In late January, we had the honor of leading worship & prayer on the Morongo reservation, in Banning, CA. This reservation is home to the Morongo band of Mission Indians. It is a beautiful place, not too far from Palm Springs. The impetus for the gathering, was a family murder which occurred on another Southern California reservation. These communities are small, and what affects one community, often affects another. As some of our First Nations friends from out of town were coming to San Diego for a visit, we were able to gather together on Morongo, and worship the Lord, praying & speaking His Word over the people. These gatherings are always an honor. We would ask you to please be in prayer for us, for the Lord to open up more doors for worship & prayer gatherings on, or near, reservations throughout North America. Our deepest desire, is to see the host people of the land, come to the Lord.
A friend of the ministry was recently inspired to donate funds for blankets, after a visit with us, to some of the care facilities. Their generous donation, our partners connection to the right place to purchase, and some haggling with the merchant, produced 145 warm blankets for the residents. There were many sweet, and smiling faces, on this cold rainy day.
Blessings, Wayne & Carol
Wayne just returned from helping lead another Living Waters Training. Nearly 50 participants, left their burdens at the cross and returned to their church communities to lead others to do the same. Carol is on her way (March 2–6th) to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota (YES, in the middle of winter) to join a team at the “Indigenous Healing the Land conference- from Wounded Knee to a bright new future”. Watch for more about this in next months newsletter!
This Christmas Season as we gather with our families we believe it is important to remember those who are alone and possibly struggling with the loss of family. The testimony below, of our good friend who lost her adult son last year, shares how she finds peace identifying with others in their suffering. This was her experience traveling down with us one day.
“Two days ago, I traveled to Mexico with my friend Wayne from Voice of the Bride Ministries. We packed his flatbed truck with all the food and hygiene items we possibly could, and headed south into Tijuana. We journeyed into some remote little neighborhoods, to greet the hidden saints who have given their lives to serve the desperate and vulnerable. We pulled up to three different homes to give what we could; a home for women that have disabilities, a men’s home for those suffering with addiction and disabilities, and a home for the mentally ill and elderly. It was a privilege and honor, to be with those who are suffering and those who serve them. It was difficult, but at the same time, I felt connection and peace. They are the poor, serving the poorest of the poor, in extreme poverty. Only thirty minutes from my home, we witnessed such harsh conditions, that were troubling to see and smell. Yet, in those places, and in our darkest hours, God’s love and care is there. He doesn’t leave. He stays with us in the valley of the shadow of death, but doesn’t keep us from it.
There is a excellent book written by a father who lost his mother, wife and daughter in a car accident. It’s called, “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. That title resonates with me, now that my son is gone. I feel connected to those who suffer, in a way I never did before. I feel community with the broken, because I am broken. I feel understanding when I look into eyes that appear grey, and searching. I feel joy when I can hug or touch the hand of a fellow traveler whose heart aches. I feel hope when I see a person continue to stay and believe, while living in a dark and seemingly hopeless situation. This may sound depressing or very sad, but for me, it is not. It is comforting. Beautiful. Jesus.” [Sheri Briggs – BridgeOfHopeSD.org]
p.s. watch for our Top 10 Highlights of 2016 next month!