Melody Mountain Hotel

 Oh the memories that flooded in as we pulled up to Meacham, OR!!!  On our way to Spokane (yes, I’m a little late with this post), I just couldn’t pass up stopping to see my cousin, Lon Thornburg, and his family who own and run a huge piece of property called Melody Moutain Hotel.  It has been in the family since my Uncle Herschel, Lon’s dad, bought it to run kid’s camps, summer camps, art camps, and whatever was laid on his heart by the Lord.  Lon now runs it with his wife, Rhonda and 6 year old son, Landon.  They host retreats mainly and often have groups, such as youth groups, come in just to help keep the hotel and property of 60+ acres running.  If you are interested in this opportunity, we can give you more information. 

The hotel was built in 1897 right on the railroad line to serve the community, then of 3000.  It is MUCH smaller town now that the mills have mostly been shut down. 

My family had a couple huge family reunions out at Melody Mountain.  I had a good chuckle when I remembered the story about how my cousin, Eric, peed all over my other cousin, Joel, as he just couldn’t wait any longer for the use of the rickety outhouse right outside our cabin.  I also grew up going to art camp there over the summers and I was thrilled to see it again, hiking around, reminiscing about campfires in the teepee, my first kiss, exploring the old hotel, sleeping in the attic, playing huge games of capture of the flag, and as we walked around I watched my kids have a complete blast frolicing around the grounds that I once froliced on.  Such a blessing.

Lon and his son, Landon, welcomed us in, fed us a scrumtious dinner, shared stories with us, let us have a soak in the hot tub, gave us a sweet hint about getting grease at the Wildhorse casino down the road, encouraged us and prayed for us before we left the next morning.  Perfect!  Thank you Lon!  It was so good to see you!

Along with his work at the Hotel, Lon works as a speech pathologist, using different technology to help improve kids’ lives.  Here is a link to his thoughts and ponderings:




The Body of Christ

Jesus has brought us to an amazing church here in Spokane.  We made contact with Jacob’s Well  over the internet and they welcomed us into their small parking lot last night with arms open wide.  As soon as we rolled in we knew it would be the perfect spot for us and God has confirmed over and over, in less than a day, that this is where He wants us. 

So this morning we rolled out of bed and walked all the way across the parking lot (100ft) to go to church.  We were warmly welcomed by the body, and experienced an amazing worship time and powerful message from the pastor, Eric.  I don’t have the words to tell you how strongly I encourage you to listen to his message.  (You can Listen Here, but this week may not be up yet)  This morning the Body of Christ wrapped its arms around us with encouragement, hospitality, and a key to their air conditioned building!!!

JENN 4 mustardseedministries


So we made it to Spokane.  We are currently (Saturday) staying at a church called Jacob’s Well.  Last Thursday Tim and I went on a greasehunt to try to find enough grease to make it to Spokane.  We found two 15 gallon containers to store it in, borrowed Dan Bingaman’s Toyota truck (thanks Dan, I hope the veggie oil washed out), and drove down the boulevard looking for grease.  At our second stop, Qdoba Mexican Grill, we found 20 gallons – we were stoked.  Then we hit a dry spell – 30 or so restraunts later we still had 20 gallons.  Many restraunts told us yes, but they had really bad grease.  We called it good and went back in for lunch.  We headed back out and by 7pm we found another 40 or so gallons (a little place called Taco John’s and Cafe Ole).   60 gallons was enough to get us nearly to Spokane, but we knew we would need more.  So on our way through Pendleton, Oregon we stopped at Wild Horse Casino and got another 40 gallons.  We were set!  100 gallons is worth approximately $480. 


Greasehunting is a dirty job, but it can be fun.  I guess you could equate it to panning for gold – it’s tough to find, it is dirty in the mud, but you can find a chunk of gold.


Andy for Mustard Seed Ministries

Getting Dirty

Wednesday we worked in the garden at Vinyard Christian Fellowship with Mr. Bill.  Mr. Bill is in charge of the garden and spends about 40 hours per week working and making it the best that he can with the resources that he has. He was so blessed that we came from out of town to serve, and of course the timing was perfect.  When Mr. Bill would introduce us to others and they would ask where we were from, Mr. Bill said matter-of-factly, “they’re from God.”  

At 66 years old Mr. Bill was living the good life.  With all the money he could want, he was sport fishing around the world and playing golf five days a week.  Then God took it all away, and he said that was the best thing that ever could have happened to him.  He found the Lord, and at 72 he is richer that he’s ever been.  He works the garden to have something to give to those in need.  And he can’t wait to give the glory to God.

VCF has a community building right next to the garden that is open twice a week and offers free medical care, and funcions as a food bank, among other things.  When people go through the food bank, they get a voucher for the garden where they are able to get whatever the garden has produced.  No questions asked. 

Thank you Jesus that you are stiring the hearts of your children to love the unlovable.

Jenn 4 mustardseedministries

Vineyard Christian Fellowship

We went to Vineyard Christian Fellowship on Sunday and met their associate pastor Mike Freeman and their lead pastor Tri Robinson.  Tri is a part-time rancher and farmer, and is working towards sustainability on his property.  He is the author of Saving God’s Green Earth: Rediscovering the Church’s Responsibility To Environmental Stewardship and Small Footprint, Big Handprint: How to Live Simply and Love Extravagantly.  VCF uses a part of their property as an organic farm.  It produces 22,000 lbs of organic vegetables that the church uses to give to needy families and the homeless during their outreach every Sunday afternoon. 

Now that is what the church should be about – reaching, moving and loving creatively outside of their walls.

The River of Life, Boise Rescue Mission

Today, the four of us, with Ally and Eva (Avery got to spend the night with his new little friend, Brock, the son of our wonderful hospitality friends) went to the River of Life to meet with the volunteer coordinator, Glenn Compton.  He gave us the grand tour along with much explanation and stories that went along with the building.  The River of Life is the main Rescue Mission, placed right downtown near a few other shelters and hang out places for the homeless.  They have created quite a peaceful, organized, and safe place for many men, women and children of the Boise area.  It was encouraging to see that many other church bodies have put in many hours and resources to help make the Boise Rescue Mission as nice as it is.  Another thing that we have been encouraged by is the heart of all these people who work at the Mission.  Many of them know that Jesus as the only way, allowing much grace and mercy to cover their work there. 

For lunch, Andy and Tim got behind the counter with the cook and dished out spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad while Jenn and I sat at one of the tables with the girls and talked with a few hot and hungry men.  Jenn and I had the opportunity to listen to a guy named Thomas.  He had recently become clean from using meth in Spokane and brought himself to the Mission.  He has found Jesus and has made a decision to change his life.  I was so excited to see his passion for the Truth and transparency as he spoke about his past.  Praise the Lord for His Redeeming Love!

Serenity for Mustard Seed

Former Gang Members Tatoo Removal: Boise, Idaho