I have been consulting with Carol Bradley Long of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in regard to their new Seed Corn Project. It is an exciting program that is starting and it seems to be one of the few residential models that is culturally appropriate for Native people. I am excited to watch it come together. It is a 2 hour drive from my home to meet with Carol across the Cherohala Skyway (Dragon Tail) weather permitting.
Seed Corn Family
Healing Housing Program Description
The single most
important unmet need of persons returning from in-patient substance abuse
treatment is safe drug-free housing and recovery support services. As a result,
relapse and mortality rates are high.
Seed Corn Family Healing
Housing Program is designed to not only to meet the housing needs of persons
with substance abuse issues, but will also provide supportive services for
immediate family members. Implementing Cherokee culture at a very early age and
substance abuse prevention for the children would change the direction of our
Tribe as a whole.Families will heal
together and be planted back into the community as cultural leaders and
positive role models for the rest of the community.
There will be 5
distinctly different components with 20 family housing units each and 10 units
for the sex offender component, yet all will be following the same cultural
education curriculum. Residents are volunteers who agree to follow strict
policies teaching responsibility, personal accountability, substance abuse
prevention, Cherokee culture and personal health care.
STATEMENT:To provide a
family oriented community that includes safe drug-free housing; counseling,
education, 7th generation programs for participants plus
recreational facilities and traditional ceremonies.
1)Member of a
federal/state tribe and meet one other criteria;
E)Re-Entry from Prisons
*Footnote:Reference to 7th generation
programs comes from the Native American Concept what we do today affects the 7th
generation; that it takes 7 generations to create permanent changes in a tribe.
When we look at the great need of evangelism and mission, we continue to see the church paralyzed to be able to get the general public to enter our buildings and attend the beautiful worship services we produce. We also feel that if we do enter the community to share the gospel it must be either preaching, performance or some form of benevolence. I work in the disabilities field as my weekday job now and so I am aware of opportunities that I did not know of as a pastor.
When the AG and COG missionaries invited me to Uruguay recently, I was grateful to preach and do music in the churches as we traditionally do on mission trips. I, however had a vision some years ago to do something different. The idea was to represent American music to the university setting by providing an American guitar clinic-in this case it was blues guitar technique. This genre finds as its context the African American churches and jook joints of Mississippi, etc. I approached this from a historical perspective and it was well received. About 15 students got college credit for the clinic from two music conservatories.
I was also scheduled to do movement music programs and blues guitar demonstrations at two elementary schools, one technical school for adults and a school for autistic children. I preached at none of these, but shared in church concerts following these presentations which resulted in some coming to church that normally might not. This all resulted in these schools asking "what would cause the church to provide these educational opportunities without requiring to be able to witness formally?"
This endeavor resulted in friendships in which I am providing resources for the intellectual disability community in Uruguay and among the schools. I am thankful we were able to make friends for the church in the educational and health care industries. Do you think your country might benefit from such a project?
One of the enjoyable projects of my ministry has been J.R. Lilly. He is Dine from Arizona, and went to work as Administrative Assistant to Dr. Richard Twiss 7 months before Richard crossed over. J.R. has still a wonderful prospective future in the contextual movement. He took time out to host me in Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon in March. I was privileged to stay in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Eastty, who serve with Wiconi also. During my stay there, J.R. took me to tour the Native American Youth Association (NAYA) and Native American Rehabilitation of the Southwest (NARA). These two organizations serve the various social and health needs of the some 58 tribes of the urban indians of Portland, Oregon. Here I was able to dialogue with a number of leaders concerning the needs of Native people who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. I am learning more as I travel as to what is being done concerning this widespread situation. J.R. also introduced me to the cultural director and tribal relations person at Youth Villages, Inc. in Portland. This was an important relationship to begin as I envision health care centers that are culturally appropriate for Native people.
Soon we went to Seattle, where we joined the annual meeting of the Society For Pentecostal Studies. There my book was reviewed by Dr. Rick Waldrop (far left) and J.R. presented a response to Dr. Randy Woodley's (far right) new book. It was a great meeting that gave me opportunity to fulfill my objectives of my ministry through the empowerment of Native leaders and giving voice to their concerns. To God be the glory! Thanks to all for support.
Greetings, Friends and Supporters! There is a lot going on with me since the first of the year. On some Sundays I have been going to Living Waters Church in Cherokee, N.C. to support Pastor Jack Russell and his fine congregation. The congregation includes some very historic descendants of leaders and the entire congregation has been very sweet and welcoming. It is about a 2 hour drive for me and I have had a rockslide and snow situation that prevented me, but I'm going to keep going.
We suffered a great loss recently in the passing of Dr. Richard Twiss.
He was in Washington D.C. and suffered a massive heart attack. He was the most visible leader of the Native American Contextual Movement. He was scheduled to review my book at the Society For Pentecostal Studies in March at Seattle Pacific University. He will be sorely missed and I will miss his personal encouragement greatly. Pray for J.R. Lilly, his personal assistant that I introduced to Richard. If you are interested go to the link to be able to watch the memorial that will be streamed via the internet.
The SPS meeting in Seattle in March will also welcome to the missions/intercultural studies group (of which I am the group leader) Dr. Randy Woodley, who will be responding to a review of his book by J.R. Lilly.
The third significant item I want to mention is my appointment as book editor of a series "Native American Contextual Movement" by Centre For Pentecostal Studies in Cleveland TN. The series is published on the imprint Cherohala Press, and will feature my book "Native American Pentecost" as the first, then followed by dissertations and theses by Cheryl Bear and Eric Bates (son of preacher Tommy Bates). Lakota Rodeo Camp
The last item I want to mention is that along with Shane Red Hawk (pictured), I will be conducting a Rodeo Camp for kids on the Lakota Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota during the month of July. For those of you who have not been familiar with the camps I directed in East Tennessee, it is a three day camp in which bull riding and barrel racing champions mentor young people in both their rodeo event skills and their personal lives. The young boys ride small steers FYI!
There is a great rodeo community there and to date I have secure Wiley Petersen from the Professional Bull Riders for the bull riding instructor. This has been historically a $5000 project and as always I have no money right now. I am also towards the end of my support money so anything you can do will be greatly appreciated and will give glory to God. I just believe you should go and do what needs to be done and God will send people to help you! You are that people-bless you all!