Finding Grace in a Country Church
After serving in the Army for several years, Jason returned home to rural Kansas. An avid outdoorsman and adventurer at heart, Jason quickly began making friends and visiting his sister and her family on the farm as often as he could.
Jason had many questions about God and the Bible, and slowly became more curious about his sister’s faith in Jesus. She witnessed to him faithfully, praying the Lord would save him. It took time and patience as the Lord graciously drew Jason to Himself, until finally Jason trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Soon after, we experienced the honor of baptizing Jason, and what a joy that was! His public testimony of faith resounded forth among his family and friends, giving him many opportunities to share his new faith in the Lord with any and all who would listen.
Growing Grace in a Country Church
It wasn’t long before temptations from his sinful past began to haunt Jason, threatening to tarnish his now powerful testimony. Yet the Lord stayed faithful to Jason, using these temptations to drive him into the Word of God.
I met with Jason for weekly Bible study and prayer, and saw firsthand the godliness begin to characterize him. Jason served wherever and whenever he could. This little country church in rural Kansas became the incubator in which God matured His servant. From faithfully attending church services to helping in Awana, to serving in VBS and our church summer camp, we counted on Jason. We loved laughing along with our friend and hearing his amazing stories of wilderness survival and military service.
Month by month, Jason grew into a strong and courageous leader for our Lord. We saw God’s promise in Philippians 1:6 (“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”) come to fruition in Jason’s life.
Grace Lived Out
You see, while out enjoying God’s creation, doing what he loved the most, Jason died in a tragic ATV accident. Our church was shaken to its core! Jason played such a vital part of our community that it was hard to believe he was gone. This tragedy drew us to prayer, praying that the Lord would use Jason’s testimony to speak boldly of God’s saving grace. More than 400 people came to his memorial service; I was privileged to speak the Gospel on behalf of my friend, pointing to Jason’s changed life as the evidence of the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16).
Some found salvation while others were challenged to live out their faith with a greater boldness. We stand amazed at how the Lord used such a small, grieving congregation to minister the love and gospel of Christ to so many people.
This is why it is vital to serve the country church of America. Our Lord is too gracious; our Savior is too precious; His Church is too valuable; and His Gospel is too powerful to not go and Preach the Word, and Love the People.
Matt and Beth Turkington, along with their three children, have served with Village Missions since 2016, ministering in Kansas and California.