Friday, August 31, 2007

Sacred Road - Summer 2007

What a Summer!

Hey Everybody!
Thank you for signing up to receive our updates. Thank you for taking the time to read them and pray for us and the Yakama people. God is on the move here largely because of your prayers! Please print this up and give copies to anyone who would be interested/pray/give/come. You can be a representative or advocate for our “forgotten neighbors” in this way. Don’t be shy about asking your Sunday School class and/or church, etc. to pray for us and the Yakama people! We need to get Native America “on the radar”!
This is another long one. Some of you like long, detailed updates I’ve been told. I know some of you, like me, would never take time to read the long version so I will highlight quickly for you. If something is particularly interesting you can find out more in the body of the update!

The Short Version…
A. “From my heart… today”
Please pray for the extended family of a young mom who was buried today. Pray in particular for her 13 year old daughter Collette, 18 year old son Marcus, mother Delores. Please pray for their salvation. I don’t think any are believers. I’m afraid all will turn away from God in despair unless He intervenes and draws them to Himself.
B. “Some thoughts from Mary on God’s Provision”
Mary shares a story and some thoughts on the struggle to believe that God is good, in control, loving, and paying attention to us and the Yakama people in the midst of suffering and loss.
C. “Great Summer”
We had 250 folks on one week summer teams. They did a great job. Their work on the tribe’s camp has opened the possibility of leasing land from the tribe and building a multipurpose building! Pray that God would cause this to happen if it is His will and in His timing. If you are interested/able to help financially with this please let me know! Also, Kid’s Clubs were held at two tribal housing projects this year, as well as an overnight camp hosted by Harrah Community Church (where we go) and one of our supporting churches (Liberty Bay Presbyterian, Poulsbo, WA) with 41 kids from the reservation!
D. “The Summer Internship Program”
We had another good team of interns this summer. Pray that they would be advocates for the Yakama people and Sacred Road as they return home, to school, to their home churches, etc. Some have even expressed interest in joining us full time in the future or serving Native America in some way!
E. “What the interns had to say about their time here…”
Please pray for them as they transition back home. Pray that they would all be effective "advocates" for Native America, the Yakama people, and Sacred Road.
F. “To ordain, or not to ordain…”
Pray for me as I pursue ordination in the spring. We hope to have our first worship service the first Sunday evening in September 2008!
G. “Promotional Videos and New Brochures are in the works!”
They should be ready this fall. Pray that these promotional items will raise awareness, money, prayer support, people, etc. and that God would richly bless those who have stepped up to make these a reality.
If you'd like copies email me and let me know how many and a physical address where we can send them. We'll get them to you as soon as we can. If you can send a donation to help cover shipping and the cost of the materials it would help a lot!
H. “Upcoming Travel Plans”
We are excited that many churches around the country are inviting us to come share this fall. From September through early December we have invitations, and are making arrangements, to visit churches in Seattle, WA; Tacoma, WA; Santa Rosa, CA; Kansas City, MO; Birmingham, AL and possibly Idaho. Mary and the kids will be going on about half of these trips while Wendell will travel with me on the other half. Please pray for safety while traveling and that these visits would be effective and a blessing to all.
G. "Websites to Visit to Learn More"
Sacred Road's Site -
Bruce and Linda Farrant's Site (MNA Native American Church Planting Coordinators) -
Oak Hills Presbyterian's Site (stories, photos, etc from their one week trips) -
Sacred Road's photo site -
Mike Shaw's Blog - Michael Shaw’s Blog

Thanks for Everything!

In Him!

Chris Granberry

P.S. I just got a call from Buffy Tillequots. Her "brother" (probably a cousin she grew up with like a brother) hung himself last night and died this morning. She is asking for prayer for the Greg family, herself, and her aunt Charlene (who we are close to, also). This is the second hanging in less than a year that Buffy has had to deal with. She found the first young man herself, so I know this brings back a lot of bad memories. She has been struggling on several levels even before this situation came up. Please lift her up and pray that we could minister to her effectively during this time.

A. “From my heart… today”
I just got home from another funeral. Death is so prevalent here. I know for many, and increasingly for me, it seems like it is hard to get anything done because you are always going to another funeral. A friend of mine, Dennis, is a leader at the longhouse. He was at this funeral. He told me two years ago that he had to cut back on the number of funerals he attended because he couldn’t handle it physically anymore. He said he would now only attend funerals of immediate family and close friends. He estimated that would include about 20 funerals a year. He was cutting back from 40-50 a year.
This funeral was particularly sad because it was for a fairly young mother. She was 40 (the life expectancy for a Yakama Indian is 39 years old). I knew her well because we worked on her home for weeks, split and stacked firewood for her, prayed with her, and tried hard to love her well. She was hard to love. Truthfully, I didn’t like her. Whenever she called and I saw it was her on caller ID I would sigh and roll my eyes and think or say, “What does she want now?” I’m glad Jesus doesn’t treat me like that. I know I deserve that kind of treatment and worse from Him.
Her young daughter was easy to love though. I personally “renovated” her small bedroom, put up a tetherball pole in the yard, and played with her. It broke my heart to watch her today at the funeral. I wonder what will become of her now. She’s thirteen. That’s the age most of the kids on the rez “go off the deep end”. Please pray that she doesn't. Her 18-year-old brother is running with a gang and will probably not live long. Her oldest brother is in prison for a long time. He had a bad reputation on the rez, which is quite a feat.
I felt horrible at the funeral, but not as bad as I should (there’s no indication or reason to believe that this woman was a believer). Looking around at the 100 or so gathered I came to believe that I felt worse than most though. Some had a glazed look and smelled of alcohol even though it was only 9:30. Some eyes were blank, like no one was home. Many talked and joked and laughed like they would at a pow wow or feast. I realized that funerals are as frequent as feasts and more frequent than pow wows. They have become just another community event in many ways. No one is surprised when a 40 year old dies. No one feels particularly sorry for a thirteen-year-old girl without a mother. Most of them had lost their mothers by then too.
I came away from the funeral with a sense of desperation, a sense of urgency for the people here and throughout Native America. But I know that sense of desperation is shallow, the sense of urgency will fade unless the Lord maintains it. I also know He is not dependant on my sense of urgency or desperation in order to do what needs to be done. However, we are clearly called to love our neighbors by and through Christ. No one would deny that the American Indian is the “first neighbor” of the American church. I'm sure we all agree that we (the American church) have not loved them well. It’s time for the American church at large to embrace our first neighbors. Like this young woman, most are dying without Christ. We have to learn how to make His Love and Truth known to them. I don’t mean to preach. I just felt led to share my heart with you today.
Please pray for …
this family
for the young girl, Collette
for her brother, Marcus
for her brother in prison
for the grandmother, Delores
Pray for their salvation, for opportunities to love them well, encourage them, and be a blessing to them.

B. “Some thoughts from Mary on God’s Provision”
Life on the rez is full of adventure and ups and downs for the Granberry family. This summer all four of our children spent a significant amount of time on the work site and of course involved in children’s ministries at Totus Park and the Longhouse. For our oldest, Ann Marie, life holds the challenge of fitting in. She is a 5’4” 13 year old who knows what’s going on, but isn’t an intern, or a team member, or one of the Native kids being ministered to. All of our kids are finding their place in life unique as we work cross culturally within the borders of our own country. We all look to the Lord to provide in light of the many challenges facing us. One of the times this summer when the Lord provided in a meaningful way was after a tragedy.
Two of the elementary age girls we see regularly (Tyonna and Latisha) were with us one afternoon as my kids and my food prep interns left Harrah Community Church to go to Totus Park. We picked up Latisha and Tyonna and took them with us. While driving back to Harrah, the girls’ mom passed us and we pulled over and loaded them into her car. They were heading to a birthday party in White Swan. A few days later, Chris picked the girls up and brought them to the Longhouse for Tuesday night Bible Study. When they came in I noticed Tyonna had a brace on and asked what had happened. Latisha told me and the interns that were around that they were in a car accident. I asked if anyone else was hurt in the accident, and Latisha responded, ”Just mom, she died”. I felt sick. It was as if I had been kicked in the stomach. My daughters, the interns and I put the pieces together pretty quickly. We had unloaded the girls to go to the birthday party just an hour or so before the car wreck. We had all heard a young woman had died that day. Tyonna and Latisha were still in shock, their eyes were blank. They had watched their mother, who was pinned in the car, bleed to death. As I heard what happened, God’s love was not evident to me at that moment. We loved on the girls, fed them, and did crafts with them. When the whole team arrived back at the Granberry house to unload supplies, we were exhausted. There was a sadness that was overwhelming and a helplessness in the midst of so much pain. What do we do now, I wondered? How do we turn this pain over to our God who allowed this tragedy?
At the same time, I was told there was a package on the front door steps for me. It was a big package. I told my kids we could go ahead and start opening it. On top was a card, and I began to read it out loud to everyone. In the box was the American Girl "Kaya" doll sent by a team member especially for Morgan. What a surprise! Without the team member knowing it, Morgan had wanted that very doll for a long time! She had even asked me the week before if she could possibly get that doll for her next birthday and I told her I wasn’t sure because the doll was pretty expensive. The Lord had that doll on the way for Morgan before she even asked! Maybe it sounds silly, but I was reminded in a special way that God really does love us, is in control, and is paying attention. If He cared enough about Morgan to satisfy her desire for that doll, I knew he cared enough about Tyonna and Latisha to take care of them in the midst of their loss. I am still amazed at the beauty of God’s provision on such a uniquely sad evening. Our life is becoming more and more like this; seeing God’s provision, creation, beauty and His very character in the midst of chaos, heartache, pain, and grief.
Another provision from the Lord was our vacation time. We began our time “off the rez” by spending 3 nights at the German’s house in Tacoma, WA., while they were vacationing themselves. We then moved on to a little A-frame cabin on Hood Canal for 5 nights thanks to the Gower’s (who are from Tacoma also). Finally, we had some time on Whidbey Island at the Schick’s home (they are the parents of our friend Peggy Escobar). Thank you to everyone who helped us get the R & R we needed!
One last provision I’ll tell you about in this newsletter is our new intern Veronica Vasquez. Veronica is a recent graduate from the Univ. of WA. She is coming to work with us as our homeschool teacher in the a.m. and administrative assistant in the p.m. We feel very confident that we are to homeschool for now, in cooperation with Covenant Classical Middle School and our friends the Loudon’s in Issaquah, who teach Ann Marie and Beth on Mondays and Tuesdays. All four of our children will be studying the Middle Ages, Reformation, and Renaissance together. Veronica is a math major and I am appreciative that we can get the kids further along in math also.

C. “Great Summer”
We are praising God for a great summer! We worked on the tribe’s 50+ year old camp facility. We were given a special permit to take 250+ workers into the closed tribal land on the reservation where the camp is located. We painted inside and outside, repaired and sanded decks, built three wheelchair ramps, ripped out old carpet, worked on floors, etc. I was very impressed with all of the team members who came from churches all over the country to serve. Tribal leaders and enrolled members have also been impressed and are letting us know in a variety of wonderful ways!
The camp has had a special place in the hearts of the people here for a long, long time. Everyone went to camp there as a kid. It is also used for retreats for tribal elders and veterans (both groups are highly respected by the community). As we worked on this special place, pouring our time and energy and hearts into it, the people in the community have felt loved by us. I expect that there will be a ripple effect in years to come as more and more people find out Sacred Road teams did the work.
Already I have had significant and positive contact with ten of the fourteen tribal counsel men (these folks are the equivalent of US senators for the Yakama Nation), and all fourteen know about the work that was done. At one meeting with nine tribal counsel men and a few other tribal leaders, Wendell (whose idea this was in the first place) said, “Chris and Mary and their people (all of you/our “tribe”) are clearly demonstrating the Love and the Truth of Christ to our people. I will do everything in my ability to help them as long as I can.” As a former tribal counsel man, that statement carries a lot of weight with the others!
Just after that, the leaders began to ask me questions about our plans for the future. I laid out our desire to love the community, because Christ has called us to love our neighbors, through the context of: a church, a school, a health clinic, economic development, etc. As I spoke there were smiles and nods all around.
One of the counsel men spoke up and said, “You are going to need some land.” The next thing I knew we were looking at an 80 acre piece of property three miles east of White Swan that the tribal leaders suggested. This fall we’ll be looking into the possibility of leasing that land from the tribe for 25-50 years and putting up a multipurpose building to use for church, after school tutoring, housing spring and summer teams, etc! (We are obviously going to need to raise a lot of “one time gifts” to build as well as a good bit of monthly support for utilities, rent, etc. If you can help please let me know.) Another concern that I'd love for you to pray about is that I'm not sure we have the "manpower" to have/use a building effectively at this point. We may need more full time staff in order to maintain it and use it effectively. Anyway, one way or another, we definitely need more full time help out here! Please pray along those lines.
All of the progress toward obtaining land and a building goes back to the teams that come for one week at a time enabling us to work on the tribe’s camp! On top of that the teams hosted Backyard Bible Clubs for children in two tribal housing projects, Totus Park and Adams View. In early August, Harrah Community Church (where we attend and the teams stay) joined with one of our supporting churches, Liberty Bay Presbyterian to host a week long overnight camp (Camp High Rock) for 41 kids (including our four!) from the reservation! Harrah Community Church handled the logistics (location, food, transportation) and provided some adult leaders, Liberty Bay provided scholarships for most of the kids, served as counselors, and ran the camp program, we (Sacred Road) helped with publicity and recruiting of campers, stayed out of the way, and cheered the other two churches on! I know that the campers had a wonderful time, felt loved, and learned more about Jesus. I know that the adult leaders and counselors were stretched and challenged and are very glad they did it! On top of that, no one was seriously injured or lost! That week between Camp High Rock and the two Kid’s Clubs at Totus Park and Adams View, over 100 children and 20 teenagers from the reservation were being loved and taught by God’s people daily! Thank you to all who came and worked, to all who prayed, and to all who supported this work financially this summer! May God Bless you ten times over!

D. “The Summer Internship Program”
As many of you know, we have summer interns (mostly college and seminary students) who come to work with us each year for 11 weeks. This year we had 11 interns (if you count Mike Shaw who was doing a community development internship for the Chalmer’s institute at Covenant College. His internship involved a lot of research, interviews with people in the community, and writing which pulled him out of the regular program often. We still count him! He did a great job with the research and we were very encouraged with his findings.) We had another good team this summer. They became very close with each other and with several people in the community. I was particularly proud of the veteran interns who came back for a second or third summer. They did a great job by helping us communicate the vision for the ministry to the new interns and the one week teams. I was also very proud of Paul Norman for the sacrificial work he did through photography/video work for the teams. Each team received a video highlighting the ministry from their week and each intern received a video of the whole summer. This work was very time consuming, tedious, and hot (no A/C in the office where he worked). But the videos are very helpful when it comes to sharing the story of what the Lord is doing here. I believe that many people will pray and give and come as a result of the work Paul did this summer.
I also want to thank Bruce and Linda Farrant of Mission to North America. They are the “church planting coordinators for Native America” and spent three weeks with us this summer. They are such an encouragement to us and a huge help in everyway. They traveled all over the country and even into Canada this summer visiting reservations and meeting with the handful of people serving in Native America from the PCA. For more on their ministry and adventures this summer please visit Also, they are working on raising support and having a tough time of it. Please prayerfully consider supporting them.
I’m also very grateful to Mike Williams and his family. Mike came out for two and a half weeks to work with the interns and help them process the things they are seeing and learning during the summer. It is hard to put into words the impact Mike has each summer (this is his second). He laughs and jokes and cries and encourages and challenges us all to a closer, more intimate walk with the Lord.
Pray that God will bless Mike and the Farrants and their ministries in powerful ways and provide for their needs.
We hope and believe that the interns from this summer will be advocates for the ministry and the people here as they go back to school, their home churches, etc. Also, some of them are considering serving Native America full time in some capacity in the future!

E. “What the interns had to say about their time here…”
“I see God moving in the lives of individuals (in the community of White Swan), awakening them to a deeper understanding of the gospel of Jesus. In this respect, I think of people like Allen and Moses. In addition, I also see God moving among the tribe as a whole as they see our love for them and God’s love for them demonstrated in our investing our time and resources in repairing their campground—a location that has occupied a dear place in the hearts of thousands of the Yakama people.”
~ Shawn Honey – 30, from Fayetteville, WV, MDiv student at Covenant Seminary
“This summer I am learning more about how beautiful and great God’s creation is. I am seeing how important it is for the Gospel to spread through Native America in a way that will reveal who Creator really is and although I don’t know yet exactly what that will look like, God is teaching me to have patience with how He chooses to work in His kingdom.”
~ Stephanie Heaney – 21, from Charlotte, NC, senior at Covenant College
“The Lord has been teaching me what it means to lose everything for the sake “of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3). Ultimately this means dying to my present needs and desires, and refocusing on counting others, and ultimately, God, as more important than myself. Living in community here on the Rez has surfaced attitudes in my own heart that negatively influence my service to the Lord and the building of the community of Christ. More and more I see how much I have yet to learn, which is humbling yet at the same time gives me a vision for my growth in Christ. I am also learning how to listen, and when it is best to be silent rather offer up advice. It is a challenge to learn how to actively listen to others and not only hear what they are saying, but what they are communicating about their feelings.”
~ Alicia Stacy – 19, from Issaquah, WA, sophomore at Seattle Pacific University
“I am continuing to learn what it means to serve people in need. Not only that, but people who have been and in many ways, are continuing to be oppressed. God is showing me that the gospel is truly a transforming power and that lives are only truly transformed through a working of God's grace.
“God is continuing to open up doors for Sacred Road and softening hard hearts. God is enabling Sacred Road to live out the gospel so that people will be open to hearing about Jesus. The people know that Chris and Mary truly care about them and desire to help them. Just the other day, I was in the Cougar Den when a lady walked in asking the cashier if she had Chris Granberry's phone number. This lady needed help and she was asking around for Chris's number. That spoke volumes to me.”
~ Dave Driskill – 28, from Birmingham, AL, third year seminary student at Beeson Divinity School
“This has been a very powerful summer. Being a part of Sacred Road Ministries for the summer has taught me a lot about the utmost importance of building strong relationships. The ministry focuses on creating a community of friends and family that creates a body where people can serve one another. From these relationships we can learn how to meet the needs of the community, and in the fellowship of believers and unbelievers we are able testify to who God is.”
~ Lisa Beth Dubbs – 23, from Seattle WA, recently graduated from the University of Washington
“I see God moving in the hearts of those who come, see, and share the Yakama story with their church back home. I also see God restoring White Swan to the community it once was, the community that older residents remember. I see new relationships being built between natives, between natives and whites, and most importantly between Yakama Indians and Jesus Christ.”
~ Michael Shaw- 21, from St. Louis, MO, senior at Covenant College
“I forgot that in coming back for a second year that I would see the progress of the Lord working out here. I have really enjoyed witnessing the difference between this summer and last summer. Last summer we might have a few people from the community at dinner each week, and maybe one working on the worksite. But this summer we have multiple people from the community every night, and three or four or sometimes more on the worksite with us. …I know it has to be the Lord that is drawing them to us, because otherwise I don’t know why they would want to be with us all the time.”
~ Heather German – 21, from Tacoma, WA, senior at Covenant College
“I have learned so much about the love of God and how that permeates through, beyond, and in spite of us, our cultures, and our sins. I’m learning more and more about the Yakama people and their culture: their perseverance and long-suffering in the face of centuries of oppression, their hunger for spiritual food, their common grace insights into creation, and the current reality of their socioeconomic poverty.
“Since being out here I’ve seen God’s hand at work in a variety of ways. Seeing children ask bold questions, listen intently, and even have a girl come to know Jesus personally has been so amazing. I’ve also seen God’s provision worked out in so many small and big ways. From providing our daily food and strength to allowing us to work at Camp Chaparral, God is moving in big ways here on the Yakama Indian Reservation.”
~ Paul Norman – 21, from Hammond, IN, senior at Covenant College
“The Gospel is a salient message for every human, and I think that Sacred Road very appropriately opens doors to share God’s radical, life-giving Truth of redemption by first acting with the radical, life-giving Love that Christ has shown to each of us. I see this in individual lives, and know that news of what is going on is spreading like wildfire because of these people sharing it with their community, and it is also evident, especially in the places Sacred Road directly impacts, like the Totus Park housing project, that God is redeeming this people.”
~ Kyle Bjorback – 22, from Seattle, WA, recently graduated from the University of Washington
“This summer I am learning that I CAN’T DO IT. I can’t change anything, or fix anything or make it all go away…but I CAN PRAY, and LOVE, and come along side and try my best to UNDERSTAND and EMPATHIZE. I am also learning that the suburban church is extremely valuable because of their gifts to the church. Because they aren’t living in a constant state of crisis or havoc they have more time to really search out theology and other important aspects of Christianity that people in poverty have a hard time focusing on because of the constant obstacles laid in their paths. We have so much to learn from each other.”
~ Megan Kunkel – 23, from Edmonds, WA, junior at the University of Montevallo in B'ham, AL

E. “To ordain, or not to ordain…”
Well, as many of you know, our presbytery licensed me to preach in the last spring. This year I will be pursuing ordination and hope to be ordained and a “full fledged” church planter this spring. That means I have to do a lot of studying, take three written exams, do some Greek, be examined by the credentials committee and on the floor of Presbytery in the areas of the Sacraments, Church History, and Counseling. I’ve been told that this half of the process is not as tough as the licensure part but I’m still nervous! Please pray for me (and Mary and the kids) as I prepare for ordination. I’ve always been more “hands on” and have never been accused of being a “book worm”. It is hard to say “no” to folks (especially widows and single moms) in the community who need a hand (splitting firewood, building a wheel chair ramp, patching a hole in the floor, etc.) in order to study! Pray that I will be wise about time management and that I will be disciplined without being obsessive (I can’t seem to find that balance) in regards to studying.
If all goes well, we will have our first worship service the first Sunday evening in September 2008!

F. “Promotional Videos and New Brochures are in the works!”
We are very excited that James Griffin from Highlands Presbyterian near Jackson, MS has come out for two weeks last spring and summer to interview folks in the community and in the ministry on film! He has spent hours and untold dollars to create a 30 minute promotional video and is working on an 8 minute version as well! We have seen the 30 minute version and are thrilled with the results. The 8 minute version should be ready soon. Hopefully you will be able to see one soon. Please pray that God would use these videos to help us get Native America “on the radar”, raise prayer support and money for future ministry and growth, and recruit teams, interns, and full time staff in the future. Pray that God would bless James and his family richly for the sacrifices they have made.
We are also excited and grateful for the offer from Tadd Bentson from Faith Presbyterian in Tacoma to print new brochures for us. Nancy Carroll and Tracy Brabner (from our home church in Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Presbyterian) had been working on content and design for a while but we didn’t have the budget to send it to print. Hopefully you’ll see some soon! In the same way as the video, pray that these brochures will help us raise awareness, prayer support, money, etc. Pray that God would bless those who have given of their time and resources to make it happen!

G. “Upcoming Travel Plans”
We are excited that many churches around the country are inviting us to come share this fall. From September through early December we have invitations, and are making arrangements, to visit churches in Seattle, WA; Tacoma, WA; Santa Rosa, CA; Kansas City, MO; Birmingham, AL and possibly Idaho. Mary and the kids will be going on about half of these trips while Wendell will travel with me on the other half. Please pray for safety while traveling and that these visits would be effective and a blessing to all.

Well, there is so much more to tell but I know I need to stop. God is on the move! We invite you to "join the team" if you have not yet. We like to invite people to "Come and See" what the Lord is doing. I also want to invite you to pray and to give as you are able. We need you!

In Him!

Chris Granberry

Physical address:
4711 Branch Rd.
Wapato, WA 98951

Donations go to:
Sacred Road Ministries
22116 SE 51st Place
Issaquah, WA 98029-9221

To book a week for a team or get an application to be an intern:
Call 253-315-1833
Or email:

Photos - Summer 2007