The road was straight and flat. Through desert rock, dirt, and cacti. We traveled for hours. What struck my family and I were the crosses. Memorials to those who had lost their life due to drunk drivers. So many crosses.
We finally reached our destination, a small church in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. The only exception was 2 or 3 simple houses about 300 yards away. As we got out of the van I noticed 2 teenage boys walking our way. It turned out they were 2 of the boys I had worked with the previous summer at the Southwest Indian Ministries Center Camp. I was surprised to see them – they were shocked to see me. Their jaws dropped and one of them pointed to me and said to the other, “It’s that guy!” All 3 of us hugged one another and I said while holding back tears, “I’ve been praying for you and God told me to come back.”
Josiah & Romeo. Two young lives we have built a relationship with because we “came back.” Some Natives can be very guarded in their trust… but if you slow down, take the time to show you love them by showing up, you can build a relationship.
This is what my family wishes to do. Build relationships with Native youth who attend camp by visiting them throughout the year. We wish to help them along their spiritual journey as we show them the love of Jesus. For many Native people, the first step of showing His love is just showing up.