Kindi's Report Back
Last week, I went on a SLAM (Students Learning About Missions) Trip with my church youth group. We went to serve and learn at a Native American Reservation for the Yakama People in Washington state. The Yakama Nation has 14 tribes on the Reservation. Listening to our Native American hosts tell their story taught me to be more kind and aware of the people around me. They shared stories of families being separated and that so many Native American children were put into boarding schools . We learned that they were cheated out of there land because of the greed of others. We also learned that Native Americans have one of the highest suicide rates. After hearing the stories, I believe its because the Native American culture is not easily accepted but more tolerated. It saddens me. Although the stories were hard to hear, I felt privileged to hear some testimonies from some of the Native Americans and it was an honor serving them.
I was a part of helping clearing weeds from the land. We helped work o the land of one of the Elders. He shared about how they use traditional ways to connect with God. He was very nice and very appreciative. I also made a lot of new friendships which is great as I connect deeper into the youth group.
Joy's Report Back
After hearing the many stories from the Native American people, we had been given different ways to respond if we wated to participate. One response that really moved me was a time of lament. A lament is when you can have a space of grieving and release, a place where you can release things to the Lord and trust that He will work it out. It broke my heart, as I imagined myself in the place of the oppressed and the oppressor. I know there has been so much heartbreak with these people and it moved me to tears. I felt that there was a bit if redemption knowing that teams come through to learn about the history so we can shape a better future. I was also blessed to serve a people who aren't served very often. It really challenged me to listen to people's stories more.
Ang's Report Back
Well, what can you say about spending a week with over 100 youth... 24/7... working together and sleeping in the same room. It was crazy and exhausting in every good way possible. It was a delight to serve the local church and being able to get to know a lot of the young people I go to church with. I love having deep Spiritual conversations with young people who are learning and have a whole different perspective on life.
I was also so grateful to be able to listen to and experience the indigenous culture of the land we call home. It seems like something hidden and taboo... I felt privileged to be a learner and to serve where I can. I loved digesting the information and then being able to process things with a generation hungry to learn.
We are so thankful to the people who donated toward this trip. It was an amazing experience and deeply impactful. Thank you for all the extra babysitting jobs and the gifts. We have learned so much and were blessed to be able to spread the love of Jesus in our own country.
Joy and Kindi (and mom too)