When we began the Hope House ministry eight years ago, people often asked, “Why don’t the Indians just use the local food bank?”
Our standard reply was: “Sure, they can go to the local food bank, but they won’t receive the message of forgiveness there. They won’t hear that Jesus loves them and that He died for their salvation.”
It is because of this message we feel the Hope House has experienced such growth over the years.
Meet the Need
It is not our job to “fix” the Native people we work with, but it is our calling to help and walk alongside the Native people of the Olympic Peninsula all the while leading them to the cross, proclaiming the Gospel, healing the wounds, and creating disciples.
It was never our intention to go on to the reservations with the resources to fix everything. It is not physically or financially possible. We have discovered, however, when individuals learn they are capable doing and succeeding at small things, they feel empowered! They, in turn, want to take on bigger projects and see bigger results.
Over the years, we’ve had amazing opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus on our local reservations and to assist the Native people in our area to start a number of small projects that led to bigger, tribe-initiated projects.
We plowed up a thorny back yard for an elder to grow vegetables; tribal leaders built a community garden that members help to care for and can reap the benefits of fresh vegetables for their families.
We gathered a group of volunteers to fill in the potholes around elders’ homes; the tribal council began to better maintain their gravel roads.
We helped plan drumming circles and dance groups; tribal groups are learning and teaching the youth about their lost culture.
We collected backpacks and school supplies and put a focus on the youth within the community; the tribe began providing these items to families who need them and built a new outdoor sports complex to encourage the youth to lead a healthier lifestyle which has led to relationships with other tribes through sporting competitions.
We gather together the believers in the community to teach and mentor; they are now going into their communities to share their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have a great core of people on the Lower Elwha Reservation, our first outreach, who we meet with weekly and who crave a deeper relationship with their Lord. These individuals are taking up more and more of the work of the Hope House because they have been filled with the love and hope of their Savior and want to share that love with their neighbors.
This group from Lower Elwha has realized they are powerless to change themselves and their community and are looking to the cross to bring about change.
This is your ministry
All of these projects and the lives changed were possible because of you!
You donated backpacks and pencils. Your gifts to LIM bought the shovels and seeds to start that first garden. The extra gift you made to your church on Native American Sunday bought the gravel to fill the potholes.
Then, when their needs were met, and we had earned their trust, we were welcomed into their lives. We were invited to community events and could reach families on a personal level.
We were able to share the Good News of the salvation we have through Jesus Christ. We were able to start Bible Studies to begin the work of creating disciples who could then proclaim the Good News to their own people.
Your commitment to Lutheran Indian Ministries reaches far beyond the small projects you see on our website or in these newsletters.
Your gifts impact the lives of Native Americans every day!
Looking to the future
We know that the future of the Native people of the Olympic Peninsula is limitless with Christ, and we will continue to think up and plan new activities and projects the tribe can sustain that will benefit their people physically and spiritually. Thank you!