Wherever He leads I'll go

Posts tagged ‘cemetery’

Won’t you join me?

A lot has happened since my last entry.¬† I’ve spoken in a few churches…

Randy Carruth and I both spoke at Cedar Grove BC in Lecompte

Randy Carruth and I both spoke at Cedar Grove BC in Lecompte

I’ve decorated for Christmas and I’m sure I’ve gotten a few cavities from all the saccharin Christmas movies I watched!

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I’ve sent and received many Christmas cards. I’ve prayed for all those I received cards from and accepted the blessings that came with the cards I received. I’ve visited with friends and family and participated in three Dirty Santa’s and we’ve all opened a shameful number of gifts…

Christmas Collage

…and I’ve participated in the whole Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty defense. I’ve been told that I should be their P.R. person…I’m game if they are! ūüôā

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I’ve had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season. However, the best part of my season had nothing to do with me but with all of you…and with two young adults from Twin Bridges Baptist Church…and with the children and leaders of two Indian Reservations and one Indian community in Mississippi.¬† The best part of this season was the Christmas Shoebox ministry that many of you made possible.

I sent out a request for help in providing our Native American children with Christmas gifts and the response was wonderful!  Ten churches and six individual families participated in this ministry providing a total of 395 shoeboxes!  180 of the boxes went to the Lac du Flambeau reservation in Wisconsin while 161 went to the Colville reservation in Washington State and 54 boxes went to Corinth Baptist Church, a Choctaw church in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

One little boy in Mississippi is happy to receive his Christmas backpack from Pisgah Baptist Church in Forest Hill.

One little boy in Mississippi is happy to receive his Christmas backpack from Pisgah Baptist Church in Forest Hill.

It was a beautiful day with fresh snow on the ground when Vicki James of Morning Star Ministries delivered these gifts to the children of the Colville Reservation in Washington State.

It was a beautiful day with fresh snow on the ground when Vicki James of Morning Star Ministries delivered these gifts to the children of the Colville Reservation in Washington State.

This ministry began last year at the request of two young men, John Phillips and Zeb Mathews, both of Twin Bridges Baptist Church.  Their simple request provided approximately 100 boxes last year and turned into something we never imagined this year!

This year John and I were joined by Heather Dix, also of Twin Bridges, when we headed to the Lac du Flambeau reservation to deliver gifts and participate with the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church in ministering to the Ojibwe people there.

John Phillips and Heather Dix getting boxes ready.

John Phillips and Heather Dix getting boxes ready.

The church members provided a luncheon of Creamy Beef Fricassee, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and homemade Bread Pudding.  The room was full.

The community at Lac du Flambeau joined us for lunch.

The community at Lac du Flambeau joined us for lunch.

Then we handed out gifts to a group of very excited children. We enjoyed watching the kids open their gifts…but we had even more fun watching them enjoy their gifts!

 

This little girl had a box full of goodies but her very favorite gift was this small silk plant. You just never know what will appeal to them the most!

This little girl had a box full of goodies but her very favorite gift was this small silk plant. You just never know what will appeal to them the most!

There were lots of jump ropes and the kids loved them!

There were lots of jump ropes and the kids loved them!

There were lots of bubbles on hand

There were lots of bubbles on hand

Then it was time to brave the cold, head out into the snow and deliver the remaining gifts. The wind chill that day was 25 below but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. You could hear some of the kids squealing inside when they realized they were getting gifts. ūüôā

John and Heather braving the cold to deliver more gifts.

John and Heather braving the cold to deliver more gifts.

Pastor Bill Earl, his wife, Bridget and their kids, Taylor, Zayne and Tallen are so wonderful about making us feel at home and allowing us to turn their home upside down.

The Earl family are wonderful about opening their home to us and helping us make a huge mess while we are there!

The Earl family are wonderful about opening their home to us and helping us make a huge mess while we are there!

The land here is as beautiful as the people and we three Louisiana natives were in awe of that beauty.¬† There really are no words…the pictures say more than I ever could…

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The Lake of Flaming Torches...not so flaming right now...frozen solid!

The Lake of Flaming Torches…not so flaming right now…frozen solid!

We worked hard but we did take some time to enjoy all of this beauty.¬† Heather and I even had the distinct pleasure of (and excuse me for this) having our snot freeze right in our noses!¬† Everyone should get to experience that at least once. ūüôā

Look how deep the snow was!

Look how deep the snow was!

The trip was¬†a fast one¬†and one¬†we will never forget.¬† Yes, the beauty of the land is something we’ll never forget…and the cold is something we’ll never forget…as well as the long drive and the great conversations we had in the car and the friendships we formed. But more than anything we will never forget¬†how great it felt to watch a child open a gift¬†and know that someone¬†in Louisiana took the time to minister to them through a simple box and a few toys.

 

So, what is next on my agenda?¬† I’m¬†doing some contract work for the Louisiana Baptist Convention for the next month.

Then I’m going to be contacting¬†reservations and groups I worked with last year and making arrangements with them for this coming summer.

I’m also going to¬†be meeting with new groups and new reservations¬†and Native communities to discuss adding to the summer ministry. That means I have a lot of planning to do. I¬†hope to have it all done by the end of February because in March I’ll be¬†going with “I¬†Am Able Ministries”¬†to Mexico to minister to the Mayan children there.¬† When I return I will be collecting ministry supplies and preparing for the summer.¬† It all seems a long way off but it will be here before I know it!

I traveled a total of 15,161 miles¬†during 2013 and I hope to cover even more territory in 2014! Won’t you join me?

An eventful couple of days…

It’s been an eventful couple of days on the rez.¬† Monday night I got a call from Mrs. Virginia telling me that her husband, Mr. Ed had been rushed to the emergency room.¬† It was about 9:30 p.m.¬† I called a couple of the church members and headed to the hospital. I stayed until they admitted him at about 2:00 a.m.¬† He was doing better but they are unsure of what is going on.¬† Mrs. Virginia and I visited for quite a while.¬† Mr. Ed is the love of her life and her best friend; yet, in the midst of his sickness, they are both still overcome with longing for their Native brothers and sisters to come to Christ.¬† It is their constant prayer.¬† I pray that God will place that kind of longing for others in my heart!¬† Here’s a picture of Mr. Ed with Mrs. Virginia and myself last summer.

Mr. Ed says that Jesus wants him in the hospital so he can witness to everyone he comes in contact with…and believe me, he is doing just that!!! Everyone wants to visit with him and God is using that.¬† I spent 2 hours at his bedside yesterday and enjoyed hearing of his past mission work with other Natives. What a mighty man of God!

Earlier that day, I had taken advantage of the beautiful weather and ¬†unusually slow schedule for the day and took a drive to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior.¬† I thought I lived on a lake….then I saw Lake Superior.¬† It goes on forever and is so beautiful!

I came to the lovely town of Ashland, WI and got my first glimpse of Lake Superior at this beautiful dock.

 Then at this roadside park.

After a brief visit here, I headed on to Bayfield, a beautiful town right on Lake Superior where fishing is king!

Spring was showing¬†up in Bayfield as well…

¬†After leaving Bayfield, I headed further north and accidentally discovered this little treasure on Lake Superior.¬† It is called Little Sands Bay…

It was extremely secluded and¬†I only saw 4 people there.¬† One was in a boat and three more¬†were¬†construction workers toward the front of the property.¬† I was aware that¬†it might be slightly dangerous for me to be there alone, but I was enjoying taking pictures so I ignored¬†the potential danger and continued on…until I saw this…

Yep! That’s a bear track…and not an old one.¬†¬†I decided then that it was time to go.

I stopped again at Meyer’s Beach…another secluded area…and then headed for home.¬† On the way home I came upon another cemetery and had to stop if for no other reason than to get a shot of all the purple flowers.

Two and a half hours later I was back home and three hours after that I was at the hospital.

Sunday afternoon drive…

Well, it’s my first Sunday with the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church.¬† We’ve visited children, we’ve had several meetings and the relationships I am forming here are enduring ones.¬† Today was the day…Sunday.¬† We prepared the room, I got the lesson ready, the ladies were on hand to learn.¬† But no kids.¬† It’s a slow process on a reservation.¬† The supply pastor had his two grandchildren with him so we took them and did a practice Sunday School with them for training.¬† The ladies learned and the kids enjoyed themselves…so all in all, it was progress.¬† Now we’ll just have to keep on keeping on.¬† After a¬†great lunch with Mr. Buddy and Don I decided it was time for some fresh air.¬† Nothing renews my soul like a Sunday afternoon drive, so off I went…exploring my new “home.”¬†¬†And I wasn’t disappointed.¬† The Northwoods country is one of the most serene places I’ve ever experienced.¬† The sun filtering through the fir, spruce and pine; the water that seems to go on forever. Take a look…

¬†The birch trees stand like tall, white sentinels, quietly standing guard in the afternoon sun…

And when I opened my car window at this¬†boggy marsh, the mosquitos that flew in¬†put the Louisiana mosquitos to shame!¬†They were so large I had to look twice to make sure they were actually mosquitos…

Of course, no Sunday afternoon drive is complete¬†without a visit to a local cemetery.¬† I always enjoy cemeteries…much to the dismay of my friends…but if you want to know something about the area you are in then that’s the place to go!¬†¬†This cemetery is on the reservation and has something I’ve never seen before…

Yep…that’s a little house.¬† They are called¬†Ojibwe cemetery houses.¬† They house the food and other offerings made by the Ojibwe natives.¬† Here’s a look at another one…

Well, tomorrow begins a whole new week here with my new Native friends.¬† I’ll keep you posted…

 

 

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