April 17-19, fathers and sons from Faith Presbyterian Church gathered on the White Swan Indian Reservation to chop firewood for two mother and daughter widows. We settled in Friday evening at Harrah Community Church and then circled up to consider the importance of developing a Christian work ethic. "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor" (Proverbs 12:24). We discussed the dangers of "cool" and the sloth that results when young men learn to swagger instead of learn to sweat. We then discussed John 6:27 and the importance of learning to work for what "endures to eternal life," and concluded with Colossians 3:23-24 and the critical importance of working before the face of God in all that our hand finds to do (see HOLD FAST In a Broken World, chapter 7).
Wendell, tribal elder with the Yakama Nation, spoke to us during our lunch break about the challenges facing his people. "Everything that's bad for you," he told the young men, "Indians rank high in, and everything that's good for you, we rank low in." He went on and elabortated on the high alcoholism, drug abuse, crime, teen pregnancy, and suicide that is devistatingly normal on the reservation. He expressed deep gratitude for Chris and Mary Granberry and the ministry of Sacred Road, and he expressed deep sorrow at the loss of his third adult child to suicide. Click on the video to hear his sobering words to fathers and sons. Pray for Wendell that he will come to a full understanding of the grace of God in Christ.
It was a long hot day of slave labor! We split some 9 cords of fire wood for the two widows, a savings of $320.00 per month on their next winter's electric bill. One hot sweaty young man said, "Dad, I hurt in so many places that if I told you about all of them my mouth would be hurting too."
We had a father/son splitting contest that resulted in more or less of a draw, but, then, you can be the judge by checking out the rivalry between Bond and his son Desmond in the video clip below (Desmond's round, I am sure, was tougher and more gnarly than mine).