There Won’t Be No Tears

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!”