Cherokee Trip Update 22
An early start and a hearty breakfast kick-started the second day of our Cherokee missions trip. The itinerary for the day involved visiting a small local church somewhere in town. For Redeemer Presbyterian, the church was YellowHill—around a 10 minute drive from the camp. Our number doubled the service attendees. Before we knew it, the hymnals were open and the youth struggled to follow along to the unfamiliar tunes. Pausing for a moment in order to hear the choir, it was brought to my attention the spiritual power present was made possible using voice alone. Maybe some of us didn’t know the songs very well and not everyone was in perfect pitch, but the worship was there and the atmosphere of joy and unity as a church was palpable. Here in Cherokee, we are interacting with our brothers and sisters in Christ from completely different cultures. Yet we are united through the gospel. As we stood and sang, I looked around and considered the fact that we will know these people so much better in heaven someday. Following the hymns, all the men were called up on stage to sing together. Please enjoy the video attached.
The sermon text that morning was from Jonah Chapter 2. The pastor emphasized that God is the one who holds salvation. The Gospel is His gift to give. Therefore, as Christians, we can’t be prideful concerning the Gospel as if it were in our power to grant it. Furthermore, when God commands the message to be preached, it is not to be ignored. Jonah was trying to run from the difficult mission in Nineveh to the convenience of Tarshish, a rich and well off land in its day. When we disobey God, He pushes on us so we come back to Him, just like Jonah in the belly of that whale. Yet, we cannot do God’s work while we are still in the whale’s belly. We must surrender to God’s will and obey Him to get out of the whale and back on the saddle of discipleship.
After church and lunch, Redeemer VB and Redeemer Atlanta caravanned to the soccer camp and science camp sites to pray for the children who will be attending and the teachers. A storm approached as we arrived at the second site, so we made a prayer circle out of our caravanning cars. Once we made it back to the camp, we did some prep for the coming week. The science camp prepared some experiments and the soccer camp rehearsed some Bible skits to be performed for the kids later. Afterwards, we had worship and devotionals. Will and LeighEllen Rodriguez led worship and Mr. Patrick Lenix, a seasoned missionary from a different reservation gave a short devotional concerning the parable of the Good Samaritan. He mentioned insightfully that the Native Americans are our first neighbors and we owe them a duty as such. He finished by encouraging us to engage with the Cherokee people with humility and open hearts.
Science Camp Prep
Will and Leigh Ellen Rodriguez leading worship
Tomorrow (Monday) is the grand opening of the soccer and science camps! Pray that things go according to God’s plan and that we can put the people we are ministering to before the task we are trying to accomplish.