Friday, April 24, 2009

The New and Improved Sacred Road Team

Chris, Mary, Ann Marie, Beth, Morgan and David Granberry; Emily Schmidt; Heather German; Veronica Vasquez; Gretchen Becker; Bill, Tina, Miranda, Mary Beth, Madison, and Morgan Yarbrough; Jesse and Sarah Dempsen; Chuck, Neena, and Asha Clevenger.

We are now a new and improved Sacred Road Team, and still growing!
As I reflect on the last couple of months, I am overwhelmed by the work of God.  I see my own life in constant flux with the various activities of ministry and with the stages of my childrens' growth.  This feeling has grown with the flow of people through our lives this spring,  and especially the with the addition of our new full time team members.  Chris and I, and our four children, have been serving on the Yakama Indian Reservation for almost six years now.  During these six years I have learned much about the Yakama culture and traditions, as well as brokenness from poverty and loss, some of which would have previously been unimaginable to me.
As Chris and I settled into life on the Reservation, we would bring in church teams to serve.  We would connect the community and the teams intentionally and carefully, in order to build bridges through the love of Christ that would be tangible to our new neighbors.  I love this Native community with it's beauty and brokenness.  I feel the need often to join in with the silent screams of desperation.  How often I have been reminded of my own heart's cry for the Lord.  How often I have felt the emptiness of reaching for anything or anyone but Christ alone during these six years.  I often would wake with no hope, and would have to seek God's face, or stumble along in my own strength.  How stubborn I can be to attempt a day in my own strength, even when I feel so very weak!  The verse I began to cling to  over the years has been Psalm 126 : 5 & 6.
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!  
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
One of the exciting parts of the last couple of months has been the expansion of our mission team.   How wonderful to be able to sow and reap with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Over and over again, we have welcomed new team members who have raised their support and moved here.  I am overwhelmed with God's provision, and humbled by my new team mates who have committed their lives to see the Gospel spread here on the Reservation with me.  Our home has become even busier with activity, as we do not have a facility or ministry building yet.  My children and I notice that we have been saying more "hello's" than "good byes" for the first time since moving here! 
In the midst of the excitement, I have felt the clash of cultures in my own home as well.  How do I continue to serve the community, and serve my new team members?  The restlessness this question has brought into my life has been draining, and brought feelings of guilt and bitterness at times.  After all, how can I meet so many needs?  Do you hear my sin in that question?  I do.  In the midst of great things the Lord is doing, I turn to myself again and again.  I need to do the same thing now that I learned to do when we first moved out here alone.  I need to turn to Christ alone.
"My people have committed two sins:  They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."  Jeremiah 2 : 13
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  John 7 : 37-38
The exciting news to me is that the Gospel is what I need, the Gospel is what my Native community needs, and the Gospel is what my new team needs!  We are all thirsty, no matter what culture we come from.  We all need to be reminded of and led to the "streams of living water", whether we are missionaries or stay home moms (or both!)   
Pray for the Sacred Road team, that we would love one another well.  Pray for our Yakama community, that "streams of living water" would flow from within.
Mary Granberry

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Haulin', Choppin', Splittin', & Stackin'

Two Churches, Faith Presbyterian Church and First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and two Families, the Yarbroughs the Dempsens, came out to Yakama for the weekend to chop up firewood for elders in the community.  They all worked extremely hard, and the folks in the community were truly blessed by their work.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Photos from Spring Teams 2009

Marshall Hannigan's house


RUF UW, Left Coast Ministries, and the Dethlefsen Family