31 Mar


By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … Gabriela (Anca) Vincent, wife of pastor Shayne Vincent in the Casper District of Wyoming, has felt the pain of the war in Ukraine very personally.

She grew up under communist rule in Romania, and her hometown, Iasi, Moldova is just across the border from Ukraine. Her sister’s family still lives in Iasi. Her 12-year-old niece, Miriam, moved by the thousands of refugees flooding into their town, wanted to help. She decided to give the money she had been saving for a new smartphone, to purchase two mattresses for refugees who were staying in the local Adventist church.

When Gabriela shared this story with the Casper and Wheatland churches, they were inspired to give. They raised nearly $4,000 for the Ukrainian refugees through their generous donations and the funds were sent to Miriam, who was able to purchase ten more mattresses, as well as food, medication, and more essential items.

The needs of the refugees have inspired the Romanian Pathfinders to become directly involved. Dorin Cristea, children and youth ministries director of the Moldavia Conference, said, “The Pathfinder Law is for me to ‘Go on God’s errands,’ which means we will always be ready to go about doing good as Jesus did. But I never thought it would mean to ask you to get involved in helping those impacted by war.” The Pathfinders are involved in a weekly trip to Southern Ukraine, taking food, winter clothes, and medication to those in need.

Approximately ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. The UN High Commissioner for refugees says, “As many as 3.6 million Ukrainians have left for neighboring countries. Another estimated 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.” According to AP reports, thousands have died since the Russian war began, including hundreds of children. It is a sobering picture and a call to action in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“I am extremely proud of what my family and friends in Romania are doing to assist with the increasing number of refugees and emergency supplies needed to support the Ukrainian people. My home church in Iasi is now a place where Ukrainian women and children find a safe place to stay until they have in place for their final destination,” Vincent said.

She added, “The church’s Sabbath School classes have been converted into temporary shelters, and with funds raised by the local church, they were able to install a washer, dryer, and shower for the refugees. With the remaining funds from our giving, the church has purchased generators, food, and medication, and the weekly convoy has distributed the emergency supplies to a shelter in Ukraine.”

This war is far from being over, and the needs are many as the people of Ukraine bravely fight for their freedoms. Gabriela and the Adventist church in Iasi are deeply grateful for the generous hearts who have given.

If you would also like to support the work in Romania, you can donate to www.adra.ro. May God bless the people of Ukraine with courage and strength.

–Gabriela (Anca) Vincent writes from Casper, Wyoming; photos supplied



19 Jan


RMCNews with Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … Reflecting on the Winterfest program held by Casper Adventist Church on January 15, Gabriela, wife of Casper district lead pastor Shayne Vincent said, “Some of my favorite childhood memories were when my parents would take the kids to a winter or summer festivals in Romania. The excitement of the carnival rides and the delicious food were always happy family memories.” This inspiration helped guide Lyla McDonald, Casper Church home and school leader, in planning the Winterfest evening.

The church and Mountain Road Christian Academy advertised and invited the community to the free event. With a crew of hard-working volunteers to run the booths, the evening was filled with games, face painting, a gigantic maze, a photo booth, cotton candy, snow cones, arts and crafts, and more.

“Doing the photo booth and seeing happy little kids making funny faces was my favorite part about the Winterfest,” Cecelia Gage, Casper member, said.

Attendees could purchase concessions, helping with the profits which assisted MRCA. The wide range of foods included nachos, corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, cookies, snow cones, and cotton candy, a delight to the appetite.

“My favorite thing about the Winter Wonderland was the food, especially the corn dogs,” Lacey Evert, Casper young adult member, commented.

When asked about his favorite food at the event, Weldon Treat said he enjoyed the onion rings. He also commented that he was blessed by fellowshipping with individuals he hadn’t seen in awhile.

The instructional booth on making cotton candy was one of the favorites among attendees.

“I loved learning how to make cotton candy! It was definitely a learning experience,” said Emily, Casper young adult member.

For others, the maze was the best part of the event. “I liked the maze the most because its pitch-black twists and turns (made from cardboard boxes) reminded me of the Alien movies,” Tim Pike, Casper young adult member, said.

Eight-year-old Olivia summed up the evening perfectly. “The whole festival was so much fun!”

For McDonald, seeing all the kids running around happy made the hard work of making the evening a reality rewarding enough. By the end of the evening, more than $600 had been raised to support Mountain Road Christian Academy.

The Casper Church would like to thank Lyla and Tom McDonald and the many volunteers for their hard work and for making it a safe and fun event for the Casper community.

–RMCNews with Gabriela Vincent; photos by Gabriela Vincent and Cecelia Gage

29 Nov


By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … The Casper, Wyoming church family gathered on November 21 for fun and fellowship, and to outbid each other for their desired baked goods at the annual baked goods sale.

A tradition looked forward to by many; the sale is designed to help raise funds to support Mountain Road Christian Academy (MRCA). By the end of the sale, more than $3500 had been raised, many items having a winning bid of $200 or more.

One of the most popular items was a rhubarb crisp donated for auction by MRCA principal Traci Pike. The item caused a bidding war between Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper district, and the Current family. Vincent was continually outbid and was disappointed when he lost the final bid.  What he didn’t know was that the Currents were purchasing the crisp for him. He was pleasantly surprised when they handed him the dessert.

“This tastes exactly like my grandma’s rhubarb crisp,” Vincent said after tasting it.

Fried mushrooms, fried cauliflower, nachos, hot dogs, and other concessions for the extravaganza were prepared by the Gage family, Liz Cornett and family, and Lyla McDonald.

The Casper Adventist Church is grateful for the generous donations of friends and church family at their annual baked goods sale and appreciates the volunteers who baked the delicious desserts as well as those who purchased them.

–Gabriela Vincent is the wife of Shayne Vincent, lead pastor of the Casper, Wyoming district; photos supplied.

02 Nov


By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming …Supporting those in need this holiday season is top priority for Casper church and Mountain Road Christian Academy.

For the last twenty years, the Casper church has been partnering with Mountain Road Christian Academy to collect and distribute nonperishable food items in their fall can drive. This effort has been helping the Casper community, needy church members, and a couple of other organizations such as Mimi’s House.

“Many people in our community who are struggling will receive a Thanksgiving basket filled with the canned goods and non-perishable items that were collected, as well as fresh produce and turkeys,” Nancy Sybrant, Adventist Community Services director for Casper said.

The event began with volunteers delivering paper bags to neighborhoods in Casper with a note explaining how the project works and that volunteers would pick up the full bags a few weeks later on October 31.

Some forty volunteers gathered after church, October 31, to fan out to the community to collect the many items.

“We had more than 300 homes to go to and with everyone’s help, we were finished in just an hour and a half. A big thank you to all who participated,” Sybrant stated.

The community responded by providing many bags filled for those in need this season. The drive brought in hundreds of items.

“The Lord certainly blessed with an abundance of canned goods and other foods. The food will fill many food bags and Thanksgiving baskets, while the surplus will go to the Community Food Bank,” Gabriela Vincent, Casper church members said.

—Gabriela Vincent is a Casper church member and wife of Pastor Shayne Vincent; photos by Shayne Vincent

22 Sep


By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming…History lesson comes alive for students during special Constitution Day worship.

Mountain Road Christian Academy held a special worship to concur with their history lessons on immigration and the Constitution by inviting Gabriela Vincent, who is married to Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper, Wyoming district, to share her experiences on becoming an American citizen.

Gabriela was born in Romania. Even as a little girl, she wanted to move to the United States. After graduating with a master’s degree in 2001, she sold her car and bought a one-way ticket to America.

“When I moved to the United States in the summer of 2001, my dad gave me a $50 bill on my way to the airport. And that’s all I had when I arrived here,” was able to obtain my H1B work visa, which allowed me to begin to work off campus as a minister of music.”

In 2011, Vincent completed the paperwork to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a United States citizen.

“Becoming a citizen is by far one of the most exciting things I’ve ever accomplished in my life. Since I was seven years old, I dreamt of moving to America and one day becoming a US citizen,” Vincent explained to the students. “It’s been a long road since then, but God has allowed me to achieve my dreams and goals.”

The worship concluded with Pastor Shayne explaining that our passport to heaven is Jesus; because of Him, we have been granted access to His heavenly Kingdom.

Gabriela Vincent is a member of the Casper, Wyoming church; photos by Traci Pike and Gabriela Vincent

22 Jul


By Gabriela Vincent – Wheatland, Wyoming … Just imagine a lake, gorgeous sunshine, picnic-like family atmosphere, and then add to it The Lord’s Supper in a 2020 world.  The ongoing pandemic didn’t stop the Wheatland members and visitors from being blessed by fellowshipping in God’s nature and participating in a high event for the church.

Wheatland church believers and their pastor, Pastor Shayne Vincent, held an outdoor church and communion service at Wheatland Reservoir on Sabbath, July 18. The shady spot with magnificent views of the lake was reserved by the congregation.

Participants, which included visitors from Casper and Georgia, were greeted by views of God’s creation and a table set with the emblems of communion.

The event, which followed safety guidelines set by Wyoming Department of Health, was a group effort, with one of the newest believers in God’s family playing a special role in the communion set-up.

“MiCayla Shaw made the communion bread, a first-time experience for her. She consulted with another church member who helped with the making of the bread about Christ’s body and how it was pierced for us as they put the fork marks in the top. It turned out great and was made with lots of love,” Cynthia Pedersen, member the Wheatland Church commented.

She further explained that “Kim Ludeman and Cayla Shaw got the wine. It was a group effort, just like everything we do here in Wheatland. Sitting in the shade of the old cottonwood trees, we listened to the water lap the shore as our pastor preached. It was incredibly soothing. Then we sang hymns and washed each other’s feet with lake water.”

“I really enjoyed the fact that we did communion outside in God’s beauty,” commented MiCayla Shaw on the outside setting.

“Outdoor communion is something that never crossed my mind before last Sabbath. We were able to wash our feet with lake water and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. It offered us a mere glimpse of what it was like when John baptized Jesus,” Cindy Eaton, Wheatland church member said. “What a great way to have communion with our church family while out in God’s nature.”

The service offered a meaningful blessing as Pastor Vincent taught on how communion symbolizes Passover and a symbol of re-baptism.

The day concluded with a picnic, fellowship, and swimming in God’s beautiful creation. Members reflected on Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Like Jesus beside the sea of Galilee, they were able to hear the Creator’s voice in the bubbling reservoir, in the song of the birds, and in the wind whistling through the trees.

Gabriela Vincent is a member of the Casper church; photos supplied.


15 Jul


By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … The Casper church was able to distribute 100 food boxes to the community, thanks to a grant from Adventist Community Services.

Nancy Sybrant, local ACS leader, together with the Casper church, prepared boxes of food, each with enough for a family of four. Casper’s Home Depot donated the boxes, allowing for the purchase of additional food items for the community.

After advertising the food drive on the local Facebook classifieds, volunteers distributed the boxes to local residents. This allowed them the opportunity to visit and pray with the community.

“We could have just done a drive through, I know. It would have been much easier considering the amount of deliveries,” Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper district said. “It was such an incredible blessing to just visit and pray with people without an agenda. And it showed in their gratitude.”

“My husband and I had a very positive experience delivering food boxes to those who signed up online for them. We had some good conversations and were able to pray with several of the people,” Sybrant commented. “One gentleman said his wife worked at a home for abused women and her plan was to share the food with some of the ladies there. Going on God’s errands is such a blessing.”

The community was thankful for the visit and the food baskets. “Wanted to let you know that six people here in the building were helped by the generosity of your food box. Thank you very much,” said one recipient.

“Thank you so much for the box of food that was left. Absolutely perfect food for my grandkids. The generosity shown by your church and those who donated is so very much appreciated by us. Air hug, seriously, because words cannot convey the appreciation. I do have a question for you Seventh-day Adventists, do you worship (as a congregation) on Saturdays, as that is the seventh day of the week? Thank you, again,” commented another recipient from the community.

The Casper church would like to thank the NAD, RMC ACS, Casper ACS, Casper Home Depot, and all the volunteers who gave their time to make this community project a success.

–Gabriela Vincent is a member of the Casper, Wyoming church; photo supplied.