The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Day In the Life At Swan Graphics

Now that I am home for the summer, I have had the opportunity to start working at Swan Graphics with my parents. It has been such a privilege to finally see first-hand all that they are doing in the lives of the youth in the White Swan community.

My favorite part of the workday is our lunchtime. Typically, either my mom or myself will make lunch for all of the employees, we will eat together in our conference room, and we will do a Bible study together that ends in a time of prayer. We just finished reading the gospel of John and are currently going through the book of Acts. Each employee has their own Bible labeled with their name on it, and each one will take turns reading verses around the table. It has been so special to see the youth interacting with Scripture that they are reading for the first time and investing in daily prayer for needs in their families and the community.

Each employee has a very specific role around Swan Graphics that gives them a sense of responsibility and purpose. One employee specializes in yard work and interior maintenance as well as printing when the orders are heavy. Another employee is extremely detailed and is learning all of the necessary components to our new embroidery machine. Some of our employees who have been here for a few years are excelling in design work in Photoshop or mastering the art of screen printing. Two employees are working together during downtime to get their drivers licenses, and two of our employees will be entering their senior year of high school and beginning to plan for life after high school.

It has been so humbling to see all that the Lord is doing through the investment of my parents in the lives of these youth. The patience, loving attention, and commitment of my mom and dad are speaking volumes into their lives. While this community struggles from hopelessness and loss, Swan Graphics is providing hope and a workplace family.

One of the things that the Lord is teaching me is that something as simple as a t-shirt order is contributing to spreading the hope of the gospel. More orders lead to more hours at work and the need for more employees to add to our family at Swan Graphics. Through daily devotionals, opportune conversations, and living life together, the gospel is being spread, Christ is revealed, and God is renewing the brokenness as He promises.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Somedays, It’s a Good Day to Cry, and Somedays, It’s a Good Day to Have Fry Bread

Transitioning to college would be a breeze. Or so I thought. After spending my high school years on the Reservation, I was excited to move to a new place, expand my knowledge, and meet influential people. However, once I arrived at Point Loma Nazarene University, I quickly realized that sharing the story of my home was pretty much the only thing I wanted to talk about. I feel so much pride for the snippet of life I had the privilege of experiencing on a Native American Reservation and a sense of responsibility to share the stories of Native America with others that I meet.

I didn’t realize this until about a month into school when I sat down to watch a movie released last year, The Glass Castle. I had seen this movie with my family about a year ago and it brought up a variety of emotions at the time since the movie depicts poverty culture in a way very similar to the realities on the Reservation. The Glass Castle, which is a true story based on an autobiographical novel, follows a girl who grew up with an alcoholic father and a family who was constantly moving from home to home due to the instability of finances and relationships with others. I remember watching it with a heavy heart because I could relate the story to so many of the children in Yakama that I love so dearly.

Choosing to watch this movie on a Friday night after a busy week of college with my new college friends was probably not the most ideal decision. :) The end of the movie brought me to tears and released a lot of emotions that I didn’t realize had built up in the process of leaving home. I struggle with the reality of my peers living in such a materialistic world with a minimal perspective of poverty and the afflictions that so many people face in this broken world. It’s impossible to explain to the friends that I’ve made and love that I am saddened by their ignorance of the hurt that happens across Reservations in America. While this is a tough thing to face and has made my transition difficult, the Lord is teaching me that there are so many things I am ignorant of as well and that He reveals different things to different people. I’m learning that I have the gift of a story to share and a perspective to bring to the world. I’m learning that people hurt in a variety of ways and the perspective I have is not the only thing that breaks God’s heart.

A few days after watching this movie, my longing for home culture led me to the grocery store where I bought some flour, baking powder, vegetable oil, and salt. A few hours and $11.50 later, I was in my dorm kitchen cooking up the most craved batch of fry bread in my life. Providentially, I had brought a precious jar of huckleberry jam with me to college. After that weekend, I truly believe that fry bread and huckleberry jam can bring healing to a homesick heart.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Fall is Here!

A local farmer donated pumpkins for the children to receive after church today!

Fall is here!  The leaves and changing colors here on the Yakama Reservation are beautiful! 

First of all, we wanted to let you know we will be sharing at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Issaquah the evening of Sunday, November 11th.  The meeting will go from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  The address is 22116 SE 51st Pl, Issaquah, WA 98029.  If you are local, we would love to see you there! 

We are plugging along here at Swan Graphics and we continue to be amazed at all the Lord is doing.  We had our biggest screen printing order this month!  It was an order for the White Swan School District.  We printed 500 t-shirts, 100 hats and 100 bags!  We praise the Lord!

We buy our t-shirts from a nationwide company called SanMar.  San Mar is headquartered in Issaquah, WA and last week two SanMar representatives came to visit us – clear out in White Swan!  One gentleman is a screen printing advisor and had some great thoughts for us as we move forward to expand Swan Graphics.  The meeting was a huge encouragement and one employee said, “this makes me really want to keep working here”.  They have invited Swan Graphics employees to come for a day, have lunch and tour SanMar.  

Speaking of expanding, we are looking for a bigger location for Swan Graphics.  We are outgrowing our current space and we do have an opportunity to rent a space with 1,000 extra square feet.  Please pray the Lord will direct us and the details of moving all the business.  We are also looking to hire someone who can help with the operations.  This would be a position for someone who is very detailed and patient. Please pray we might fill this position. 

The Lord continues to provide great connections here on the Rez and in Yakima.  We recently met the superintendent of the Mount Adam’s School District (White Swan Schools) and found out he is a believer.  Darren has joined a small business referral organization in Yakima and we already have several good leads on screen printing opportunities!  Darren is a part of the Yakima Asset Building Coalition which is another great network for Swan Graphics.   Our employees are even bringing in business and have the opportunity to earn a $25 commission for any order they bring in.  One of our employees brought in two orders during the month of October.

As you know we spend time each afternoon with the youth doing a short Bible study and pray together.  This week we are focusing on forgiveness and our theme verse has been Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” 

This week we attended a Young Life event in Yakima and one of our employees shared her testimony.  Yesenia’s story is very typical of most youth here on the Yakama Reservation.   The youth struggle with depression, heartache, disappointment, anxiety, etc.  We see this every day as we work alongside of these young people.  There is much more going on around Swan Graphics than just t-shirt printing.  It is living life together and loving each one as we point them to Christ.  Please pray for these youth as they draw closer to the Lord and the enemy seeks to discourage anyone on this reservation who is growing in the Lord. 

We are very grateful for each of you and your faithful prayers.  We see answers every day and count our blessings!  Thank you also for supporting us financially so we can be here.  You are helping share the love of Christ here on this reservation!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bus Rides on the Rez

As I get ready to head off to college in a few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the blessing these past three years have been in my life. I may never have an opportunity like this in my life and I’m so thankful for the many ways I’ve gotten to experience God’s love and his marvelous works.

One of the ways I’ve been involved through our ministry is my role as a rider on the Hope Fellowship Church Bus on Sunday mornings. I get to spend additional time with the kids through their transition from home to church and then back home after church. My jobs on the bus vary from making sure everyone stays seated to wiping down dirty faces on little ones that aren’t receiving enough care at home. The best part about riding on the bus is forming relationships with kids throughout the years.

One morning early this winter, a woman on the side of the road motioned for Veronica, our bus driver, to pull over. The woman asked if her three grandsons could come to church and be returned home afterwards. One by one, three boys, ages, 10, 8, and 6, walked onto the bus. I wasn’t sure if it would be the kind of situation where they may just come for one Sunday morning and never again, or if they would come consistently from then on. With all praise to God, these three boys have since come to nearly every Sunday morning service and participate regularly in ministry activities like Daycamp and Kid’s Club. Through my involvement on the bus I’ve had the chance to connect with each one individually, but I have connected the most with the youngest one, Jojo. He’s seven years old now and his favorite thing to play is tag, but he only likes to play if he’s the one being chased. J

I’ve seen many sides to Jojo and have watched him and his brothers move from home to home on the Reservation due to varying circumstances. I can say with sadness that the living situation of these boys is not ideal. They have observed and experienced far more than a young child should have to, and it shows through their words and actions at times.

As my departure for college grows closer, I’ve tried to become more intentional on speaking to Jojo about the Lord and how he can have a relationship with Him. It is not easy to try to explain to a seven year old, who has experienced significant trauma, that there is a God who loves him more than he’ll ever know and that he doesn’t have to be afraid because of God’s constant protection. I can only hope that the Lord will speak to him in ways that I can’t and help him understand.

It’s difficult to think about leaving Jojo when I’ve become a stable figure in his life over this year. However, the Lord is more powerful, more stable, and far more loving than I could ever be and I’m trying to rest in that. Please join me in praying that the Lord will continue to work in Jojo’s heart and the hearts of his brothers and that the Lord would protect them no matter their living situation.

Friday, June 29, 2018

A Visit Today

Today we had some visitors from Lynden, Washington come visit us here at Sacred Road.  They happened to be in Yakima and they were able to see Swan Graphics, the campus of Sacred Road and hear about the ministry.  It was a huge encouragement to us.  They, like you, pray and support us in this ministry.  It prompted me to update our blog and share some of what the Lord is doing here on the Yakama Reservation.

We are especially encouraged about Swan Graphics.  As you may know, Swan Graphics is a vocational training program in which we teach the screen printing business and train young adults in life, job and vocational skills.  Just a year ago we were purchasing screen printing equipment, learning how to screen print a t-shirts, and praying for T-shirt orders!

Swan Graphics currently employs five youth.  It is exciting to see the gifts and skills the Lord has given each young person.  Some are thriving in graphic designing.  Some have organizational skills and are learning how to use Word and Quick books.  Some have mastered the dark room and are at a point where they can now train new youth how to use the darkroom.  Some youth have a great eye for detail and help with quality control.  Some help with the website, some make sales calls with us and some print the t-shirts.  Each employee recently had an employee review and this naturally led to good discussions about planning for their future as well as skills they are thriving in or might improve in. 

We see them taking ownership and pride in their work. We see them smile at accomplishments and we laugh together each day.  Each afternoon we stop work and have a short Bible Study where we learn more about God and we pray together.

The youth we work with each have their own battles they are facing.  Each one comes to work carrying more on their shoulders and hearts than most youth their age.  We would covet your prayers are we shepherd them and point them to Christ.

One of the employees recently said they feel like we are a little family.  Another employee graduated from White Swan high school and we celebrated this accomplishment together.  Another seems to walk with more purpose.  And one of the most exciting things – the t-shirt orders are coming in!  Thank you for helping us spread the word about Swan Graphics and sharing the good work the Lord is doing. 
“This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes…”  Psalm 118:34