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Outpost Stories

As young children, both Chet and Priscilla White experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ. The Lord awakened their hearts with an awareness of their own sinfulness and beckoned them towards the freedom and forgiveness that are found at the foot of the cross. While both Chet and Priscilla were grounded in their faith, the future beyond high school held the usual uncertainties and questions. Read their story to see how the Lord individually led them to reliance on Him, and how He – surprisingly – wove their similar stories together. As Chet and Priscilla sought the Lord, He gently taught them to hear His Word and obey it. They discovered the joy of faithfully following God both in obedience to His Word and in submission to the promptings of the Spirit in their surrendered hearts. 

Chet and Priscilla White

Priscilla: I was born in California, the fifth of seven children. My dad was a pastor, and my mom homeschooled us. When I was seven or eight, my mom had taken us to the library, and I was not allowed to go inside with my older siblings. I threw a tantrum, giving full vent to my childish anger. My mom very calmly directed me to the truth of the Gospel, and, for the first time, I felt the weight of my sin. God saved me right there in the minivan. 

When Priscilla was ten, her family moved to Powell. The move proved difficult as the family adjusted to Wyoming winters, struggled to fit in in a new town, and faced an unexpected church split within a year. In spite of their harsh entry to Wyoming life, the family stayed and persevered in ministry. 

Priscilla: In high school, one of the ways the Lord worked in me was to help me understand that it wasn’t my goodness that saved me. I had always had the feeling of needing to be good and to do the right thing. But I realized that salvation truly was by grace alone and that I couldn’t earn more of the Lord’s love by good works. He already just loved me. 

After graduating high school, Priscilla began working and taking classes at Northwest College. 

Priscilla: There was outside pressure to “find a husband” and marry young, but I just knew that wasn’t what God had for me. I didn’t want to marry someone just because we had the same doctrine. I wasn’t sure what God’s plans were, so I just kept moving forward, going to college, working in sales, trusting that God would show me. 

Meanwhile, Chet, four years younger, was growing up in the Midwest, the fourth child of eleven. Like Priscilla, he grew up in a faith-filled, conservative home where church attendance was mandatory, math lessons were taught at the kitchen table, and the Gospel was served with every home-cooked meal. 

Chet: We were a rowdy, chaotic bunch of sinners, but my parents were faithful. As a little boy, I became adept at lying. One night, when I was about nine, my dad asked me, “Where are you going to go when you die?” I didn’t have much of an answer for him then, but the question stayed with me. I realized I was a sinner. I was a liar. I did not have oneness with Christ. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I put my face to the ground and I cried out for God to save me. The prayer I prayed that night brought a feeling of immense freedom. It was like the scene in Pilgrim’s Progress where Christian is relieved of his burden. That was how light I felt in that moment. 

When Chet was 11, his family took a road trip to Yellowstone. Determined to worship with a like-minded congregation on Sunday morning, they drove to Powell, where they attended Priscilla’s family’s church.  The large family with exuberant singing voices created a memory for Priscilla, but the little boy from Wisconsin was merely a nameless member of the family. Neither Chet nor Priscilla had any notion that they had just met their future spouses. 

Chet: I attended public high school and played competitive sports. I made it through high school without falling into any of the usual traps of drinking, or swearing. I lived a clean lifestyle. But I regret that I didn’t have a passion to share Jesus with people around me. I didn’t take opportunities to give an account for why I chose to live that way. I also made mistakes in the way I dated girls, particularly in that I dated secretly, hiding relationships from my parents. 

When Chet graduated, he decided to seek the Lord’s will with a “fleece.” He told the Lord that he wouldn’t attend college unless God provided a way to graduate with less than 10,000 dollars in debt. Within days, Chet was offered a full-tuition scholarship to Michigan Tech. After graduation, his parents offered him the opportunity to choose the destination for a family vacation. He chose Wyoming – specifically requesting that they revisit the church in Powell they had attended years earlier. Priscilla and Chet became friends, finding comfortable companionship as she showed him the Park County “sights.” 

Chet: I started college in Michigan, playing football and studying mechanical engineering. I got to watch the Lord save two friends that year. That was so neat, to see the Lord working. But I kept making mistakes, particularly with regards to dating. Jesus was in me, but I was taking him into wrong situations. Many times, during that year, I wept over my sin, only to wake up and make the same mistakes all over again. 

The following summer, Chet returned to Powell for a conference. Priscilla and Chet slipped back into Christ-centered camaraderie, where she spoke truth easily into his life, even counseling him with regards to his college relationship. 

In all of that, I think the Lord really used the hardships of that first year to make our marriage stronger. It could have torn us apart, but He used it to draw us together


Chet: I kept wrestling with the decisions I was making. Thankfully, I had a wise mom who counseled me with the Gospel, and I ended up leaving the relationship. Around the same time, Priscilla contacted me, asking for prayer for her family. We began to talk more frequently. I wasn’t thinking of her romantically at that point. In fact, I had reached a point where I was completely overhauling the way I approached relationships. I told God, “I am terrible at selecting girlfriends. I am just no good at this. I am going to stay single until You make it abundantly clear.” 

As with other times in Chet’s life when the Lord drew especially near and answered Chet’s prayers with singular clarity, the answer came quickly. Chet’s mom asked him to consider what qualities he hoped for in a future wife. Chet’s from-the-heart response was, “I just want her to be exactly like Priscilla Thomas.” Like the proverbial turning on of a mental lightbulb, Chet realized that he needed to pursue Priscilla. 

Chet: I confessed my feelings over the phone, and she calmly asked me to wait while she “thought about it for a while.” 

It only took a week for Priscilla to agree to Chet’s pursuit, and they married in January, a year later. For Priscilla, marrying Chet meant a shift backwards. She had already graduated from college, and now she was the wife of a college football player. Finding a job was difficult in small-town Michigan, and, just two weeks into their marriage, Priscilla was struck with a debilitating headache that lasted for 54 days. 

Chet: I remember coming home and finding Priscilla laying down, moaning in pain. But instead of being concerned for her, I was frustrated because there were dishes in the sink and mounds of laundry on the floor. I had come to marriage with the expectation that I was gaining a housekeeper, and I was angry that Priscilla couldn’t fulfill that expectation. It ended up being such a wonderful thing that God did for us. As I was forced into sharing household chores, He convicted me about my own sinful attitude. The Lord used Priscilla’s headaches to turn our preconceived, conservative perceptions about marriage upside down. 

Priscilla’s headaches weren’t the only challenge the couple faced during their first year of marriage. Mounting medical bills and insufficient income made for financial stress. They lost two babies, and one of the miscarriages resulted in hemorrhaging and surgery. Priscilla wrestled with the loss of her babies and the subsequent fear of future miscarriages. 

Priscilla: In all of that, I think the Lord really used the hardships of that first year to make our marriage stronger. It could have torn us apart, but He used it to draw us together. 

In their second year of marriage, baby Veda was born – just two weeks before Chet’s graduation. When Veda was a month old, the Whites moved back to Chet’s hometown. While Chet eagerly reconnected with old friends, Priscilla felt the keen loneliness of moving to a new-to-her town with a newborn in arms. They made adjustments, found a church home, and established a (mostly) happy life. Priscilla struggled with the wet climate that triggered headaches during the winter months and inflamed, miserable mosquito bites during the summer. Their church family loved them well, but, as they studied God’s Word with new intensity, they began to hunger for more. 

Chet: Acts began to mess with me. I saw how the early church was deeply connected, interdependent and responsive to the Holy Spirit. It stirred my heart. I just dug into the Word, reading with the intent of hearing God speak. Four and a half years after moving to Wisconsin, I was listening to Ephesians 5 in the car and the Lord just pierced my heart. The Bible said that husbands were to love their wives as their own bodies. God helped me realize in that moment that if I had my wife’s body, I would not live in the Midwest. I would live in a dry climate where I felt healthier. Her body wasn’t healthy in Wisconsin and I wasn’t loving her well. 

God had spoken clearly, again, in response to Chet’s earnest prayer, and he knew he needed to obey. In 2016, the Whites moved to Wyoming. They invested in Priscilla’s home church, and reveled in the rich, Biblical teaching, but found they missed the loving relationships they had enjoyed in Wisconsin. They began to wonder whether the two aspects of church life could functionally coincide. Could deep community be interwoven with an esteem for God’s Word? 

Chet: We had genuine and expressive faith in our home, but we felt inhibited in church. Eventually, we knew the Lord was leading us somewhere else. We had to obey.  The Lord led us to Outpost. We really have seen that melding of truth and love at Outpost, and we love it. 

Hear. Trust. Obey. Over and over throughout their lives, Chet and Priscilla have followed a simple pattern of faithfulness. While it hasn’t always been easy to obey God, they have learned to seek Truth in His Word, and to heed His whispered promptings.  Together, they have a passion to encourage other believers to faithfully and obediently pursue the Lord – beginning with their own four children and extending outward

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3 

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