The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Risk of Serving Christ

What is a risk? 


a noun: exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous choice.

Though some might say that my family is taking a great risk, I don't agree. John Piper sums up my thoughts exactly in his book, Don't Waste Your Life. 

“The tragic hypocrisy is that the enchantment of security lets us take risks every day for ourselves but paralyzes us from taking risks for others on the Calvary road of love. We are deluded and think that it may jeopardize a security that in fact does not even exist." (81)

In other words: risk is not real. Your heart could stop beating before the end of this sentence, yet you didn't think anything of opening up the link to this post. But if you were asked to travel to Africa with the "risk" of getting ebola, would you think twice? 

In my PNW History this week, I'm studying the gospel brought to the Northwest. The Spalding and Whitman's stories have been very impacting. On the day that Eliza Spalding and her husband moved onto the mission field with the Nez Perce Native Americans, she wrote, "I trust it is the love of Christ which has made me, not only willing, but anxious to promote my Master's cause among the benighted Indians. O blessed privilege to labor in the vineyard of my Savior; and point the lost and perishing to Him, for He is the way, the truth, and the life."

I don't believe that my family is taking a risk. I'm not saying I don't get scared, but I try to keep my mind on the fact that whatever happens will be God's will. The Lord has given me so much comfort as we keep moving on this journey. Even though I'm going to miss my friends here, I feel so privileged to go and serve in a place that needs Jesus.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

change in the little ones

That little one that used to walk around with a tear stained face and messed hair - it can't be the same girl! The one who could only be comforted by one person - can it be that she is really laughing? The Lord has His hand on her! Now she runs to the playground, she holds the words to the songs in her hands, she sits calmly! She responds eagerly to conversation. She hugs the members littler than herself. She responds to love and she loves.

He used to sit quietly, shyly looking at everything from his spot on the car mat. He grew cold in the winter months and wouldn't tell a soul, his little self nearly numb to the icy shivers. Now he laughs and laughs, trying to speak words and laugh at the same time! He laughs, watching his younger brother throw the basketball as hard as his tiny arms will let him. He laughs, stuffing blue cotton candy into his mouth, smearing his Cheeto covered hands on my face and getting the most precious kick out of himself. He grows in the light and hope of the Lord.

We never thought she'd run, we never expected her to laugh. She fought, tensed in anger, refusing to engage. That was the little two-year-old I knew: the one that toppled over and turned down attention from those she didn't know. Now, just a year later, the same little girl runs, so fast that I think she will land on the ground! She laughs, running to the see-saws and swings. She knows of Jesus.

Change is taking place in even the littlest ones, and what a beautiful blessing it is to see.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Next Few Months....

The days seem to be flying now that school is back in session.  We wanted to give an update on where we are at in this process of joining the Sacred Road staff.  Here is a bit of a timeline:

September-October:   Start preparing house to sell.  Boxes are already being packed and the "to do" list of repairs/projects, before it goes on the market, continues to grow. 

November:  Put house up for sale. 
December:  Hopefully our house will sell around this time and we can close in late December or early January.  We are trusting the Lord about these details.  Darren's job will probably be winding down.  His firm has been very gracious and patient as he makes this transition out of the firm - we are so grateful. 
January:  Purchase or rent a home on the Reservation; Emily finishes up at Cedar Park first semester January 23rd.  Lots of transition and trips over Snoqualmie Pass this month! 
February 7-March 9:  Attend month long missionary training in Colorado.  We are all registered for this.  This is at MTI (Missionary Training International) -- we have heard rave reviews about it.  We will learn about cross-cultural stuff and how to handle challenges/stress while on the mission field.
March 2015:   Be full-time with Sacred Road -- living there and everything!  :)  We are very anxious to be there.  March will be a busy month for Sacred Road as the spring mission teams arrive.     
Summer 2015:  A quick note to say how exciting and encouraging it is when we hear from some of you who are planning to come to Sacred Road this summer on a missions trip with your church!  Mission team sign-ups are happening right now and we look forward to the summer and serving the Lord together with you! 
Through all of this we are continuing to fund raise.  Every staff member of Sacred Road raises their own salary.  We need to have our first year's salary in the bank by the time we head to the Reservation in January.  It's been humbling to walk this part of the process, but also amazing as we trust the Lord and see him steadily providing.  We are at 80% of our annual budget and hope the last 20% will come soon. 
Thank you to all who are praying regularly for us and/or supporting us financially.  It is such a testimony and encouragement to us.  The body of Christ is an incredible thing. 
And lastly, thank you for listening to us talk non-stop about Sacred Road. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Favorite Bus

One of my favorite things from the summer was spending time with the Yakama children.  Seeing them at Kid's Club (VBS) each afternoon or stepping off of the red Sacred Road bus as they came to church on Sundays filled my heart with happiness. 

A Beautiful Red Bus
Every Sunday morning, especially, I think about the children.  Wondering if they will get on the bus to come to church.  I picture the bus in my mind and it makes me smile.  I'm so thankful for Veronica who faithfully drives the bus around the reservation every Sunday morning and picks up the children.  Please pray that the children will wake up early on Sunday mornings and be able to get on the bus. 

There is one little girl that especially stands out in my mind.  I met her at Kid's Club.  I looked for her each afternoon - hoping she would come.  We drew pictures of Snoopy with the sidewalk chalk.  We jumped rope together.  We did crafts together.  We blew bubbles together and we sat together during the Bible story.  She was quiet but listening all the time - soaking everything up.  She said she was living with her grandpa for the summer and would be moving away in the fall. 

The last Sunday I was at Hope Fellowship (Sacred Road's church), she asked me why only the adults got to have the fry bread and pop (communion).  I chuckled at the word "pop".  I told her it was grape juice and that it was for people who believed in Jesus.  Of course right away, she told me she believed in Jesus.  Joshua (one of the full-time staff of Sacred Road) came over to talk with us and Joshua shared more with her -- about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, how He rose from the dead and lives in Heaven now.  I was so happy she heard this story and I think it was the first time she may have begun to have a deeper understanding of who this "Jesus" was that she had heard about during Kid's Club. 

I'm thankful to have this photo of her
I told her I was going back home but that I hoped she'd get on the bus every Sunday and come to church - at least until she had to move away.  I told her I hoped she might live with her grandpa again next summer so I could see her again at Kid's Club.  But deep down in my heart I was saying good-bye.  I knew she would probably move away.  I knew I might not see her again.  It was hard knowing this, but I felt like God had given me a precious gift to be able to spend time with her. 

Then a few weeks ago, I heard she was still coming to church!  She was in Morgan Granberry's Sunday School group and she was listening in her quiet way.  She was hearing God's truths proclaimed.  I can't tell you how happy I was.  I cried and felt all the more anxious to get to the reservation. 

This past Sunday we visited the reservation and I hoped I might see her.  The bus arrived and I learned that she had moved away.  My heart was sad but I am continuing to pray for this precious girl.  Even though her time was brief with Sacred Road, she heard about Jesus.  She heard that He loves her and I think she experienced His love through the staff of Sacred Road. 

We are so grateful for your faithful prayers and for helping to get us to the Yakama Reservation.  I'll try to include a bit of a timeline of where we are at in our next post.