Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Week

I've been here for a week and it's been busy. We've finished orientation and have done a lot of team building and we've come together very well. Wednesday, we all took a trip together to Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge, had a picnic, saw Multnomah Waterfall, hiked into an isolated canyon and waterfall, and ate fresh salmon with Jack Spencer. Jack comes to the Tuesday Bible Study and is a full-time hunter/fisherman. It was great getting to visit with him and hear his stories. The salmon he caught for us was AMAZING.

On Tuesday night, we had the weekly Bible Study at the Longhouse and I helped lead a group of 4 10-12 year old boys with coloring, crafts, a word search, and maze focused on Paul's conversion. The night was amazing and heart-breaking; it was amazing to see what Sacred Road is doing and the impact that work is having. It was also heart-breaking because all of the children came from broken families. Pretty much the entire evening, a little girl played with me, clung to me, hugged me, and was so excited and happy to be there. It made me very happy to be there to love her and sad b/c her family situation is a disaster.

On Friday, we had Kid's Club at Totus Park in White Swan WA and it went very well with maybe 30 children. We spent time playing with them, fed them snacks, and went over the story of David and Goliath.

Next week it kicks into high gear as we'll be roofing and painting a house with the team and we'll get little rest. Pray that we work hard, love much, and lead well.

My thoughts so far: I really love what Sacred Road is doing here in terms of combining both mercy ministry work and church planting. We have a great team with amazing interns and staff. I have a lot of thoughts on this type of ministry and will organize and share them in the future. The ministry has made great inroads into the community and is loving people well.

I'll try to post pictures in the near future.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First Post

Ok - I've been here 5 days including Wednesday and today, and it's been great so far. There are 3 other male interns and we're all staying in a tipi behind the Granberry house while the 3 female summer interns are staying with the 4 female staffers who live about 3 minutes away. The countryside is beautiful here, but very dry so skin drys out quickly and I've been having sinus trouble; claritin has been helping. The Granberry house is a small farm with 4 horses, 4 peacocks, 5 dogs, 2 cats, 20 chickens, 3 turkeys, 2 guineas, and lots of flys. The Granberry family is great - they're fun, wise, kind-hearted, open to God, humble, loving, open, friendly, and great. They've been very welcoming and loving, treating us like family.

These past few days and the next week are the interns orientation as we focus on team building and educational exercises that help us to think through what we'll be doing this summer and focus on how to lead the teams that will be coming soon. Team building is important in making us one unit for the summer and there's a lot to think through regarding this type of ministry. The type of ministry is regarded as fourth world ministry because it is ministering to a third world type situation that is surrounded both physically and culturally by a dominant culture. We've been thinking and talking through issues of culture and community while next week we'll spend time on other issues and prep for the team that comes the following week.

I've really enjoyed the discussions we have and feel convicted and blessed as we talk both in our structured environment and to each other throughout the day.

We haven't really begun ministering yet to the Yakam people, but I wanted to recount a few things I've seen so far. Yesterday (Saturday), we went to a small high school pow-wow and I was struck by two things. First, Uncle Dave (a guy from Florida who is here to lead the construction stuff) was asked by Stacy, a close friend of the Granberry's who is active in the Bible study, to dance with her during the dance. Last year, Uncle Dave helped her financially and physically to get a van which she and her two small children use. I was struck by the honor he received of being asked to dance, and the special place that he earned. The second thing that struck me was that Chris Granberry (our leader) was asked by the pow-wow organizers to judge a dance competition. It's amazing how the Granberrys have been able to enter into their world and earn their trust and acceptance.

Thanks again for your prayers and support. I've raised all my money and will post some pictures within the week. Thanks again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer Requests

It is late Tuesday night and I fly out tomorrow morning. I finished up all of the school stuff and graduated this past Friday. Please pray for me, the other interns, the Sacred Road team, and the short-term teams that are coming. I did a Directed Study this Semester that focused on Native Americans and Christianity and was convicted of my own sinfulness and the great need that exists.

Please pray for me to be humble and open.

Pray that I'd have a broken heart open to the needs before me.

Pray for God to work in spite of my sinfulness and for me to work against my laziness and indifference.

Pray for God to move this summer and beyond on the Yakima Reservation and among Native Americans.

Thanks for your prayers and I'll do my best to update this as I go along.