Monday, November 17, 2014

Faith Alongside Disappointment

This weekend we took apart our Little Bluebird Retail Store, a vital part of AYM's ministry. 

The tribal council came on Friday and told us we had to be out by Monday because they wanted the building for their own purpose. The building is owned by the tribe so as their property it is also their right to use it, but it was still disappointing. It seemed not to matter that we had a business there, that we had renovated the building, or that we employed tribal members. What they wanted they got, without much concern for who it harmed along the way. It reminded us of the stark reality of working on the rez, that we are outsiders, and no matter the good we provide we could always be seen as temporary.

So we all gathered together on Sunday and started the move out, bundled in coats and scarves and an impromptu dance move or two to try and lift our spirits.

It was as we were loading the shelving into the big green bus that a homeless man walked over from the neighboring food ministry that was also being kicked out. As he walked through the gate into the retail store I asked him politely, "Hey man, what are you doing?"

"Oh," He replied somberly, "I was just going to look. Man, I am so sorry this is happening to you guys."

"Its ok," I replied, "We know God will provide for us."

"Yea. . . Man, I'm so sorry you guys have to move out. I'm so sorry."

It was a touch of kindness in the midst of a long day and it struck me as a rather significant moment, for being so small. In the midst of the work and disappointment this man united with us in our loss and it reminded me that together we are all part of something bigger than our troubles. From the homeless man, to the ministry next door, to the people all around the US who have partnered with us throughout the years, we combine to create a community that is strong. Yes, we are frustrated that things we work hard at can be taken away without concern, but the time was not a waste. 

Each person that gets fed, each student that gets loved, each email and note to our staff, is a vital part of God's glory being shown here on the WMA reservation, and Little Bluebird is a big part of God's glory. Little Bluebird is more than just a screen printing shop. 100% of the proceeds go right back into our ministry and keep things running. It provides jobs, services, and sustains AYM.  And the work continues, no matter what opposition comes our way. The tagline of Little Bluebird is "You gotta wear something. . . wear hope" and that is what we choose to do.

(Check out www.littlebluebird.com to see some of the great work they do).

When things get challenging I watch as our community, both on the rez and beyond, becomes more united and an even better testament to God's power and love. There is nothing that can separate any of us from the love of God and this weekend proved that despite the disappointments our community is still united. It was a beautiful, though bittersweet, moment to be united in this challenge because it was a reminder that God will provide.

Nothing can stop God's people from uniting for His glory, building or no building.  

The Little Bluebird T-shirt business still stands, it is just a little homeless for now. And we believe that God will provide in a way that is even greater than we could guess. We know He will give it a new home, and at the end of the day we choose to hold our faith alongside our disappointment, because there is nothing that can change His love and the work of His hands.

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