February/March Newsletter, 2017 Rick Mcpherson
When your feet are cold and wet, you’re miserable. When you live in a part of the world that gets 140 inches of rain every year and you have no boots to keep you warm and dry, you’re really miserable. So, when we deliver insulated, waterproof boots to the Quinault Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula, it’s a big deal. For the recipients it’s all they can talk about. Boots! Free boots, no less.
To those who come from miles around to receive their boots, it’s more than Christmas morning. It’s incredible and for many they just can’t believe it. One lady told Pastor Gary, “This is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me!” In her opinion the boots were better than groceries!
Whenever we go to the Reservations to help Native Americans, we always have a prayer circle and ask God to bless the people with the truck load of supplies. We ask that the physical gifts would represent in a spiritual way God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness. It is a Biblical pattern that is seen so clearly in the life of Christ as he served people physically and spiritually. His feeding the hungry, caring for wedding guests, washing disciples’ feet and eating fish with his followers on the lakeshore are all illustrations of his compassionate and caring nature. He was a master communicator who taught eternal truth using the temporary and immediate.
Gary went on to tell me that this lady was new to their fellowship and was very interested in finding spiritual truth. I’d like to think that every time she looks at those boots, they would represent the love of God and His people. Her feet would be warm and dry. Her heart would be full. Her quest would be over.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Just weeks ago, many of you received our request to help repair the blown transmission in our 1993 Ford E350, delivery truck. The cost was, $2,800.00 for parts and labor and a 24 month, 24,000 mile warranty. Our budget could not afford the expense, so we asked for your financial help. And, you helped us.
To date, we have received $1,908.00 towards the transmission rebuild. Please insert a “smiley” face, here! Thank you for your response and generosity.
The nature of our ministry requires trucks, trailers, fork-lifts and heavy equipment. The maintenance, insurance, fuel and repairs are expensive. But, in order to make the trips across the country and to remote areas to serve Native Americans, they are necessary. Thank you and God bless you for your financial gifts to sustain this work!
January Newsletter, 2017 Rick Mcpherson
You’ve probably seen historic pictures of Native Americans perched precariously on pieces of wood on a scaffold-like structure over foaming waters of wild and treacherous rapids. They’re poised with spears, ready to stab Salmon as they migrate upstream to spawn. Usually the images are grainy and muted but accurately convey the balance and skill that these fishermen possessed, not to mention the danger!
What you’ve seen are the Yakama Tribe on the shores of the Columbia River. For centuries they have lived on this land and survived catching fish, first with spears and now with nets and boats. They live in a small village, east of The Dalles, Oregon, separated from the River by the Interstate.
We have been helping at Celilo Indian Village for years and this Christmas was no exception. Don Barnett and I arrived on a bitter, cold December day to deliver food, gifts and toys, household supplies, fresh potatoes and onions and everyone’s favorite, two pallets of coffee! Pictured above are the helpers who quickly unloaded the truck and stored everything away for distribution at the Long House. We even presented Karen Whitford with a stuffed bear that was almost as big as she was! There were smiles, joy and … peace on earth!
I asked Karen to say a prayer before we climbed back in the truck for the trip home. I will never forget what she said…
"Thank you, Lord, that this year, there won’t be no tears, cuz there’s no food on the table.”
Because of compassionate people like you who help us do this ministry, the love of God is expressed. You see, love is an action, not an abstraction.
So the next time you see an old grainy picture of Native Americans, whether they’re fishing or not, just remember Karen’s words and be thankful ,
“…that this year, there won’t be no tears!”
December Newsletter, 2016 Rick Mcpherson
Pastor Antonio Smith put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Let’s have a prayer of Thanksgiving!” We had just finished unloading groceries and household supplies for the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho. It was dark and starting to get cold but we huddled together with the other volunteers and prayed. As I climbed into the truck to begin the seven hour return trip I realized that was the last one for the year. We will finish our Christmas giving with children’s toys and gifts but 2016 is just about over. It’s hard to believe that another year of ministry is now history!
As I write this last newsletter, please know that it is filled with great appreciation for the financial gifts and expressions of help that have enabled us to do this work. Without people like you, who care about Native Americans and their physical and spiritual needs, we could not continue. So, from the bottom of our hearts… “THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU!” Only Heaven knows the results that have been achieved, because you cared.
Because we are a 501 (c)(3) corporation, your giving is tax deductible.
For 2016 credit, year-end giving must be postmarked no later than December 31..
June / July Newsletter, 2016 Rick Mcpherson
Yesterday we went to the beach. The sun was shining, the water was blue, and the sky was crystal clear. At the end of the day we built a small fire. I’m told that the three most soothing sounds are wind, water and fire. If that’s the case, we had them all. When you add family, fish and chips and Tillamook ice-cream, you have the makings of a perfect day.
I’m not sure that you could compare the Pacific Coast to the Sea of Galilee, because of the Tillamook ice-cream, but there are other similarities. Maybe that’s why Jesus spent most of the three years of His ministry along the shore of this freshwater lake. Here He gave more than half of His parables and here He performed most of His miracles. Here He preached the Sermon on the Mount, called Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, to follow Him, fed 5,000 people and calmed the stormy sea. There was something that drew Him. Numerous times, he left the crowds and the city to head for the mountains, the wilderness and the beach. I would like to think He built a few fires and ate some fresh fish along the way. In the midst of all the demands, Jesus knew how to get away and restore His soul.
As I think and pray about our ministry and mission helping Native Americans, physically and spiritually, I see similarities to the life of Christ. Much of our work is done in remote and rural settings. Many times we’re in the mountains or at the shore. The people we serve are needy. They are hungry. They are sick. They are addicted. They are demeaned. They are imprisoned. But, they are not forgotten!
Every box of groceries, every pair of boots, every blanket, every winter coat or pair of jeans that we deliver is fulfilling Jesus’ Great commission, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19. The physical aspect of this ministry enables us to build relationships, trust and confidence so that we can tell the greatest story of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness!
And, you’re a part of it. None of us is all of it. But all of us can be a part. By joining with others to pray for this ministry, you support and sustain us during the rigors of the battle. We do get tired and your prayers do make a difference.
Finally, your financial gifts enable us to continue. It costs money to buy diesel fuel, tires, truck parts and supplies for these trips. We simply couldn’t do this without people like you. Will you prayerfully ask the Lord what you can do at this time and then do it? Thank you for your partnership in this ministry and for your faithfulness.
I’m hoping that the softness of summer will soothe your emotions and refresh you in every way. Enjoy your vacation. Eat well. Sleep well. Be well. Maybe you’ll enjoy several bowls of your favorite ice-cream, too!