Prayers Answered by Skagit’s Homeland Mission
Sixteen students from Skagit Adventist Academy (SAA) in Burlington were making their first introductions when they arrived in Plummer, Idaho. The pastor’s wife admitted that she was unaware of where Skagit County was located in Washington until the group arrived. The group was amused too because they didn’t know where Plummer was located until their spring break homeland mission trip in March.
There was quite a bit of apprehension in the mind of Doug White, SAA principal, because it was his first time planning a domestic mission trip. Although the trip lacked the challenges of international travel, there was a big question as to whether or not there would be enough meaningful work.
“This mission trip was especially memorable to me because it was the first one I have done here in the States,” says White. “We truly had a sense of accomplishment and were grateful for the opportunity we had to serve in the Plummer community. We trust our work there will help them be able to move into their new church in the near future and be a beacon of Christ’s love and hope in their community."
The primary mission trip job was to hang Sheetrock in the new church, but upon arrival on the job site the group could see a variety of other tasks — like a truckload of gravel in the entryway — that would keep them very busy for the short 10 days they would be there.
A special answer to prayer was the late addition of Rick Wesley and his son, Gabriel, to the mission group. Wesley is a master metal craftsman and has taught his son to be a very competent welder. With their expertise, they were able to design and fabricate the supports for the log structures at the entry to the church and those that would be used in the inside and outside of the church to give it the look and feel of a Native American longhouse. Although it wasn’t the most appealing job on the worksite, students spent hours hand-planing the logs in preparation for installation.
Besides the work on the church, there were plans to build 12 raised block gardens for the students in the tribal school. To the missionaries' surprise, the mission group had some days with some snow, wind and rain, which limited them to getting only half of the gardens done. The school was excited to see what the volunteers accomplished, which gave them some encouragement to complete the task.
Skagit students worked on construction projects in the morning. Right after school dismissal, they ran a Vacation Bible School for kindergarten through fourth grade and a basketball camp for grades five to eight. The student volunteers had prepared ahead of time and could have accommodated up to 50 children in each group. The participating elementary students ended up being a smaller, more manageable group who loved to interact with Skagit students.
“Not only did we help build a church and do things with the kids, but we also impacted the kids’ lives,” says Anthony Burger, a junior at SAA.
The people of the Living Hope Church in Plummer have been working on their new church for the past three years. They shared with the Skagit mission group during a church service how their efforts to build their church debt-free had been the result of many answered prayers, including the Skagit group's visit.
“It was encouraging and very inspiring to hear that the efforts we made to help the church in Plummer were a direct answer to prayer,” says White. “As we left the church work site for the last time, we gathered together for a prayer of dedication for the work we had accomplished."
Doug White, SAA principal, and Tami Rowe, SAA teacher