The Maxfields

The Maxfields

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

Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring Kids Club 2018

These pictures are from the first spring mission team week!  The teams have been working in the community this month cleaning up, building woodsheds, chopping wood, etc.  

And then every afternoon Sacred Road hosts Kid's Club at two housing projects!  One day there were 80 children at the housing project I was at.  It was so great!  The children come and play -- jump rope, four square, kickball, crafts, coloring, chalk drawing, face painting, balloons, snacks and a Bible story.  It has been so great to reconnect with some of children who we don't always see.  They remember us and come running to say hello!

They remember the favorite song from last summer:  My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do!  

It feels so great to get outside and fill up on the sunshine outside as well as sharing the SON who SHINES in this dark world!  What a beautiful thing to know the Lord is right there watching His precious children at Kid's Club. 

First Day of Kid's Club!!
This beautiful cross was in the sky on the first day of Kid's Club -- a reminder to me that HE is right here working in the 
hearts of many.

This boy was riding on a a bike called, "The Green Machine".
Darren had this very same bike growing up.  What a fun thing to see a "Green Machine" right here in White Swan!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Middle of the Week

We are in the middle of another week at Swan Graphics.  We are averaging about two new orders a week -- it is encouraging!  

Right now one gal is in the "Creative Development Bubble" room working on designs.  She is learning more and more and it is a blessing to have someone who can do graphic designing (besides Darren)!  

In the press room, I can hear Darren explaining to another youth how to screen print.  I love listening to him explain things to the youth.  He has such a kind, respectful way in which he teaches.  Today they are printing hoodies for the White Swan high school (just down the street from us).  

I am working on invoices and packaging up an order to ship.  In 15 minutes I leave to go to the high school and pick up two more youth who will work with us this afternoon.

When the youth arrive, we will do a 10 minute devotional with them.  Recently we've been talking about what worship is.  Our current verse posted in the office that ties in with this topic is John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."  

A year ago, Swan Graphics was just an idea.  It's amazing to stop and ponder all the Lord is doing.  He knew about the shirts we'd be printing, the youth we'd be working with, and the conversations we would have here, long before we could have ever imagined.  God is so good.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Day at Swan Graphics

What an encouraging week we had at Swan Graphics!

We had several orders we had to fulfill this week. It was going to be a busy week and we weren’t quite sure we were going to be able to get all the t-shirt orders done.

But then came Thursday. We had accomplished a fair amount so far, but Friday was going to be a busy day.

We did our daily Bible study we try to do each day and then we talked about the different things we needed to accomplish that day. Graphic design work, burning screens for projects on Friday, printing t-shirts, and working on our marketing letters to generate new business.

It was so encouraging to be able to hand out different tasks to the three youth working that day. And for them to be able to know what to do and work independently. At one point, one of them had questions on how to do something. One of the other youth was able to go help them and answer their questions. I could work on some Sacred Road related items and draft a marketing letter while the youth did the screen printing work.

They take pride in their work. They are excited about learning new things. They are handing out more cards and brochures about the business than I am. They are making suggestions about how we should do things in the business.

Pretty soon, they’ll be running the place.

We are taking t-shirt, sweatshirt, polo shirt and bag orders. Contact us for your screen printing needs today!   |   |   509.930.6513

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer 2017

Summer is in full swing!  This week is our 4th week of mission teams here at Sacred Road.  This week there are teams from Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.  What an encouragement to have folks from around the country come and help us share Jesus with the Yakama people.

It has been a great summer so far.  Emily and Rachel keep very busy in the ministry as Sacred Road interns.  They are also Day Camp leaders and help in the Children's Ministry Department.  They love the opportunity to work with children and tell them about Jesus!

Darren and I have stepped into a whole new world of screen printing this summer!  As you may recall, one of the main reasons our family joined the SR staff was for Darren to try and figure out an economic development plan for the youth here on the Yakama Reservation.  This screen printing business is a new project that will provide vocational training for the Yakama young people.

Right now Sacred Road reaches many children here on the Yakama reservation.  As they grow, the children transition to the youth group (about 100 attending youth group each week!)  Many are not ready for college. We pray this screen printing business might become the next phase in life for some of them as we continue to point them to Christ.  

We look forward to young people learning a new skill and how to run a business. In addition, we'll have a job skill class and a financial literacy class for the youth to take part in. So far, we have two great young men from the youth group (both seniors in high school) learning how to screen print. They are doing great and we are really enjoying working with them each day. Please pray we can continue to point them to Christ and encourage them in their lives. We look forward to adding a few more youth this fall.

Of course, if you know anyone who needs t-shirts printed for sport events, family reunions, youth groups, clubs, VBS, retreats, camps, businesses, etc we would love the opportunity to talk with  you and give you a price quote.  It is our hope to keep these youth busy!  Thank you for your continued prayers for this new endeavor!  

This is one of the young men working in the business.
He is 17 and a senior at White Swan High School.

This is another young man in the Sacred Road youth group.
He is also going to be a senior in high school.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sacred Road and Economic Development

This is an announcement we have long awaited to be able to share. March 8th was our 2-year anniversary of living here on the Reservation. It has taken us some time to get here, find a place to live, and be part of the ministry. We are just starting to learn about the culture, about poverty issues, and becoming familiar with current economic development ideas.

We have determined a plan of action for our economic development efforts here on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

Summary of Project
Basic job skills and financial literacy are limited with youth and young adults in the White Swan community. Many youth do not graduate from high school. Even if they do graduate, they are often not prepared for college. They have limited examples of working, career minded adults. Many lack the character skills to take advantage of employment opportunities. We seek to help build character skills in the youth of White Swan to make future employees.

We are starting a silk-screening business with the purpose of teaching youth and young adults vocational skills by running an actual small business. We will combine this small business training with WorkLife (learn more about this class here) and Financial Literacy curricula to provide additional job skill training in a classroom setting. Youth involved in the program can either stay in the program to work in the business or move on to other business opportunities.

Character Skills
There is economic research done by Nobel prize winning economist James Heckman, that shows character skills (emotional stability, agreeableness, extra-version, conscientiousness, and openness) predict a wide range of life outcomes, including educational achievement, labor market outcomes, health, and criminality. The predictive power of character skills rivals that of measures of cognitive ability (IQ). Sacred Road currently has limited ability to help with cognitive and education levels, however we can be involved in helping individuals learn character skills.

Programs intended to help young adults that are the most promising integrate aspects of work into traditional education. In years past, adolescents took apprenticeships where they were supervised and mentored by adults. This mentoring involved teaching valuable character skills—showing up for work, cooperating with others, and persevering on tasks. Many skills not fostered in today's high schools. We hope to be able to have a program that recovers the combination of vocational and character skills.

Proposed Program
We seek to combine actual vocational training through the operation of a small business with job skill training of the WorkLife curriculum. This serves to replicate a more traditional apprenticeship program.

There are many different skills youth will have the opportunity to learn in the business operations portion of this program. The youth will be involved in the purchasing of materials and supplies; creating t-shirt designs; computer software skills; printing and developing film; creating silk screens; printing t-shirts and sweatshirts and even posters; taking pictures for website sales; listing products on the website, and packing and shipping sold t-shirts.

We also foresee the youth involved in the marketing and selling portion of the business, and learning communication and presentation skills. They will also have opportunities for janitorial and other more basic skills.

The WorkLife curriculum provides basic job skills information that is significantly needed. This curriculum is written from a Christian perspective and provides the following skills: the need to arrive at work on time and consistently, resume preparation, job interviewing skills, conflict management skills, and the need for adapting to a workplace environment, among others. We will also add a financial literacy component once the WorkLife class is completed.

Providing youth with character skill training while showing them they can learn new skills and succeed will help provide a foundation in which future employment opportunities can be built.

I'll keep you updated on the progress of this program as we move forward. Let me know if you have any questions or might be interested in helping out in some way.