Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This past Thursday, I had a great time with my D-Group (Charles, Brandon, & Davy Granberry). It's been snowing a lot lately, so when I went to pick them up at the Cougar Den, there was a good 10-12 inches of snow. We fought for a while and my fingers were numb for about a half hour. We also had a fight later and I was hit in the side of the head with a chunk of ice. It was a lot of fun and a good time with the guys. Chuck's D-Group & mine were both in the fight and we defeated them. One of his guys was having a birthday, so we met up with them later to celebrate over pizza at Costco. The guys were great and it was a memorable evening!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Well I’m back from SPLICE and getting into the swing of things. I really enjoyed SPLICE as a spiritual retreat & a place to learn about myself and God. The three weeks focused on cultural differences, spiritual struggles, intrapersonal issues, team dynamics, conflict styles, stress/stressors, grief/loss, and other things. It was a wonderful experience and I made some great friends and learned a lot.
PO Box 223
Harrah, WA 98933
I’ll be in
The Bible Study this past Tuesday had about 40 children, 34 youth (a record high!), and 10 adults. It went well, but was a bit chaotic. Over the summer, the children’s lessons focused on Abraham-Joseph and we’re spending the fall on Moses and the Exodus. Last night, I spent time with Chuck and 7 youth guys in a small group. It was a good time to get to know them a little better, have some fun, and eat. This evening, we’re going to play some games with 10-12 youth, and roast hotdogs. It's been a busy and good week.
Grace and Peace to all of you out there!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
The week went well - no major injuries and Kid's Club went very well with some very good interactions with children. This was our first hot week of the summer, so we did a lot of water games with the kids and had lots of fun with water balloons, a giant parachute & water, and water relay races.
Mary Granberry especially encouraged me when she pointed out something that happened when we had the parachute game. In the parachute game, we have this massive parachute with a hole in the middle which we get wet and shake, getting everyone a little wet, especially those under the parachute and in the middle where the hole is. I was in charge of throwing the water and the kids asked me to throw water in their face as well as on the parachute, and Mary pointed out that them allowing me to do that shows they respect and trust me. To most people, the kids do not display trust, but they are beginning to trust me more and I'm kind of like a big brother to many of them, which is really big because many don't have adults they trust or respect who treat them well.
Also, on Friday, a little girl ran up to me, jumped in my arms, and hugged and held me which was a big surprise, because she's a girl I've never played with or interacted with, but I'm sure she's been watching and learned that I'm a friend. It really touched me that she was so loving to me, and helps provide a small picture of the impact we're having on the kids - loving them well, and even when we are loving on other kids, they see it. We also benefit, because that girl has been loved well by others all summer, but I received some of the benefit - some of her love even though I never "invested" in her.
Chris Granberry pointed out how the Bible stories stick with the kids, and how in the past, Indians learned Bible stories, but in the context of Government run schools and boarding schools. In that negative context, Christianity was tied to bad memories, but with the kids from the summer, the Gospel is tied to the happy and fun memories of the summer and the love the kids are showered with. That's going to have a big impact in the near and distant future. If you don't know much about the boarding schools, you can find books or online information, or I'd love to talk with you about it next time we meet.
We've had teams down at the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon over the past eight weeks and it's good to have Warm Springs now wrapped up without any troubles, especially given the dangers down there. Before the summer began, the staff prayed especially about safety for the summer and the Warm Springs teams, and I'm very happy to see our prayers answered, with one more team week here.
Again, thanks so much for your support, help, and love. I won't have much time to talk over the next two weeks, but would welcome phone calls from Aug 7-21, when I'll have some free time. Grace & Peace.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Teams arrived yesterday – from Seattle, Mississippi, & a family from Georgia. The summer is in the last stretch and everyone is pretty tired especially after a week of camp. I had a stomach bug yesterday but am feeling better today, but we could all use your prayers over the next week, especially for fatigue and the resulting stress/disunity.
This week, we’re working on two homes and focusing on Jesus’ healings at Kid’s Club. I think it’ll be a good week. Please pray for the community of White Swan which has had many deaths during the past seven months, but has had a break over the past few weeks.
Thanks again for your prayers. Grace and Peace
Monday, June 21, 2010
The teams from Naperville, IL & Boise worked on roofing and painting one house and roofing another. The work-sites were safe and most of the work was finished. The videos should be up soon on youtube- the videos from the Warm Springs teams are up, but not the ones for here.
Pray for the summer team here because it was a rough week on the team as a whole. One of the leading elders in White Swan passed away and her loss leaves a vacuum of leadership and her family is turning on each other. Mary Granberry was in a minor car wreck, but it was still pretty disruptive to the flow of things. We need prayer for safety at Totus Park because several houses that were once safe houses are no longer because gangsters have moved in. Where we have Kid's Club is safe, but walking the kids home through park is a little less safe now.
Yesterday, we all traveled to Oregon and went to Multnomah Falls, hiked, picniced, and had a great time hanging out and relaxing. Today (Thursday) we knocked out a bunch of work and are getting ready for another team coming in on Saturday. The teams this weekend are from the Seattle area.
This evening, I went bowling and to McDonald's with some of the youth. I had a great time bowling with the guys, laughing over gutterballs, rejoicing over strikes, and laughing at myself when I went too far down the alley and fell down. We had a great time with the youth, and I'm really excited to see friendships beginning and connections being made. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get them.
Thanks for all of your prayers. Grace & Peace to you all.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The father who went on a bender hit the team hard because he, his father, and his son are all involved with Sacred Road. The grandfather and grandson were baptized in April, and the whole family professes faith in Christ and is close to the Granberry family. Chris Granberry, the pastor here, spent a lot of time with the father and we thought things had improved but apparently they hadn’t. I found the whole ordeal frustrating because the grandfather is technically homeless, the mother is an addict, the family is in shambles, and it leaves you wondering how that impacts the son who is ten. The son was originally taken away from his mother because of neglect/addiction, and the son has some behavioral & emotional problems linked to his younger years with his mother. Right now, the father is here working with us, and it is possible he could go to a rehab place. Pray for him and family.
A lot of the people associated with the Bible Study were struggling and facing difficulties this past week. The team that was in Warm Springs this past week had a good week, but there were six deaths in the community within a week. I was feeling sad and depressed this week, but I ended on a high note, although the first four days were rough. I was really helped by the lyrics to “Beams of Heaven:”
1. Beams of heaven as I go,
through the wilderness below,
guide my feet in peaceful ways,
turn my midnights into days.
When in the darkness I would grope,
faith always sees a star of hope,
and soon from all life's grief and danger
I shall be free someday.
I shall be free someday.
2. Often times my sky is clear,
joy abounds without a tear;
though a day so bright begun,
clouds may hide tomorrow's sun.
There'll be a day that's always bright,
a day that never yields tonight,
and in its light the streets of glory
I shall behold someday.
I shall behold someday.
3. Harder yet may be the fight;
right may often yield to might;
wickedness a while may reign;
Satan's cause may seem to gain.
But there's a God that rules above
with hand of power and heart of love;
and if I'm right, he'll fight my battle,
I shall have peace someday.
I shall have peace someday.
4. Burdens now may crush me down,
disappointments all around;
troubles speak in mournful sigh,
sorrow through a tear-stained eye.
There is a world where pleasure reigns,
no mourning soul shall roam its plains,
and to that land of peace and glory
I shall want to go someday.
I shall want to go someday.
I shall want to go someday.
The lyrics reminded me of the hope we have in Christ, the hope we have to hold on to in the midst of despair and hopelessness.
The week wasn’t all bad – worksite was safe and we finished, kid’s club went well and we had some good moments. One of the kids asked “Why do they all sound like cowboys?” which is hilarious because the teams were from Alabama and we’re working with Indians – it made me laugh so hard. I was really encouraged when one of the boys I work with on Tuesday night asked me if I’ll be back the next week – it showed that I’ve connected with some of the boys and they are enjoying what we’re doing.
So, we need your prayers – for the community, the team here, the one week teams, and for God to move. Keep praying for me too; I’m far from perfect and need prayer. Also, we’ve got Bible Study tonight and we need prayer for that.
Sorry if this is a long post. Grace & Peace.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Orientation with the interns is going well and it's been great to work with them and get to know them and their strengths and what they bring to the summer. They are a good crew and I expect it'll be a good summer. We've already had a great time hanging out, playing volleyball, hiking, eating, and talking. It's not all fun and games b/c we've been spending a lot of time talking and working, but our free time spent together has been good and the work time has been a really good experience. On Monday, we went on a team trip and hiked in a canyon north of here. I think it's a great team and we have the beginnings of a strong, connected community.
This past Tuesday at Bible Study was a smashing success with the children attentive and reasonably well behaved. The two previous Tuesdays were chaotic and a bit crazy. The summer staff managed very well as Tuesdays can be stressful, fast-paced, and hectic. We've been doing lots of preparation for the summer, and I've been mostly working on preparing skits and props for Kid's Club and making lessons for Bible Study on Tuesday. It's very encouraging to see things coming together and to be a bit ahead.
Pray for the teams that get here Saturday to work next week, safety at worksites and Kid's Club, connections with the kids and adults, and safety for the Warm Springs team as it's a bit of a different situation and slightly more dangerous area. Things are humming along and I appreciate your prayers especially for me to listen to and follow directions without becoming inwardly bitter/angry/self-doubting. The next week will be especially busy and it'll be nice to get a little rest Saturday morning before it all gets crazy.
Grace and peace.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
On Thursday, Chuck and I hung out with some youth after school at the Cougar Den which is a gas station/restaurant outside the Middle & High School in White Swan. We had a good time talking with them and playing hacky sack. After the Cougar Den, a foster family had Chuck, Veronica, their 6 kids, 3 youths, a family friend and their three grandchildren over for spaghetti (Chuck & Veronica work with Sacred Road; Chuck is over the youth, and Veronica is the administrative assistant).
Today (Sunday) the Sacred Road team visited a church in Kennewick WA that supports Sacred Road and is sending a team to Warm Springs this summer. We had a good time visiting with them, a good sermon, fun with boccie ball, and an overall good experience. The summer interns get here Wednesday and it's gonna get crazy!! I'm excited.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The drive so far has been good and without incident. On Thursday, I'm driving from Dallas to Flagstaff for 15 hours, so I'm not too excited about that drive.
Not much else to report, except things are going smoothly.
Grace and Peace.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
As many of you know, I'm heading out to Washington to work with Sacred Road on the Yakama Reservation. I'll be in charge of children's ministry, working with youth, leading summer teams, and assisting the pastor. I could not do this without your financial and spiritual support and I'm deeply humbled and moved by your prayers, encouragement, giving, and love. Thank you.
In an editorial note, I've changed some stuff on the blog. I changed the title and added a verse on the right. I really like Revelation 5, and especially verse 5 because it is a good reminder that no matter how bad things appear or how bleak the situation appears, we have an advocate in heaven, a high priest who understands our weakness, we are surrounded by the everlasting arms, and He has conquered. A favorite song of mine puts the same idea in a different light: "When Satan tempts be to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there who made an end of all my sin." Our hope and trust does not lie in the situations we are in or our skill, wisdom, preparation, or humility, but in the fact that Christ conquered, it really occurred, and we can trust in it and His promise to be with us until the end of the world.
These are thoughts that encourage me and give me strength and faith. I wanted to share with you that although this verse means a lot to me, I am quick to forget it and the implications it has for me and ministry. I feature this verse prominently on the blog so as to remind myself, but also to remind the readers out there and spur you to pray for me that I would remember this verse and others and live as if they are true. I cannot serve without your prayers and God's strengthening me - I know all too well my weaknesses and tendencies.
Thanks again for your support and continued support. I would weep loudly, despairingly, and without hope if not for the love of Christ that changed all things.
It takes a while to make a post and I need to sleep. Grace and Peace to you.