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Blessed not Stressed

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 by clicking on the YouTube address and typing in Pacific NW Outreach.  All of our videos are there 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!

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Gallery

July Newsletter, 2015  Rick McPherson

The title of this month’s newsletter is Gallery. We’ve selected photos from the past months that depict our ministry at Pacific NW Outreach.  You’ll see regalia, teepees, parades, preaching, groceries, trucks, kids, families and God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness in real life.  Enjoy!

Although the pictures show ministry throughout the year, it is the middle of the summer.  This year we have experienced record-breaking heat here in the Pacific Northwest.  The lack of rainfall and the intense heat have affected us badly.  We need your financial help, particularly at this time, to make it.  Please pray for us and then help us with a generous financial gift.  Thank you and God bless you for your gift. 

 Groceries for all the boys and girls…and their families Travis Brant with toys for the children Miniature horse and cart, Crow Fair, Montana Ready for the road trip Rick McPherson preaching the Word Prayer circle before a trip Work crew at Crown Point, New Mexico

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Pow wow Time

June Newsletter, 2015  Rick McPherson

In a recent YouTube video I talked about the Pow wows in our city, state and country.  For Native Americans, the Pow wow is a very special event.  Wikipedia describes them like this:

“A pow wow (also powwow, pow-wow or pau wau) is a gathering of some of North America’s Native people.  The word derives from the Narragansett word powwau, meaning “spiritual leader”.  A similar gathering by Californian Native Peoples usually in the fall is called a Big Time.  A modern pow wow is a specific type of event for Native American/First Nations people to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor their cultures.  Pow wows may be private or public.  There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded.  Pow wows vary in length from a one-day event, to major pow wows called for a special occasion which can be up one week long.”

Over the past several years we have participated in one of the largest pow wows in the country, Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Montana.  Our friend and pastor of the local church, Ken Pretty-On-Top,  has hosted us and together we have delivered truckloads of groceries, boots and household supplies to thousands of Native Americans.  To capture the beauty of this pow wow, do a Google search for “Crow Fair” and you will see the regalia, parades, rodeo and tipi city that make it the largest Native American gathering.  It is very encouraging to hear the reports from Pastor Ken and know that men, women and children are accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior at the church in Crow Agency. 

Another pow wow that we support is in Turner, Oregon and is presented by Wiconi International.  This pow wow also includes a camp-meeting and is the result of the ministry of Richard Twiss.  Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest and California attend this week-end event for all the traditional Native activities plus worship, praise music and the preaching of God’s Word. 

And in our own back-yard,  we provide a prayer tent, Bibles, literature and bottled water for the pow wow at Delta Park in north Portland.  Last year we saw hundreds of Native Americans stop by for shade, a cold bottle of water, encouraging words and prayer for specific needs.  It is a beautiful example of cross-cultural ministry set in the trees and green grass at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. 

Allow me to finish this newsletter with two specific requests.  They are vital for our ministry.  First, please pray for us.  Include us in your prayer journal, Sunday church bulletin or small group.   Second, help us financially.  I don’t need to remind you that these ministries all cost money, but I will.    When you send a financial gift it enables us to keep on telling the story of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  Thank you for praying and giving. 

If you’ve never attended a pow wow before, make you plans to do so.  Hopefully we’ll bump into each other. 

*******************

 

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Repetition Is a Good Thing

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!

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Old Pickups and Blackberry Bushes

April Newsletter, 2015  Rick McPherson

A lady called me the other day and asked if we still accept vehicle donations for the Mission.  “Sure do,” I said. 

I asked where she lived and what kind of vehicle it was and if she had the title.

“Oh, it’s way out in the county and it’s a one ton truck that my late husband used to haul his horse trailer and yes I have the title,” she answered. 

After calling in a few favors I headed out with two friends, one of our own trucks with a trailer and winch and found the truck in the blackberry bushes in the rain.  She was right; it was way out in the country.  But we prevailed and finally had the truck on the trailer and headed home.  It was an adventure, so to speak. 

Not all of our vehicle donations are quite as challenging.  But all of them are important to us.  You see, when people donate a vehicle to us; and it can be a truck, car, motorcycle, boat, airplane, moped, jet-ski, motorhome or trailer, it helps us greatly.  In fact, if it has a title we can accept it.  And, as a 501 (c) (3) corporation we can provide a tax receipt for the donation. 

Some of the vehicles that are donated are given to needy individuals on Reservations.  Depending on the type of vehicle, like four-wheel drive trucks and Jeeps, some are well-suited for the rough terrain that we often experience on the Rez.  Others are sold at auction and the proceeds are used for the work of the Mission.  Either way, the vehicle’s value really helps us! 

You may have a vehicle right now that’s in your driveway or just in the way and you’re wondering what to do with it.  We can help!  You can donate it to the Mission and we’ll arrange to have it towed and solve your problem.  Or, you may have a vehicle in the carport or shed or barn or just sitting under a tree with a wind-blown tarp covering it.  Once again, we can help!  And your donation will help us as we help you.  To coin a phrase, “it’s a win-win situation!”

In today’s economy, we watch every penny so that we can continue doing this ministry.  We also are direct in asking people to help us financially.   By donating that vehicle you will be helping us as we help Native Americans.  Take a moment today and call me, (503) 492-0904 and let’s put that old vehicle to use again.  Or, you may want to use the enclosed envelope and make a donation by writing a check.  Whatever the amount, whether large or small, your gift will be appreciated and used in this ministry helping families and children know more about God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness. 

You may also have friends or relatives who are wondering what do with that old Chevy parked by the barn, or the Honda with the bad paint job.  We’ll gladly receive them and use them for this ministry.  Tell your buddies at work about what we do and help us get the word out…WE ACCEPT VEHICLE DONATIONS. 

I’m not expecting every vehicle retrieval to be an adventure that ends up in the blackberry bushes, but if that’s what it takes … so be it!  I’m all in. 

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Water, Water Everywhere!

March Newsletter, 2015  Rick McPherson

As I looked through the windshield of the Freightliner I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the scenery and the weather.   The Columbia River Gorge on a good day is about as spectacular as any place you can name.  And when you combine the view with bright sunshine and perfect blue skies, it is very impressive.  

The big Detroit diesel was pulling at 1,400 RPM and I had a good load on the 48’ trailer for the Nez Perce Reservation in Lapwai, Idaho.  I would be there late in the afternoon and unload first thing in the morning.  It was one of those “ten” days when everything was right.  Even the farmers in Eastern Washington were taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather and were working their fields in Dayton, Pomeroy and Walla Walla with massive tractors and equipment. 

One of our donors had given us water.  Lots of water!  Twenty-two pallets of bottled water, to be exact.    Think of a wooden pallet, four feet by four feet loaded five feet high with water and then multiply that by twenty-two.  Even though it’s overwhelming, it’s also a real blessing.  Especially on the Reservation. 

We loaded a large portion of the water on the trailer and then added groceries, boots, clothes, household supplies and even some fresh bread and vegetables and called the N.A.M.E.  (Native American Missionary Evangelistic) Church and said we were on our way. 

As I drove I did not miss the symbolism of the water.  Practically, it was a gift that would bless Native Americans during the Pow Wows and camp meetings to come, but more importantly it represented the life that Jesus gives.  I remembered the story when Jesus met a woman at a water well in Samaria and asked for a drink.  Her response was confused and wrapped in history, politics and culture.  His was pointed when He said,

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13

That’s what this ministry is all about, everlasting life.  Telling the story.  Delivering the message.  Giving the goods.  Loving the people.  Doing the work. 

And without people like you, we could not do this work.  Your financial gifts help make this ministry successful.  Will you take a moment and use the enclosed envelope to send your gift at this time?   Or, you can use our secure Pay Pal link on our website: pacificnwoutreach.org.    Any amount, large or small will make a difference.  And, it will help give the water that brings everlasting life.

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Water to the Nez Perce

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