Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Update from Our Children's Director, Joshua Tsavatewa

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,

Joshua Tsavatewa – see Sacred Road’s videos

Address (mail)

PO Box 223

Harrah, WA 98933

Cell 509-930-0100

Address (support)

Sacred Road Ministries

22116 SE 51st Place

Issaquah WA 98029-9221