by Becky Hefty | Jul 14, 2022 | Connections Article, Memorial
On Monday, June 20, 2022, dear friend and mission builder Frank Castles Jr. passed away unexpectedly in Lakeside, MT. He was doing what he loved to do: giving his time and skills to kingdom work.
“Frank and his wife, Relda, wandered into the MBI office and our hearts over 20 years ago. Their hunger to pursue the things of God as they neared retirement opened opportunities for service that took them around the world and down the street in whichever neighborhood they lived. With Southern hospitality and the warmest “Howdy, y’all!” Frank endeared himself to others in his workplace as a professional engineer and to us as a member of MBI’s board of directors.
“Relentless, whether he offered his help or insisted on having fun together, Frank modeled Jesus with a Southern drawl. Those who knew him came to know his family and learned that Frank lived life large as “Big Daddy” to his children and their children.
“God gives us ‘suddenlies’ in our lives that can surprise and change our course of direction in an instant. Frank’s sudden passing reminds me more than ever to take the time to say “I love y’all” each day to those around me because we don’t know the day or the hour of our last breath—or theirs.
“Frank gave of his time and talents to bless others, even to his very last moment on earth. He “just showed up” to help us 20-plus years ago, and he was gone an instant later (gratefully, it was a long, 20-year instant). Frank loved Jesus, and it’s obvious Jesus loved him—suddenly.
“I will miss Frank’s deep, resonant voice reciting the Shabbat prayer with his Southern accent: ‘Blessed are You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe. You hallow us with your commandments and command us to kindle the lights of Shabbat. Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’zivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.’
“I pray you are blessed with a friend like Frank Castles in your circle of influence—with or without the Southern touch. Shalom, y’all.” —John Briggs
“Frank was one of the most gentle, fun-loving, hard-working, friendly guys I have known. He graciously gave his time, talent, and treasure to MBI. Through his hard work and diligence, Frank pushed our Mission Lodge project to a place where we can now go on to the next stage. He will be missed greatly, not just because of his talents and contributions, but because of who he was.” —Ron Brewster, MBI co-director
“Frank spent the last month of his life investing in what God is doing through MBI. With a lifetime of experience as a civil engineer and hands-on knowledge of the MBI utility system, he applied his skills and talents to the civil construction work for the new MBI Mission Lodge project. He was able to mobilize and direct teams to begin clearing the site, moving dirt, and installing sewer lines. On any given day, you could find him calling volunteers, ordering materials, placing stakes around the site, and sharing his knowledge with all those around him. His work has laid a foundation that the future of MBI will rest on.” —Ross Lackey, Partner Architects
Excerpted from Frank’s obituary:
“Born December 31, 1946, in Starkville, Mississippi, Frank was an avid Mississippi State fan. He served overseas as a Navy Seabee during the Vietnam War. After returning to the States, Frank enrolled in Mississippi State University, earning a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. He owned a civil engineering firm in both Tupelo and Saltillo, MS, before serving as the associate city engineer for Kalispell for several years. After retiring from his Kalispell position, Frank and his beloved wife, Relda, moved back to Mississippi to be closer to family.
“A loving family man, Frank was known affectionately as Big Daddy. He was strong in his Christian faith, passing those values to his family along with his love for the outdoors and fishing. He and Relda enjoyed life to the fullest, making many trips back to Montana and Israel, where they volunteered their skills and shared their faith and spiritual gifts, resulting in countless adventures, wonderful memories, and lifetime friendships.
“Memorials can be made to Mission Builders International at PO Box 406, Lakeside, MT 59922, www.missionbuilders.org/ donate or Fields of Wheat, PO Box 729, Middlefield, OH 44062.”
by Becky Hefty | Sep 28, 2021 | Connections Article, Memorial
We are sad to report the passing of a great friend, mentor, and servant’s servant to his new residence in Jesus’s arms. Lynn Battermann was the consummate friend to all who knew him. His love of Jesus translated into practical service around the world and here at home.
Lynn’s energy was relentless. His enthusiasm for making Jesus known was constant. Profoundly affected by his years as a professional engineer in places like the wilds of Alaska and the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Lynn offered his gifts and talents freely through YWAM’s Mission Builders International for the past 30 years, including creating MBI’s RV Associates ministry and serving on MBI’s board of directors up until his passing.
Wherever Lynn and Jacky, his bride of 62 years, traveled, there was laughter and always thirst for adventure. Those adventures led Lynn and Jacky to share an endless repertoire of stories of God’s provision, God’s miracles, and more God stories than the average person can recount.
While we have to say goodbye for now, we can also say with all our hearts, “Love ya buddy!” We’ll see you again someday.
— John Briggs
by Becky Hefty | Jan 28, 2019 | Memorial
On November 24, 2018, our dear friend and co-laborer, Gregg Scott, gained eternity. He touched thousands of lives in his lifetime and is missed around the world. We echo what we’re sure the Lord is saying to him now: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In 1994, leaving behind successful careers in their home country of New Zealand, Gregg and his wife Alison joined Youth With A Mission. Gregg spent 10 years at YWAM Kona, Hawaii, in an executive leadership role in the area of operations and campus development. He was known not only for his excellent work, but also his leadership and mentoring skills.
While in Kona, Gregg met Rus Alit, a highly respected world leader with Appropriate Technology, which dealt primarily with providing clean water in developing nations. Gregg went on to work with Mr. Alit for 20 years, helping to bring clean water to villages in Indonesia and later, Tanzania, Africa, opening the door to what would become known as the Maji Cooperative (maji means water in Swahili).
After moving to Lakeside, Montana, in 2006 as part of Mission Builders International, Greg met a Tanzanian priest, Father Hugo Lungu, who was serving in rural Montana. Father Hugo expressed to Gregg the need for clean water in his own village in southwest Tanzania. They had only 4 working wells in a village of 8,000!
Working with various Christian agencies, Gregg spearheaded a program to drill wells and install water pumps as well as train local teams to maintain and service those wells. In partnership with Lifetime Wells, Maji Cooperative installed more than 60 water wells in Tanzania, having an extraordinarily positive affect on the quality of life in the area.
In addition to the clean water ministry, Gregg established a pipeline for medical supplies and equipment between Montana and SW Tanzania. He solicited, collected, stored, packaged, and shipped donated excess medical items from hospitals, clinics, veterans agencies and so on in the Flathead Valley. Items such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, hospital supplies, crutches, diagnostic equipment and machines, and operating equipment were all donated and shipped in 40’ containers. The positive affect on the local African communities has been staggering.
Gregg was always community-minded, demonstrated by his involvement in local fire-fighting, speedboat racing, and business startups. He had a huge capacity to love and to serve others and remained active for as long as he could until Parkinson’s disease made it too difficult for him to travel. Gregg was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2018 and finally succumbed to the complications of surgery on November 24.
Gregg is survived by his wife, Alison, three children—Kate, James, Peter and his wife, Joanna—his grandson Blaine and unborn granddaughter, a tribe of relatives, and countless friends.
Gregg is greatly missed by his family and all the people he loved and served around the world.
MBI is helping defray expenses for Gregg’s family, and if you’d like to help, you may use MBI’s Donate tab at www.missionbuilders.org, or contact MBI by mail (PO Box 406, Lakeside, MT 59922) or phone +1-406-844-2683.