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Dear Friends at Pacific Community,

We trust this finds you well and this update brings some encouragement.  It's been a tough couple months on the international news front.  This past weekend we celebrated Lana's parent's 50th wedding anniversary!  25 years ago we celebrated their 25th in Kamloops soon after we were married. Where does the time go? 

25 Years - This past July 1 marked 25 years for us!  Three kids...many moves and a couple of pets come and gone and we're basically the same people except a whole lot different. A wise person once said (even though we sometimes don't see it)...we are 'gifts to each other.' Some Irish band sang, "We are one but not the same we get to carry each other." The Scriptures say, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame."  Yes, it's all that and more...

Brooke graduated from Trinity Western University this past April. She is working in Vancouver and will be travelling to Europe in October with some friends.  Madison and Jordan will be at Trinity this fall.

Fort Langley - After almost 15 years in the same house, we recently moved to a town home in Fort Langley (about 15 minutes north).  It is considered the birthplace of British Columbia and close to Trinity Western University.  The area, about 50 km from the mouth of the Fraser River, was originally inhabited by the Kwantlen First Nation, who fished, hunted, farmed and traded with other Coast Salish nations.  Fur trading and salmon canning became staple industries, and Hudson's Bay Company employees married local women and set up farms to sustain themselves.  The multicultural workforce of Britons, Scots, Hawaiians and First Nations people was truly distinctive.  A few days ago Madison, Jordan and Tim swam across the Bedford channel (above) a tributary of the Fraser River.

"Don't let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator.  Honour him in your youth before you grow old and say, 'Life is not pleasant anymore.'" -Ecclesiastes 12 NLT

Broken Arrow - This past June, I spent some time at Broken Arrow Bible Ranch in the rugged high country of Vanderwagen, New Mexico.  “Broken Arrow” (a Native symbol of peace) is an eighty plus acre summer camp.  NAIM staff Dino and Nanette Butler live and minister at Broken Arrow with their sons Josiah and Caleb.  It reminded me of the importance summer camps played in my life.  Long days full of rich life experiences that became touchstones of decisions and change. 

From mid June to early August, kids arrive from Arizona and New Mexico tribes (and points beyond), ready for weeks of fun, fellowship and faith development.  Each day, youth eat together, attend chapel and rotate through activities including horseback riding, riflery, archery, human foosball, crafts, go karts and BMX biking.  Long-term and deep-rooted dedication to sharing the Gospel with young people is obvious and heartfelt.  About 800 youth attend camp every summer.
While at the archery site, two young men of about twenty years introduced themselves.  They had come up through Broken Arrow and now are working full-time elsewhere.  But on their days off, when they could have been anywhere - they came back to Broken Arrow, just to be there, to help lead worship, to share what God is doing in their lives and to enjoy the energy exploding from the campers.  Both are now involved in ministry and are full of the goodness of God.  I asked if I could talk to them later that day about their experiences at Broken Arrow and they said yes.

Timothy Gon (sunglasses & checkered shirt) is from Flagstaff, Arizona and was a camper at Broken Arrow from ages 10-18.  At 18 he started working at Broken Arrow.  “My dad was a pastor for 25 years and spoke at the camp in the 90s.  He knew Dino and that is how I started going.”  Tyson Logg (sunglasses & red shirt) is from Chinle, Arizona.  He first heard of Broken Arrow when Dino and the worship band came to play at his church and had flyers for camp.  Ty’s been a leader at Broken Arrow since 2011.
Tim and Tyson know why Broken Arrow means so much to youth.  “Broken Arrow is like an oasis in the desert,” states Tyson.  “Campers are on social media all year saying things like, ‘I can’t wait until Broken Arrow.’  Many campers come from broken homes and because God is here they really long for that.  At the group campfire that ends each week, you’ll hear campers saying they wish they could stay here for the rest of the summer.”
Tim gives his perspective on why youth appreciate Broken Arrow, “The campers love it and are dedicated to it.  They always plan ahead because they know they are limited to two weeks because so many others want to go.  Relationships are formed here and you’ll see on Facebook the excitement building.  Campers can’t wait to see their favourite counselor or wrangler and they are always planning for the time they’ll see each other again.”

I ask Tim and Ty what the camp has meant to them personally.  Tim: “I loved the accountability Dino talks about.  Even though I grew up as a ‘Pastor’s Kid’ I didn’t really open up to anyone about my problems so when Dino opened up to me it made me more comfortable to share.  Broken Arrow is like my second home…if I wasn’t at home I’d be here because these are the two places I love.”

Tyson: “I love the atmosphere of Broken Arrow.  The people God selects to work here are spiritual leaders and mentors in life.  Dino has been like a father figure and friend…God just uses him.  The staff set a great example in following God…encouraging and spurring you on as a leader and reconciliation when you mess up.  There is tons of grace, discipline and restoration.  God’s hand is all over this place.
Both Tim and Ty say the food is great, the cooks are amazing and Navajo tacos are the best!
While their futures are not fully decided, both guys have strong ideas of what they’d like to do.  Tim elaborates, “There are so many areas I’d like to work in…either ministry or the working world.  Music is a big interest and what I’ve learned in this regard at Broken Arrow has helped me to where I am today.  My brother Delano and I are part of a heavy metal band and we’ve always wanted to show people in metal we are no different from them and can hang out…Jesus hung out with sinners and tax collectors and ate with them.  You don’t see many Christians in metal music.  There will be challenges but I’ve always wanted to be in that scene where we are not in the Christian bubble.  We had a gig at Flagstaff last May and all the bands were non-Christian.  I’ve also wanted to be a mechanic or an elementary school teacher…doing ministry in schools.”
Tyson is currently at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and involved with OneTribe…a ministry of Native leaders leading other Native people closer to Christ.  Tyson sees the options tent making provides and is thinking of majoring in elementary education.  “I may use this as a foot in the door and do ministry on the side…I’m not sure what that will look like and will keep moving forward looking for the Lord’s direction.”

Finishing the interview, I asked the guys who their favourite bands are (knowing Dino loves the Irish band U2).  Tim says he grew up on DC Talk and follows the bands Pillar and As I Lay Dying.  Tyson’s favourite musical influence was the late Rich Mullins who lived in Window Rock, Arizona.  “There is a movie about Mullins’ life called Ragamuffin and the struggles he went through…I’ve appreciated the genuineness of Rich Mullins.”  I then asked Tim and Tyson if they knew who Dino’s favourite band is and they couldn’t answer.  Dino walked by and I jokingly chastised him for not passing this wisdom down to his young protégés.  He laughed, “These guys are metal heads and I have to immerse myself in their world for awhile.” 
Thank you for praying and supporting our ministry of encouraging, equipping and directing NAIM staff in their challenging work.  While Dino’s wife, Nanette, wasn’t mentioned above, it was obvious during our time at Broken Arrow of the deep love and passion she has for mentoring female leaders and campers.  I left the camp refreshed seeing people come to Christ, grow well and passing this on to others.

Looking west in the Bella Coola valley (above pic). Fires help clear wood from where rivers flow at their high points to prevent log jams. Temera Williams (NAIM's Recruiting Director) and I were up to Bella Coola a month ago to interview potential new staff, Jason & Sherry Hall.  Jason is a youth worker for the community and spoke at NAIM's annual celebration.

Muriah Hall (granddaughter of NAIM staff Pat & Terry Hall)
cools off by dunking her head in a cool mountain stream.

Vendor's menu at the Bella Coola Music Festival.

It's been a great summer in Indian Country...there are other stories yet to be told so stay tuned.  Thank you for listening and supporting our lives and work.  It means a lot to have you with us.

Tim and Lana Higginbotham