Twenty-five years! It has gone by so fast! Many people think that our ministry is all Native Praise Choir because we are invited to sing in so many church and tribal events. Our ministry expands far beyond singing our tribal hymns. We have conducted VBS each summer, hosted retreats, provided Christian training events, assisted women & men who are seminary students, provided backpacks and school supplies to our Native school children, provided clothing or needed items for men and women shelters, pregnancy centers, hosted celebrations honoring Pastors Wives for several years, and MORE! Best of all is the camaraderie, sisterhood, and friendships created through Christian women working together.
Early in the LINK ministry, Willene Pierce, founding Executive Director/Treasurer, worked with Bill Barnett and began serving as LINK representative on the Indian Falls Creek Board. From that point on, women’s class sessions have been provided yearly at Indian Falls Creek to meet the needs of our Native women attending Indian Falls Creek. We continue to support Woman’s Missionary Union as foundational in our ministry, while implementing the annual theme of Indian Falls Creek. Our Native Praise Choir is invited to sing annually in the Wednesday evening service. We also honor our Pastors’ Wives yearly at IFC with a special celebration time during the week.
During Indian Falls Creek this year, we were able to host a LINK celebration held on Wednesday, August 2 at the Ada Lodge. We shared displays of some of the history, pictures, memorabilia of our ministry. We shared a commemorative gift for our attendees, as well as refreshments. Special guests included Dr. Todd Fisher, Executive Director/Treasurer of OK Baptists, Dr. Emerson Falls, OK Baptists Native American Partner, Sandy Wisdom-Martin, National WMU Director, Amy Cordova, OK Women’s Ministry/Missions Partner, and Julie Busler, OK WMU President. We look forward to our next 25 years of ministry. It has been a joy to work with so many wonderful volunteers and supporters of the Native American LINK ministry.
Augusta Smith (Gus)
The Native American LINK
If you personally know me, you’ll know that the majority of my teaching years were spent with elementary students. Ten of those years were with first graders. I found that the simpler you explain, the easier to grasp the concepts. Now, I’m in my later years, and I think I’ve reverted back to that.
I recently read an article from crosswalk.com titled, “9 Reasons Why God Isn’t Rescuing You.”
The second reason is what really gripped my thoughts.
2. We have sin in our lives.
We cannot willfully choose to disobey God and simultaneously expect him to bless us. As human parents, we withhold blessings from our children when they rebel against us. God often does the same. More important than health, wealth, and happiness is whether we have a right relationship with God. He’ll often use difficult circumstances to help us realize how much we need him.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
And Mary said: "my soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For He has been mindful of the humble state of His servents..." - Luke 1:46-48
Ministry/Missions Project Committee:
Florence July, Merry Monroe
Ruth Walker, Priscilla Arneecher
Thank you, Beth Moore LIVING PROOF LIVE for hosting a conference specifically aimed at an audience of Native American women. Location:
Saturday, October 6th, 2018.
The sooner, the better. My Native American lady friends, if you REALLY want to go to the Beth Moore LIVING PROOF LIVE Conference in Chinle, AZ, send $130 payment - no later than September 10 - to:
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It truly takes a village to create a week of tremendous blessings at our annual Indian Falls Creek.
The Native American LINK is honored to offer top quality daily Bible Study, skills conferences, afternoon crafts, help at preschool sessions, and a wonderful Pastors’ Wives Celebration, all well organized & prayed over.
Thank you to our LINK VOLUNTEERS, coming from MD, AR, & FL! Thank you Elsie Little for drawing us in, to a tough Bible Study topic,”Watch Your Mouth!” Thank you Priscilla Arneecher-Blackfox, Fabiela Kemble &. Norma Lee, for setting our sights on effective mission opportunities. Anna Clement, your missionary spirit will remain in our hearts.
Thank you Mike Smith, for being our “chauffeur “ on our handy-dandy golf cart. And best of all, thank you, ALL 151 participants, for coming!!!
“I love how God uses us”
“I love being with my sisters”
“I always feel so happy after I’ve been with my sisters”
“I’m a better person when I leave “
“We learn a lot about each other when we travel together (laughing)!”
These are just a few of the comments shared when asked their feelings about being in the Native Praise Choir. God is certainly not finished with us, yet. Being willing & committed to making this choir all that God wants us to be is so important. At last Saturday’s practice, a little 11yr-old Cherokee girl asked if she could join the choir. God is not finished with us. We give Him praise!
A newspaper journalist recently interviewed me about our Native Praise Choir ministry.
She had seen our choir sing at the Sam Noble Museum at OU for the Native Crossroads Film Festival. She seemed quite amazed at the commitment of each person, who is an active Christian woman who serves in their individual churches across Oklahoma.
Our demographics include 50 women of 17 Native American tribes. Ages range from 20-86 years. We sing our Native Christian Cherokee, Muscogee, and Choctaw hymns no less than twice a month wherever we are requested, plus once a month practice sessions. It makes my heart happy to know that, perhaps, people do see the true intent of our ministry....to glorify God.
Check out our website for guidelines for our choir membership. If God is leading you to join us, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you!
Two exciting blessings I just HAVE to share!
1) Last weekend the Native American LINK connected 53 women together to attend the State Women’s Retreat. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure we had the largest group representation to attend! Thank you, Amy Cordova, for allowing our group to have a cabin where we could all lodge together! It was also great to see more of our Native women attend. It was a great event!
2) On Wednesday, April 25th, the Talihina High School had a special end of year program, inviting our Native Praise Choir to sing. It felt like we were a part of a wonderful worship experience. One of the teachers gathered the seniors in a group with their support groups and prayed over these youth. Chief Gary Batton of Choctaw Nation was a speaker. He gave a warm heartfelt testimony of his faith in Jesus Christ. GLORY!!! The choir sang tribal hymns sharing their faith in song. What a great experience in a public school setting!!!!
We had a party!!! It felt like everyone in Oklahoma & beyond joined us in our Native American LINK 20th Anniversary Celebration on March 23-24.
Joy, laughter, singing, eating, memories of days gone by, a packed church building, Willene...the list goes on & on.
There was no doubt that God’s Holy Spirit lived in the midst of us all.
Thank you to so many who made this such a glorious occasion of sharing how Great our God truly is. Thank you to those who came from MD, AZ & AR. You blessed us with your presence. And now, we move on to the next 20!