Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

A mission of serving

WORLAND – Traveling more than 1,000 miles to serve another community is practically unheard of, but 27 high school students and eight adults from Valley Baptist Church, located in Bakersfield, California, did just that last week in Worland.

As part of an annual mission trip, the students and adults helped Worland residents in many ways including offering a free car wash and babysitting.

“This is our spring break mission trip; we go on a mission trip like this every spring. It gives [the students] a chance to share the gospel to people from all over. We have gone to Washington in the past, San Jose, Burbank we just go to somewhere in the United States, somewhere we can drive. This is about the furthest we would drive on a trip like this. It’s a chance for the students to learn how to share their faith and then also an opportunity for them to serve others; fulfilling that second greatest commandment, love your neighbor as yourself. In these trips we do evangelism and we do service projects and we always tie that to a local church [First Southern Baptist Church or First Baptist Church], that way if someone gives their life to the Lord, they can be followed up with and get plugged into a church to grow in their faith,” Valley Baptist Church pastor Jeremy Doyle said.

The students and their chaperones arrived in Worland, Saturday, April 13 and began their service to the community on Sunday with a carnival in one of the local parks. Each night, Sunday through Wednesday, the group set up a free carnival in one of the Worland parks and offered a free movie night, showing the new “Mary Poppins.”

“There was a big blow-up slide, a bounce house, we do popcorn and cotton candy, sno cones and then our team, we have a skit team and the high schoolers act out a skit that really shows the struggle of our sin and then what Jesus did for our sin. He died and gives us the hope that the world doesn’t offer. They act it out and it is super powerful. It’s called the ‘everything skit.’ It’s cool because it shares the Gospel without using any words, obviously we need to use words for someone to know the full Gospel but it at least gives them a picture of it and then we always follow that up with someone preaching the Gospel after. So people know how to respond, to turn from their sin and put their faith in Jesus for salvation,” Doyle explained.

“Before we go to a park we canvas the neighborhood close to the park. So we go door-to-door and we invite them to the carnival, we were also inviting them to a movie night that we were having Thursday night at the middle school. There were carnival games at 6:30 p.m. and then free movie and popcorn at seven,” he added.

On Monday, April 15, the students offered the community a free car wash. “We did a free car wash Monday. They [students] probably washed 40-50 cars within three hours, maybe even more; even a big semi-truck came in.” Doyle said the group utilized that as an opportunity to engage drivers in conversation and share the Gospel with them.”

The students helped the Worland First Baptist Church prepare for their Stations of the Cross, Good Friday event and helped by painting some rooms in Worland’s First Southern Baptist Church. They also volunteered at New Hope Humane Society, helped a rancher at their ranch and babysat for a woman who really needed the help at the time. There were other projects that were attended to as they came up.

While the students will take much home from this experience, one of the things that most impacted the students was the culture in Worland. “We have been very impressed with how nice and courteous the people of Worland have been to us. The people that we have actually got to talk with, for the most part we have had such great interactions, so kind and hospitable, and it’s been really great to meet the people here. In California it isn’t always that way,” Doyle said.