The Maxfields

The Maxfields

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.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Mission Team

This past week was our first spring mission team here at Sacred Road.  There were teams from Covenant College and two RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) groups from James Madison in Virginia and University of Pittsburgh.  Here are some pictures from the week.  

On Monday it was so cold and windy that we bussed about 100 children to the church to play inside.

This little cutie on the left has the sweetest smile.  The dollhouse here on the right is something Heather German made and the little girls LOVED playing with it.  
Rachel had fun holding this little girl one day at Kids Club.  And these children on the right helped tell the Bible story -- can you guess what our story was about?  
Let me give you a hint -- plague of frogs!

I hadn't seen these two sisters since last summer.  The first summer I met them they were so quiet and reserved.  Now they know the routine and run around, giggling and having fun.  

This flower the kids colored was so neat -- a little hint of spring!!

I hadn't seen this sweet girl since August.  

Enjoying Sunday meal after church!

Thank you for continued prayers for this ministry as we share the love of Christ in the community.  

Friday, March 3, 2017

Les Schwab

I have never been in Les Schwab more in my life than when we moved here.  Our cars take a bit of a beating out here.  Not to mention there seems to always be a Sacred Road van or truck that Darren is dropping off at Les Schwab for repair. 

Today was one of those “I spy God” moments at Les Schwab of all places.  I’m sitting in the waiting room -- did I mention they have free popcorn?  I’m in the middle of a really good book so I was actually thankful for the time to read.  The hour was going by fairly quickly for me. 

Pretty soon a young blonde mom and her preschool age son came in.  She was friendly and we began chatting.  She said the roads near her home are really hard on her car --- and she just so happened to mention the roads she lives on (Mint and Tecumseh).  I kept my poker face on but in my head I was thinking, “what?  Those roads are right on the way to Hope Fellowship!”  I told her I heard some of the roads out that way had flooded with the melting snow. 

The conversation continued and as it unfolded, I told her we moved here so my husband could work on staff at Sacred Road.  She got excited and chatted away even more.  She said, “that’s right down the road from me!”  We talked all about the “house” that Sacred Road bought and I told her the mission teams came to help remodel it.  She said it’s been so neat to see the transformation of the church building.

Image may contain: 1 person, standingShe loved the connection we’d made and then she told me they’d taken their kids to the “Trunk or Treat” at Halloween in October!   (I didn’t tell her I was the lady in the silly spiderman sweatshirt but I was cracking up inside.) 

She told me how much they’d appreciated this event for their children.  She went on to tell me she works at Walmart and next year we should write a letter and request candy donations.  What a blessing to hear her enthusiasm.

She talked about the buses and vans she sees going up and down the road transporting kids.  I told her 80-90 youth come every Tuesday night for youth group and that we’d be taking them to Skateland this Tuesday.  She was so interested in everything. 

I don’t know if she’ll step inside that church someday, but I hope she might!  And maybe in 8 or 9 years when her little preschooler is youth age, he will join in with the BYGE (Best Youth Group Ever).  The story God is writing continues to unfold….

The children are growing up

Three summers ago I met a girl at one of the housing projects.  When we eventually moved to the reservation, this girl seemed to come to church fairly regularly.  Now I only see her only occasionally.  I have worried about her.  I see her growing up.  I worry about her future -- decisions that she will make or that others will make for her. 

She came to church this past Sunday.  I was thrilled to see her.  She is growing up – fifth grade now. You can see her on the brink of feeling like she is older and not a kid so much.  I hugged her and told her how happy I was to see her.  She smiled and then after church she came into the kitchen and asked if I needed any help.  I told her I’d love her help.  She worked carefully and thoroughly.  We exchanged sweet smiles as we worked.  She slipped by me and said, “Remember when we went to your house for the Valentine’s Day party?  That was so fun.”  I hugged her and told I remembered. 

She will graduate to the youth group this summer.  I can hardly wait.  I’m hoping that I might start seeing her again on a more regular basis on Tuesday nights. 

The children are growing up.  And just when they feel too old for Sunday School or sleep in too late and miss the bus on Sunday mornings, there is the BYGE (Best Youth Group Ever) waiting with welcoming arms.