2.20.2018

Life Update from John and Chelsy

December 30 was a blustering, shivery day. Though the wind howled and the pitiless sub-zero temperatures chilled, the warmth of love won in the end.
Shortly after 2pm, in a warm, cozy church, Chelsy and John joined together in the covenant of marriage.

Since that historic day, John and Chels have enjoyed many adventures together. The below pictures tell a little of the story.
Smiles from Texas, where John and Chels honeymooned.
One classy couple walking in Texas style.:)

On the honeymoon, Chels enjoyed cooking many of their meals.
John and Chels drove 8 hours out of the way to see us at a concert in Missouri! It was
exciting to catch up with them!
After honeymooning, John and Chelsy briefly settled into their Kansas home. It wasn't long before they hit the road again for a couple business trips.
Opening wedding presents in their new Kansas home. They were overwhelmed by the generosity of their many friends.
Enjoying games, laughter, and conversation with some of John's siblings. 
A fitting plaque for any home. 
Unfortunately, we can only view this dessert pizza, but we cannot taste it. 
Shortly after their honeymoon, Chels and John traveled through Iowa on their way to a wedding. They stayed for one night with Mitchell and Bryn. 
They stayed with Carson and Lina for two nights. Unfortunately, the rest of us Bontragers were already on tour, so we did not get to see them. 
Conversation with old friends at a wedding. 
Back at our home church, enjoying precious Rachel. 
Though Chels was afraid she'd miss the Iowa snow, it visited her in Kansas.
Dessert always tastes best when seasoned with fine conversation.  

Together on the plane on the way to a business trip. Since marriage, they've completed four business trips together. All in all, they've actually been gone more than they've been home!

John designs drip irrigation systems for farms across the United States and South America. On the side, he is also a real estate agent. Chelsy works as culinary and home-culture director, chief encourager, wife, and helpmeet to John. She also is continuing her writing with occasional blogging (www.chelsyrenee.com) and she plans to soon be working for John's business. Their talents and abilities combine to make them a powerful team. 

"And the Lord God said, it is not good  that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." -Genesis 2:18

2.16.2018

Winter Tour 2018|| Week 4

The week started out in South Carolina. There was a day of training and orientation in preparation for volunteering in the prisons.
Over 400 Christians gathered to join together in sharing the Gospel in the prisons of South Carolina. 
Before we all went our separate ways for the week, there were a few extra hours for sweet fellowship.....in this case conversation with friends over chai and chocolate. What could be better?
Going into the prisons is always sobering. We see firsthand the results of sin, wrong choices, abuse, and addiction. We are reminded of the power of Christ to set the captives free- hallelujah! It is a joy to proclaim hope to the hopeless behind bars, and to come alongside the Christian brothers and sisters  behind bars.
Singing teams from all over the US and Canada gathered to serve in this revival, alongside hundreds of other servants of the Lord. We were blessed to be stationed in the same district as dear friends. Though we didn't see much of each other due to full schedules of services, we grabbed a few opportunities for fellowship throughout the week
boys + smoothies + Risk....a recipe for success!
Our sweet Joshua and Cassidy got some additional special time with their "other family"......not "Cassidy's family" since they are Joshua's now, too.:)  Sweet, sweet memories!
After the prison revival, we headed further south. These trees and Spanish moss along the way were MAGNIFICENT!
These dear friends treated us to a good dose of VERY Southern hospitality! We loved having a few hours with them before sharing a concert at their church one evening.
These little ones gathered around Liz to "help" one evening before a concert.....so precious! We were thrilled when some of them came to our concert that evening. The community center we sang at is starting an outreach to the neighborhood young people. We loved hearing about their vision!
"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."
Thank you to each one of you who have prayed for us, hosted us, and encouraged us in so many ways! We are grateful!

2.13.2018

Life Update from Mitchell and Bryn

On September 2, 2017, Mitch and Bryn tied the knot!  
 The pictures below tell the story of their past 5 1/2 months together and their life today. 
Honeymooning in Duncan's Cove, Nova Scotia. Mitch and Bryn 
also visited Prince Edward Island for one day.
1 1/2 years ago our family climbed this lighthouse at Mass Town Market. 
Though Mitchell and Bryn didn't have this stop in their itinerary, Mitchell
noticed the familiar sight as they were filling up with gas nearby!
Working together is an incredible way to build family bonds. Mitch and Bryn 
enjoyed many hours in the tractor this fall with Bontrager Family Applicators.
Together at the National Bible Bee.
With Hudson, our family's 3rd place winner.

Braums.....:)

Enjoying a fun pizza party at the hotel with the four youngest Bontragers.
Mitch and Bryn have done an excellent job since taking over the management at the hotel. 
Mitchell especially loves working with people and solving their many problems. 
He's also an expert at working with a wide variety of personalities.
Together, Mitch an Bryn make an unstoppable team!
The thrills of Iowa snow in winter!
Mitch and Bryn attended their first wedding as a married couple. This time they 
weren't quite as involved as in the last wedding.:) 

Today, Mitchell and Bryn manage the Dutch Country Inn. On the side, Mitchell teaches three guitar students and Bryn teaches three piano students. They are also assistant Sunday School Class leaders at church. Above all, they are committed to following the Lord Jesus Christ together and glorifying 
Him in all that they do. 

"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, 
and his righteousness unto children's children." --Psalm 103:17


2.09.2018

Winter Tour 2018|| Week 3

Week 3 of this tour found us doing concerts in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. We were blessed with many opportunities to minister at a variety of churches, and are especially grateful for very dear families we were able to meet and share with. God has given us a burden to encourage and strengthen families, and it is a blessing when He gives those divine appointments along the way!

We usually have two singing engagements per Sunday, as well as one almost every evening of the week. It is our goal to take at least one evening off per week (although that doesn't always happen:) and we spend those in a variety of ways. This particular evening (after a full day of errands, driving, schoolwork, music practice, and office work), we went to the city and the couples (Mom/Dad + Josh/Cass) went on dates, while the rest of us had Creamy Chicken Fajita supper (pictured below) in the bus. After dinner, Allison, Liz, and Rebecca walked to a nearby Trader Joes for a fun sister shopping excursion while the guys played Rook in the bus.


We take turns (by day) cooking on the bus. This week, when it was Elizabeth's turn, she made a delicious breakfast of Peanut Butter + Chocolate Overnight Oats, Fried Eggs, and Fresh Fruit. It was delicious!
We were going for a new record......10 days in between doing laundry! A big, empty laundromat with HUGE washers + dryers was a welcome sight, and drawers were filled with clean + fresh things once again.:)

2.07.2018

Announcing the 16th Annual Turning Hearts Celebration!




We are thrilled to announce  the 16th annual Turning Hearts Celebration! After a year break, due to a few family weddings, the event will continue once again. This year's Celebration is one your family will not want to miss!


Join us on Labor Day, September 3rd, to fellowship with like-minded families from across the U.S, experience our Iowa farm, enjoy hay rides in the country, and play football and volleyball.

Flip Benham baptizing Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade

At the Turning Heart Celebration, you will discover how a father raised two sons to be fearless Daniels in today's Babylon.

You will hear from a bold warrior who has dedicated his life to stopping the murder of the unborn.

You will learn the story of the man who led Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade, to the Lord.

The Speaker


Flip Benham is a the father of twins David and Jason Benham..David and Jason are a fearless warriors who are unashamed to proclaim the truth in today's society.

Married to his wife Faye for forty-five years, Flip is the father of five children and grandfather of sixteen.

A former pastor, Flip Benham is the founder of Operation Save America.

Appearing on numerous local and national television and radio programs (Good Morning America, 48 Hours, Sonja Live, Dennis Prager Live, ABC World News Tonight, CBS News, NBC News, Hannity & Colmes, and CNN), Flip Benham is a bold witness for the Lord Jesus Christ in the public arena.

He has been interviewed by the Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, World Magazine, and virtually every major newspaper in the country.  Flip leads by example, having spent time in jail for the cause of Christ in Wichita, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Lynchburg, Charlotte, Washington D.C., and numerous other cities.

Flip Benham’s Passion


Flip Benham firmly believes “Abortion will come to an end in America when the Church of Jesus Christ makes up her mind it will come to an end – and not one second sooner!”

His passion can be summed up in the following words:

Operation Save America unashamedly takes up the cause of preborn children in the name of Jesus Christ.  We employ only biblical principles.  The Bible is our foundation, the Cross of Christ our strategy and the repentance of the Church of Jesus Christ our goal.  As the Church changes her heart toward unborn children, God Himself will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and bring healing to our land.  

We believe that Jesus Christ is the only answer to the multiple maladies savaging our nation.  It is upon our active repentance in the streets of our cities that the Gospel is visibly lived out.  We become to the church, to our city, and to our nation living parables rightly representing God’s heart toward His helpless children.  Abortion is preeminently a Gospel issue.  The cross of Christ the only solution.


Football on the field


Hay Rides


At Turning Hearts Celebration, everyone from the oldest to youngest can learn something!

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks! Make sure to come bring your entire family on Labor Day, September 3rd, to be uplifted, challenged, inspired, and equipped.

"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." --Malachi 4:6