It was a busy summer for the missionaries of Lutheran Indian Ministries!
In Neah Bay, Washington, Ben Maxson and his wife, Natalie, led a Vacation Bible School for over 90 children at Makah Lutheran Church. Rick McCafferty and Nate Milan partnered with our friends, Lance and Corina Kramer, to host more than 85 Alaska Native junior high and high school kids at the Kattivik Bible Camp on the Noatak River north of Kotzebue, Alaska. Meanwhile, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Navajo, New Mexico, Pastor Tim Norton headed a Vacation Bible School for close to 60 Native children.
To God be the glory!
This is a record-breaker for Lutheran Indian Ministries. We have never had a summer that reached this number of kids! But, that is the least of the story – the best part is that the love of Christ got hold of these young people. They experienced a love that will dwell in them and sustain them their whole life through.
More than 200 young people heard Bible stories, studied God’s Word, camped together, and shared in activities all designed around who they are as Native children. They saw God as Makah, Athabascan, Navajo, Inupiat – and themselves as children of God.
As I write this, I overflow with joy to tell you that in Alaska, at Kattivik Bible Camp, 66 Native youth were baptized into the body of Christ – sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever!
I love to tell of what the Lord is doing when we let Him work through us, and you are a vital part of it!
You provided the resources for the VBS and Bible Camps to happen. Through your gifts and prayers, you supplied the Bibles, arts and crafts, food, shelter… the list goes on. More importantly, your faithful generosity allowed for the message of hope in Jesus, and the love of the Father, to be shared with these young, Native people.
The experience of summer camp, however, is fleeting. The excitement fades, and the sun’s shadows become long, fading to darkness. That’s when the real work starts!
True ministry is not just a one time, or one-week, endeavor. It is a year-round vocation. Your generous gifts to Lutheran Indian Ministries enable us to have staff in place to provide spiritual support and guidance to these children and their families all year long.
Your faithful and committed gifts are extremely important to ensure daily ministry is being done with these Native children long after the volunteers have left, the fun of summer activities ends, and the stark reality of reservation life returns.
It is by the grace of God, and your encouragement of our work, that Ben, Natalie, Rick, Nate, and Tim can impact the lives of so many Native people in the cause of Christ every single day. And yet we are humbly aware we are just a small piece in God’s big plan for the salvation of the world. 1 Corinthians 3: 6-9 says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers.”
I am often amazed and constantly grateful for the passion and perseverance of our missionaries. They work tirelessly and relentlessly in the Lord’s field, which to most is a rugged and unforgiving land, but to them is home. They work long hours – often 6 and 7 days each week. And like a good shepherd, they are available to their flock 24 hours a day, and they do it all with joy in their hearts, knowing it is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they serve. They are truly God’s fellow workers!
Once again, your gift to Lutheran Indian Ministries makes it all possible. You give our missionaries inspiration that cannot be measured to do the work only God can measure. Thank you! You are such a blessing to us.
Ministry is an endless job. But through the work of the Holy Spirit and your faithful support, our ministry team will continue to nurture and water so God can give growth, according to His purpose and for His Kingdom.
We are so grateful that you walk with us on this journey. Thank you for your generous gift to sustain this year-round ministry!
May God bless and keep you always.
Tim Young Eagle (Pawnee)
P.S. Your gift today ensures the ministry begun this summer can grow and flourish to make an impact for eternity!
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