Cherokee Trip Update 2
The first morning on the Ela Campground was relaxed and rejuvenating. We were blessed with a dry morning and the campground had lost most of its squish. After breakfast, everyone prepared for church and before we left, there was enough time to have a quiet moment, chat with friends, or even play a few games. The group headed out for Christ Fellowship Church around 10:30 and as often happens on missions trips, our group of missionaries were ministered to by the wonderful worship team and passionate sermon which reminded us not to try and search the Bible for ways to justify our sins. The paster, Mark Crow, thanked us for coming and encouraged us saying that the people of Cherokee are excited by new faces and might be more open to us because they will be experiencing something new. He also reminded us that Jesus will stay with us inside our hearts forever no matter what and that His presence remains through all circumstances. After the service, one of the Cherokee men of the church allowed us to pet his “dog” which happened to be the first ever certified service wolf. I was personally skeptical as to the authenticity of his claim that the canine was a wolf… until I heard it howl.
We quickly went back to the camp and had lunch. Afterwards the group headed out once more to visit the ministry sites before the initiation of the camps to pray over them and talk strategy. We prayed over the children who will be with us tomorrow and their families, that they would be accepting of the gospel and also have fun playing soccer and doing crafts. Upon arriving at the Boys and Girls club we discovered the entrance to the morning soccer field was chained and locked. Hopefully we can get that cleared and unlocked by tomorrow morning. We then drove to Wolf Town which is the location of our afternoon soccer field. Now, it’s important to mention that before David Scott and Carrie from Redeemer Atlanta began the soccer camp nine years ago, the kids of Cherokee never played soccer; it was by no means a prevalent sport. Furthermore, our field for this week has been used mostly for stick ball which is a traditional Cherokee game that involves hitting opponents with long, heavy sticks. But upon arriving at the field today, we discovered soccer goals set up instead. Carrie and Scott were elated and moved to see physical signs that their efforts over these past years are making such an impact.
In the same way that soccer has taken root in the lives of the Cherokee people, please continue to pray that our efforts would lead to the Gospel doing the same. Please pray for open doors, and broken chains, particularly the ones blocking us from the morning soccer field! Also, continue to pray for dry weather as the forecast continues to call for thunderstorms. We are so thankful for all the Lord has done for us and the people of Cherokee. Looking forward to tomorrow when the real activity begins!