Ministry Update

Navajo Summer update 2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

Although the hot weather has not yet abated, for us here in Navajo, the summer is over. The children have gone back to school and the last of our summer volunteers left yesterday. It was a full summer. At the beginning we had our third annual men’s campout with staff member Rick McCafferty, leading “Sacred Ground” a program that helps our men to deal with patterns of abuse, domestic violence, and other destructive attitudes and behaviors. Vicar Rick led the group in Bible studies and sharing their stories, so that the Holy Spirit brings healing in lives impacted by trauma.

The week following the campout, we had a volunteer group from Risen Savior Lutheran in Wichita, KS come to re-roof the fellowship hall. This turned out to be a bigger job than anticipated, because much of the underlayer of plywood was damaged and had to be replaced. But God provided, with extra volunteer help from our congregation, we were able to complete the project in two days!

In July, we hosted Our Savior Lutheran from Tospfield, MA. This is their 5th summer coming to Navajo. Each time they have led V.B.S. and done various other relationship building activities in the evenings (family crafts, s’mores, games, etc.). This year was no different, and the week was a great blessing to our community as 57 children attended, and many adults came in the evenings. The team also worked on a second roof--our guest house where the interns stay--and completed it!

Later in the month we had our Day Camp led by our summer interns Owen Duncan and Josh Ianucelli. The Wagner family from Dixon, NM also helped with the Day Camp. We were further blessed with volunteer help from Rob Meier, a recent college graduate from Omaha, NE who came and stayed a month and helped with various projects around the church. Pictured below are (from left) Josh, Owen, and Rob after they completed the new floor in our large parsonage.

The interns also helped with our new jail ministry. On Fridays we went to the local jail and preached to the inmates. It has been both challenging and rewarding as some prisoners reject the Gospel out of hand, and others are thirsting for it and thank us profusely for coming.

In Christ,
the Norton Family

Please thank God with us for:

  • The Men’s Campout and the Holy Spirit’s work of healing trauma

  • The 57 children who came to V.B.S. and heard the Gospel

  • The volunteers from Wichita, Massachusetts, Omaha, and New Mexico and their dilligent labor

  • The summer interns, that God will continue to shape them as they prepare for public ministry as Pastors in the LCMS.

Train up a Child - VBS in Neah Bay

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it..png

Greetings! I hope you are having an awesome and blessed summer.

 For many, summer is a special time to enjoy cookouts with friends and neighbors, relax and savor warm weekends, and create lifelong memories on family vacations. But summer for Lutheran Indian Ministries’ missionaries means the busy season! And nowhere is this more evident than in our ministry on the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington.

 Vicar Ben Maxson has a heart for children of all ages. A father of six children himself, his affinity for kids comes naturally. So, it is with great joy and excitement that Ben, and his wife, Natalie, make special plans each summer to share the Gospel message with the young people of the Makah Nation.

 Maybe you have a memory of a Vacation Bible School experience that impacted your faith life. Because of you, that is exactly what Ben and Natalie are doing for the youth in Neah Bay. By the power of the Holy Spirit, they are creating spiritual memories which will last a lifetime.

 Your support of their good work is changing lives!

 In late June, Makah Lutheran Church hosted more than 80 kids at their annual Vacation Bible School - the largest VBS Makah Lutheran has seen in many years!

 This year’s theme, “Dive into God’s Word,” was based on a curriculum created by Ben and Natalie, specifically written to affirm the values, cultures, and traditions of the Makah people (one day’s activities included drum making), while teaching the truth of the Savior, Jesus, from God’s Word.

 It is essential that children in all Native American Nations, including the Makah Nation, know God uniquely created them as a vital and important part of His diverse creation and He loves them as His precious child. At VBS, they learned to worship Him with their heart, hands, voices, and feet using elements of the Makah culture to give honor and glory to God, the Creator, and to His Son, the Redeemer.

 Seeing God with the clear eyes of Biblical truth through the lens of their culture opens new doors of opportunity to share the Gospel with Native children and their families on the Makah Reservation.

 All of this is made possible because of your generous support of Lutheran Indian Ministries and Ben’s work in Neah Bay.

 For nearly 20 years, faithful partners, like you, have supported Native ministry in Neah Bay. Your faith in this vision – to proclaim, disciple, and heal – enabled us to sustain Makah Lutheran Church throughout the years – a place which now serves 100 Native people every Sunday. We are so grateful for your faithfulness and generosity!

 And yet, our work is not done!

 We need to grow the influence and impact of Ben’s ministry beyond the borders of the Makah Reservation. By the grace of God, we will continue to reach southward on the Olympic Peninsula towards the peoples of Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble Klallam, Skokomish, and Quinault. To do this, we need your prayers and continued financial support.

 You can help, as you have so many times in the past, by making a gift today to encourage and sustain the LIM ministry in Neah Bay, through Ben and Natalie’s work, and enable it to grow. We cannot let insufficient resources impede the charge of the Holy Spirit on the Olympic Peninsula.

 God has promised provision for those who faithfully do His work.

 We are richly blessed to have Ben and Natalie Maxson labor in the Lord’s field as members of Lutheran Indian Ministries. And we are grateful for your partnership and generous gifts to their work. Thank you!

 With your help, we are making a difference in Neah Bay, Washington. With your continued help, we can and will do so much more.

 May God bless and keep you always.

 In Him, 

Tim Young Eagle (Pawnee)
Executive Director

 

 P.S. Teen camp in Alaska starts soon!  Your gift today will be a blessing to over 80 Native Alaskan teens as they gather together in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Thank you!

Your gift today affirms that Jesus was born for all, including our Native American brothers and sisters.  Thank you!

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July 2019 Haskell LIGHT News Haskell LIGHT Student Center

Yes, it is Summer but we still have 200 students here.   We are continuing to make contact with individuals about their walk with God and with groups who want to use our building.  Below are some things for prayer.  May the Holy Spirit guide you as you intercede for us. Thank you for all of your support! 

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PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING                            

Ø  New Staff:  God has made a way for Deon Prue (Bob’s wife) to become our next Administrative Assistant starting this month.  Deon has been helping as a volunteer in most aspects of ministry.  Having her as paid staff will help us be more effective reaching out to the female college students; and in everything we do. 

Ø  LWML National Convention:  We were excited to attend this event in Mobile, Alabama (June 20-23).  We made several key contacts with this wonderful group of women who serve us and many other ministries.

Ø  Public Relations Opportunities:  We have visited local churches to inform long-time and new friends about what God is doing here.  Bill also visited churches in Mobile and Oklahoma City after the LWML Convention.

Ø  Grants For Programs:  Some money has been approved and other applications have been submitted for our trauma healing program, Bible studies, cultural relationship building activities and building expansion.

Ø  Billy Mills Luncheon May 18th:  This Olympic winner and world leader was honored at Haskell LIGHT.

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PRAYER REQUESTS                   

Staff and Families:   Ask God for good spiritual and physical health for all.  Pray for safe travels, effective team-work and support for each other.  This is important since we are more like a family than co-workers.

Planning for Fall 2019:  Fall Semester starts Aug. 19th   Pray for God to guide us as we plan for the:

·       Back To School Bash

·       Freshman Girls’ Event

·       Sunday Gathering

·       Sacred Ground Trauma Healing Sessions and Staff Training

·       Concerts and Other Activities

·       Hand Drum, Gourd Rattle Making

·       November Heritage Celebration

·       Possible Student Internships

Good Relations with Neighbors:Please pray for us to have a positive working relationship with the people who live on Pawnee Ave.We always invite them to our Back To School Bash and often talk with them.

 Next Haskell Univ. President:  Please pray for a person who loves Jesus and can lead Haskell towards academic, social, emotional and spiritual stability.

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More information available at Haskell LIGHT Campus Ministry on Facebook.

We are located at 137 Pawnee Ave. Lawrence, KS 66046     785-841-4809   

 Please let us know how we can pray for you too.  Bob & Deon Prue, Bill Paris

 

 

Haskell  LIGHT

News, July 2019

2019 Easter Update from Navajo

Dear Friends in Christ,

Blessed Eastertide! Although all times of the year are occasions to remember our new birth in Christ, the Easter season is an especially poignant reminder. Pictured above is a baptism of a newborn child that we had earlier this month. Rejoice with us in God’s washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5) of this child and her adoption as God’s child (1 Jn. 3:1).

lutheran indian ministries - concordia group at navajo.png

Another event that took place this month was a visit from students of Concordia University in Irvine, CA. 11 students and their leader Rev. Jonathan Ruehs spent a week learning about Navajo culture, sharing God’s Word through skits, Bible lessons, and songs, and loving their Navajo neighbors through acts of service. This group did a great job of participating in all aspects of life, and adopting the posture of learners. Together with our church members they butchered a sheep and learned how to make fry bread. It was the first time for any of our visitors to butcher, but they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Of course ministry here is not all sunshine and roses. I had the challenging experience of conducting a funeral for a young man who was murdered just before Easter. Cases like that are times for lament, but at the same time a reminder of what Christ offers to anyone who believes.

lutheran indian ministries - grilling in the snow in may in navajo.png

This winter was one of the snowier ones we have experienced here. We even had snow on the 20th of May! The snow didn’t stop our monthly barbeques at church to celebrate God’s gift of life (birthdays). Pictured below is one of our church members Howard Nutlouis, who did not let a little weather get in the way of cooking outdoors.

We are looking forward to another summer filled with opportunities to share the Gospel. Two interns from Concordia, Irvine will be serving at Navajo again. Owen Duncan (returning from last year) and Joshua Ianucelli. We will also be hosting teams from Our Savior’s L.C. Topsfield, MA, and Risen Savior, Wichita, KS.

We are remodeling one of the parsonages in order that visiting teams will have a place to stay, and we plan in the future to use the space as an education facility. We have been blessed with generous donations from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, NM with supplies, and the Texas Red River Zone of the LWML. We are not quite finished, but we hope to have it ready by the time the Our Savior team arrives in July.

Please thank God with us for:

The Baptism of the baby on 5/12/19
The visit of the CUI group, and that God will continue to bless them in their service
The generous donations of building supplies by Immanuel Lutheran the Red River Zone of the LWML.

Ask the right questions, then stop talking

“I work with a lot of broken people,” Rick McCafferty (Inupiaq) explained. “They have, what we call, wounds of the heart put there by previous abuse and addiction. I’ve found that, more than anything, they want a chance to tell their story. So, it’s important to ask the right questions and then stop talking and just listen.”

During a recent visit to Haskell Indian Nations University, Rick utilized this simple process and the result changed a family.

In the wake of a suicide on campus, Rick and Bob Prue (Rosebud Sioux) were focusing on helping the students through their grief and confusion. But it was after one of those sessions that Rick happened upon a woman hanging out at the LIGHT House. She was a regular, attending Bible studies and working with the students, but not a student herself. She and Rick began talk about life – simple, small talk.

“She’s a single mom with a young child, and on the outside, she really seems to have it all together,” Rick said. “But when you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you notice things. You see patterns in lifestyles, and I could tell there was something she wasn’t saying.”

So, Rick did what Rick does: he asked questions, he listened, and he let the Holy Spirit work in their conversation.

In a matter of minutes, the woman opened up and shared that she was having trouble with her boyfriend, and her son had recently told her that he was afraid of the man.

Rick explained: “She said it in passing, that her son was afraid, and continued with her story, but I stopped her and told her to repeat what she had just said.”

The woman repeated the comment that her son was scared, paused, and began crying. She, herself, had grown up with abusive men in her life, and now she was putting her son – the one person she wanted most in the world to protect – in danger.

“I don’t know what you just did,” she remarked to Rick, “but wow! Thank you for helping me realize how bad this situation is for me and my son! And… how can I learn to do that?”

It turns out, this woman is a therapist! Rick told her about LIM’s Sacred Ground program and how the LIGHT House would be interested in having her help when she felt settled and ready. Then, he put her in contact with Bob’s wife, Deon, to make sure she had support in the days and weeks ahead.

God’s timing is always perfect! This woman didn’t show up to get help for herself; she came to help the students. But God put the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

“Things are really falling into place at Haskell,” Rick told us. “There are amazing people coming out of the college and the community who have a heart for Native peoples, and are seeing the amazing work Bob, Deon, and Bill Paris are doing to guide the next generation of Native leaders to Christ, and they want to be a part of it. But the even more amazing thing is that this is happening at all of our locations!”

In Neah Bay, Washington, Vicar Ben Maxson had 140 people at his Easter service. (FYI: There are only 850 people in Neah Bay!) And even more showed up the following Sunday. Have you ever seen a church fuller the Sunday after Easter? The Holy Spirit is at work among the Makah people.

In Phoenix, Kevin Maulson (Lac du Flambeau) and Rick baptized 14 adults in one day in the Saguaro Lake, and his most recent Sunday Bible study had 50 people! All these men and women were homeless and are finding their way, with Kevin’s help and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Kevin and Rick also finished Phoenix’s first Sacred Grounds workshop with nine participants. Don’t forget – Kevin has only been in Phoenix 8 months! God is guiding the Phoenix ministry!

Moving further north, Nathan and Sarah Milan, and their four children, are RV-ing their way to Fairbanks to start our new chapter at the Mission Training Center. Along the way, they’ve unexpectedly met numerous people with connections to ministry in Alaska. God is paving their way to bring His grace to Alaska Natives.

And in Kotzebue, Alaska, Rick’s hometown, people are hungry for healing and for Jesus. At a recent Southcentral Beauty for Ashes training (the basis of our Sacred Ground), more than 25 Kotzebue Natives participated in the ALET training to become Beauty for Ashes leaders themselves and bring the program back to their home.

“That is the biggest turnout we have ever had from any one region,” Rick exclaimed. “I get emotional when I think about how far my home has come from when I was a child growing up there. There’s hope again!”

Through his tears, Rick explained, “I have been praying for Kotzebue for 15 years. I love my people, but I also prayed, ‘God use me to help people, but just don’t send me back to Kotzebue.’” He chuckled and continued, “God knows what he’s doing and his timing is perfect, and if we are obedient and faithful, His Will will be done. He sent me back to Kotzebue when I was ready, and when He was ready, so I could see the miraculous work He is doing with my people. I am daily overwhelmed with thankfulness and awe for what He is doing for Native peoples and that he allows me to help!”

God is moving, lives are being changed in our country, and Lutheran Indian Ministries is blessed to be a leader in the field of Native ministry. We can’t wait to see what else God is going to do and we are ready to work alongside Him! Thanks for coming with us on this journey!