Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Running out of time

Only 2 weeks left, and I'm excited about coming home, but also sad about leaving here. Things went well last week - we finished the work and the teams had a good experience, but we did have some rough patches with the house by the longhouse, but everything ended up ok. We painted and roofed one house, painted another, roofed another, and built a wheelchair ramp at another. I painted a house with a crew from Mississippi and our site went especially well. Out interactions with Polly and her daughter Jessie were very good and hopefully are the beginning of a longer relationship.

As we come to the end, we still need prayer - these past few days have been rough on the Rez. One of the families we helped on the second week had a cousin who hung himself in their yard on Tuesday - they have four young daughters who are very active with Sacred Road. Another family close to Sacred Road had a cousin who died in a car wreck this past weekend. Four kids we pick up every Tuesday for the Bible Study and come to Kid's Club every time were in a bad car wreck this weekend which shook them up pretty good - they were in a car wreck 2 years ago this month in which their mother died. It's tough seeing the children going through these rough experiences, but it's good that Sacred Road can be here to love and help those who are hurting.

The Bible Study went well last night - we had 42 children and 11 youth. The youth had a great Bible Study; they initiated discussion about how Jesus can be 100% God and 100% man. Chuck, the youth leader did a good job of explaining the humanity/deity of Christ. Also, more youth came last night, in part by invitation from their friends and also because they heard about the Bible study and wanted to come.

Things are going well and the team is holding together - thanks again for your prayers and we need them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Camp High Rock News

Camp High Rock went very well. I'm tired, but very excited about how everything went. The kids had tons of fun, made friends, and wrestled with spiritual things. My last post was about a boy who started a fire and one of the best experiences of camp was with him.

His name is Brandon and he is 11, not 10. He was in my cabin and spent a lot of time hanging out with me and another Sacred Road Intern, Mark. Throughout the week, he was on his best behavior which is a huge blessing because he tends to act up and cause problems. I was blown over simply by how helpful, friendly, and talkative he was. The biggest thing was that he prayed for the very first time (publicly) in his life on Tuesday, and on Thursday he and another boy in the cabin wanted to pray to ask Jesus into their hearts. The other counselor and I were blown away because of everything with him and the other boy. Camp was an amazing experience and it really blew me away - what blew me away the most is that I went in to camp with a lot of fear and doubts, especially regarding Brandon. I thought all he would do is cause trouble and strife for me, but God did an amazing work with him and chastised me for doubting God's willingness/ability to help Brandon. I was really blown away, and am in prayer for him and the other boy that their spiritual growth would continue and their decision to follow Christ would be genuine and lasting. I was also able to interact with lots of other kids and build relationships and friendships with them. Please pray for Brandon and his sisters Takoda and Alexa, his brother Tony, and his mother Buffy. That whole family is in need of lots of prayer. I'm also happy that Sacred Road is here with a permanent presence to work with that family, encouraging and helping them.

Thanks for your prayers for this past week and please pray for this next team week - a lot of the team is tired (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) and we get a new team in tonight. Please pray especially for Scott and Mark (two interns) and their team as they're working on a house next to the longhouse and pow-wow grounds and there is a lot spiritual warfare/activity around that area. Thanks again for your prayers - we need them lots.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Third Team Week

The third team week is over and Sacred Road should be posting a new video on youtube within a few days. You can see it by clicking here.

The third team week went very well and we had 48 people (46 from one church in Issaquah and 2 friends of the Granberrys from AL). We wound up working on 8 different work sights - 2 new roofs, 4 paint jobs, 1 wheelchair ramp, and 1 yard cleaning. A very busy and rewarding week. I led a painting crew and they did a very good job. Kid's Club has been going very smoothly this summer and it's great getting to know the kids better.

This week I got to fight a fire, which was both exciting and scary. On Thursday, we were picking up kids for Kid's Club when we saw a yard on fire and as we got closer we realized it was at a house where we pick up three kids. At first we thought it was a controlled burn, but realized it was not. Their 10 year old son was shooting bottle rockets and their mom was away - he was being supervised by his 21 year old sister who is special needs. When we pulled up in the van, I jumped out and used a garden hose to spray down some flames keeping it away from the house and after a few minutes, the firemen arrived and put the rest of it out. It came within a few feet from the house, and at the time was extremely scary. Thankfully, the wind was blowing the fire parallel to the house, otherwise it could have all burned up. After the firemen arrived, we scooped up the kids and their older siblings (the 4 older siblings are all special needs) and took them to Kid's Club.

The experience with the fire and the situation the family was in really struck me because it's easy to blame the 10 year old boy, but also the mother for leaving her kids uncared for. One of the kids in the house is a six year old girl who I've grown really close to, and it was really hard to see her house nearly burn. The situation was made more difficult when we found out their mother was returning that night and it appeared that she was going to beat them severly for the fire. The Granberrys tried to mediate and we prayed a bunch on Thursday and Friday, and thankfully, the children were fine on Friday. The entire situation surrounding the fire is tragic and frustrating, and helped drive home something we as a team have been thinking about all summer: All of our best efforts and attempts here on the Rez mean nothing unless God moves - the problems are too big and our solutions are too small. Unless God changes parents and protects children, changing hearts and moving people, bad things will continue to happen and the chaos, death, and dysfunction that are so normal out here will continue.

Please keep praying for the Sacred Road staff and interns as we keep working with one week teams and attempt to show God's love to the community here. Also please pray for us as we work with kids at Camp High Rock this next week. Camp should be great, but also pretty demanding. Thanks again for all of your prayer and support.