all these things in advance, and they had listened, and they were on the road shortly after receiving the call. They drove straight through for 28 hours and arrived in MS in time for the visitation and funeral. They have looked back so many times in the past year and seen how God prepared them for things to come through spiritual and physical needs.
Prayers still needed
Continue to pray for the church, a new pastor (Pastor Wheeler retired in April), and the people of Dinosaur, especially the ones asking questions about salvation and for those in need of it but not seeking.
Please pray for the 4 teams coming this summer. Please pray about how God might use you or your church to help with this ministry.
Dana says “Satan has attacked us very hard in every area we are working for the last two months. Pray that we can build a prayer wall around this town.”
If your church or family is interested in adopting a street or section of town to pray for let us know by sending a note to P.O. Box 262 Dinosaur, CO 81610, or e-mail email@example.com, or call 662-266-4977 or 662-316-3571.