Editor: Marilyn Morgan
February | 2015
Erick Page was honored by the Kettle Falls High School's wrestling team January 7, 2015. Erick’s only goal these past four years has been to be a complete part of that team although he was never able to really wrestle a human being because he has a C.V. shunt in his brain.
Because of Erick’s age and other factors, the coach and his fellow teammates knew this would be his last chance ever on their team, so the team captain, Garret Anderson, thought of a plan. The team staged a fake match between Erick and Garret, during a real wrestling event, first assuring me no one would get hurt. Garret even managed to get the Spokane, KHQ, News channel 6, to come and film the match: “A Great Human Interest Story.”
Due to Erick’s great interest in sports these eight and a half years, the staff and coaches had become very creative in order to make him feel as if he were part of their team, when he really wasn’t. Until last Wednesday, Erick had wrestled only his teddy bear on the sidelines at practices.
During football practices, Erick ran along the side of the field with his walker, dropping to the ground to do push ups or sit ups with the team. He never missed a practice and always stayed the entire time, rain or shine. In September, 2014 and in 2011, Erick received the highest award, for inspiration, this school gives. During track and field he was allowed to throw the javelin, shot-put, discus, and even do the broad jump, all before the event even got started.
Last Wednesday night, the entire school came out to support him, giving him high fives, pats-on-the-back, and many hugs. Cute girls wanted their pictures taken with him. The cheerleaders were there to cheer him on. In all of this, I have truly seen the face of God by their genuine acceptance of him as just another student, not looking at him as one who is disabled or as someone who at times cannot control his outbursts. My God is not a respecter of persons.
In my mind, two wonderful things resulted from this event: first, for one brief moment-in-time, Erick felt he was normal like his five siblings he tried so hard all of his life to keep up with. Second was the true character building that I saw taking place in that room among the students. Last, Garret Anderson is my hero because he unselfishly stepped aside and allowed Erick to be declared the “THE WINNER” even giving him one of his own medals.
I know in my heart why Erick was placed in my home so many years ago. Although he’ll never know, he has buffed off many of my rough edges and refined my character, something many of you may never understand. I know I am a better human being for having been his mother. I will always be grateful to God for the gift of Erick to our family.
We as a family pray for his happiness as he goes from our home to his own place, somewhat on his own – Bonnie Page
India Mission Trip
Forty-two volunteers from all over the US went to the state of Kerala, India, from December 1-19 to build classrooms for the Seventh-day Adventist Secondary School in the town of Nedumkandam. Maranatha sponsored the project under the leadership of Bruce Fjarli. Currently 600 students ages 3-14 in grades K-10 attend this school, and less than 10% of these students are SDA. This school reaches students from all religious backgrounds, including Muslims, Hindus and several Christian denominations. Forty-eight of the 600 are boarding students and are active participants in church activities such as Sabbath school and children’s ministry programs. Many of the boarding students come from the lower classes of India’s caste system, and the local government supports these students in an effort to educate them and help them break free from the poverty that has been their lot for generations.
The school has many families interested in sending their children to the Adventist school, but the facility is limited. This past year ninety students had to be turned away because of lack of classroom space. The buildings completed during this project will allow an additional 200 students to enroll.
In addition to construction, the volunteers conducted a week of prayer and a VBS for the students, visited in the village, handed out hundreds of Steps to Christ and Bibles in the local language, conducted medical clinics and taught a basic infant CPR class to nursing students and nurses at the local hospital. Dr. Jacob Probhakar, a renowned ophthalmologist, joined us and provided cataract surgery free of charge to thirty local people. The accommodations were very comfortable, the physical food was great, and the spiritual food was exceptional. Elder Walt Groff, from Rocklin, CA, whose insights into the Scriptures were refreshing, conducted morning and evening worships for the group which included six non-SDAs. One had been raised as a SDA but had left years ago. At the end of the trip she stood and announced her recommitment and love for Jesus providing a highlight for all of us.
Kettle Falls was represented by Ann Schreven, Robin and Patty Marsh – Patty Marsh
In my childhood homes spiritual things were never discussed, and God wasn’t really part of our family, but somehow I knew God was there and that, “I needed Him.” Every day when I walked to school I went by a small non-denominational church. One Sunday when I was in the second grade, I decided that I would go to church and learn more about God. No one went with me, and I didn’t know anybody there, but I went anyway. I loved it, Sunday school was wonderful, and I can still remember the verses we memorized, and the songs we sang together. One day they gave me a little white Bible with a zipper cover—it became my prized possession.
When I reached high school, I became very busy with school, and sports became a big part of my life. I loved to jump the high jump, and I was the pitcher for our softball team. Not long after high school I was busy being a mom and working. At times I worked in a laundry and a factory and even in a mine—busy, busy, busy, all the time. I knew something was missing but wasn’t sure what. Kind of like Martha, Lazarus' sister, I kept busy with all the details of life leaving not enough time for deep spiritual things or church attendance. In all my jobs and in all my relationships, I never met any really spiritual people, and it’s hard to go it alone. Through it all though, I still prayed. Prayer for me was a secret place where I could meet with God, that no one could touch, and no one could ever take Him from me.
Before my husband died, we had often traveled between our home in Canada and our family in
California, and we passed through this little town called Kettle Falls. I just knew that someday I would live there. After my husband passed, that’s just what I did. In Kettle, for the first time in a long time, I felt free. I could be whomever I wanted to be, and I had the time to do whatever I wanted to do. I bought a book of 25 Bible studies that I found at a garage sale. I love that little book. Its first verse is Ephesians 1:4: "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
The Bible says God has chosen me and that He is in love with me! It is almost too good to be true! Not long after that, I received a DVD in the mail about Bible prophecy. I immediately sent for the rest and watched them all. Then I ordered another set and sent them to my cousin. I had found something special, and I had to share it. A little later when out walking, I met two men, John and Eugene, outside working on the church building. I stopped and talked to them, and they invited me to come on Sabbath. It was the same church from the prophecy DVDs! I was happy to meet Kent and Belinda Lowry as Kent was in the DVD! I came to church for a time, but there were struggles, so after a bit I quit coming. Then I met Nancy Dunnewin and Kris Akenberger. They said they were looking for friends to study the Bible with. I agreed, and to my surprise the studies were actually very interesting. Our studies were very relaxed, and sometimes it’s a little chilly in my apartment, so I shared my big warm knit socks with Nancy.
I’m a private person and I don’t like to talk about it, but I struggled with cigarettes. Now when I want a cigarette, I just pray. I ask God for help and take deep breaths of fresh air. Fresh air is so much better than smoke. I started coming to church again, and after 32 studies I decided that it was time to start my life all over. I spent so many years as a Martha, always busy, but I think I am becoming more like Lazarus' other sister, Mary, because I love Jesus so much. I have decided to give my life to Him. I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church family in Kettle Falls, Washington, on January 10, 2015. — by Kris Akenberger as told by Joanne Brunn
The Treasurer’s Two Cents
As the year ended, we have much to be grateful for in the way of church finances. The church budget was met in all but two months, but the difference was quickly made up so that we finished the year on a positive note. The budget surplus is allocated each month according to a plan set by the board. Currently the budget surplus (any amount given that is in excess of the budget) is being used to fund our upcoming evangelistic effort. As of December 31 we have accumulated $3,212 to use for this event.
Your generous giving allowed us to meet our budgeted amount of $12,000 for our Bible Worker. Locally, we raised $2,917 for the 13th Sabbath offerings in 2014 and gave $3,622 to World Missions (Sabbath School Mission offering). Over $1,000 was raised to help the Bakhshnia’s with their mission, so Kettle Falls truly is reaching out to the world from our little corner.
Jesus said, “. . . lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” By God’s grace, let us continue to lay up treasure in heaven! – Donna Bragg
Generation of Youth for Christ
This year over 3,000 attendees, whose souls hungered after the truth of the Word, broke the bread of life together at the inaugural evening plenary service of Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) at Phoenix, Arizona, on December 31, 2014. GYC President Natasha Nebblett introduced the theme of GYC, At the Cross, which set the tone for the entire conference. Her message provided a timely reminder that we should not wait until the end of the conference to dedicate our upcoming year to the Lord; the time to be driven to the cross was at the very beginning of the convention and the start of a new year.
I’ve been blessed to be a full time GYC volunteer, meaning I have a two-year position that works round the calendar as the Resources Department Secretary. My department is responsible for the books and evangelism material used at the conference, the GYC audio resources, and the GYC blog on our website. I am excited about the plans GYC has for future evangelism, resources that will continue to play a role in year-round community evangelism. I have been blessed by the incredible organization with which God has blessed GYC and by the prayerful, humble leaders that serve on the GYC executive committee. God will continue to use these young men and women to powerfully change the world.
As Resources Secretary, I flew into Phoenix early to help the VP of Resources with conference details. I spent most of the conference keeping my department on schedule and working at the GYC booth. Although I was busily involved with much behind the scenes work, I was incredibly blessed by the messages I heard. I left GYC with the burden to know Christ better, to spend more dedicated time thoughtfully considering His life, and to learn how I can be more like Him.
Many young people familiar to most in the church were at GYC. Matthew Shaffer headed a booth, Reach Nepal, which highlighted the incredible needs of this country and the work young people are doing to strengthen the Adventist church there. See http://reachnepal.today to learn more about this ministry. Deborah and Christian Reeves also attended with their fiancés close beside them. I also saw a number of young people from Inchelium, Colville, Orient, and Chewelah.
On outreach day, youth knocked on 23,000 doors, gave away 22,000 GLOW tracts, distributed 1,372 Desire of Ages
, and made 218 Bible study contacts. All outreach is exciting, and this year GYC decided to promote making outreach a lifestyle--a GYC Challenge to distribute one million GLOW tracts. I’m excited about making outreach part of my lifestyle, and I invite you to join the GYC initiative by registering at http://www.gycchallenge.com/
– Cami Martin