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NATIVE MINISTRIES NW NEWSLETTER
3rd Quarter, 2020

OUR TERRITORY

NEWSLETTER PURPOSE

To Encourage
To Tie Us Together
To Give Ideas
To Inspire Mission
Mid-summer greetings! We are all living, thriving, and ministering while the pandemic is surging around us. “Keep Your hand on us, Lord.” So, dear readers, take a break and be inspired by the latest stories.

Arctic Missions Helping Alaskans

The following article was taken from the newsletter "Around the Alaska Conference."

Until recently (March), there was no mention of coronavirus in Selawik. Arctic Missions Adventure (AMA) volunteer and nurse practitioner, Edna Estrella, and her husband José, were worried to see the lack of knowledge and leadership in setting up safety protocols. The Lord kept impressing Edna to call a meeting with the tribal administration, the city administrator and the clinic supervisor, but she resisted.  The story of Esther kept playing in her mind and the words, “for such a time as this," repeating day and night. So, she gave in and shared her concerns with the city administrator who immediately called a meeting of the Selawik city, tribal and clinic personnel.

The next morning, the group all came to the table (6’ apart) to discuss what steps to take to protect the community.  It was then Edna realized how much help the village needed and how eager they were for guidance. She was able to share lessons learned from her work as a specialist during the HIV epidemic emphasizing the devastation Covid-19 could cause in Selawik with its lack of medical infrastructure. 

By the end of the meeting, the group had a solid plan in place to protect the community and mitigate potential infections!  Please continue to lift up our AMA workers, villages in Bush Alaska and the state during this time of fear and uncertainty that we, like Christ, can be a calm in the storm.

Spokane, WA Native Outreach

I learned of this story after we had sent out the April newsletter. Seven months ago, All Nations, our Native group in Spokane, had a Christmas party.            
 
Denise Ellenwood wrote:
On December 12, 2019 Spokane Central Seventh-day Adventist Church Fellowship Hall opened their doors to our Native Community. The vision began in the early 2000’s, when the All Nations Warriors for Christ founder, Loretta Kearn, had a dream one night of receiving an old dirty duffle bag, which she did not want to take. When she gave in and took the bag, she opened it, and inside there were beautiful brand-new gifts! She knew God was calling her and her friend, Peggy Ellenwood, to give back to their Native community.

She knew this journey would not be clean nor would the work be neatly wrapped up nice with a bow, but she knew it would be worth it. She collects gifts all year long for our Christmas program. Over the years, we have had generous donations and the biggest supporter… our church. We put out a “tree of giving” in our foyer and our church also helps us print flyers and purchase food and gifts for the event.  We sent out invitations to those that have come in the past and utilized social media to get the word out. We took the rest to the American Indian Center in Spokane, WA.

Spokane is such a beautifully diverse city, especially in the Native community. People of many tribes’ call Spokane their home. Many Native families also connect with one another making our circle even larger so as to invite many families. Over 200 Indian people come to our Christmas program! Last year, we had about 125. We were so happy to see so many joyful families singing Christmas carols, eating Indian tacos, and children squealing in excitement over their gifts.

It is so amazing to find that there are well over 10 different tribes represented at this event each year. We have special donors that give grand prizes. This year we had bikes, scooters, and a hover board.

My favorite gift was the Native American doll. You do not see many “culturally appropriate” Native American dolls. Loretta’s daughter had made it special for the event. My four-year-old daughter saw it and instantly fell in love. We do not put our families name in the drawing to be fair, but we were going to be so excited for whoever won this precious doll. The winner was a dear friend of mine. I taught her daughter in Pre-K and she was now a teenager. The mother came up to claim her prize and with a big hug said, “my daughter said she is too old for dolls and would love to donate the doll to your daughter.” It was such a sweet gesture and my daughter cherishes the special doll that looks just like her. 

Let Us Celebrate!

Monte and I are pleased to announce that in the senior class of 2020 at Upper Columbia Academy, two graduates are Indian. Asiah and Mel, Jr. Brazil-Geyshick are so happy to have attended our Christian school, glad for the help given them, thankful for the Christian atmosphere and friends they made.

June 14, at Lake City Academy in Coeur d’Alene, ID, an outdoor graduation took place. Asiah and Mel, Jr. are from the Ojibwe Nation from northern Minnesota. Their family has lived in Plummer, ID where their father has, until recently, been the Bible worker.
 
Plans ahead for the two: Asiah will be enrolling at WSU in the fall, majoring in clothing design. Mel Jr. will attend Spokane Community College, taking the Bio-medical technology program.
 
We praise the Lord for you two, the talents He has put in you, your love of learning, and your help in making friends for God among your classmates.

Native New Day and VOP

Steve: Let me introduce you to our friends, Mike and Cherie Williams, who are on a mission! They love people and and enjoy sharing the Good News about our great Chief.

Steve: tell us, first, a little about yourselves.  

Williams: We live on a farmstead near Twin Valley MN, which God brought to us through prayer. Mike works as a custodian at the state university and Cherie works at a psychologist clinic as the intake coordinator.

Steve: Great! I looked on the map and found your near-by town. It’s about 28 miles east of the North Dakota line. You live near an Indian nation, right? Tell us about them.

Williams: The White Earth Reservation is an Ojibwe Nation. It covers over 1000 square miles and has a population of over 9,000, with 4,500 people as Ojibwe. There is a lot of farm land surrounding the communities on White Earth, the largest employer would probably be the casino at Mahnomen. 

Steve: Tell us about your ministry among the Ojibwe.

Williams: We were interested in helping with Native Ministries from the beginning of our marriage really. We went to the Dakota campmeeting and met Deb Claymore (a Sioux) who was asking for help with the Native Campmeeting at Flag Mountain (in ND) later that summer (2006). We loaded up the kids and headed out there. It was a great experience and we helped her for 2 years.

A friend of ours had the Native New Day videos and shared them with us. We connected with a Native family at family camp a couple years later and passed along the NND resources. Then Mike decided to purchase 20 sets of the Native New Day Bible studies and a full set of the videos, but we didn’t live near any indigenous peoples. However, we were able to give away a couple of sets to Native people we came into contact with. We kept the materials on hand for several years. We later learned that through the resources we shared, a whole family had been converted and this was so exciting for us to hear. The Native family are now working in another state to reach people on a reservation.

Rewind. Mike prayed for a farmstead for us. We lived in a small North Dakota town, shortly after we were married in 2006 and in 2017, God answered that prayer. He provided our home and we were excited to learn that we were just a few miles from White Earth. So, we decided to take our 18 sets of Bible studies and hand them out door to door in the community of White Earth, two studies at a time. We went Sabbath afternoons every few weeks, bringing along the next ones. We printed off a bio sheet of Monte Church and they were excited to see who had written the studies. One woman told us that the Bible studies were the only thing besides drugs and alcohol that she was interested in.

We have expanded the number of homes we go to. We take them [Voice of Prophecy] Bible guides, kid's Bible studies, My Bible, and first lessons.

Last year, my birthday fell on Sabbath, so we planned ahead and took cookies and ice cream sandwiches to give to every family. Native people are gift givers, but they thought it was the funniest thing for me to give stuff away for my birthday.

Another family is a grandfather raising his grandchildren. He asked us to pray for him and his struggle with alcohol so he could get custody of them, and he was able to do just that. We pray with our Native friends and bring them necessities when we know there is a need. 

Steve: Simply marvelous. You have given us ideas. You are friends with Robert and Janice Hopwood who live north of you. They accompanied Monte Church on his evangelistic series doing children’s programs until they retired. They were also helping the Voice of Prophecy with Native outreach. Tell us about their work and now your work with VOP.

Williams: The Hopwoods heard us testify about our work at White Earth at a camp meeting and they got excited and asked us if we would take over their ministry. So now we also do the Bible studies by mail ministry. We get interests from all over, from Florida to Alaska, from North Carolina to Oregon and everything in between. We send out 2 studies at a time, they send us back the answer sheets, we grade them and send them back with two more studies. We take them through Native New Day Studies, followed by Discover, concluding with Focus on Prophecy. Last month we sent out over 80 correspondences with studies! 

Steve: Tell us another story that you rejoice over.

Williams: We took some Native American Living magazines with our cards in them to another reservation and placed them in all the gas stations, grocery stores, and even the casino took a case. One of the girls, who was working at the grocery store as a cashier, was super excited to get one of the magazines. She found the card and started filling it out right away. About a month later, we received a card back from that area without any postage on it. I like to think it was hers. I believe it was a miracle that it made it through the post office without a stamp. 

Steve: This causes me to praise the Lord right now. I know that the Hopwoods, who have done a large work, were so happy you took this ministry. This is such a large territory to be serving all of America and Canada! How do you do this?

Williams: With God's grace. We both work full time and we have hour long commutes. When you are serving in God’s ministry, He gives you the strength and time to get it done! 

Steve: Can anyone get Native New Day enrollment cards from you to give out with your address label on them, if they don’t live near a reservation and can’t start a ministry near them?  

Williams: Yes, we are happy to provide cards, you can send us a note at Native New Day,  PO Box 1213 Moorhead, MN 56561. We are also on Facebook here.

Steve: I have enjoyed this interview. Thank you for taking the time to share your ministry. God be with you for multiple blessings!

Monte Church

You will be interested to know that Monte and Safe TV are filming 4 more videos this year to add to the Native New Life series in helping people have a thriving experience with the Lord. 

You may order the partial video set from Safe TV at (888) 777-9392
Are you interested in supporting Alaskan and Indian outreach? You may call Marella Rudebaugh, our Administrative Assistant at 360-857-7037. Your financial gifts are used prayerfully and carefully.

Our great Chief bless you continually as you influence one more toward Him!

Please send us news from your area to share in next quarter's newsletter!
 
You may also send your donations to:     
Native Ministries NW     
PO Box 5709 N. 20th   
Ridgefield, WA  98642





                                        
 Steve Huey                                Monte Church                         Marella Rudebaugh     
   Director                                 Emeritus Director                  Administrative Assistant
 
 
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