Long-Term Labors for the Gospel
July 16, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Greetings from Warm Springs, Oregon! Our team from Oak Hills has been ministering with Sacred Road Ministries this week on the Warm Springs Reservation. Part of our team has been laboring hard in the community garden and the other part of our team has been working on painting the cedar shingles of the tribal long house. Each afternoon at 3pm we gather together to help lead the Kids' Club for 50+ children. God has been good to our team this week, answering prayers daily and building us up in his grace.
The aim of Sacred Road's ministry on the Warm Springs Reservation is summed up in Isaiah 58:11, "You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." Sacred Road prays that the gospel of Jesus would become living waters for the parched people of Warm Springs.
The challenge, though, is significant. Native Americans have not had a favorable place in American history. Years of deception and oppression have left the Native Americans disenfranchised with the "American Dream." They do not, inherently, trust the white people.
The Granberrys and Sacred Road Ministry have committed to being a living presence on the reservation in order to do the hard work of building the trust and credibility needed to share the gospel. This involves sacrificial, physical labor and consistently loving the people on the rez. That's what we are doing this week. These labors are essential for building the connections to share the gospel.
The Granberrys have lived on the Yakama reservation since 2003, pouring themselves out full time in that community. On Easter Sunday 2012, they began to hold weekly worship services on the rez. The gospel has been taking root and bearing fruit. Warm Springs is different. There has not yet been a full time missionary presence here. Each summer Sacred Road works with short term teams to labor on this rez. The Native Americans notice the sacrifices being made to serve them. I believe Jesus' words in Matthew 9:37-38 are applicable to Warm Springs, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Let us be praying that God would send his choice servants to labor full time in Warm Springs.
Are you able to commit to a labor, for which the fruit may not be evident for years? In an instant-everything world, having to wait years for "desired results" can be extremely discouraging. We may even give up the pursuit. For some of the pursuits God calls us to, however, we may have to wait years to see the fruit of our labors. Oak Hills has labored with Sacred Road for over a decade. We have seen fruit of our labors and gifts. But the work of the gospel is not finished here on the reservation. We are committed to continue to partner with Sacred Road for the sake of the gospel and the Warm Springs people. May God be pleased to draw men and women unto himself as we seek to lift up Christ!