During my 20 years as a missionary to Native people, God has blessed me to be able to baptize two dozen Native people who have confessed their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. But the Native community tends to be a very mobile group, and some have moved away from this area and now live in places like Duluth, Park Rapids, Moorhead, or even Canada. One man has died and gone to be with the Lord. And a few have returned to drug and alcohol abuse. I’ve been interested to discover how those who have moved away still find opportunities to stay connected with me even though there are miles between us.
Photo by JFXie via Flickr
Pat is a 45 year-old Native man who is now living about an hour’s drive away in Mahnomen, Minnesota. His sister died about two months ago (liver disease due to years of excessive drinking). It really hit his extended family hard and Pat came up with an idea to help his brothers and sister, nieces and nephews. He suggested that they have a pot-luck dinner one Sunday afternoon and asked me to come and “share some verses from God’s word” with the family. I was glad to answer this call.
Pat (whom I baptized a few years ago) is the only believer in Christ among his rather large family, but they were all eager to gather in the living room after dinner and listen as I shared from Psalm 42 (“Where is God in our suffering?”) and sang a song on my guitar.
After the gathering finished and I was driving home, I thought about other things I would like to share with this family that is hurting and searching. Later in the day Pat called me and said everyone had talked after I left and said we should continue doing this kind of gathering. I was elated! Since that time, we have met once again and have plans to meet again next month.
Please pray that Pat’s family would be open to God’s word and embrace Jesus as their Savior.
And thank God for the creative ways He gives me to stay in touch with believers who have moved away!
Rev. Mark Peske, Bemidji, MN