Dear Family and Friends in Christ,
The last few months’ opportunities and pleas for salvation or growth were so convicting one can only marvel and grieve as Jeremiah did at how a whole nation could “…reject the word of the Lord…and provoke [him] to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities” (Jeremiah 8:9, 19)
Yet this was the response as a whole to the most impassioned, Biblical invitations to true salvation and discipleship heard at our Native tent meeting and at Heritage and Maranatha Baptist’s revivals January through March, 2013.
The medicine man promises the “…peace, peace; when there is no peace”, but “…they have provoked [God] to anger with their graven images and strange vanities” (Jeremiah 8:11, 19). Cocopah traditions that promise “cleansing” through the sweat lodge or “Indian power” through the eagle or gourd dances, are as destructive a trust as faith in their annual casino/conference center income.
February profit-sharing checks were largely squandered on cars, entertainment, trips, and ungodly activities. None of four professing Christians gave God so much as a tithe. Others were distracted from our meetings, ending up hospitalized, fleeing the law, or destitute even of electricity. Harry’s unreached aunt perished in a careless car wreck.
Alex, Angelina, Ashley, Clarissa, Daren, Dillon, Harry, Hilda, Jesse, Julia, Kelsie, Matthew, Millie, Omar, Robert, Roxanna, and Wanda are among those enslaved by immorality, substance abuse, tradition, or violence. Some of these are also awaiting trial in our Yuma county detention center.
PRAY for true repentance and saving faith in our Lord for Cocopah on our reservations like we’ve in non-Indians in our detention center the past year.
How we BLESS our Lord for Eric, Mark, Ricky, Hubetha, and Janelle’s conversions in detention and growth thereafter through Bible studies at home, the detention center, or in state prison. PRAY as much for each person’s deliverance from the physical and emotional ravages of years of substance abuse as you do for their growth. Mark’s witness in detention saw Ricky saved months ago, Chris converted April 26, and Rudy professing faith in our Lord Jesus Christ May 1, 2013.
PRAY for wisdom and strength juggling the demands of two or three days a week prison ministries with the challenge of discipling Cocopah who have moved far away. Tri-weekly services, and at least three days a week vehicle, visitation, cactus, and family responsibilities, make heartfelt timely correspondence an almost unrealistic goal.
On the other hand, each obstacle to winning the lost reminds us of the incalculable value of the individual soul as well as of our Lord’s promised provisions for victory over “… the rulers of darkness…in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Your prayers and support are more critical to breaking the adversary’s death grip on natives than we will know in this world.
Only our Lord could have overcome the tribal Chairwoman’s opposition to our March 11 -16 tent meeting and blessed with perfect weather, safety, and twelve Native or non-Indian preachers. The McIntyres from New York State and the Hendersons former missionaries to the Crow nation, helped us make the most of your support. Heritage, Maranatha, and True Vine Baptist churches’ help with housing, meals, music, and fuel unified all labors into a successful whole.
“Cocopah Revival” banners close to the tribal sweat lodge “Gathering Grounds” sign gave Cocopah a clear alternative to pagan creature worship (Romans 1:25). Four Gospel messages per day echoed from Brother Jason’s improvised sound system to within yards of the “Gathering Grounds” and to more homes than ever.
Bless the Lord for His encouragement of church people and visitors in attendance, but PRAY for eventual repentance and saving faith in the lost who heard the word. P.T.L. for the greater number of visitors and nominal “believers” who also heard similar gospel messages and challenges to growth at the Resurrection Day service, March 31 or the Ladies’ Bible study and craft day May 4.
How almost unbelievable and appreciated the Lord’s additional provisions were for tires and a fuel pump for our bus as well as for sandstorm repairs, property taxes, Lydia’s Bible college, Andrew R and Silas’ college, and major Dental work in Mexico for three of us. May our Lord richly bless you as you thank Him for His seen and unseen work as you PRAY for summer’s opportunities.
· The many nominal, saved, or unsaved Cocopah exposed to the gospel and biblical precepts.
· Spiritual well-being and fair hearings and sentences for Claude, Eric, Hubetha, Janelle, and Mark.
· Jolie, Julia, and Wanda’s first steps of repentance at church or our local mission.
· Reconnection with Daren, Valerye, and the Thomas clan through the ladies craft day and other natives.
· Our daughter Lydia’s improved lung function test May 8 and college graduation May 11, 2013
· Lori’s successful heart valve replacement early May.
· Relocation and return of Lori’s children to services.
· Repentance and deliverance of almost all young adults from substance abuse and immorality.
· Return of the Golding, Sanchez, Sereno, and Twist young people to our Lord and church.
· Lasting Fruit to God’s glory through Neighborhood Bible Time, June 16-21 2013.
· Conversions and growth of young people through Calvary Navajo Youth Camp, July 22-27 2013.
· Spiritual and physical needs of saved and unsaved Betty and Millie, elderly ladies battling heart failure and arthritis.
· Alex, Arturo, Ashley, Clarissa, Delsie, Joshua, Karen, Kelsie, Laura, Loren, and Roxanna’s cold or lost states.
· Final preparations of vehicles and workers for summer ministries and weather.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Michael, Dawn, Lydia, and Silas Veldhuis