First Experience with Crossroads

First Experience with Crossroads

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Submitted by Sheila R

I think it was in 2013 or 2014 that I received a call out of the blue from a friend and former High Point Church DR teammate, Vicki. She was organizing a mission team to go to the DR with a newly formed mission group Christian Foundation for the Children, led by Martirez and a few others from the Dominican Republic we’d met when we worked with Food for the Hungry. Would I be interested in joining the team? I said, “Hm, let me think about that. (2 second pause) Yes, I would.” We discussed the details, Fred and I talked it over, and it was decided. Fred and I were attending Gateway Community Church, where the head pastor was retiring.

As I thought about what was involved in team preparation and planning, I decided, with Fred’s blessing, to begin attending Crossroads Church. I don’t remember all the members of the team, but am pretty sure this was the team that included Robin, Becky, Pastor Doug, Vicki, Kati and, Melanie.

As we had when we were at High Point, the team signed up as volunteers at Brat Fest to earn some of the funds.

Our first team went down to build a house in El Almirante, a suburb of Santo Domingo. We also led a Vacation Bible School, attended church services in the community, and bonded with our team mates.

One of my favorite memories of our time as a team was the evening between supper and bedtime, getting acquainted with my roommates, Melanie and Robin. Robin entertained us with dozens of hilarious stories about her youngest son. Melanie and Robin and I laughed so much, we attracted the attention of others at the center. (I think that’s the year we stayed at a Catholic monastery or nunnery.) Of course, once someone came to see “what was so funny”, we couldn’t tell them, we could only keep laughing.

Meeting some awesome people:
A few months after the end of our first mission trip together, Crossroads started practice for their Christmas program, and I was invited to join the adults who would be providing the chorus. The youth and children provided the action for the program. Karen was directing the choir, Sylvia (and maybe Diane, I don’t remember for sure) were directing the program overall.

Two of the other members I remember were Bernie and Don. Both smiled a lot, and were very welcoming.

After Christmas, I was invited to the worship team, and really enjoyed singing with Sylvia Lenters, accompanied by Mary Vander Ark, Karen Taylor, Pam Olson, Lennie, and others.

Activities: (Some of the things we used to do at Crossroads)

Annual Christmas by Candlelight.
Some women volunteered to sponsor a table. This meant bringing the place settings and decorations for a table of 6-8 people. All of us brought something to serve. It was primarily a salad supper, if I recall, with desserts. I remember Mary’s table being set with a musical theme. The dishware had a piano key pattern around the outside. Ladies could invite friends from outside the congregation to join us. Mary also played Christmas carols for singing along after the dinner.

Pancake Breakfast:
This was organized for after a service on a Sunday a few weeks after Christmas. We cooked and served pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage, along with coffee, milk, and juice. The bacon was especially popular with the youth. After the first year, we learned to set some aside for the adults!

Chili Luncheon:
This was organized for after a service between the end of football season and the beginning of spring.
Three or four of us each made a big batch of chili. The rest of the congregation was invited to bring sides: corn bread or biscuits, shredded cheese, hot sauce, diced onions, etc.

Valentine Dinner:
We had a couple of creative organizers for this! Sandy set up a “Lady and the Tramp” themed dinner the first year. She even obtained movie posters and other appropriately themed decorations.

Corn Roast:
An event Fred and I had hosted at Gateway was an annual corn roast, so Fred offered to host for Crossroads. This involved shucking about 12-15 dozen ears of corn, slicing 8-10 watermelons, games, desserts, pulled chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, with water and, I think, iced tea and lemonade to drink. I remember Don and Bernie being among those who showed up the day before the event to help with the preparation. The corn roast was an outreach event that continued for a few years. It seemed like everyone had fun.

After I retired, I was able to join Coffee Break, a Bible Study led by Shirley. We ladies had fun visiting, praying for each other and learning more. At the end of each semester, Shirley, who is an amazing cook, hosted a brunch for the group at her home in the Spring, and in the fellowship hall in the winter.

I really have no words to tell how much I love the people in our congregation, and how much you all have helped us through some difficult times. We will miss you when we move to Missouri.


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