Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Hills and Valleys (A Miraculous Tale of the Interests of God)

God is interested in you.  He is interested in me.  I notice this the most in the little things He does: little miracles that remind me that he is paying attention.  We often pray that God would display these little "miracles" in the lives of the urban Native American kids we work with.  Growing up in a broken environment, they need to know he is near them, and that he cares for them.  God answers those prayers often, and here is one example.

Karie (We've changed her name) has often struggled with making friends both in her community and at Kid's Club.  She has a strong personality, and exhibits behavior indicative of trauma.  She often pushes people away, but we love her, and in the last few years she has shown a real interest in the Lord.  She even prayed to receive the Lord during camp!  While she has her struggles, we were so blessed to find out her favorite song was one we sang at camp two years ago called "Hills and Valleys."

A few weeks ago was Karie's birthday.  It happened to occur the same night as Kid's Club, so we all sang "Happy Birthday," of course.  On the way home, she asked Dan, who was driving the bus, if she could listen to her favorite song, "Hills and Valleys, for her birthday.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a way to play the song on the bus.  He told her no, he was sorry, and that there was no way to play the song on the bus.  As the kids sat down, Dan started the bus and suddenly the beginning of the song "Hills and Valleys," began playing on the RADIO.  Perfect timing!  It was such a cool opportunity to reinforce the truth the God cared about Karie, and was interested in her life.  He was paying attention to her and wanted to specially bless her on her birthday!  It is something she will never forget.

God is interested in you too, and I pray that as you read this, you will encounter those little miracles in your own life.  The one who spoke only a few words and created the universe knows what is happening in your world, and better yet, HE CARES.  May our eyes be open daily to the blessings of the Lord.

Friday, November 2, 2018


I hate naming things.  I feel an enormous pressure to come up with exactly the right wording that most accurately describes the thing I am attempting to name.  I try to keep it short, creative, thought provoking, and attention grabbing.  In case you can't tell, I'm not to good at writing "short" things.  I like words too much.

Well, long story short (kinda), we needed to name our Akina program on Tuesday nights. We really wanted to highlight the literacy aspect of the program, because the night is all about literacy.  We teach actual reading strategies, but then we also teach life skills (life "literacy" if you will) and Biblical literacy.  However, it seemed like other churches had already taken the creative one word names.  (Seriously, think about it.)

We decided, after careful evaluation, that a single English word couldn't actually define the night.  So we started looking at Ojibwe.  (I mean, 'Akina' works!)  We stumbled across the word "Minogi."  In Ojibwe, the word means (he or she) "grows up."  "Minogi" is one word packed full of meaning.  It was a word that clearly defined the heart behind what we do on Tuesday nights.  We want to see kids grow.  We want to see them grow in faith and knowledge of the Bible, and we want to see them grow educationally, emotionally, and socially!  So the name "Minogi" stuck!

I love teaching literacy on Tuesday nights so far this year.  We have had double the number of students coming from last year, which is pretty awesome!  Kids have chosen to read "The Action Bible," plus we will be starting a unit on the Tale of Despereaux. We always use our reading time to connect back to the Bible.  We are especially excited to continue teaching the new, updated Answers in Genesis curriculum too.  Keep praying for the kids as we teach them essential skills to "grow up" both in Christ, and in life!
Teaching AIG on Minogi nights!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It's time for AWESOME!

God is so good, and faithful!  I just can't say that enough it seems.  From miraculously funding our Kid's Club dinner program, to providing extra help when we need it, the Lord continually shows his care for the Native kids in Minneapolis.  He is the obvious protector and defender of his little ones in need.

The other remarkable thing is that the kids are beginning to know this too.  We pray for the presence of the Lord to be evident all throughout our Kid's programs, and that they might know Jesus and have a real relationship with him.  One that is honest, and based firmly in the Bible.  As we began Kid's Club, the kids were excited to be there.  They were excited to listen and learn.  Many of them expressed how safe they felt at Akina, and that they were thankful to hear about Jesus.  Yay!  Keep these kiddos in your prayers!  The Lord of Heaven's Armies is fighting for them!