Piper Nails It!

Thank you, John Piper, for your boldness to say what we don’t want to hear!

And for everyone viewing this post, thank you in advance for prayerfully considering to support our outreach to the 567 federally recognized Native American tribes in the US and the 634 First Nations in Canada.

We need 17 more partners to give $100 per month to send us on our way to the Mokahum Ministry Center in Bemidji, MN.

If you have been challenged by John Piper’s message, and would like to talk about how you can partner with us in Indian country, please Contact Us. We would love to talk with you.

All for the Kingdom!

Patrick & Regina Lennox

MTW Missionaries to Native America/First Nations

Dear Missions Committee

Dear Missions Committee

Dear Missions Committee,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are Patrick and Regina Lennox, MTW missionaries to Native America. We are striving to serve the 567 federally recognized Native American/Alaska Native tribes in the US and the 634 First Nations in Canada.

Currently we are at 70% of our pledged support. We don’t get to the field until we reach 100%. We are hoping your church would prayerfully consider partnering with us in Indian Country at the Mokahum Ministry Center near Bemidji, MN.

About Mokahum and Our Work

cropped-mokahum-sign.jpgWe are extremely encouraged by what the Lord is doing at Mokahum. The name is derived from an Ojibwe word, which essentially means “the sun is rising” or “new beginning.” MMC is a discipleship/leadership training center in Cass Lake located on the Leech Lake Reservation.

Although that is Ojibwe country, the school is for all the Indigenous peoples of North America, both US and Canada. Mokahum fulfills a great need in Native America serving Native Christian men and women who desire focused discipleship that they may be more effective witnesses in their communities in Indian Country. There is also a leadership track for those who believe tzane-williamshey are called to Christian ministry in a greater capacity.

Mokahum has a long history – and a new history – and a good reputation in Indian Country. Our missions organization, Mission to the World, is striving to expand its reach throughout Indian Country at many levels. Mokahum and its leadership are deeply embedded in Indian Country. Under the direction of Zane Williams (Navajo, CMA), Mokahum is a ministry of the Center for Indian Ministries and is well connected with other ministries to Native America from Native America.

We are looking to join another MTW couple, Bill and Susan Carr, who are already serving there. Bill is the director of education. I (Patrick) will be the director of student life, as well as a teacher. Regina will be available to the female students as a mentor – a key component to the education model at Mokahum.

Our Current Challenge

david-brainerdOne of our greatest struggles is educating people about the history of Native America and the need to continue missions. Some people know of the 18th century Presbyterian missionary to Indians, David Brainerd, but that is the extent of their knowledge of Native missions.

From our travels over the years, speaking with people of all ages and walks of life, we have observed that the average Christian just doesn’t know about our Native neighbors. This is true of so many pastors and fellow missionaries as well. In fact, “I just didn’t know” or “I had no idea” are common sentiments expressed to us by so many people. I was one of them.

They Don’t Need “Fixing”

Jonathan_EdwardsThe great 18th century theologian and missionary to the Mohawk and Mohican Indians, Jonathan Edwards once said, “The English of Massachusetts were too interested in fixing the Indians…rather than giving them the gospel.” Sadly, the Americans followed suit.

Native Americans do not need “fixing.” They have been “fixed” for nearly 500 years, and we are still dealing with the painful ramifications of deeply flawed mission strategies embedded with paternalism and colonialism.

Missiologists have recognized this problem with indigenous peoples around the world where the thomas_watsongospel came with Western domination and the resulting marginalization of indigenous people. The so-called Doctrine of Discovery gave license to trample over so many rich harvest fields.

Every day I feel the sting of the words of my favorite Puritan, Thomas Watson, “By every unjust action, you deny Christ, you stain the glory of your profession. Heathens will rise up in judgment against you.” If we knew our history in Native America, we would understand the indictment that stands against us.

We Need a Better Ending

During 2017 Protestants around the world will be celebrating 500 years of Post Tenabras Lux that began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg door, thus igniting the Protestant Reformation. Indeed, there is much to celebrate. But as we examine the treatment of our Native neighbors by both Catholic and Protestant missionary endeavors during the last half millennium, there is much to lament over and still much yet to reform.

lutherAs heirs of the Reformation, we must use this year to take a hard and sober look at ourselves as we move forward into the next 500 years should the Lord tarry. As we do, here is my one thesis I am nailing to your door:

Jesus deserves a better witness in Indian Country. We need a better ending in the history of Native American missions. We need to lament, repent, reform, and go.

By God’s Grace, It’s Not Over

His mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:23). The fields are still ripe for harvest, and the Lord of the Harvest bids us go. And as we go, let these two questions and resolutions guide us:

  1. What is Jesus already doing in Native America? – Resolve to join Him and be a part of it.
  2. What does the Native Christian church have to offer the rest of the church in this country and throughout the world? – Resolve in humility to expect it and receive it.

I have said a lot of hard things to ponder, but let me be clear: I don’t believe in guilt-driven or statistics-driven ministry. This is gospel-driven ministry. We go because Jesus said so, and the Lord of glory deserves a better name in Indian Country. If the world stumbles, let it be because of Jesus, the Rock of Offense (1 Pet 2:8), not us and our misguided missional strategies.

Billy Graham said years ago that he believed Native America was a sleeping giant. There are signs of an awakening. Please consider joining us in our mission. If you haven’t already, please include a line item on your missions budget for our first neighbors. They still need the gospel. The best days are ahead of us if we learn from history. Help us raise up disciples and leaders at the Mokahum Ministry Center with our Native brothers and sisters that we may strive together to reach the lost in America’s first and forgotten mission field.

See our Contact Us page to reach us. We are always available to speak with you.

Thank you for your consideration.

Patrick & Regina Lennox #14241

MTW Missionaries to Native America/Bemidji, MN

Back from Cherokee

Can you guess where Ryan is?

Can you guess where Ryan is?

The Parade

We just got back after a wonderful weekend in Cherokee.  We were asked to march in the Cherokee Christmas parade. Norm Dunkin and the gang from Carriage Lane Presbyterian who have been marching in the parade for many years extended the invitation to us last week and we jumped at the opportunity. They have been such a dedicated church committed to ministering to the people of Cherokee for two decades.

Looking for Our Replacements

As fun as it was to romp around in a silly costume, there was a very serious side to it. We were able to see the faces and meet more of the people we want to reach with the gospel. As I handed out candy and souvenirs to the little children, I wondered if any them would be part of the church we are looking to plant. I was looking for my replacement who would one day be a leader in the church and raise up others for the spreading of the gospel throughout all of Native America. Will any of those young boys grow up to be elders, pastors, youth leaders, or missionaries? Are any of those little girls going to become a Sunday school teacher one day, or maybe even a missionary like Tammy Jackson (MTW missionary to Cherokee and Lummi)? We can only wonder, but the Lord knows.

Regina and Shiah

Regina and Shiah

While in Cherokee we met with our fellow missionaries, Scott and Ruth Hill, as well as Norm Dunkin. We were able to dream, plan, and pray about what we hope the Lord would do on the reservation — a very productive and encouraging time.

We also had an opportunity to present ourselves during Sunday school at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Sylva, NC. We cannot recommend that church enough to anyone in that region looking for a great church — fine preaching and excellent music, and a great bunch of folks. Pastor Philip Sealy and his wife, Lori, really know how to show hospitality, too.

Regina with dear friends, Whitney and little Kailyana

Regina with dear friends, Whitney and little Kailyana

Giving Update

Over the last couple of days, some very significant gifts came in for which we are thankful. We also just got word of another church supporting us as well, although we are not sure of the amount just yet. But right now we know we are at 32.5% of pledged regular giving. Pray we get passed 50% before year’s end.

Norm and Blue (Ryan)

Norm and Blue (Ryan)

Rivercam Sham

We want to apologize to any of you who tuned into the Rivercam Saturday. We were told by a lady at the visitor center that it was turned off. We searched for it anyway after the parade in the dark. Although there were not enough votes for me to get into the water (thank the Lord!), we had something special planned, but it did not work out.

Last Words

It was a bitter/sweet time we had in Cherokee. The trip was out of the blue, but it turned out to be such a great blessing. We long to be the there and minister among the Cherokee full-time. There is so much to do. Please help us get there. Please visit our Five Things You Can Do to learn about how you can get us there.

Until next time…

The Lennoxes

 

What a Difference a Prayer Makes

A Narrow and Protected Path

“A Narrow and Protected Path” Photo by Tabitha Lennox, April 2014

It was just over one year ago when I actually took my desire to serve in Cherokee and formed it into a fervent prayer. I may have prayed that prayer before, but unfortunately I can’t remember praying with the vital element of believing. But the Lord remembered! He is faithful when we are not.

We recently returned from a quick trip to Cherokee. We spent a few days helping new team leaders prepare for their summer trips with teams from their churches. It was during that training trip last year when I prayed to the Lord to bring us back as MTW missionaries. And he did.

During our trip we were able to meet new people and spend time with fellow missionaries to Cherokee, Scott and Ruth Hill. The Lennox and Hill kids were able to get reacquainted and create new memories. We also were able to see our dear friend Tammy Jackson. It is because of her prayers and efforts that MTW has been able to serve in Cherokee. She served as a short-term missionary for many years, but she now works for the tribe, which gives her a great vantage point from which she can serve the Lord. We are extremely excited about what the Lord is doing with her.

Tammy attempting to evade the public eye (she failed).

Tammy attempting to evade the public eye (she failed).

The local dance instructors. Regina was the  first in line.

The local dance instructors. Regina was the first in line.

We had a great time during our cultural experience presentation. We were visited by two Cherokee men who played beautiful music, told stories, and explained many of the traditional ways of the Cherokee from yesteryear. Later they joined us for dinner and provided us with great conversation.

Aside from a short trip in June, we will remain in Sanford, Florida until we reach our fundraising goal. The Lord is providing us with opportunities to tell people about our mission and funds are starting to come in. Please pray with us as the Lord directs our path to Cherokee. Be sure to sign up for automatic updates from Lennox Letters. You can do that by hitting the widget on the top right-hand margin of our other pages (for some deeply mysterious and technological reason, it doesn’t show up on the Home page).

Until next time…

We found our home. Unfortunately the park rangers won't give us the key to get in.

We found our new home. Unfortunately we were unable to convince the park rangers of our plans to move in. Evidently there is a law against that in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, so we came back to Florida.

Upcoming Events

There has been a lot happening since our last post. We have been invited to our first missions conference coming up this Sunday, February 9th, at Orangewood Church in Maitland, Florida. We will have a place to set up our display, complete with literature, flags, photos, and artifacts and share our vision with anyone who will listen.

We are very thankful to the Lord for the help Pastor Joe Creech has provided us with encouragement and wisdom during our process with MTW. Pastor Creech has been involved with MTW since its beginning and remains a committee member. We met one day at a presbytery meeting last September. That providential meeting was just what I needed at that time. The Lord knows what he is doing!

We are also excited to announce that we will also be at the Saint Andrew’s Mission Festival this coming spring. As many of you know, Saint Andrew’s is our home church who has sent us with the youth to Cherokee over the last eight years.

We are also gearing up for our Launch week beginning March 10th. That week will entail a lot of training on logistics. Lord willing, if all goes well, we will have our account open that we may receive funds to get us to the field and begin our work among the Cherokee.

Please pray for this weekend. We are beginning our Saint Andrew’s youth Cherokee trip preparation meetings this Saturday, February 8th. Pray also that we will meet some new folks that we may share our vision for the Cherokee people and ultimately all Native Americans.