Tuesday, October 18, 2011

thoughts about washington

i can't put into words what i've taken away from this experience.
i really sure didn't know what to expect.
but the expectations i had were completely blown away.

this experience was so much different than being in costa rica.
i feared the people here wouldn't be receptive to the Gospel.
they had been hurt and devastated before by Christians.
but by being the hands and feet of Jesus and serving those who needed to be served, we spoke so much louder than if we had come preaching out of Bibles.
it's been incredible to see how God is moving on the Res.

i got to talk to leah and get to know her and seeing how much God has changed her life is incredible. talking to her and being around her, i never would've expected that she would've been through everything she has.
but to see how much she loves the Lord and is trying to serve Him and to raise her kids knowing Christ and knowing that the life she had before and the lives that many on the reservation live isn't the way it has to be.

i believe this week, more than anything, we brought hope and new life to the people there.
many on the reservation are caught up in drugs and alcohol at an early age simply because "it's the way things are and have been". leah shared that many kids on the reservation start smoking when they're 8 or 9 and drink alcohol by the time their 11 and are full-on alcoholics by the time they're in high school, causing them to drop out and begin a life cycle of dependency. drugs are rampant on the res and the things people do to get drugs in their system is crazy!

but leah wants to become a high school guidance counselor so that she can show these kids that it doesn't have to be this way. and i'm absolutely amazed by her testimony and i'm excited about what God is going to use her for!

and serving the elders was amazing!
on the reservation, that is the most respectful thing anyone can do - serve the elders. seeing their smiles and knowing that something so small for us meant so much to them!

i heard yesterday that the senior center we served was called "Death Alley" - because once you go in, the only time you'll come out is when you die. it's such a bleak portrayal.
but to know that by going out and serving them, we brought new life to them and shown them that there are people there who truly want to serve them. it's an incredible feeling.

one of the elders, Janice, shared this with some of the team members:
she is from Alaska and had some salmon that was canned. her husband had eaten all but one and after he passed, Janice said she was waiting for something good to happen so she could enjoy the last one. and after chopping wood for her and just being there to serve, she told the guys who were there that she couldn't think of a better time to open it then now.

wow. talk about powerful.

to think that someone would open something to celebrate our service there is incredible. and after hearing kyle share his experience with her last night and to know that she was very apprehensive about the concept of Christ, but to see her reaction change after splitting wood and investing in her was powerful.

this entire weekend has been amazing.
our plans rarely work out how we envision - because God wants us to rely completely on Him. and almost nothing went according to the plan we had set out, but God did amazing things here and i believe He has amazing things in store!

when we are obedient to His calling, there is nothing we can't accomplish.
a team of 18 came together to serve a community that was forgotten.
and i truly, truly believe that this was just the seed for the things that He has planned here.

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