“Hope House” by Deaconess Cathy Benzler (Cherokee)

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:24). Our food pantry is getting a name change this year to the “Hope House.” We will continue distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to the elders but, on a monthly basis, we will collect other items to have on hand as well, such as personal items, diapers, school supplies, etc. We have found that, in this tough economy, people have physical needs and the money doesn’t go as far as it once did. This isn’t just a free hand-out, rather, we’re extending a hand of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ for all those that have a need and are unable to provide for themselves.

Ministry-2011-0135_WEB During the month of December last year, we gave mittens, gloves and knitted hats to all the elders, along with breakfast bags that contained cereal, oatmeal bars, pancake and muffin mix, honey, hot chocolate and applesauce. These were received with great enthusiasm and with heartfelt thanks.

Ministry-2011-0196_WEB We had a great ending to 2011. God answered many prayers of the people. Reconciliation took place among family members. People who had drifted away from the Lord came back to His embrace, and others expressed the desire to be baptized this year. In September, the Lower Elwha Tribe asked us to join them in doing a prayer walk through the reservation. We didn’t walk the entire land because of its size, but we walked all the places that had been defiled in one way or another, calling on the Lord for healing and restoration of the people involved and healing of the land. That same day, reports started coming in from different people on the changes they were experiencing.

Ministry-2011-0224_WEB God continues to heal the broken hearts of people and draw many to Him. This is what makes ministry such a joy to be a part of. We know the enemy will try to come and destroy those good things that are taking place, but our people are growing in their faith and are learning to recognize the evil one and his deception. Thanks be to God!

There are nine reservations on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. As the Holy Spirit leads, it is our desire to share the Gospel on all nine of the reservations. Recently, we have been invited by the LaPush and Quinault Tribes to minister among their people. While it may appear close in proximity on a map, the travel distance is quite long and far. The good news is that both Tom and I will have finished our ministry training at the end of this summer (Tom, deacon, and myself, deaconess) and our time will be open to expand our outreach. We do, however, ask for your prayers as we consider this expansion of ministry.

What I enjoy most about this ministry is watching God transform lives. Each day we get to see how He heals people, gives them strength in Him, and the desire to know and learn God’s Word. Once the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the Gospel to people, they are never the same again!