Winning Souls One at a Time In Omak's Native American Community

Omak (Wash.) Church members have been active in reaching Native Americans in their area. Since April 2006, members have been involved in giving Native New Day Bible studies and showing the Native New Day DVDs to people in the Colville Tribal Convalescent Center and in the Confederated tribes of the Colville Reservation Correction Facility in Nespelem.

In the spring of 2007, we began studying with James Traversie, a relatively young, Lakota Sioux man who was recovering at the convalescent center from a stroke. His biblical knowledge was vast. He was remarkable not only for his interest in the Bible, but for having a wonderfully teachable spirit. And as he learned new truths, he would immediately accept them and change. Our studies, however, ended after about three months when his wife took him home—home being in their van. Much to our disappointment, we lost contact at that point even though we hoped to continue studying together later.

In the meantime, Monte Church, North Pacific Union (NPUC) Native Ministries director, arranged for Brian Bechthold and his wife Denise, to present a Native American evangelistic series in the fall. Brian and Denise, who live in Edmonton, Alberta, began preaching in a large tent in Stampede Park. One night, several days into the series, to our absolute delight, in walked Traversie and his wife. They not only came to the meetings, but Traversie also sang special music more than once. We already knew he was a talented musician and singer, but we were further surprised to learn he was also a minister from another denomination, something we didn't know when we studied with him at the convalescent center.

Toward the end of the series, Traversie told us he and his wife wanted to join our church.

Though no baptisms have yet resulted from this effort, a strong core group of Native American friends continues meeting together, committed with us to reaching out to their own Native American community.

January 01, 2008 / Upper Columbia Conference

Renée Goodwin, Omak Church member