Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Thursday, April 19, 2012
As many of you know, this is a very exciting time in the life of this ministry. Almost nine years ago the Granberry family moved here with the desire to see the Lord establish a church in the town of White Swan. Over the years a lot has changed. More families and individuals have joined our full time team, hundreds of people have come on one week teams to love and serve, thousands of believers have prayed faithfully and invested generously (including you!). We've also hosted over 400 Bible Studies in the longhouse for hundreds of people from the community. Hundreds move have attended the annual Christmas feast (sometimes 450 at a time). We have also had the joy of baptizing 75 people of all ages! All along the vision and the goal has remained the same: to see a healthy church established in White Swan. Well, on Easter Sunday, April 8th, we had our first official Sunday Worship Service! It took almost 9 years (I predicted it would take at least 12). We gathered in the longhouse for a meal at 6:30, then had worship and concluded with a baptism service.
Everyone loved the meal that the "Hope Fellowship" ladies made for us. The worship service went really well too. About 160 folks came and four were baptized! I was particularly struck by the singing (which resonated through the longhouse) and so many smiling faces. Another great moment was when a friend of ours, Bob, surprised us by singing a song about the resurrection before he prayed during the service. Also, it was really special to listen as Thomas, one of our teenagers, volunteered to read the account of the resurrection from the gospel of John. I had the joy of baptizing a five month old little girl named Ekko. She stole my heart with her big, chubby cheeks, black hair, and "huckleberry" eyes. I also got to baptize two brothers who are about 6 and 8 years old. They were so excited. And finally, a sixteen year old young lady named Amanda, who was beaming! I also had the joy of picking up an elderly couple, Slim and Sally, who had never come to our Bible Study before. They went to a lot of trouble to come because Sally is in a wheelchair and their car is in the shop because the ran into a horse a couple of weeks ago! It was hard for Sally to get in my vehicle, but she made it in. I thought this would be a one time visit to our church but at the end of the night, Slim and Sally were all smiles and said they would start coming every week! They also asked me about baptizing their great granddaughter, Sally Ann.
We could not be here without you. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your prayers, love, and generosity. May the Lord "repay" you ten times over.
Come See Us!
Rev. Chris Granberry (for all of us)
Friday, January 6, 2012
Merry Christmas from the Granberrys!
This year the first verse of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” has really gotten my attention. It tells us to “rest”, to let nothing “dismay” us, as we “remember” that Jesus has come! I can’t think of a more timely message than that! Can you? It goes on to remind us why He came; to “save us from Satan’s power, when we had gone astray”. The song tells us that these are “tidings of comfort and joy” and truly they are! When you think about it, there are no words that come close to providing the comfort and joy that this message contains. The fact that God has loved us enough to send Jesus to save us from the devil and from ourselves is the best news the human ear could ever hear! In light of these “glad tidings” I hope and pray that you too can rest, remember, and rejoice in the amazing love of God the Father and in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf, this Christmas. May the Lord bless you and yours richly this Christmas and throughout this year. ~Chris
As a worksite leader, I was put in charge of roofing the house of Rainbow (7) and Adora (5) on the first team week of the summer. Two of their cousins, Odessa (5) and Sharyce (3), live just across the street. On the third team week I was overseeing the roofing of the house next door to Rainbow and Adora’s. Both of these weeks have had a big impact on me. I was shown again and again the effect that so many people have on the children where we work. These four girls have been my special buddies for a long time. It was fun for them to watch me as I worked on these roofs. Each morning they would be roused by the banging of hammers on the roof and know that we had arrived. I would watch as they slowly came outside to observe us as we were pounding away. It became routine to hear them call my name, one after another. They would shout, “Beth!” (Adora and Sharyce had trouble saying my name and it sounded more like, “Bess”) Watching, as I turned to wave, they would grow silent. I started to call them my sheep because when they yelled my name it sounded more like little lambs crying “baaaa”. Gathering at a window, they would share a little pair of red binoculars, with Toy Story characters on both sides, to get a better view. Every two or three minutes I would have to come back into view and reassure that I was there to watch them play on a small and beat up set of swings or chase each other around the dirt yard. All I needed to do was simply stand on the edge of the roof, smiling, waving, and ever so often answering their calls. Just by doing such a small thing, I was able to love on these four girls in a meaningful way. Every time I heard my name I was filled with pride and delight, not because they were so good at swinging or running, but because they were “my girls”. Near the end of the summer, Rainbow and Adora’s dad was released from prison and they moved away to live with him again. Odessa and Sharyce were often not at home and I couldn’t see any of my girls. The longing and need I felt to embrace them reminded me of how much Christ wants to embrace us as his children and the delight He has in us. When you think about it, that’s why he came. He came to be with us, to cleanse us, and to delight in us! ~Beth (16)
I think Christmas is amazing because that is when Jesus was born! It is wonderful that Jesus was born because without Him we wouldn’t be alive! He is awesome. He has brought us all together. If I didn’t know the Granberrys we wouldn’t be a family. I’m excited this year because I get to spend time with my new family (especially my new cousins) as we all gather around. When I think about Jesus being born I’m glad that the shepherds and kings and angels came to see Him. I’m glad that they brought Him gifts, sang new songs to Him, worshiped Him and told everyone about Him! We should be like them too if we love Him! ~Connie (9)
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.’” (Luke 2:13-14) I wonder what it was like for the shepherds that night. Getting to hear a choir of Angels, singing praises to God. One minute they’re listening to the bleating of the lambs and the chirping of crickets, the next they’re witnessing the most extraordinary vocal performance of all time. For the last year or so, I have been leading praise and worship for our “baby church”. My favorite part about this time is getting to watch the children. As soon as my guitar is out, there are at least five kids following me around. Once I’m sitting down, they all gather at my feet to watch me. Listening to the kids sing gives me goose bumps. I love the looks on their faces as they watch me play. Not all of them know the words to the songs, most of them can’t even read along, but they love watching and listening as everyone else sings. It fills me with hope. Most of the children knew nothing of Jesus nine years ago, and now they’re singing praises to Him. It says in Revelation, that “every tribe, every tongue, and every nation” will be gathered around the throne. We will cast our crowns at His feet and join the Heavenly Host in singing praises to Him. I look forward to the day when many of “our kids” will sit at Christ’s feet, eyes and hearts fixed on Him, singing with the same angels who sang before the shepherds. ~Ann Marie (18)
“Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” John 16:32
Our first summer on the reservation I followed my dad as he got pictures and put together a simple slideshow for the teams to take home to share with their family and friends. I wanted to take part in taking the pictures or putting everything together. In a few years the slideshows began to include video clips and became less like a slideshow. Interns took on the job of putting together ten to fifteen minute videos and I helped collect video clips and a few pictures. I loved helping but always wanted to learn how to put everything together. A little less than two years ago I finally got the job. Having taken part in the photography and watching past interns and staff members work on it all on the computer I knew how to do everything. When I first got the job I thought I would still take part in the painting and especially the roofing on the worksites and tried to do what I could while still managing to get the footage I needed. Ann Marie and Marisol helped a lot by taking pictures, but as I tried to do it all I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish the videos on time and get to work with everyone. This last summer I focused only on making videos. Taking pictures and videos. Working on the video. Playing with “my” kids at Totus Park. Taking pictures and videos. Working on the video. Go to sleep early in the morning then wake up and start again. I felt alone. For about seven years I had gotten to know the teams, worked with the teams, interns, and my family, and gotten to hang out with my siblings. In getting the position I had wanted I had been separated from everyone around me as I spent time in the office trailer editing pictures. I have needed constant reminder that God is with me. In making videos the last two summers I have been given the chance to view everything that happens in one week and have seen that God is moving and working in unexpected ways through the people in White Swan and Warm Springs, which is a miracle few get to witness but is brought by the prayers of many and the incredible love of our Sovereign Lord. ~Morgan (15)
This year I was sent many places, such as Warm Springs, White Swan, and a three month furlough. I spent most of the summer in Warm Springs in charge of taking photos and making video that Morgan needed. It was a great learning experience for me, and I enjoyed it a lot. By the end of the summer, the children at kids club in Warm Springs all knew my name and would want to play with me. This was really special. Two of the five weeks of the summer I was in Yakima and I worked on the roofs and went to both Adams View and Totus Park housing projects for kids club. I enjoyed playing with multiple children in Yakima this summer each I can’t wait to see them when I return. This fall my whole family was sent on a furlough. It has been such a blessing. I have gone to six national parks and have gotten to spend two months in Florida. It has been a great rest for our family. So, I have been sent many places lately. All of which have been a huge blessing. All of this then makes me consider where Jesus was sent. Not so he could be blessed, but so that we could. He was sent to earth, from his comfortable, heavenly home, so we could be with him forever. The Lord of the universe was placed in a feeding trough, as a baby in rags, so that we could live forever. That is what I consider when I think about Christmas in relation to my past year. – Davy (13)
This summer I was on the roof with Beth all summer except the week that I went to Warm Springs for the first time. What was supposed to be a two-day visit ended up being the whole week. It was great to see the different ways God has spread his gospel through Sacred Road. My first day I was there I could not wait to go to kids club. When I arrived a little girl came up to me and played with me all day in the sprinklers and blowing bubbles. I never saw her again but when I was playing with she told me some of the Bible stories she had heard and how she loved hanging out with the previous teams that had come. I think until then I had forgotten how much the kids are processing about the word of God and remembering it even weeks later. When I became a small group leader at the end of the summer I got to see more of the kids on the Yakama Reservation. We were talking about Jesus’ life from his birth through the time where he raised Lazarus from the dead. Another great time this year when I got to see the word of God spreading is when we went to First Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama. The Sunday we were there the whole service was about missions and how you can help. They showed us videos of people working with the people in Guatemala, Jamaica, and right in their hometown, Dothan. Just seeing other peoples mission work and how the lives of people have been changed through Christians all over the world. This is what God has called us to do in the Great Commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Which is why Jesus came into the world. So I hope your Christmas is full of joy and the spreading of Gods Word. ~Marisol (14)
At the manger, those who were strangers became family and just like today, “ those who were far off have been brought near.” (Eph 2:13). How astounding it is that a simple couple from Nazareth, rough shepherds, educated wise men, and hosts of angels were all brought near to the newborn Savior that first Christmas. It makes me smile to see myself as part of this odd assortment of folks. It reminds me of my favorite Christmas memory. I was 13 or 14 when my family celebrated our first Christmas as a Christian family. This change caused some dissension among our extended family and we had no one to celebrate Christmas with that year. My parents did something unusual and invited others, who would have been alone on Christmas, to join us for dinner that year. We greeted our newborn Savior and strangers in our home that day and I was forever changed. After all, it is what Jesus would have done and the sort of thing he did do. After a sabbatical rest, I too am looking forward again to opening the doors of our home to our Savior and strangers. My parents’ example that “first” Christmas in the Murphy house has become a pattern for the Granberry family, as we share our joy of being brought near! ~Mary
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
by: Joshua Tsavatewa
Children's Ministry Director
When ‘the troublemaker’ climbed out the van, I immediately thought, “Oh boy. I’ve to keep an eye on him and he’ll be going home soon.” ‘The troublemaker’ doesn’t usually come to Bible Study and when he does, he winds up going home early. He hadn’t been around since April, and he was sent home three of the four weeks he came. I didn’t expect much from him and kept an eye on him, waiting for him to throw rocks, hit a kid, knock stuff over, or cause mayhem. And, it never happened. He played well, ate supper, colored, sang, and eventually joined my small group.
Throughout the whole time with the children, ‘the troublemaker’ was exemplary. I ask my boys questions from the lesson, and it got to the point where I said, “Ok, this question is for everyone else,” because ‘the troublemaker’ was answering every single one and I didn’t get to hear from the others. As the evening progressed, I asked the kids, “What’s something that we learn about Jesus?” And he pipes up, “He heals us!” When we did the craft, ‘the troublemaker’ painted a big heart on his page, so I asked if he knew what a heart represented and he did. I asked him, “Who do you love?” And he answered, “I love Jesus.”
It’s amazing how God works in the hearts of the children. Even those we don’t see for months. How He convicts us of our lack of faith. How He shows us what He’s doing in the lives of these kids. I don’t know what the future holds for this kid, but when he left he asked me, “Can I be your helper next week?” My heart welled up with tears and I told him: “Yes, you did a great job tonight, and I’m looking forward to next week.”
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. – Philippians 1:6 (The Message)
We (the Clevengers) have just finished our third summer of ministry here on the Reservation and it was a wonderful time of growth in the youth group. There are more stories than I could possibly share in an email so I have included links to our blog with stories and pictures from the summer. Thanks to all of you for your prayers, support and encouragement that make our life and ministry on the Yakama Reservation possible.
I want to tell you about the fifth and last closing ceremonies we had at the end of the last team week. “Say so” is always a powerful end to every team week - we ask everyone if they saw God do something during the week to say so. The idea is based on our responsibility and privilege as believers to witness and then testify to the work of our Savior.
This summer saw Chis Granberry baptize 11 of the kids in the youth group as well as fifteen of them work side by side with the summer church teams - roofing homes, improving the new church building and playing with kids in Totus Park. A number of them were there at closing ceremonies that last Friday as well, and you could sense the power of God’s Holy Spirit as they testified publicly and privately to the way they, themselves, had seen God changing their hearts and minds. Closing ceremonies can sometimes be a very emotional experience but I have never felt as proud of our youth leadership as I did that night. I thank God for each of them and for the summer he gave us all.
I’ve spent a lot of time since that night, filled with wonder, thinking about it and trying to remember how it all happened. I’ve written about several key events during the summer and included links below:
Summer Roof Number 2 - The second team week started in the middle of June after the school year had ended so it gave me an opportunity to take some of the guys from my D-Group to the work site with me … (more)
Promotion Monday - At the very beginning of the summer we had an ice cream party to celebrate our rising sixth graders graduating from the children’s ministry in the youth group … (more)
Camp High Rock - The week of Camp High Rock - the week of July 4th - coincided with a team week this summer, so we could only send Heather and myself with the high school junior counselors to camp … (more)
A Week in Warm Springs - I spent the fourth team week in Warm Springs with Eric. I had hoped to take my whole D-Group with me for the week but in the ten days leading up everyone but Eric had to cancel … (more)
Skateland Trip 3 - Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words - or at least several hundred. We took the youth group to Skateland in mid July. It was one of our biggest outing yet with 54 of us on the rink … (more)
All of the Clevengers are gearing up for Fall after a two-week break at the end of the Summer. It was a sweet time of rest and for us to have a long spell of quality time with each other.
Asha will start third grade next week which doesn’t seem to be possible. Her teacher is the pastor at one of the churches we work with on the Reservation so we are thankful that we have a friend in her classroom.
Isaac was moved to a toddler bed a week ago. Neena and I braced ourselves for a long night of him being able to get out of bed on his own, but he never did. The downside - he won’t get up in the morning without one of us getting him. So our mornings usually begin with him calling us over and over again from bed until someone comes.
Prayers and Praises:
We praise God for the arrival of Bill and Tina Yarbrough and their four daughters to the Sacred Road Team. Bill will be working as mercy ministry coordinator and has already built a bed for one of the children in his first week here.
As great as the summer was, it felt like it came to a screeching halt in August as we learned about two deaths in our Hope Fellowship family. One was a nine-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident in the closed area of the Reservation. We had just played kickball together the week before, He had been a big part of our Kid’s Club Bible skits and a regular attender on Tuesday nights. Please pray for his family and his little sister.
The father of three of the kids in the youth group died last week after recently being diagnosed with cancer in the stomach. The family had recently moved next to the Longhouse where he was working as the groundskeeper. He was always very kind to me when we showed up at the Longhouse to decorate for the Christmas feast and various interactions in the community. In a recent talk with Chris, he confessed a saving faith in Jesus and asked Chris to perform a wedding ceremony for him and the kids’ mom. They were married just a couple of weeks before his passing. Please pray for his family, especially his daughter, who has spent a lot of time with Chris and Mary this summer.
With the frenzy of summer behind us, I have more time to devote to support raising. Please join me in prayer that others might be as excited as you about what God is doing in the hearts of teenagers in White Swan and be moved to give generously so that we can continue to grow this ministry that means so much to us.
Thank you again and may God Bless you a hundredfold,
In Him, By Him, For Him
Chuck, Neena, Asha and Isaac
The Clevengers (for mail)
155 Kamiakin Avenue
Wapato, Washington 98951
Sacred Road Ministries
22116 SE 51st Place
Issaquah, WA 98029-9221
http://www.rustlings.com - Clevenger blog
http://www.youtube.com/user/SacredRoad - videos
Hello Family and Friends,
Family and Friends,
The summer is nearly over and looking back, it’s been a good summer. Lots of work has been done, kids have been loved, and the love and truth of Christ has been proclaimed and demonstrated.
My favorite story of the summer is about a little 6 or 7 year old boy named Asha. I met Asha two years ago, and he had a tendency to be angry and/or disrespectful. This summer, he’s been much friendlier and openly affectionate, at times holding my hand or giving me hugs – this from a boy who two years ago would kick me in the shins. I noticed his increasing affection and openness and have thought God is working in his heart. A few Tuesdays back, we were sitting on the bench, waiting for the vans to pull around to give him a ride home, and I said “Asha, do you want to hear a story?” He said, “Yes,” and I asked “What kind of story do you want to hear?” Asha said, “Jesus.” Of all the stories in the world, he wanted to hear about Jesus. Of all the superheroes or dragons or monsters that captivate a child’s mind, Asha wanted to know more about Jesus. That’s why we are here and it makes everything else worth it.
The most amazing part of the summer has been being a part of 29 baptisms. It was a true blessing to be a part of the services and see adults, teenagers, and children publicly profess faith in Jesus.
During the summer, the youth took a greater leadership role at the work sites and kid’s club. Several went to Warm Springs, getting to share Jesus on the Warm Springs Reservation. I wasn’t at camp, but I heard our youth did a great job serving as junior counselors and also had a great time! It’s been really exciting to see the youth grow into leaders and minister to others.
Kid’s Club has gone really well, which is amazing considering we’ve been stretched thin most of the summer. The skits have been on the life of Jesus, from birth to Ascension, and the kids love dressing up and acting. We had to cancel several times due to wind, but it’s been good ministry this summer.
Although the summer has gone well, there have been some hard times in the community. A Christian man who has two youth regularly involved in Bible Study, and a third who comes occasionally has terminal cancer. His name is Jesse and his family needs prayer. A man and his son who come to Bible Study were in a rough car accident. I saw a woman arrested for a DUI while her 4 daughters watched. The girls have at times have regularly come to Bible Study and Kid’s Club and I got to spend 40 minutes with them, waiting for their grandmother and giving them ice cream. It was good that I was there to be with the girls and help them in a small way, but it broke my heart.
Throughout the summer and the year, we see many families in turmoil, and it’s hard because there’s often little we can do, but try to love people well and point them to Jesus. A key verse for Sacred Road is “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love” Galatians 5:6. I know I’m often not very loving and my faith is weak, but I pray that God gives me His love and give me faith for the situations we encounter.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please pray for the families out here and the dysfunction that hurts the children. Please pray for those we see inconsistently – we see many kids for a month, then they are gone for three, then they are back. It’s really hard to build a relationship and then have to restart.
I’ll be back in Macon on August 13, speaking at North Macon Presbyterian Church on August 14 at 5:30, and at Fitzgerald First Presbyterian Church on August 17 at 6:30. I’d love to catch up with everyone, so call or email me if you’d like to talk.
Grace and Peace to you all,
youtube.com/sacredroad – see Sacred Road’s videos
PO Box 223
Harrah, WA 98933
Sacred Road Ministries
22116 SE 51st Place
Issaquah WA 98029-9221