I woke up the other morning with a lot on my mind. I was thinking of all that needed to be done. There are so many things that I have been feeling the urgency to get completed. It seems as though you have to do one thing before moving on to the other stuff, and then some things come up in a more urgent way that takes the time I had planned to work on my “to do” list for that day. It becomes a game of Jenga, with the many different pieces and people depending on your time that you have to finish before winter... I am sure many of you have your lives together more than I do and don’t know what I am talking about.
As things were going through my mind that I needed to do that day, the word Tetelestai came to my mind. I found myself comforted in the completed work of Jesus. I do not mean this newsletter to be super deep theologically or even wanting to spend the time unfolding that word and all that it carries with it in scripture. However, I found it incredibly comforting in that moment lying in my bed, concerned with all that needed to be done. Jesus has taken care of everything for me. I smile at the thought and am entered into a rest that I cannot explain very well.
Several weeks back, I preached on the promise of rest. God is a promise keeper, He always keeps His word, and He promises to give us rest. When Jesus offers to give anyone tired or heavy laden rest, the instruction he gives is to come to Him and take His yoke up, it is easy, and His burden is light. The Lord has been teaching me for many years now about how to rest. I am not too good at it, and I like to be busy. I actually like to have deadlines and usually work well under pressure; however, that is not a healthy way to live. Living full throttle is not how our Father intended us to live, much less how He intends us to serve Him. Our heavenly Father is an excellent master. I genuinely love serving Him. He is so very good to me. Somehow I forget all that I am not capable of doing without Him, and it is foolish for me to think that I can take up the yoke and do more than what He is capable of doing. The promise of rest comes with trusting Him and the work that He is doing is His work. It is not what I have got to do it is about the work He is leading in.
When Jesus uttered the words Tetelestai (It is finished), He said that the payment of sin for those who believe is paid in full. There is absolutely nothing else I could do to add to what Christ Jesus has completed, increasing the love God has for me or how the Father sees me clothed in the righteousness of His Son. So why do I feel the need to add to what He is doing in and around my life? I desire to rest in Him. To rest in the work that He is doing, to rest in His provision and timing. The church is foolish not to rest in Him. I am foolish not to rest in Him.
With that being said;
This summer was an amazing and challenging time. We were able to have summer camp all summer long. It was not at full capacity all summer, but the number of attendants was better than we had anticipated with the COVID restrictions that were in place. I am so grateful to all of our teams that came alongside us this last year and have worked so hard and have been so flexible to accommodate any last-minute changes that we had. Overall, Jesus was lifted high at the Chanku waste Ranch this past summer, and we are ready for next summer, hopefully with a bit more normalcy.
We are working on some great things as a staff to develop some better ways to communicate all that God is doing here as well as ways we can better educate the volunteers and churches the come alongside us. I am personally excited to see how this will usher us into the next areas of ministry God is leading us into. We strive to do things with excellence. Excellence requires making adjustments to things that we have not quite done our best in. I want to thank so many of you for your patience in working with us as we learn and grow. Communication is something I want to do better with.
We did not work much on the clinic from April until the end of July. We had a lot of things that we were very unsure about and learning to wait on the Lord. There has never been any question in my heart that this clinic is the Lord’s direction, but there have been some overwhelming times of wondering what in the world we are doing. This has been an area completely out of my wheelhouse but also a place that we have just had to trust the Lord because there really is no other way. We had to make quite a few changes due to some new COVID regulations in the state of SD. We are now at a place of hopefully having the construction of the building finished by the end of October. We still have need of equipment and the financial resources to begin services. We are waiting to see how the Lord leads with the provision of resources and professionals.
On the church front, I have been encouraged to see the fellowship that is growing in spite of a lot of inconsistencies and changes of times and plans due to COVID and the tribal regulations. As many of you may know, we planted a church location in Manderson, about 15 miles west of Sharps. We began by duplicating the service that we were having at Sharps. So the same music sermon and children’s lessons. In the last month or so, I have felt God leading me to go back and spend more time in the foundational stages, praying, reading scriptures and fellowshipping with one another. This sounds like what any church should be doing, right? I have been encouraged to step back again and trust Jesus to do the work in this area. I ask you to continue to pray for Manderson. It is a place that is filled with hurting people and has a lot of hardened ground that will require a lot of patience and resting in the Lord.
God is so good.
The kids have entered into this new school year. Jacob is in the ninth grade, enrolled in Lakota Tech and is playing football. I know that is probably the craziest thing for me to think about. We have a high schooler. We are very proud of him and know that he will do well. This is a big transition for him as he has previously only been homeschooled.
Leah and Noah are being homeschooled this year. Leah is in the sixth grade and plans to play volleyball and basketball with the local school close to us. Noah is in the second grade and is already excelling in his learning. Amanda holds everything down and keeps the house, books, schooling, schedule and pretty much anything else of great importance. I am not quite sure how she does it all.
He is so faithful, and I am so very blessed by all of who He is. Every day we are learning to trust Him more. Every day we are learning to serve Him and be obedient to His call. Thank you for all that so many of you do to lift us to the Father, love us and support us so faithfully.