Outside the Church Walls: Reaching the Community of Manton, CA

Posted in: Director's Blog
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Date: November 13, 2018

Manton rests in between bustling interstates and highways in Northern California. Its population is currently 426. Unemployment, drug abuse, and a history of wildfires comprise some of struggles found in this rural community.

Village Missionaries Paul & Robin Crabtree have faithfully servedReaching the community of Manton, CA Manton Community Church since May 2015. For them, living in the heart of town has aided their ministry here.

“We have been here almost 3 years. We are starting to really assimilate into the community as we minister to a variety of needs,” they remark. “God has equipped us with life experiences to understand the people better.”

Here are just a few of the cool ways the Crabtrees are loving and serving their community!

Manton Apple Festival

For many small towns, annual festivals and fairs offer opportunities for the entire community to gather in celebration of heritage and culture. In Manton, the Apple Festival is eagerly anticipated each year!

This fun fall festival includes live entertainment, foods and crafts of all kinds, pie contests, and more! Paul & Robin currently serve on the committee for the Apple Festival, which helps provide scholarships for students in the Manton school system.

This year Paul & Robin prepared for the festival; they put up signs and banners around town and lined the football field for the vendor booths. Then they helped make over 200 pies to sell at the event!

“Being on the board for our Manton Apple Festival has given us the opportunity to be with people outside our church, and it has been fun to work with them.”

Education Council & Afterschool Programs

If you were to see a Village Missionary behind the wheel of a big yellow school bus one day, don’t be alarmed! Many of our pastors and their wives find active involvement in their local education system. They may be coaching the high school football team, being a substitute teacher, or even driving the school buses!

Since their local school closed, Paul & Robin have joined the Manton Education Council (MEC). Currently, members of the council are developing a school charter. Paul is scheduled to teach basic carpentry in February 2019!

The Crabtrees also lead after-school events, such as their own version of a Good News Club. And you can count on them attending basketball games, school plays, open houses, and other school-related events!

“The entire town has come together to keep education in Manton for all ages.”

“Our involvement with the Apple Festival, Education Council, and the after-school programs have been our strongest link to the community.”

Reaching the Community

Paul & Robin’s commitment to their local community certainly does not end here. They also run a clothes-and-food pantry that is the recipient of the local Post Office Food Drive each year.

You can find them participating in the Manton parades and working to keep the grounds of Manton fire-safe from potential wildfires. Paul often applies his contracting skills to help with building projects.

Their ministry efforts also extend into the nearby city of Redding, where they attend a weekly Bible Study at a nursing home. They maintain a friendship with the people at Shasta Bible College there, who through the Shasta Children’s Ministries lead the church’s VBS each year.

Partner with churches like Manton!

“Our community is the most active group that we ever lived with. It is very refreshing to be a small part of it. We are thankful for Village Missions providing the opportunity to ‘Preach the Word and Love the People’.”

Exciting things are happening at Manton Community Church! Paul and Robin are doing amazing ministry there, and we are so thankful for all the donors who support Village Missions and allow missionaries to serve full-time in their community like the Crabtrees.

Manton Community Church is one of the many churches who are currently not self-supporting. This means that these churches fully rely on Village Missions and their financial partners to pay their pastors and keep their doors open.

Please consider partnering with our “Adopt-A-Church” program on Giving Tuesday this year. To learn more about how you can help churches like Manton, visit our landing page below: https://give.villagemissions.org/donate/projects/adopt-a-church.

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