Chiloquin Company Reaches Out

With an attendance of as few as three people on some Sabbaths, or perhaps a crowd of nearly 15, the Chiloquin Company meets less than 40 miles from Crater Lake National Park. As the smallest group in the Oregon Conference, they believe God has empowered them to reach out to their community and beyond.

"It's amazing what God will do," says Ranell Machado, the company's leader, "if you let Him work through you."

Gary Gibson wanted to reach the community from his restaurant, The Table. So he began TableTalk, an informal Bible study on an advertized topic to be held after a free meal. Former Seventh-day Adventists and others interested in learning more about the Bible join the group. The Table is a witness to Sabbath keeping in the community, and there is always Christian literature available and the opportunity to talk about God over a burger and fries.

Three families, the Dunhams, the Lancasters and the Hopkins live in an isolated community some miles north of Chiloquin where the winters are even more severe. So during the summer they host neighborhood BBQs.

"We have discovered food and music are the way to go," says Jenny Dunham. "We usually eat and then sit around and sing out of the hymnal before getting into a brief Bible discussion."

From these beginnings, a friendship ministry developed. Neighbors are invited to join one of the families for dinner on Fridays followed by singing and a discussion. Crystal Lancaster confirms their neighbors really enjoy themselves and want to keep coming. Dunham adds "We're encouraged. We know God's hand is working in our little neighborhood."

Featured in: November 2009