May Newsletter, 2015 Rick McPherson
Both of our grandsons are playing Little League baseball this year. They have uniforms and gloves, batting helmets and cleats, aluminum bats and sunflower seeds. They have everything you need to play the game …except for one thing, experience. They’re beginners. In order for them to improve and play well they have to practice the same thing, over and over. Hitting, hitting with power, running, catching and throwing all are achieved the same way, practice. You must do the same thing hundreds and then thousands of times to become good. Repetition is the key ingredient. Repetition is a good thing!
When you think about it, repetition affects everything we do. And, the most important things in life, the words that we speak, need to be repeated constantly. Words like, “I love you,” “I forgive you,” and “I appreciate you.”
With that in mind, I want to repeat myself in this newsletter. Allow me to say again what I have said before. These are statistics about the people that we serve in this ministry, “the forgotten people,” Native Americans. They are as important as any people-group or culture on planet earth, yet they experience conditions every day that are unbelievable. For example:
*The infant mortality rate among Native people is about 300 percent higher than the national average.
*Nearly 10 percent of all Native American families are homeless. The rate of Native homes without electricity is about 10 times the national average and 20 percent of Native homes have no running water.
*Native Americans have the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the United States. The poverty rate is 25 percent.
*From 1999 to 2004, Native males from 15-24 years had the highest suicide rate compared to males of any other racial group.
I could also tell you about alcoholism, drug addiction, gang violence, domestic abuse and abominable activities that are common place on the Reservations and in Native communities. But, my point is to remind you that there is still work to be done. Ministry is not stopped because the statistics are overwhelming. In fact the message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness is even more meaningful than ever.
When John the Baptist had heard in prison of the works of Christ, he sent his disciples to ask, “Are you the Coming One , or do we look for another?”
Jesus said, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” St. Matthew 11:4-6
In this incredible list of miracles, authenticating His ministry, Jesus includes the fact that the Gospel is being preached to the poor! That bears repeating, the Gospel is being preached to the poor. The needs are great, the statistics are staggering, the suffering is overwhelming but the message of God’s love is being delivered.
So, let’s keep doing it. Let’s keep repeating ourselves. Let’s tell the story of Jesus. Let’s tell of His mercy, grace, patience, kindness, joy, peace, gentleness and goodness. Keep saying it. Keep singing it. Keep praying it. Keep repeating it.
After all, repetition is a good thing!
PS Thank you…for repeating your support of this ministry. Your gift, whether large or small, enables us to continue this work. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. God bless you!