The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Facing the Battle

Getting used to 100 degree weather every day is not my favorite. Waking up at 7 each morning in the summer isn’t either. Facing daily battles of doubt brought on by the enemy is definitely not easy. Observing and processing extreme poverty in lives that I love dearly has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. 

However, my favorite thing about moving, my first choice of anything I could be doing, is seeing God working through me and using me in visible ways. Not many fourteen-year-olds get to observe and live that. Teaching Christ’s love is by far the biggest blessing I have experienced. My faith is being refined and tested, and I’m learning more every day. At church last Sunday, a nine-year-old from the small group that I help lead asked me, “Rachel, if we believe in God, do we have to believe in the devil?” A little panic shot through me. My answer was something like, “well, we know from the Bible that Jesus died for our sin and the devil tempts us to sin. We do believe that the devil is real, but we don’t believe in him. We believe and trust in God because we know that he died to free us from the devil.”

How often do fourteen-year-olds get to answer questions like that? 

Please pray for more opportunities for questions like these and wisdom for answers. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A day in the life . . .

As you might imagine, we've had quite the eventful last few weeks. So many different events, thoughts, discussions, laughs, cries (and you name it) that it's hard to remember everything and be able to communicate just what I think about it all.

But I'll start by just giving a run-down of some of the different things:
  • The best purchase ever - portable air conditioner for the rental house.
  • Which then became worthless when the power company turned off the electricity with the temperature up over 100 degrees (because the electric bill didn't get paid and no one gave any warning or notice and then we found out about it at the end of day Friday and they won't come turn it back on until the end of day Monday and if the lady on the phone at the power company hadn't been so nice telling me the power wouldn't be on for 3 days I might have lost it.)
  • Helped put up my first teepee.
  • Stranded on Hwy 97 when my distributor cap went bad (praise God that the AAA tow guy was only 10 minutes away - for once.)
  • 2 great summer team weeks with teams from all over the country coming to serve on the Rez.
  • Flat tires on two separate vehicles (we got one on the way to pick up my car at the shop.)
  • Rachel has been helping out at Sacred Road, working alongside the interns, becoming friends with everyone.
  • One duck blown to bits when it ran into the road right in front of me. Don't worry, it died instantly. You should have seen all the feathers.
  • We made an offer on a house that was accepted and pending all the rest of the stuff needed when buying a house, we should be in it by mid-August.
  • Spent 2 weeks cleaning up a very dirty, gross double wide rental.
  • I turned 44 and was given this t-shirt by Fishii. It's awesome. I also got a cool Bolo tie featuring real Native American beading made by someone here on the Rez.
  • One new set of tires on a vehicle.
  • Emily began working as an intern for Sacred Road this summer and loves getting to know people better.
  • Was terribly disappointed when I found out that the 3 llamas and 1 goat owned by the neighbor wouldn't eat the bizarre vegetation growing in our yard at the rental and I was going to have to mow it myself all summer.
  • The big smile and wave from one of my buddies at Kid's Club.
  • One bird blown to bits by another driver in our family and still in the grill of the car - because I'm the only one that can take it out apparently.
  • Progress being made as we research economic development alternatives, opportunities and approaches.
  • Learned the feeling of panic when I realize I forgot to take my daily Claritin pill and I'm nowhere near home where the army size box of additional pills are.
  • Several great Kid's Club days spent playing with great kids.
  • Wondering why there is a helicopter hovering over our house constantly at 3.00 am. Then realizing it is the apple orchard wind fan that turns on when the temperature gets too low.
  • Our first Pow Wow and Treaty Days Rodeo.
  • Some guy pounding on the door at 5 am asking for the previous tenant while I was across the country on a trip
  • Many examples of the Lord providing comfort, encouragement and strength.

Why do I tell you all this? I think maybe its some form of therapy. But more importantly, we need your prayers.

We are all learning a lot. Things like, how the ministry works, what our individual roles will be, how I will divide up my time between operational items and economic development and ministry, how to live with 2/3 of all our belongings in storage, how we can rock the boat as least as possible as we join this team, and a ton of other things.

And we are loving it! We know this is where we are supposed to be and are encouraged daily.

But that doesn't mean it's all easy and that there aren't obstacles.

But, as Emily put so well in an post earlier this week, God is Sovereign.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-32, 37-39

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

He is Sovereign.

My heart has felt heavy this past week: overwhelmed, weighed down by the brokenness of this earth. I've journaled daily and finished each page disappointed at my own ability to put my thoughts into words. It seemed that each day this past week the Enemy worked hard to bring me down, to put lies into my head and bring me to doubt God's goodness and His will. I'm learning that like most things out here, you can't be prepared for what you'll encounter, no matter how hard you or others try. It's not a matter of anyone not doing a good enough job; it's a matter of God working in our lives.

I watched a little one distance herself from me at church over the past couple of Sundays: no longer does she want to sit with me or listen to me. This week alone I watched her detach herself from me almost completely and reattach herself to someone else in the span of five days. No longer did she seek me out or smile at me when I called her name. It felt like she left me in the dust without looking back.

The fact that I know this kind of behavior is common doesn't change the fact that it hurts. It hurts badly. I found myself in tears Thursday evening, asking myself questions. Why did she attach to someone else? What did I do wrong? What did she want from someone else that I couldn't give her? Why wasn't I enough?

But as I continued to journal and read and process and talk with other members of our summer staff, I realized that I was asking the wrong questions, that it's not about me being enough. It's not about me doing anything. It hurts, and it's not about me.

It's about the Lord working in the lives of all of us.

He is still teaching me to look to Him and to give Him the praise for these relationships and blessings, to rely on Him. He is still showing me that I am not the one doing anything, but that He is the One working all things for His glory.

He is teaching the girl whose name is music about His love for her that never fails and never changes. He is showing her that He is good no matter what.

He is teaching all of us that He ordains everything according to His will. He is teaching all of us that He is sovereign.

Thanks be to God that He is all I have
And if I have Him not, I have nothing at all
Nothing at all.
     Dom Julian of St. Benet's Hall

Monday, June 1, 2015

Abounding in the Work of the Lord

Wow. It feels like we were packing up our house a month ago. As we near our three month mark of living in Yakama, I thought I'd share pictures and glimpses of our time so far. There is no doubt that these past three months have been some of the most eventful of our lives. Even though some of these weeks have had their ups and downs, I feel very secure in my calling here.

The first team of the summer has arrived and we are starting with worksites and kids club this morning. Craziness is picking up and we have a lot to look forward to. If you're planning to come visit this summer, we're looking forward to seeing you!

The following passages of Scripture have been especially meaningful in my time here so far.

Isaiah 40:31 "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."

2 Corinthians 12:10 "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Here is a slideshow of pictures and memories from our first three months.