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?