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Just Past The Avocados

Rick McPherson August Newsletter, 2023

I was minding my own business walking through a big box store on the way to produce to buy bananas when I stopped in my tracks.  “Can’t be,” I said out loud.

“Christmas wrapping paper…in August!” I exclaimed.  Again, out loud.  “Unbelievable!” I muttered, and made a right turn just past the avocados. 

As I think about it now, I shouldn’t be surprised.  Just last week we were contacted, as a charitable, non-profit, to receive Christmas toys and gifts for the Native children on the Reservations.  This continues our history of receiving gifts from TV stations and a large tire distribution warehouse that collect from all over the greater Portland and Vancouver metropolitan area and then give them to us and other charities for distribution.  Truth be told, these gifts enable us to deliver to the families the means to have a wonderful and joyful Christmas.  So…thank you to ALL of you who generously give to this ministry!

Additionally, the new and expanded social media ministry, including the weekly Podcast on Spotify and the videos on Facebook are reaching hundreds of people.  At last count, we were over 2,500 in viewers and listeners.  Candidly, I’m overwhelmed by the response.  Amazing, is not a strong enough adjective to describe the impact.  However, we are pursuing this avenue anticipating God’s continued blessing and provision.  If you would like to contribute your prayer and financial support to this ministry please let us know.   Our contact information is included in this Newsletter.  Also, I will be in Beaumont, Texas for an in-home meeting, September 28, for those interested in knowing more about this ministry. 

And, if you’re disoriented during your shopping experience, remember the Christmas wrapping paper is right there; near the bananas and avocados.

*****

Special Notice…

CELILO INDIAN VILLAGE has just called asking for help with backpacks for school.  They need 15 for Elementary and 10 for High Schoolers.  Can you help with an extra gift at this time?  Thank you and God bless you!

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READY OR NOT?

Rick McPherson July Newsletter, 2023

Old cowboys say it all the time, “Only two things are certain in this life…death and taxes!”  Hard to argue with an old cowboy, but I would add a third.  Change. 

Being creatures of habit, we like things to remain the same, thank you very much.  Morning routine with coffee in your favorite mug, comfy shoes that get better with age, politicians that keep their word, (oops, sorry, lost my head there, for a minute), and pot- roast that’s the same, every time; are some of the  things that bring pleasure to the daily grind.  However, in the midst of the sameness, change happens. Like it or not…ready or not…change happens. 

Change is happening for us at Pacific NW Outreach, Inc.  We are expanding and enlarging the ministry through social media, specifically through Podcast, Face Book, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.  These platforms will allow us to minister to thousands around the world. Today, I saw these words, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer.29:11

Recently, on a trip to Texas, I was sharing these plans with dear friends who listened attentively, and then a few days later called to say they would buy the equipment needed for the Podcast!  Wow!  Thank you!

Well, enough about that for now.   Stay tuned for more information as the Podcast will be on Spotify and you can listen in…and tell your friends and mother-in-law, when she has you over for pot-roast!

*****

BTW “A vacation is what you take, when you can’t take, what you’ve been taking, any longer!”  If you’re on vacation, ENJOY IT!  Have a ball.  Get sunburned. Sleep in a hammock.  Wear a hat.  Eat ice-cream.  Sit by a fire.  Jump in the lake.  Relax! 

BUT BEFORE YOU GO…PLEASE REMEMBER THE MISSION…YOUR PRAYERS AND GIFTS ENABLE US TO MINISTER…even during, “the good old summertime!”

 

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(BIG) GUARDIAN ANGELS

Rick McPherson June Newsletter, 2023

It was Memorial Day, about one o’clock in the afternoon.   I had left Bothell with a full load on the Peterbilt and was headed South on I-5.  Traffic was heavy on the Holiday weekend and when I passed Olympia I started getting sleepy.  Great time for a quick nap, I thought, and started looking for a rest area.   At mile marker 93,  I pulled in to the Maytown parking lot and shut off the big diesel.  Ahhhh!  Sleep came almost instantly with the windows down, a soft breeze blowing and my cell phone turned off. 

Within fifteen minutes I was conscious again and fired up the truck.  I put the Eaton Fuller transmission in gear and eased forward.  The noise I heard next shocked me.   “What is wrong with this truck?” I said out loud.

I jumped from the cab and discovered the right front (steer) tire was off the rim and had a large puncture in the sidewall.  Had I continued driving and not stopped for my nap, disaster would have ensued.  Steer tire blow-outs are particularly deadly because the front bumper of the truck drops down instantly, digs into the pavement and causes the truck to somersault or roll over.  That’s not good.

I’ve talked about guardian angels before in these newsletters.   I believe in them.

“Scholars tell us there are three guardian angels mentioned in the Bible.  Each of these angels has different responsibilities:  MICHAEL is a warrior, RAPHAEL is a guardian, and GABRIEL is a messenger.  But they share a common purpose; they act on behalf of God, helping His people and bringing Him glory.” – Wikipedia

That being the case, I would like to thank Raphael for being on duty that Memorial Day and guiding the big Peterbilt off the road and keeping its driver, load, and innocent travelers safe,  from  destruction and death.

*****

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JUBILEE

Rick McPherson May Newsletter, 2023

“The Jubilee (Hebrew: yobel) is the year at the end of seven cycles of shmita (Sabbatical years) and, according to biblical regulations, had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the land of Israel.  According to the book of Leviticus, Hebrew slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifested.  In the Holiness Code, it refers to a year of liberty, during which property would be returned to its original owners or heirs.”  Wikipedia

If you’ll pardon my Yiddish, “Oy vey, such a deal!”   Imagine, every 50 years all your debts are cancelled (including student loans!), your family farm is returned to you, your Uncle Ezra is home for Passover and your brother-in-law gets released from Jericho County Jail.    I know it sounds too good to be true, especially the first part and having all your debts cancelled.  Wouldn’t you celebrate, however, if it happened to you?  Wouldn’t you muster a, “Praise God?” 

Well, for all of us at Pacific NW Outreach, Inc., we are doing our best to celebrate the goodness and blessing of God for these past 50 years. And, to say an enthusiastic, “Praise God!”    It is true, that prisoners have been released from bondage   and slaves to drugs and alcohol have been set free. It is true, that which the Enemy has stolen and destroyed has been restored. It is true, that   what He has killed has been brought back to life. It is true, that families, marriages and communities have been healed. It is true, that faith, hope and love have been preached…but the greatest of these is love.

You, dear friend, are a part of the Jubilee celebration.  You have prayed, you have given, and you have partnered with us on each trip and outreach from the Quinault Reservation on the Pacific Coast in Washington to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  So, THANK YOU!  May God bless you, abundantly!

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READY OR NOT?

Rick McPherson March Newsletter, 2023

During our Fiftieth Anniversary we’re looking back and capturing some of the historic and cultural changes that have happened in our world.  For example, in 1973, the first mobile phone call was made by Marty Cooper, an employee of Motorola.  The device he used to place the call later became known as the Motorola Dyna TAC 8000x.  Today’s mobile phone users would be surprised to learn that the device weighed 2.5 pounds and had a text-only LED display and cost $3,995.00.  The phone was exclusive to the very rich. 

“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn; and, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce were the top two hits of the year.  And, Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” became a best seller.  Richard Nixon was the President and Spiro Agnew was the Vice-President (although Agnew resigned this same year).  You could buy a gallon of gas for 40 cents.  A first-class stamp cost only 8 cents.  A gallon of milk was $1.40, eggs were 69 cents a dozen and a package of Oreos was 59 cents.  A new car would set you back $3,200.00.   In other words, you could buy a new car for less than a mobile phone!

The pictures in this newsletter certainly capture some of our Golden Anniversary history.  They show the ministry helping Native Americans, both physically and spiritually.  They show the Gospel message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness being presented faithfully. They show Native children, young adults and moms & dads coming to Christ as their Savior. They show groceries, household supplies, water-proof, insulated boots, knit hats and winter jackets being delivered to Reservations across the country.  All of this for fifty years, because of faithful partners, like you, who have helped, prayed and given.   THANK YOU for your generosity and compassion.  God bless you, abundantly!

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And He Heard Me

Rick McPherson February Newsletter, 2023

“This old age thing, man, it ain’t for sissies,” said my old age friend, before applying a generous portion of Ranch dressing to his Cobb salad. 

“Everything you need stops working and life gets tough,” he continued. 

The rest of our lunch conversation contained tidbits of various surgeries, ailments, aches, pains, memory loss, general confusion and occasional indigestion.

 And, did I mention memory loss?  Or, how about hearing loss? 

When you can’t hear, or someone you love can’t hear you, it changes your life.  After all, words and conversation set us apart from all of God’s creation.  More than once, my dear wife has asked the simple question, “Did you hear me?” 

My response to her is usually, “Of course, my darling, how may I serve you today?”, or some such tender and sensitive answer!

In light of these vicissitudes of life, I’m reminded of a tremendous truth.  There is One who hears us whenever we call and is able to help us with every circumstance we face.  Several Psalms record, “I called to the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  “In my trouble I called to the Lord and He answered me.”  (34:4, 120:1)  Could it be that when life gets tough and we call out for help, we’re talking to the wrong people?  What a provision to know that the Lord is always going to hear us and respond.  How do I know?  He promised. 

Speaking of hearing…let me thank you again for hearing about the work we do helping Native Americans, spiritually and physically.  Now in our 50th year of ministry, we’re featuring photos in our newsletters, to reflect our history.  You have been a significant help with your prayer support and financial gifts.  Every time you pray, every time you give, you bless this ministry.  Thank you very much and God bless you.  Did you hear me?  I said, thanks and God bless you!

*****

   
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E450

November 2022 Rick McPherson

Someone had taken the time to make a wooden sign and placed it at the end of the driveway.  I drove by, smiled and said out loud, “how appropriate!”  It was a few days before Thanksgiving and the sign said,

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”  Psalm 107:1

 With that sentiment in mind, let me introduce to you; E450!

For the past several months we’ve been shopping and saving for a replacement truck for the old Mule.  Now, the new E450 is part of the PNWO family!  Let me tell you about it… 2016 Ford E450, V10 (6.8L) Triton engine, 320 hp and 460 ft. lb. of torque  and TorqShift six-speed HD automatic.  The truck did need ball-joints, brakes and a couple of tires, but overall it’s in great condition.  We have of course washed, waxed, vacuumed, cleaned, polished and shampooed.  We also applied tire protectant! Can’t be showin’ up with dirty tires, right? 

Our donations for the new truck have totaled $3,500.00.  Another donor is sending $1,000.00 and the old mule sold for $850.00.  So, THANK YOU for the $5,350.00 for this purchase.  We paid $8,000.00 for the E450 and believe that there are other donors who would like to chip in and help us make up the difference.  Again, thank you for your generous giving.  Because we use trucks to do this ministry, we just keep rolling along!  Sorry, couldn’t resist! 

*****

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CHEERIOS, LEGOS AND SOCKS WITH TOES

October 2022 Rick McPherson

This week we got news that we will receive toys from TV12 and Les Schwab Tire Centers for our Christmas trips to Native American Reservations in the Pacific Northwest.  Although we’ve received toys from them before, we weren’t presuming that in today’s economy it would be automatic.   So, we’re very grateful!  Now, we’re planning our trips; after all Christmas is less than two months away.  And, we’re very excited!

For most of the children and parents, the only Christmas they know will come on the back of our Peterbilt truck.  Toys and gifts will be part of the load along with groceries, boots and household supplies.  There’s no doubt groceries are needed and welcomed, but a part of the joy comes from the unexpected that produces a smile on your face and a giggle of joy.  And, when you mix a smile with a giggle, do you get a “smiggle”?  If so, there will plenty of smiggles this year.  I mean what else can you do when you get a pair of socks with toes?  That’s right, you smiggle.

In a world that’s filled with violence, lawlessness and hatred, the Gospel message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness must be expressed.  Jesus’ manner was joy and inclusion.  He loved His Disciples.  He welcomed the children.  He healed the sick.  He consoled the bereaved.  He attended the receptions.  He forgave the thief.  He lived among us.  Shouldn’t we do the same? 

Following His example is what motivates us to collect toys, (Legos of course), box up groceries, (check for Cheerios); load the truck and head to the Reservation to touch the lives of Native kids and parents with the observable love and compassion of our Creator and Heavenly Father.  Agree?  You’re a part of it when you chip in with your donation to make this ministry happen.  Thank you and God bless you!  Oh, by the way, if you don’t have any socks with toes; get some, they’ll make you smiggle!                   

MULE UPDATE:

Thanks to the many who have sent money for the purchase of our small truck.  To date, we’ve received about $3,500.00.  We have a potential buyer for the old mule for $1,000.00, and we’ve located a used 2016 Ford E450 with a 16’ box and ramp.  Price is $8,000.00.   We’re having our mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection and checking CARFAX, of course.  Stay tuned for more details.  If you would like to help us make up the difference between what we have and what we need, please mark your giving accordingly.  Thank you, again!

*****

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A THOUSAND WORDS

September 2022 Rick McPherson

It was Fred Barnard; an advertising executive in the 1920’s who said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  He was describing the use of drawn and photographic images to illustrate advertising and that graphics can tell a story as effectively as a large amount of descriptive text.  He was right.

Do you think Fred Barnard influenced Fred Flintstone?  Can you imagine the antics of Fred and Barnie or Fred and Wilma, without the accompanying pictures?  How about Snoopy and Charlie Brown?  Consider your L.L. Bean catalog arriving with only words to describe your purchases for Christmas morning.  Think about family albums with no pictures of your grandchildren!

Well, we’re not going to do that to you.  We’re not going to tell our story with large amounts of descriptive text!  We’re going to let the pictures talk.  Through the fifty years of our ministry here at Pacific NW Outreach, Inc. we have touched the lives of thousands of Native Americans and helped them spiritually and physically.  Every mile we’ve driven, every sermon we’ve preached, every grocery box we’ve delivered, every pair of boots we’ve given have expressed God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness.  And all of it has been free!  People like you have donated generously to enable this ministry.  It would be impossible to do this work without you and your faithful giving.  So, thank you again and God bless you!

Now, take a look at these pictures.  They represent this ministry.  The children, adults, families and workers are real.  Their hearts are filled with love and joy.  Their stomachs are filled with nutritious food. They are warm and safe.  They embody this promise;

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “

Jeremiah 29:11

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Smart Phone

August 2022 Rick McPherson

Just last week I visited the phone store and got a new one.  It’s a smart phone.  The name alone is a little intimidating.    Seems that you have to be that to operate it and not get mad and throw it at the wall.  Or, if IQ is a real number, the phone wins.  Nevertheless, the lady laughed when she saw my old phone and said something very demeaning about its memory and battery strength.    After the transaction; I left with a protective case, new charger and cord, another protective cover so the face wouldn’t  get scratched, an insurance rider in case the phone is lost or stolen or falls in the lake or toilet and  the phone itself.   I began to fumble with it.  During my foray I found “photos”.   To my surprise and entertainment the phone showed pictures from a year ago, two years, four, six and even eight years back.  All were organized, named, filed and otherwise packaged to warm the heart of every obsessive, compulsive and meticulous person out there.   How cool is that?  Smart?  You bet!  What a trip down memory lane. 

You know that we are quickly approaching the New Year and our 50th Anniversary for this ministry.  A lot has happened since 1973 when we started helping and serving Native Americans, physically and spiritually.  We live in a very different world now than we did then.  But, the message of God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness is the same.  He never changes, nor does His Word.  He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Wouldn’t it be fun to go back and see pictures of the past and remember the ministry to our Native brothers and sisters, families and children?  Not all of these pictures are on my phone, of course, but you’ll reminisce as we print these in our newsletters in the months to come.  Enjoy! 

Another “MULE” report…

Thank you for your extra giving to help us replace the OLD MULE, better known as our 1993 Ford E350 box truck.  To date, we have received $2,500.00 in designated giving, which helps us towards our goal.   As I told you last month the used truck/car market is rather crazy right now so we are going slow and waiting for the right vehicle at the right price.  Your designated gift is in a separate fund and not co-mingled with other mission funds.  You may still give towards this project and mark your gift accordingly. And, THANK YOU for your generous, faithful and regular giving to the ministry of Pacific NW Outreach, Inc.   God bless you!

*****