The Darfus Family Newsletter - June 2021
I (Doug) love how God puts a timely word in front of me just as I need it most. The 17 months we have served as missionaries have had a few rough patches. When we knew we were being called to the American Indian Field, we thought we knew the path God wanted us to take. COVID hit and put a stop to our plans. Then, the campus of the Southwest Indian Ministries Center took a new focus serving people of the community and aged-out foster kids. These two events placed obstacles in our path which caused us to wonder what God was up to. Did He really want us to be here? One day, I was discouraged and so I prayed earnestly for Him to show me what His plans were for us.
The next morning was Sunday, and our pastor’s sermon mentioned Abraham.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
Pastor’s sermon went on, but these are the verses that stuck. These were the same verses God used to lead us to the Southwest in the first place.
As I was still contemplating this message on Monday morning, I opened my daily devotional to find a passage from Proverbs 16:9
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
This was the same verse we used in our presentation when we were raising support to come to the field. I thought I had my life planned out as a teacher, but God had other plans. God brought this to my attention now to remind me that He is in charge. He makes the plans. Our job is to follow Him.
I have to tell you God still gives me goose bumps and amazes me even though I know He is always amazing. He took my discouragement and put His words in front of me to remind me He knows what He is doing. He reassured me in my time of need that I am doing His will and it may look different than I expect it to look. I am thankful for a God that I can trust and who will comfort me when I need it most.
Recently, we invited campers who have been attending our Zoom Camp Chat to come to the campus on a Saturday for a time of fun and fellowship. We only invited those who lived within an hour of the campus and we had 9 show up! Our time was filled with silly games, lunch, crafts, ice cream sundaes, and a Bible study. We believe everyone had a wonderful time. Becky and I are thinking through how to expand this “Camp Youth Group” into a regular event and inviting more Native teens who live within a reasonable
July 2-4 we will hold our first in-person camp since COVID! Please pray for everyone’s safety, that children would come, and the Gospel being proclaimed would stay in the hearts of the campers.
We continue to be invited to the Tohono O’odham Nation to help with Children’s Church about once a month. We are blessed to be able to assist in this ministry and pray these opportunities continue. The children of the Hickiwan village have found a soft spot in our heart.
We continue participating in weekly adult Bible study; hosting bi-monthly Zoom Camp Chats; and sending monthly devotionals, yearly birthday cards, and weekly texts of encouragement to campers. As Native Nations begin to lift restrictions, we hope to start our traveling mini camps in the fall.
We thank God that all three of our children are adjusting to life in Arizona.
Noah has been accepted into the Worship Arts program at Grand Canyon University and will begin attending this fall.
Elijah was inducted into the National Honor Society and the Thespian Society and has decided to stay at Centennial High School for his senior year.
Josiah has been involved in Student Council and band and is looking forward to a 7th/8th grade trip to Washington D.C. and New York in May of 2022.
We all have been thankful for being adopted into an Arizona church family while we are away from Ohio. They have showed us the love of Jesus and welcomed us with open arms.
Thank YOU for all of your encouragement, prayers, and support! God uses people to reach people. Your involvement in His ministry is a blessing!
Doug & Becky