Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Please Pray for some Teens

Three teenagers in White Swan face the very real possibility of being turned over to their father who was abusive and neglectful towards them. They are great kids and in a good foster home, but their father is trying to get them back despite his record and their desire to not return to him. Please Pray that this doesn't happen. They're scheduled to meet with the judge tomorrow. Thanks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fourth Team Week

Thanks for your prayers - the week went very well and we are all getting some rest today. Yesterday, we began discussing the interns leaving and reentry into regular life and some of the difficulties they will face - it made me sad to consider the summer coming to an end and the departure of some good friends.

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

Thoughts on Camp and other things

We got back from Camp on Friday and it was a really good week. We spent time with about 50 kids from the Reservation and 30 kids from Churches in Poulsbo & Zillah, WA. The kids had a lot of fun and positive memories. Thankfully, no one had to be sent home, and for the most part, the kids were well behaved. I really enjoyed that during the week we could spent a lot of time with the kids, building relationships and having fun. It was also great to talk with the kids about Jesus and I had some good conversations. A neat part of camp was that it involved four church groups – Poulsbo, Harrah, Sacred Road, & McKinley Mission which works on another part of the reservation. The four groups have run the camp for the past three years and I really enjoy seeing Christians with somewhat different stances coming together for the kids.

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