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!
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.