Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sunday Morning

Saturday, July 23, 2005

All in a Day's Work


Paul Whitmire told the Channel 5 reporter that one purpose of Rock Island is to provide choices and options to the youth in this neighborhood that is blighted with crack houses, pornography and other crime.

He said when kids are on the street looking for stuff to do in this environment, there are not many choices outside the negative influences. Rock Island will provide choices for teens with a house that will be safe, that'll provide computer training, that will have mentoring and tutoring, and that will just be fun with video games, maybe some pool, movies and hanging out.

Paul was quick to point out that at Cross & Crown, they do not judge or cast out the prostitutes, drug addicts or homeless in the neighborhood. He said "We accept them. We help them with food, clothing and, most of all, prayer. We help them get help when they ask for it."

Thanks, Ed

Why give up your weekend?
"It's a good cause."

Rebuilding the Walls

11 The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry. 12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
you will restore the foundations laid long ago;
you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets where people live.
Isaiah 58

Empty Slate

This was the view around 7:00 a.m.

First Wall

"It doesn't matter if we're hot, we're working for God," that's what one of the 30 or so volunteers said today at the mission during an all day building blitz to get the walls up at the new Rock Island house.

Led by Ed Hilliard and John Davidson, their volunteer crew of attorneys, optometrists, insurance agents, college students, mortgage brokers, ministers, executives and businessmen, spent an incredibly hot and long 15+ hours on Saturday, July 23, to raise the walls for the teen center.

They will be back at it again on Sunday with the goal of putting on the decking before the weekend is over.

Thanks so much to all of the volunteers including Pam Hilliard and her crew, who spent all day (and evening) making sure the team was hydrated with plenty of water and Gatorade, had snacks and meals, and got out of the heat to give their bodies a rest.

We were very excited to have KWTV News 9, and KOCO Channel 5 stop by during the day to cover the Rock Island building blitz as one of their top news stories of the day.

Friday, July 22, 2005

No presents, bring backpacks!

When Jacob Carpenter was challenged this summer to think of ways his elementary church group could raise money for the annual Student Store at Cross & Crown Mission, he thought about it for several days.

Good ideas already had been tossed around by the Mission Possible group at Quail Springs Church of Christ - a lemonade stand, work days, and asking parents for the money to buy backpacks to fill with school supplies for children who live near Cross & Crown.

The Student Store provides hundreds of backpacks to children in the surrounding neighborhoods who otherwise might not get anything new to start their school year.

Jacob had a party coming up to celebrate his ninth birthday, and that gave him an idea.

He asked his friends not to bring him presents to the party, but to bring backpacks for the student store.

"Andy and I were extremely moved that Jacob had such a soft spot in his heart for the kids at Cross & Crown -- so were his friends and their parents," said Mom Kelly.

Way to go, Jacob. Your selfless act also put a smile on Jesus' face as he sees you using your heart to bless others in God's name.

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men. Col 3:23

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Recap from Liberia, chapter 2

At the close of the crusade on Sunday, April 24, the Bryants and their host traveled to Gahnmue, four miles away from the Liberian and Guinean border. During the visit in that town, bro. Don promised residents that before his departure to the United States, he would employ the service of a preacher to help with the work in Gahnmue. In fulfillment of the promise, the Gbarnga Church of Christ was contacted to help with manpower to take over the newly establishe dchurch in that part of Bong County. In response to his request, the leadership of the Gbarnga congregation approved the appointment of its associate minister in the person of br. Henry Metzger. The Bryants, through their son and daughter-in-law, bro. Kevin and sis. Julie Bryant will financially support the work of Gahnmue. The Gahnmue congregation is the first fruit of bro. Bryant's missionary journey to Liberia. He promised to provide the funds for purchase of a motor scooter to enhance the work of bro. Metzger as he ministers to the people of Gahnmue.

In another development, bro. Bryant made a cash donation to the Palala Church of Christ through the effort of his son and daughter-in-law, bro. Kevin and sis. Julie Bryant. The money is intended ot help that congregation purchase cement and zince to complete their edifice. On April 30, 2005, bro. Bryant visited four villages in the Suakoko district to see plansk that were being sawed for the roofing of the edifice of the Suakoko Church of Christ. Moved by the plight of the contractors, he made some part payment of the balance of cash owed by the church in the sum of $150. He commended the young men for the great sacrifice they were making for the work of the church.

Besides Bong County, they also visited other counties. On April 26, 2005, they drove to Ganta City in Nimba County. Their visit took them to the leprous colony where they talked with those affected by the disease. They encouraged them to put their trust in God.

Statistics of the Crusade
The crusade that the Bryants attended brought together 24 Churches of Christ from a broad spectrum of the country. Each day, 172 evangelists went out to fish for Christ while 185 doors were knocked and 520 persons were contacted resulting in the baptism of 16 souls in five days. Twelve speakers addressed the crusade while four female speakers conducted ladies classes. A total of ten denominations with 240 delegates attended the crusade.

If all goes well .....
There is high hope that the Bryants will encourage a team of American missionaries to visit Liberia in what is considered to be the largest crusade in December 2005. This time it will be held in the City of Gbarnga.

Written by:
Bro. David M. Kolleh, evangelist
Gbarnga Church of Christ
Gbarnga City, Bong County, Liberia

Monday, July 18, 2005

Recap from Liberia, chapter 1

The following is the first of two excerprts from a report written by Bro. David M. Kolleh, Evangelist, Gbarnga Church of Christ
Gbarnga City, Bong County, Liberia, about Don and Martha's trip this spring. He gave the report to them when they were returning home and asked them not to read until they were back in Oklahoma.

Bro. Don and Sis. Martha Bryant, Missionaries with the Cross & Crown Mission of Oklahoma City, OK, Return from a Mission Tour to Liberia

Nearly 20 years ago, American missionaires traveling to Liberia had only stopped in Monrovia. But the Bryants braved the storm when they arrived in Liberia on April 17, 2005, at the invitation of the Suakoko Church of Christ where Bro. Fungbeh D. Karmue works as a missionary. Bro. Karmue and his wife, Sis. Neyor, are members of the Argyle Church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL.

After a two-day rest at the Karmue's residence in Monrovia and a visit to the American Embassy near Monrovia, the Bryants and their host drove up country on April 20, 2005, some 123 miles from the capital city of Monrovia. They were welcomed by a jubilant crowd of believers who had come to receive them. Immediately upon arrival, an intercessory service was held.

Traditionally, the local government official represented by the clan chief welcomed Bro. Bryant and his wife, Martha. As a token of purity in line with tradition, a white kola nut was presented to the American missionaries indicating that they were now citizens and should feel free and do whatever they have come to do in Liberia. The Chief appealed to Bro. Bryant to pray for non-believers, especially the Muslims, that they would come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

In a brief remark, Bro. Bryant expressed his delight an appreciation for the reception accorded him and his wife. He said that they were glad to be in Liberia despire the horrible and discouraging news they had to overcome at home before making the trip. He promised to take back what he had seen and heard as well as the love and willingness of the people of Liberia to serve God despite their suffering.

At the end of the intercessory service, the Bryants got to business by catering to the little children. Sis. Martha Bryant, who has a great love and interest for children, bought two tarpaulins to spread on the ground to host a VBS for hundreds of kids in five days from morning to evening. She distributed VBS materials and gift items. In response to the physical needs of these kids, the Bryants made available a 100-pound bag of rice and carton of fish to prepare meals for the kids in five days. This gesture was the first of a kind in the history of any religious gathering in the country. The feeding of these kids relieved parents who hardly can provide for their households. Sis. Martha, who was never too busy to fulfill her God given task, conducted a three-day VBS with an orphanage on Sugar Hill in Gbarnga, which brought together over eighty kids. She participated in the graduation program where several of the kids received awards. On Sunday, May 1, 200, she had a good time with the kids at the Lofa Road Church of Christ and the Gbarnga congregation. Play toys were distributed to over two hundred kids.

For his part, Bro. Don Bryant addressed the delegates of the Crusade on April 22 at which time he admonished all members to work together as a team to accomplish mission work. He pointed out that for mission work to be successful it requires the full involvement of each members irrespective of their function, adding, "every part of the body is important without which the whole body cannot function." He spoke on the theme, "The Importance of MIssion work in Soul winning."

In line with his mission strategy, the Bryants and the Karmues set up an emergency clinic where delegates attending the crusade and over one thousand residents of Suakoko benefitted. About USD $1,000 worth of drugs were distributed free of charge. This gesture by our American missionaries clearly demonstrated the Christ-like spirit. Truly, compassion and proclamation work together.

Next post: The Bryants Tour the Interior of Liberia

Monday, July 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by Cross and Crown.
This is part of the props to the Prodigal Son story that was part of VBS at Cross and Crown (thanks to Terrell and Cheryl Sanders and friends from Quail).

It's also a nice spot for a quick nap.


Originally uploaded by Cross and Crown.
Alex's cool outfit.