by Angie Johnson
Inchelium, Wash., February 20, 2014 - High unemployment, peer pressure, loss of hope, whatever may have been the causes, the amount of suicides on the Colville Indian Reservation led to an emergency tribal meeting to seek for answers. One tribal leader suggested, “Our young people don't even know how to pray.” Which is what sparked the event, “Life is Sacred” Prayer Day.
On November 1, 2013 a reservation wide (four native communities) day was set apart to, bring about a start to the healing process among our people.
You can imagine my enthusiasm when I received a call from Ranny LeBret with an invitation to our church to participate in this event. She asked if the Inchelium Seventh-day Adventist Church could hold a time slot of about an hour. A time for testimony, song and a sacred message. Also, she encouraged us to have a table where we could offer literature; and pray with and for those attending who might be seeking hope and direction in their lives. To say the least, we were honored to attend and participate in sharing the love of God with our neighbors!
It was a full day of events; starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. There were traditional songs and other activities as well as other area wide churches holding services and offering their presence and community support.
Those participating in this event, as well as community members, were encouraged to join together for a walk around town to show unity in support of those hurting and as a remembrance of those who died.
When in late afternoon, it came time for our church to participate, we were blessed to hear personal testimonies from; Mark Johnson, Beryl Abbott and Jessica Pendleton. We also gave several musical numbers, one of which was performed by our children's bell choir. We Concluded with a sacred message from Pastor Ken LeBrun on the theme of, “Teach us to Pray.”
In closing, tribal members along with Inchelium church members, joined together in prayer for those in Inchelium and others on the reservation, that there would be an awaking in the hearts of the people for something better; and that they would seek God in their lives.
All were blessed to be able to accept this invitation to join hands as a community of believers and share hope and healing for the hurting.