I was hoping to post here during the week, but was busy busy busy interacting with those around me all day and late into the evening. There are also so many things to process during a week on ‘The Rez’ that I’m only just starting to do so.
Blog posts are supposed to be short, but I want to share a couple of the many stories with you from the week of how God is working in the lives and hearts of these dear children, youth, and adults who live on The Rez.
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The children on The Rez grow up with so much abuse around them/done to them that effect them for the rest of their lives. Most don’t grow up with a parent (let alone two parents) around so they’ll be taken care of by an older sibling (who may sometimes not even be in their teens yet) or a grandparent. Their whole life is unstable. They come to Day Camp or Kids Club with such heavy hearts, so many fears, so much uncertainty. I was able to work at Day Camp with ‘The Cheetahs’ (younger group of boys) for the second time and it was such a blessing and joy. But these kids’ lives are SO rough. And it comes out in their actions and words and it is so painful and hard to see just how much hurt they are experiencing. One day a dear little boy I hung out with a lot during the week, came to Day Camp and volunteered to pray in our small group time. Through tears (basically sobbing) he prayed that Jesus would save him and that He’d heal his mom (who has been in the hospital). I just sat next to him hugging him and praying for this dear dear little soul.
Another day I stood pushing a dear boy on a swing for about 30mins not saying anything because he was so overwhelmed and just needed a few moments of quiet.
On day two of the week I was asked to ride in one of the vans that pick up kids for Kids’ Club. All of the kids had been given Jesus Storybook Bibles and three siblings brought them on the van with them. One in the passenger seat started reading out loud to the driver while the other two sitting next to me farther back in the van flipped through their Bibles to find different stories and started reading aloud too. A little later in the week I got to read stories they all chose out loud to the entire group. It was beautiful seeing just how excited they were to hear and read God’s Word!
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A group called Agape Puppets came to The Rez right before we arrived. They travel all over the world to put on a puppet show that includes puppets like Elsa and Spiderman (so all of the kids would recognize the characters) that dance to upbeat Christian music and then they share a Bible story using art and at the end some of the group share their testimonies. They then train the youth to run their own show in order to share about Jesus with others! They worked with the youth out on The Rez all week and I was able to see the youth put on their show. The lady who runs the puppet group shared that she has been praying that they’d be able to come to an Indian Reservation for 29 years to do this and this week her prayer was answered! I will never forget that night. Absolutely blown away by the ways God is working in the youth on The Rez and how He answered this lady’s prayer.
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Hearing one of the Native American adult women share about the power and goodness of the Lord and give Him all of the glory on our last night during “Say So” (where everyone gets to share stories from the week), was amazing. Was also able to hear about how the Lord is working in incredible ways in the hearts of other adults we were able to serve through the week…Praise God!
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Half of my heart has belonged to these people and this place for about 14/15 years. I’ve been reminded of God’s faithfulness even in the midst of near to absolute darkness this past week. He is the Light of the World. And He is on the move on The Rez.
“…Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” – Isaiah 58:8
The one-week mission has come to an end. On Friday evening after our family dinner meal, Chris Granberry gave an opportunity for anyone to share how God has shown himself in the week. Several have stood up and described their experience.
God showed himself in mighty ways last week.
Here’s a photo of our team (Chantel is missing from the photo) just before Kid’s Club on Friday afternoon.
Early this morning I grabbed a shot of my lodge with Mt Adams and a hop field in the distant background.
The heat out here is intense. On my worksite we would work for about 15 or 20 minutes, then stop for a water break, drinking 20 ounces or more, and then repeat that.
At another worksite where we are putting on new shingles for a house, the danger is wasps. The house has 3 layers of old shingles that need to be removed and wasps have been huddled there for years it seems. They buzz around as our team works and by the Lord’s mercy no one has yet to be stung.
Prayer request: please pray for the Lord’s protection from injury and to give us strength for our tasks.
Alright, now for some photos.
After getting ready for worksites, we wait in the air conditioned church building for the command to muster, get final instructions and pray for going to our sites. Below Jackson is tossing a ball back and forth with a young Native American girl named Forever. She is an important member of the tribe and I image she will do great things for her community in years to come.
Sacred Road has a small wood mill on the church grounds. Here they are shaving off a couple inches of a beam, for use on restoring the deck.
On my worksite we are clearing brush off of a resident’s property. The trees are diseased and they will use the wood to heat their home this coming winter.
After a hard day of work and Kid’s Club in the intense heat, we are starving for dinner. In the evening all of the Sacred Road mission teams gather for a meal like a family, well, because we are a family. It was nice to have Jean and Melinda visit us on Monday!
Joshua’s kittens are therapeutic. The teens love them.
I had hoped to post two blog entries a day but it has been so incredibly busy all day Sunday! It was a packed schedule with Sunday School, Worship Service (which ran long…), Lunch, visit to the Cultural Museum, Orientation, Dinner, Meeting to divvy up the worksites, then finally having time for a team devotional in the evening.
Below Joshua is giving us a Sunday School lesson after Darren provided an overview of our cultural differences to keep us from faux pas.
Please pray for us. The weather out here is incredibly hot. It will hit 101 on Monday and some of us will be doing roofing work.
- Protection from harm, especially dehydration as we work in this hot weather.
- We also need prayer for the entire week that we get proper rest when sleeping.
- That Jesus will be glorified in our work at the worksites and play with the children.
We’ve arrived! We had a fantastic send off in allotting the carpooling at CPC then praying for God to be our strength and protection in this trip, glorifying Him who is sending us. Eight of us traveled at the same time, while four left later.
Here are a few photos.
The staff and interns greeted us warmly.
First we stopped for a bite at Miner’s Drive-Inn, the traditional place to go.
Saturday evening we settled in well.
Hearts are excited to see people they served with before, and to meet new people and start to make new friends.
Shiv, Namhui, Chantel and Jackson arrived safely at around 10pm.