Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fantastic Summer Update from Our Youth Director, Chuck Clevenger

Dear Friends and Family

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
Phone: 509-388-3669

Sacred Road Ministries
22116 SE 51st Place
Issaquah, WA 98029-9221

Links: - Clevenger blog - videos