Monday, March 30, 2009

Support Letters

School has been very busy and I'll be sending out my letters tomorrow. I started filling out the addresses by hand but I was informed by a friend that my writing is crooked and looks like a 2nd Grader's. I'm going to buy some labels and print them up, and they should be good to go tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Yakama People

I haven't received any new information but would like to further elaborate on what I'll be doing. Sacred Road is focused on "Mercy Ministry" and ministers to the Yakama people through "Word and Deed." To those unfamiliar with these terms let me explain. Mercy ministry is the formal term for those who minister in "word and deed." Ministry in word and deed seeks to follow the ministry of Christ by reaching the lost through sharing the Gospel in word and deed, through verbal communication and action. Throughout the Gosepls, Christ not only talks to people addressing their spiritual needs, but also works to address their physical needs. In Acts, the early church provided for those in need. The Old Testament is full of instances of God providing for His people and the prophets often chastise Israel for not taking in the stranger, providing for the needy, feeding the hungy, and comforting the widows and orphans.

Sacred Road Ministries was established by the Pacific Northwest Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America and the Granberrys lead Sacred Road and live on the Reservation. Sacred Road's mission is:

"The plan is to lovingly respond to the physical, emotional, and social needs of our neighbors in order to address the deeper spiritual need. We believe that the truth of God and the love of God work hand in hand in this way to establish and build His Kingdom."

The need on the Reservation is great as the Yakama people are not just poor but are in many ways a broken people. They, like many of the other tribes, are stuck in cycles of poverty and dysfunction, and it can be seen in the following:

* The average life expectancy for those on the Reservation is 39.
* Infant mortality rate is twice the national average.
* The dropout rate for grades 6-12 is 65%
* 30% of teens in White Swan are homeless
* Lost vision and hopelessness
* Alcoholism and drug abuse
* Broken and dysfunctional families
* Neglected and abused children
* Crime & violence
* Suicide

I don't have all the specific statistics, but I've read their blog for the past two years and it's not a good situation on the Reservation. On the Reservation, death occurs regularly and many of the people have become numb to the death of loved ones, accepting it as just a part of life. Sacred Road is engaged in a long-term mission project that will take place over many years. I encourage you to check out their blog to see some specifics of what they're doing and read some of their stories. They're very heart-wrenching and in them we see the immense influence of sin in this world and also moments when God's grace reaches down into that. This blog post by Chris especially illustrates what they are working towards.

I am greatly priveleged to come alongside Sacred Road for the summer and help bring the light of Christ into the darkness, and the darkness cannot resist the light. For Christ came into this world "to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found." Finally, I greatly appreciate your prayers and support and you can email me at if you wish. For a final thought, consider this: three million Indians live in America and only 2% of them are Christians.

*UPDATE* Today I received info from Sacred Road - a waver form, background check form, a sample support letter, and a what and what not to bring list. I should begin sending out letters on Monday (the 23rd).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First Post

I found out yesterday the Granberrys picked me to be an intern with Sacred Road this summer. I'm very excited but also kind of scared because I've never done anything like this before. I think this is a great opportunity to share Christ's love in Word and Deed. I'm graduating on May 15th and flying to Washington on May 20th.

What's Sacred Road?
Excellent Question and here are a few links to help explain:
Sacred Road Ministries' Website
Sacred Road Ministries' blog
My Church Denomination's info on Sacred Road
Now - if you want to take a shortcut and just read my explanation here goes: Sacred Road Ministries is a Church Mission of the Presbyterian Church in America that seeks to minister to the Yakama People through mercy ministries.

What I'll be doing:
I don't know yet. Basically, I'll serve as a summer intern with Sacred Road and do whatever I'm told. Now there is more to it than that of course, but I really don't know yet - I could be cooking, painting, building, roofing, digging, cleaning up, and/or leading Backyard Bible Clubs for kids. From what I understand, it's an intense 10 week summer internship during which churches send short term teams every other week and the interns "lead" the groups.

Now, what is the purpose of this blog?? Well, I intend to use it as a communication tool. I plan to post news, pictures, maybe some video clips, and sometimes my reflections. As part of this summer internship, I have to raise some money and this is an excellent medium for my supporters to follow what's happening.

So, that's basically all there is to it. I'll let ya'll know more as I know more. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or input.