The sixth Village Missionaries to Clover Valley were (and currently are) Dave and Linda Gustfason.
The Gustafsons and their two children - Shiloah and Joshua - arrived at Clover Valley Community Church on July 1, 2005.
The Gustafson Family
Pastor Dave and Linda with their two children, Shiloah and Joshua
After church on Sunday, July 3, there was a welcome potluck for the Gustafson family.
The Gustafson family is currently serving the Lord at Clover Valley.
Printed below is an article that appeared in the local paper on July 1st, 2005.
New Pastor Coming to Clover Valley
By Matthew Farnell and Linda Gustafson
On Sunday, July 3, 2005, Pastor Dave Gustafson and his wife Linda will begin serving at Clover Valley Community Church. Please join us for the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m.
Pastor Dave and Linda Gustafson have been Village Missionaries for the past 18 years. Pastor Dave graduated from Multnomah School of the Bible in 1988 with a double major in Bible and Pastoral Ministry. During his time at Multnomah, he interned at a Village Missions church in Clackamas, Oregon, for two and a half years. The Gustafsons went on to serve six and a half years at Bridge, Oregon, and then 11 years at Skamania, Washington.
"I love people," says Pastor Dave. "We both do."
Dave and Linda were married in 1980 and will be celebrating their silver wedding anniversary this October. When the Gustafsons were first married, they managed Scenic Surf Motel in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
"People don't just come to motels for vacations - some come to make major decisions about their lives or even to commit suicide," comments Pastor Dave. "God would draw our attention to those people. We would see them after they checked in, walking around the grounds or on the beach or watching the sunset. They had a certain look on their faces that said 'I'm drowning.'"
"We wouldn't just check people in, we'd get to know them," says Linda. "One man had cancer and wanted to see the ocean before he died. Many people came with illnesses and questions - questions that led to conversations about God.
"One lady decided not to go through with a divorce and another didn't follow through with a suicide attempt. That's when God tapped us both on the shoulder and we felt the call to leave our financially comfortable existence and try to touch people's lives before they felt so hopeless they chose to come to a motel room to end it all.
"Friends and family alike thought we were foolish to leave behind a solid future and an opportunity to become wealthy, but how do you explain God's call upon your life to someone?"
"You just go out and live it." explains Pastor Dave. And that is what the Gustafsons have been doing, beginning with Multnomah School of the Bible and then ministry with Village Missions.
"Oh, the stories we could tell you of God moving in people's lives!" exclaims Linda.
"And we will," says Pastor Dave with a broad smile.
Growing up in Oregon's coastal towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach, Pastor Dave and Linda Gustafson have had their share of Tsunami alerts. Linda has even had the experience of living through a Tsunami! It happened in 1964, when Linda was seven years old and living with her family in Cannon Beach.
"It was spring vacation and my parents owned ocean front cottages," recalls Linda (Webb) Gustafson. "My dad had to run to each one instructing the occupants to head for the hills! And that was just the beginning of our adventure! You'll need to pay a visit to Clover Valley Community Church to hear the 'rest of the story,'" she says with a smile and a Paul Harvey accent.
Linda does like stories. A journalist major in college, she has had several stories published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series and has written for several newspapers.
The Gustafsons have two children, Shiloah and Joshua.
Shiloah, age 17, will be a senior in high school this coming year. She is involved with World Vision projects, and has led events such as the annual 30-hour famine. She has been on mission trips to both Peru and Mexico.
Joshua, age 12, is currently being homeschooled. He is very excited about coming to live at Clover Valley!
Clover Valley Community Church is located just five miles east of Woodland, up the scenic Lewis River valley. Clover Valley began in 1942 as a small Sunday School, which met at the Clover Valley School. In 1957, Clover Valley Community Church was founded, and an agreement was made to hold church services at the Clover Valley School on Sundays. In the 1960s, no longer having need of the buildings, the Woodland School District sold the property and school buildings to the church. In 1972, Clover Valley voted unanimously to ask Village Missions (www.village-missions.org) to provide pastoral leadership. For more details of the church's history, please visit www.clovervalley.org.
The Gustafsons and the church family at Clover Valley would be encouraged to see the church filled to overflowing on Sunday, July 3rd. This will be the Gustafsons first Sunday with us, and we are looking forward to it. Please join us for the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
To learn more about Clover Valley, or to find service times, travel directions, Statement of Faith, and more, please visit the church web site at www.clovervalley.org or call 360-225-7772. To learn more about Village Missions and how they help provide pastoral leadership to rural communities, please visit www.village-missions.org.