September Newsletter, 2015 Rick McPherson
As a kid I never liked Labor Day. Why name a day for work and then celebrate it nationally? Mostly, I didn’t like it because it meant summer vacation was over and we had to go back to school. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to go, it was just a fact that school followed the holiday. July and August were a memory and there was a September calendar on the kitchen wall with a red circle drawn around that fateful Tuesday. Like it or not, ready or not, it was back to school.
The halls and classrooms and gymnasium always had a unique smell. The vice-principal stood on patrol and the new home room teacher wrote on the chalk-board, “Welcome, my name is Mr. Horton.” At least that’s what I remember from 4th grade. Had he not been my first male teacher, I probably wouldn’t remember anything at all. What is in my memory are the books, reports, assignments, tests and report cards. Learning had a curriculum and there was a master plan that I didn’t know. Much later I learned that learning was a lifestyle that would never stop.
Now I’m reliving my childhood vicariously through my grandsons. Nothing has changed much. They too think that Labor Day is an intrusion into a perfectly wonderful summer schedule of camps, paintball, fishing and baseball. Why bother with school? But somehow I hear myself talking and trying to explain to them that there is indeed a greater plan and learning is a major part of it all. Although they’re listening, I’m not sure they’re buying it, yet.
Then I remembered these words that Paul the Apostle said to his young friend, Timothy. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 3:14-15
In our ministry here at Pacific NW Outreach, Inc., we are constantly learning.
Everyday there are problems to solve, reports to be written (like this one), facts and figures to be processed, projects to be organized, schedules to be made, people to be coordinated and things to be learned. It never stops. Learning is a lifestyle.
The Apostle was right when he said, “you must continue…” Not only do we continue to work, we continue to learn. We continue to learn the Native American culture, we continue to learn what works and what doesn’t, we continue to learn how to pay our expenses, we continue to learn how to save money, we continue to learn to pray, to forgive, to serve. It never stops!
And many of you who receive this newsletter have, “continued.” You have not stopped your lifestyle of learning, praying, giving, helping. Thank you and God bless you for staying in school and not dropping out!
August Newsletter, 2015 Rick McPherson
“Come on in and have something to eat,” Gary said, welcoming us to the lunch room and the Pow Wow.
“I think the tacos are gone but there’s chicken and rice and help yourself to the green salad and fresh fruit,” he continued.
We had arrived at the Aldersgate Conference Center just outside of Turner, Oregon to deliver supplies for the week-end. Not only did we have half a pallet of bottled water, but also, snacks, chips, coffee and chocolate! The participants who had come from up and down the west coast and various reservations would be helped with the delivery.
As we ate a young man sat down and politely introduced himself.
“Hi, I’m Namarr,” he said.
We talked about the weather, his hometown of Los Angeles and the Dodgers, his favorite team, and the future of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. He also told us about his education at Asbury Theological Seminary and how he had been accepted into the Doctoral program this fall. What was most interesting was that he had been introduced to Richard Twiss and the ministry of Wiconi International through the Internet when his academic advisor had learned of his interest in Native American studies. Since then he has attended the Pow Wow and Camp meeting each year.
I asked if he would let us interview him for a YouTube video. He graciously said, “Yes!” You can see that interview below. All of our videos are here including one with Gary Eastty who is a Wycliffe Bible Translator, an honorary member of the McDermitt Reservation in Nevada and a leader at the Pow Wow and Camp meeting.
When we said good-bye, Namarr took my hand, smiled and said, “Be blessed, not stressed.” It caught me by surprise. What a wonderful thing to say, I thought.
In our world, in my world, I need that. How about you?
Those two words, “blessed and stressed”, captured my attention. I couldn’t wait to learn more about them. This is what I found.
“STRESSED” …causing mental or emotional strain or tension…synonyms are, worried, harassed, hassled and pressured.
“BLESSED” …to bestow good of any kind…to request of God …to consecrate or sanctify. And this, “one blesses another when he expresses good wishes or offers prayer to God for his welfare.”
Although we delivered valuable supplies to Native Americans for the Pow Wow, Namarr delivered something more valuable to us. And in that same spirit, let me say to Namarr and you, “Be blessed, not stressed.”
Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and giving to support this ministry. The excessive, prolonged heat–wave of these summer months has impacted us severely. Your financial gift at this time is particularly helpful. God “bless” you!