Dear Friends and Family,
It has been quite a whirlwind of things happening over the past few months. I’m having difficulty even finding a good place to start on how the past months have been and all they’ve encompassed. December should be a good a time as any to start. This December was my first time overseeing the Children’s Ministry Christmas outreach. This covers a variety of events such as taking young native leaders from our church to other reservations and villages, which gives us the opportunity of reaching out to new kids that we wouldn’t be able to normally see by bringing Christmas parties to their front door. Additionally, we delivered over 400 shoeboxes full of gifts to homes here on the Yakama Reservation. The most beautiful of these facets of the ministry though is the Christmas service we put on here at Hope Fellowship. We have kids from our Sunday group be a live nativity set as we tell the true meaning of Christmas on the Sunday before Christmas day. It is such a sweet time to behold.
Another big staple of the past few months has been my time in Colorado this January. I attended a month-long training program put on by Missions Training International (MTI) and received a surplus of tools and knowledge from missionaries who have served on different fields. They covered everything from how to adapt to culture healthily to how to make sure your spiritual life doesn’t take a hit from the work you are doing on the field. It was wonderful to be poured into by so many experienced and knowledgeable people who truly care about seeing God’s kingdom grown across the world.
With this time away though brought many sweet hellos on the Sunday I returned after being gone for an entire month. Going from classroom work in Colorado to bustling Sunday morning children’s ministry was very similar to taking a sip from a fire hydrant, so much to take in all at once. But the Lord did gift me with an encounter with one of my kids on this particularly crazy Sunday. One of our “harder” kids was having a difficult time sitting in his seat and listening to his leader. After multiple rebellious outbursts I decided to take him aside and talk to him one on one and see
what was bothering him. He was hungry and exhausted so after a snack he was more than willing to talk with me and open up. In our conversation he told me he didn’t believe in Jesus, because he didn’t save him from getting bit by a pack of Rez dogs. He didn’t believe the Bible because he never saw the stories they talked about. But he did believe in “this place”. As he said it, he pointed to the roof of the building. “The church?” I asked. “Yes, I believe in this place because you guys built it and I can come here and get food”. This little guy is six years old. He’s seen harder things and been through more than I would like to think about. This child has literally lived out of a van for a large portion of his life. With that comes an obvious amount of doubt in somebody he can’t see that he’s told loves him. But the church here is embodying love to him in a way that is unusual to him. He may act out, but he hardly misses church. Just about every event we throw is attended by him. He comes not because he understands Jesus or the Bible but because he is being loved on and cared for. I can’t help but think that’s what Jesus would want for this little guy right now. I’m honored to be apart of Jesus’ ministry to this precious child of God.
Thank you for your support and prayers,