What a difference a few months can make! As we were preparing this newsletter update, I glanced back at our last physical newsletter, the one we sent out at the very beginning of March. It talked about plans for weekend camps, Bible studies, and a cookout. The one thing it did not mention: COVID-19. When we sent out that newsletter, little did we know how quickly things would change!
Fast forward to the present day. Here in Arizona, like much of the rest of the country, we have endured a two-month “Stay at home order” where everything came to a screeching halt. When things began to open up here in mid-May, it was unthinkable to imagine not having summer camps. But that difficult decision was made and the recent weeks here in Arizona have been a very clear affirmation that was the correct decision. Our COVID cases have seen a huge increase and many Native American communities have been hit incredibly hard. As I struggled what to write this month, this verse caught my attention.
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
Peace. The dictionary defines this as “freedom from disturbance; tranquility.” No wonder this verse grabbed my attention.
Life as you know it is put on hold. Everywhere you go, faces are covered with masks. Is that person coughing behind you going to make you sick? Why did God bring us across the country when things were going to shut down? How are my boys going to make friends if they cannot go to school?
Peace. Be thankful.
Okay, time to start putting on an eternal perspective.
Thank you, Lord, that you are the great physician.
Thank you for modern technology that allows us to keep in touch with some of our campers.
Thank you for amazing supporters that pray for our ministry and continue to support in difficult days.
Thank you that your ways are not our ways, even when we don’t understand.
Thank you that you are always faithful. You have never let us down and you never will.
I will choose to be thankful for the hard times.
I will choose peace. It might take another reminder, Lord, but today I choose peace.
How about you? Is Colossians 3:15 something of which you need to be reminded?
Thank you so much for your support. Know that we pray for you!
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
What we have been doing in the past 30 days:
Twice a month, we continue to meet with campers online using Zoom during our ‘Camp Chats.’
We continue to communicate with campers and their families via text messaging.
We continue to send birthday cards to campers to encourage them during their special day.
We have reached out to campers’ churches offering help with their children’s programming once restrictions are lifted.
We have produced an online Children’s message for parents and/or churches to use while campers are stuck at home.
I (Doug) have been taking classes to become a facilitator for ‘Wired 4 Business’. This is an opportunity to teach young adult Native Americans about what it takes to be employable, start a business, while at the same time teaching them a Biblical worldview. It is a discipleship program that has had wonderful success in other cultures around the world.
The article below is taken from the June 2020 "Trailblazer." A newsletter update from the American Indian Field.