Priceless!

I’ve been in the process of reporting how the “Homes of Hope” funds were spent and as I was giving account of the cost for every item purchased, in the end all I could say to what happened on that Apache Reservation was “PRICELESS”. I want to thank each and everyone of you for praying, giving, and going so that others might have HOPE. Because of you, lives have been changed for eternity. That is “PRICELESS”

instrumental collageTake a look at what your generosity helped provide in the community of Whiteriver AZ, White Mountain Apache Reservation.

Washer
Dryer
Gas range
Refrigerator
CD player
2 Burner hotplate
2 floor fans
Slow cooker
Cookware
Dinnerware
Utensils
Bathroom towels for 7
New Windows
Protective bars for windows
Outdoor shed
Laundry room addition
Bathroom renovations
Bathroom fixtures
Kitchen plumbing
Bedroom renovations
Carpet
Paint
3 bunkbeds
6 mattresses
6 sets of bed linens
6 pillows
6 blankets
Electrical repairs to church
Block for retaining wall
Block for room foundation
Masonry tools and supplies
Cement
New laminate floor for 4 rooms
School uniforms for 8 kids (5 sets each)
Winter coats for 8 kids
Drywall
Nails
Roll roofing
Felt paper
Basketballs
PomPoms
Sculpting balloons
Water coolers
Sports camp snacks
Exterior door
Light fixtures
Fender portable sound system
Speaker stands
3 weeks employment for 3 families
and much more…..

In total $30,962.48 was invested in the community of Whiteriver AZ, touching more than 10 families with renovations and/or building supplies, 2 families with school uniforms and 3 families with employment during our 3 week stay in that community. Not to mention the many families that allowed their kids to attend MegaSports Camp or Extreme VBS where each child had opportunity to invite Jesus into their hearts and lives.

God is not done in that community and there are still people that need the hope that only Jesus can give. As we look forward to next year we are planning to return with another team to continue the work of the ministry that God has called us to.

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

 

HELP THE PROJECT

You can help us continue to bring hope to children and their families by donating to “Homes of Hope”. When designating funds to this project be sure to indicate “Class 43-Homes of Hope” in the COMMENTS area before submitting form.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

Developing a Missions Heart in Children

Ever question when you should begin teaching children to evangelize and reach the world with the gospel? At what age should kids enter the mission field? How can we prepare kids to be missionaries in their own backyard?

God has given us each a people group that He wants us to reach with the gospel. Who has God given our kids to reach and how can we equip them to share the gospel with those people?

If we can instill of heart of compassion in our kids we CAN reach the world.

This year at the Equipping Conference in Manassas Virginia I had the opportunity to have an informal discussion about this very topic. The session was recorded so that you too could gain a little insight into developing a missions heart in children.

“God our Savior, who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” 1 Tim 2:3

Listen to the session

Other Related resources
Growing Mission minded kids by David and Mary Boyd
Developing a Heart for Missions in Kids by John Miller
Involving Children in Missions by Linda Mei Lin Koh
Planting Seeds of Compassion in Children by Mark Entzminger, David Boyd and Ray Risner.

 Video Description: Mark Entzminger guides answers questions about the importance of planting seeds of compassion in the hearts of children. Special guests David Boyd and Jay Risner share valuable insights that will help children’s workers and parents help their kids see the needs around them and find ways to respond. (Be patient as the video loads)

Team Reaches Out During Sun Dance

It was the third week in August and our team boarded a flight headed to Omaha Nebraska where we would then spend the next nine hours driving, stopping to stock up on supplies and making our way to Wagner on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. We would spend the first night there before heading on to Mission South Dakota the next morning. Little did we know that God had entrusted our team to bring light into a week filled with spiritual darkness. Just 3 weeks prior to our departure, God had changed our location from the Yankton Sioux Reservation to Rosebud Reservation where we would be in the middle of the Sun Dance Ceremonies taking place that week.

Sun Dance circleThe Sun Dance is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American peoples, including the Lakota on the Rosebud Reservation. In 2003 traditional spiritual leaders of several tribes banned non-natives from sacred altars and from attending the Sun Dance. In most Sun Dance cultures, it is forbidden to film ceremony and prayer, so few, if any, images exist of authentic ceremonies.

It was our understanding that many of the ceremonies include specific dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of traditional drums, the sacred pipe, tobacco offerings, praying, fasting and, in the case of the Lakotas, the piercing of skin on the chest, arms or back.

The object of the Sun Dance practice of piercing is to make a sacrifice to the Great Mystery, and to pray while connected to the Tree of Life, a direct connection to the ‘Creator’. A common explanation is that a flesh offering, or piercing, is given as a part of a prayer for the benefit of one’s family and community.

Voluntary torture is part of the climax of the Sun Dance in the Lakota tribe. In those cases, the dancers were pierced through the breast or shoulder muscles by skewers which were tied to the center pole, and they danced by pulling back until their flesh tore away.

The sacrifice of the dancers through fasting, thirst, and self-inflicted pain reflects the desire to return something of themselves to nature, with special reference to the life- sustaining buffalo, in exchange for past and future benefits.

The great Sun Dance ritual establishes the tenet that there is no final death, for all living things can be renewed. Human beings, however, like all their fellow creatures, must cooperate in order to bring about universal regeneration.

While the Lakota people were trusting that their sacrifices and ceremonies to Wakan Takan (the Great Spirit) would bring about universal regeneration, our team was sharing with ~50 children and youth, that came each day to attend sports camp, about forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. That week Ephesians 6:12 resonated in each of our spirits. ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” God had given into our hands the hearts of children that we might be able to share the love of Jesus with each of them.

We spent each day playing, instructing, encouraging, feeding and loving each one. We got to know where they lived, their names and their personalities. They were no longer children on the reservation, they were now individuals that had become our new friends. We were told that the Lakota people will allow non-natives to pour into their children until they are age 12. Beyond that age they are reluctant to allow any further interaction. For whatever reason, we were excited to be given the privilege to teach these children about Jesus during the most impressionable years of their lives. We were able to pray specifically for each one throughout the week until we were also able to see 20 children make first time decisions to follow Jesus, including several youth.

KoltonKolton came each day eager to play and listened intently as we shared the message of Jesus’s love and forgiveness during the closing rally. On that final day of camp, when given the opportunity to give his life to Jesus, he raised his hand. You could see in his face that his decision was real as he asked for forgiveness and that Jesus would come into his life. He wept with one of our team members as he realized how much Jesus loved him. His life was changed for eternity that day.

We are now trusting God to work through the resident missionaries, Pastor Johnny and Heidi Wade, as they continue to water the seed planted by our team.

Please keep the Lakota people in your prayers that God would continue to use Pastor Johnny and Heidi and future teams as they reveal the “True Creator” and how He can be their God and Savior.

Visit our Facebook photo album to view more photos of our time on Rosebud Reservation.