REFUGEE Outreach is based on Leviticus 19:34 "The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." God has brought the nations to us and we are rendered without excuse with being messengers of John 3:16 that "God so loved the WORLD, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Demonstrating His love while sharing His word as we are called to give a "cup of water....in My Name!"
Our ministry has included home visits, back-packs for going to school, dental clinics, baby showers, Thanksgiving dinners, job fairs, donated goods distribution, clothing and diapers, hospital visits, Easter event, English classes, crisis responses, weddings and funerals! A learning center was set up for a Congolese African children's church that included a reading library of children's books, a media center with Christian videos, a crafts corner, teacher training and supplies for teaching as well as toys for toddlers. Prayer and Scripture reading done each time!
Northwestern Tribes Mission Trip
JUNE 2015 We had Native Americna youth join our family on a HOPE Response Mission Trip. The youth were from Hopi, Navajo, Salt River Pima, and San Carlos Apache tribes. The itinerary included both urban and tribal outreach to Los Angeles, the Hoopa, Yurok, Warm Springs, Lummi, Spokane, Flathead, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Crow, Uintah/Ouray and Moapa Tribes. This led us to CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, UT, and AZ states. The hours spent riding in the van were involved in intensive 3-4 hours a day of study through the HOPE Response to Faith and the HOPE Response to Loss, Pain and Grief. Close bonds formed and their own HOPE stories emerged which they then shared at least 18 times over the trip. They read daily a chapter from the book of John and learned to lead our group in their own devotional. They learned to plan a VBS or daycamp and told the Story of Christ as well as got youth into the Word of God. Fun and amazing experiences were built into the trip along the way such as doing a puppet show, riding in an amusement park, and seeing National Parks like the Redwood Forest and Crater Lake. The tribes themselves welcomed them to smoked salmon and canoe rowing or buffalo burgers and bead work. The most important of all was their lives were transformed and inspired to reach out!
Exchange Students 2015-16
Exchange Students come for cultural exchange and to improve their future with English speaking proficiency. Many Christian families open their home to them for a year because of their love for other people. We have also partnered with Young Life that creates many teen-friendly, fun events for them to know Christians and Christ, such as an awesome camp in Williams, AZ. A Danish boy that came shared that "before coming he had really never thought about God nor did the people around Him but now he finds himself thinking about Him." Another Japanese student said "I know I came not as a Christian but now I love reading the Bible like every day and it teaches me about Christ which I am loving to learn about." Another shared how she was overwhelmed by the response of support during the terrorist attacks in France while she was here. Some express the gratitude they have to be here in safety and freely explore for themselves the Bible, church and to know Christians, even though they know in their country their would be great violence done over this. Years later, a student that became a doctor in Uzbekhistan, described herself now as a Christ follower and wanted to live where she could express that freely. An Austrian that grew up atheist among beautiful cathedrals found faith in Him that transformed her life. The graduation is done for this year and all will be returning soon to their homes and only time will tell the effects of this year for Him!
Christian Hopi Camp Meeting
July 2015, and every year on the second weekend for the last 9 years, we have been called by God and the Hopi to work among them. It is in the middle of a vast plain with plateaus and sunsets surrounding it. About 300 attend and 65 of those are youth. The HOPI pastors have a heart for them to know Christ and His Word. This is hard to do if they don't come to church weekly and its not taught in the home or school. In 10 sessions, we intensively shared the life of Christ and got them to know the Bible through a panorama from Genesis to Revelation. Puppets, crafts, songs and games were all directed at reinforcing the message for that session lesson. 17 youth gave their hearts to Christ and over the time in camp saw their hunger for God's word grow. This year's camp will be the first that we will be doing a "HOPE Response to Loss, Pain and Grief." Why? Because these children need to know how to connect with God during these tough times since many have lost a parent to alcohol or abandonment or seen and known things they shouldn't. What leads a 13 year old to become a mom? Or a 10 year old boy to want to jump from the plateau cliffs? We want them to know HOPE when it matters most!