April Newsletter, 2020  Rick McPherson

 “Well, we’ve never done it before, but let’s give it a shot,” I heard myself say to the Chairman of the PNWO Board of Directors.

“With the stay at home order and social distancing, it’s the best way to meet,” he said. 

“I’ll set up the phone conference for Tuesday at 11 am,” he continued.

“Be sure and prepare a devotional for the group,” he concluded. 

Okay!  And what does one prepare as a devotional in the midst of an unprecedented, global pandemic that has negatively affected every aspect of our normal, day-to-day life?  Maybe something out of Psalms, right? 

After forty-nine years of ministry and a lifetime exposed to ministers, pastors, evangelists, missionaries and church life, I figured I had, “been there, done that!”  Next?  To my shock the “next” happened to be, well, unprecedented.  Nothing like this has happened before.  At least, not in my lifetime, it hasn’t.  So, what do you say?  How do you answer the six journalistic questions?  Who, what, where, when, why and how, take on monumental importance.   Unfortunately they are unanswerable.  Even the experts are scratching their heads. 

However, there is truth that transcends the unprecedented.  An old Texas cowboy told me one time, “Ain’t no surprise to God!”  What is unknown to us and catches us off-guard is within His capacity as the Omniscient.  He is all-knowing and has given us provisions in the midst of everything that life throws at us.  Read these words from Isaiah 43:1; “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.   When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched…Do not fear, for I am with you.” 

There are over 80 times in the Bible that God says, “fear not!”  God is very clear.   He does not want us to fear or worry.  And, when you read the various narratives when God said, “Do not fear,” the people were facing incredible, may I say, unprecedented circumstances.  They needed to hear it then; we need to hear it now!  Don’t be afraid! 

“His oath, His covenant, His blood,

Support me in the whelming flood,

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my hope and stay.  On Christ the solid rock I stand.”


A week ago, Karen Whitford from Celilo Indian Village, called and asked for food.  “Please, help us,” she said. 

My hesitation was that the pantry was empty.   How could we help?  How could we give what we didn’t have?  “God, please help us, help them!” was my prayer.    The picture you are seeing is the result of that prayer and God’s answer.  A pallet of insulated boots, one pallet of lettuce, one  pallet of chips and fifty-one boxes of fresh food…vegetables,  fruit, bread, chicken, beef, fish…even Tulips and Orchids! 

In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, God was still supplying groceries and delivering His loving kindness to needy people.  The state agencies are allowing our work as a non-profit providing essential service to Native Americans during the stay-at-home directives.   Thanks to people like you who help us financially, even during uncertain and challenging times, our ministry continues.    God bless you and thank you! 

Wash your hands.  Stay home.  Be safe.  Be well.  Be blessed.