The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Journey to Sacred Road

We can blame all of this on Emily.  She had been asking to go on a mission trip for a couple years to White Swan, WA to work with Sacred Road Ministries (SRM) and the Native Americans on the Yakama Reservation. (By the way, the city is spelled Yakima, WA, while the Native American tribe is spelled Yakama.)  So finally we signed up and went with Resurrection Pres. last July.

But getting there wasn't easy.  We had already scheduled a trip to Lake Tahoe two weeks before the mission trip.  So like every vacation, I worked major overtime and was very stressed to get out of town to go to Lake Tahoe.  Then I was back for a week really working like crazy to get organized after being gone for a week and getting ready to be gone another week.  All the time, not really happy about going on the mission trip.  I was basically just going because Emily wanted to go.  For my whole life, I've known I wasn't a missionary and was good with that.  This trip wasn't really worth the hassle that I was having to go through to get there.

We've known about the Granberrys and SRM for many years.  At Covenant I helped get the old module for Sacred Road to use.  At Exile we've financially supported the Granberrys and others for years.  We knew about the work they were doing, the conditions on the Reservation and how the Lord specifically called Chris and Mary to work in White Swan.  But hearing about these things and actually seeing and experiencing it is a different thing.

The group drove over Saturday and once I got there I realized I wasn't going to have cell coverage.  I figured I might as well enjoy myself since my contact with the outside world had ended.  After the orientation on Sunday morning I was eating my words.  I knew the week was going to be good for both of us.

By Thursday evening I knew that I wasn't going back home the same person.

That evening, Chris hosted a question and answer time.  He shared his testimony, including parts that he doesn't always share - how the Lord really haunted him to get him to the Reservation.  In addition, Chris shared specific stories about many of the kids on the Reservation.  Others shared how their week was going and how they felt about things.

By the end of the evening I was hardly able to control my emotions.  The time spent with the kids each day when I knew that many were hungry, going home to abuse or worried about where they were going to sleep was very difficult to accept.  These kids have little hope of their situation changing.  The fact that I was going to go home at the end of the week and back to my warm house, with all I could eat and more money than I need was impossible to accept.  I was just going to leave them in their situation and get back to my vain, seemingly meaningless, life.

I was worried that my life was going to change forever.  Three months later, I know that it has changed forever.

I can't get the Yakama Reservation out of my head.  Whether it is thinking about Jay, Michael, Lucas, the other kids or thinking about the work of the SRM staff.  For the last few
months all I can do, is think about sending money to SRM, figure out how I can get others to send money to SRM, try to get on the board of SRM, read a bunch of books about Native Americans, try to come up with a job description for what I could do with SRM and work on various stages of the application to join the staff at SRM.  Needless to say, I do a fair amount of talking about SRM also.

All this, while trying to talk myself out of quitting my job, selling our house, and moving to the Reservation.

Can you imagine?  I still think we are crazy sometimes.

And then think about Susie.  She doesn't go on the trip but gets to hear me talk about SRM non-stop.  And then I start talking about quitting my job.  Am I seriously asking her to leave our life here to go to the Yakama Reservation?

But then I read verses like:

 "for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God."  John 12:43

"Is not this the fast that I choose:  to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday."  Isaiah 58:6-7, 9b-10

"Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.' When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."  Matthew 19:21-22

I was able to rationalize all these types of verses before.  I can't do that anymore.  Susie is also seeing the meaninglessness of our life here in yuppieville.

These verses don't apply the same way to everyone.  Most are called to encourage and support the mission field.  Some are called to go.  I am the last person I would ever have expected to be called to the mission field.  Probably why I have been.  Only God could have this sense of humor.

1 comment:

  1. Yep - surprised me, Darren Maxfield. But, it makes it even more evident that God is REALLY working on your heart, really calling you to this. It is not man's doing, but God's. I am praying for each of you as you prepare and plan. God bless you guys! P.S. Better have a comfy couch for me - cause I'll be visiting!