“Mrs. Dora had a vision to reach Pittsburg for Christ. Her strategy was to open a conference center to train Christian leaders from the Pittsburg area in theology. She would provide a fifty-two-acre property if R.C. would leave his position in Cincinnati to become the center’s teaching theologian.
A year later the Sprouls and their friends the Thompsons moved together to Stahlstown, Pennsylvania to start the Ligonier Valley Study Center. It was a very humble beginning. Students lived and ate in staff homes. They modeled it after Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri in Switzerland. Soon leaders and church groups from around the Pittsburg region came for weekend seminars and teachings.”
In October 2016 our community hosted its last event together before we moved on from the mid-mountains. This was a project that Tonn in particular had been working towards all year. In a way it well marked the end of our season as a community living together and the beginning of the wandering phase (though some of us will be wandering more than others). And so, it was very fitting to host a wonderful collection of travellers and people who serve the travelling community. This was the third River Gathering, but the first time in Australasia. Eternity News wrote up a wonderful report on the theRiver network and a great video interview with Chinua:
We would like to introduce you to Neelke, our newest community member. Neelke has just arrived from Holland. She is hoping to connect with people involved in backpacker ministries or even just people who have a heart for backpackers. This can take many forms, whether a hostel/guesthouse, a private house, or even an intentional community that shares Jesus with travellers. Neelke travelled here to help Tonn and Hannah develop their ministry here in the Blue Mountains. She is open to pioneering something with others too. If you would like to talk/share/brainstorm ideas with Neelke, she would love to hear from you. Neelke can also share stories from theRIVER international backpacker ministry network. You can email Neelke on: firstname.lastname@example.org