Monday, June 21, 2010

Second Team Week

The second team week is over and it was better than the first was for me. I mostly worked on children's ministry stuff, getting ahead on skits and crafts for Kid's Club. The Treaty Days Pow-wow was last weekend and it was great to watch the dancers.

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

One Team Done and Gone

The past week was a rough week in the community and I struggled a bit. A teenager set to graduate committed suicide the morning before graduation. One of the few fathers involved in his son's life went on a prescription drug bender last weekend, seemed to be improving through the week, and then overdosed yesterday and has been in the hospital the past two days. These two developments were incredibly depressing. The suicide was especially rough because everyone in the community is excited about graduation and then one of those set to graduate kills himself. It doesn't seem fair and especially wrong because he was one who "succeeded," who made it through school, and then he's gone. A lot of the youth who were his friend were hit hard by his death.

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.