CANORA - “It’s pretty early to be going to church, but it’s so busy this weekend, we’re just so happy to have a time and a space.”
Worship leader Lone Bonk greeted attendees with these words at the Canora Ag Days Cowboy Church on Aug. 21, held inside a nearby tent shortly before Junior Gymkhana got underway.
Worship music was provided by Kelvin and Jessica Young and family.
But before the signing started, Kelvin led in the opening prayer.
“We just praise you Lord as we gather together this morning. It’s a beautiful outside and we appreciate the chance to be in your creation. Be with us as we worship Your name this morning. Amen.”
Their daughters Emma (10) and Thea (8) enthusiastically joined in the singing, proving to be especially impactful by helping with leading the action songs.
The family’s musical numbers included: The Family of God, Because He Lives, Little by Little Everyday, Awesome God, and O Praise The Name.
Bryce Young, the announcer for the chuckwagon and chariot races, shared his Christian testimony. But first he wanted to make something abundantly clear.
“I’m not a preacher, so you don’t have to worry about sitting here for an hour-and-a-half sermon,” he said.
“As a believer, I believe that Sunday should still be set aside for God. With all the activities going on his weekend, having church is still important.
“In John 3:3 it says, ‘Except a man be born again, he can not see the Kingdom of God.’”
Young shared that his Christian journey began when he was sent to Bible camp as a youngster. That was where he learned about Jesus Christ and Heaven.
“My Mom died when I was 5, and I was told that Mom has gone to Heaven,” he continued. “At camp I learned that Jesus sacrificed Himself to die for my sins so I could go to Heaven. I asked God to forgive my sins so I could go to Heaven, too.
“As I got older, I didn’t go to church. Into my teenage years, I was anything but a Christian. I knew that things I was doing weren’t right.
“I asked someone I knew and trusted if he knew Mom was in Heaven, and he said ‘Yes.’ Then, at 16 years old, I went to God and asked for forgiveness, and committed my life to Him. God does forgive us, and I wanted to be with Mom again.
“I want to leave you with this; God is always there for us. All we have to do is call upon Him. I want to encourage you, if you have never been born again, pray to God and commit your life to Him today. You never know what tomorrow will bring, anyone can die at any time,” he concluded.
Kelvin Young, Bryce’s son, shared his thoughts on being involved in chuckwagon racing.
“In all honesty, there are four horses on that chuckwagon, and sometimes it can be a bit chaotic. In some ways, it’s a controlled runaway,” he explained. “As a driver, I’m not in full control all the time. If I didn’t understand that, it would be dangerous.
“It’s like it is life in general, we’re not in full control of our lives. God is in control, and it’s important to remember that. We, as people, are here for Him, to represent Him, to point others toward Him.”
Lorne Bonk closed Cowboy Church in prayer.
“Heavenly Father, we’re so grateful that you’re always near us. So, whatever problems people are facing, I would pray You meet each need and help us feel your presence. Thank you for giving us the promise of eternal life, and that You will never forsake us and always be there for us. Amen.”