Darkness is descending on us. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Many ofthe trees are now standing naked in the wind. A pivotal national election looms ominously on the horizon. I must admit I’ve been through a personal storm over the past week or so, at least partly as a result of these events.

The History of North America class has been tougher than I anticipated—emotionally. Perhaps you’ve heard of the current controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline which is set to run under the Missouri River transporting crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The river is a primary source of water for 10,000 Standing Rock Sioux people, and others, as well as being a revered site for those involved in traditional Sioux religion. I wonder, how does this modern-day dispute relate to the struggles of the past? Should we be doing anything in addition to praying?

My heart breaks when I see tears running down the cheeks of one of the students as we rehearse the pain and injustice of the Navajo Long Walk. Every time I teach this class I learn more and wish it wasn’t true. But it is. Please pray with me that the students and I would develop an informed sense of compassion and that forgiveness would develop in our hearts as we study the past.

After one class I was feeling particularly down. I shared my struggle with one of the students in the class. Her response? “Martha, I’m so glad you’re teaching this class! We need to know these things and we might not learn them under someone else. Thank you!” Then, as my eyes welled up with tears, she asked gently, “May I pray for you?” What an encouragement!

On a lighter note, thank you for your prayers regarding the accreditation team site visit. Unofficial reports so far are full of positive affirmation and encouragement. Stay tuned for official results!

Last Thursday we had the privilege of revealing our newest facility (a converted RV port) and venture to the public. A number of local businesses sent representatives to celebrate with us as we cut the ribbon for the Center for Native Business Development. I’m excited about the possibilities as we provide students with training in business development as well as assisting them in gaining practical skills resulting in marketable products.

Please see photos of the ribbon-cutting ceremony below.

Please pray with us that the students would work hard during term 3 (starting November 7) and finish the semester well. Pray for wisdom for me as instructor, that I might guide the history discussions in biblical ways. Also, my heart is heavy over this up-coming presidential election. If any of you are interested, there is another candidate out there. He is a self-proclaimed Mormon, but he seems to have done his homework, spends his time talking about the issues instead of putting down the other candidates, and appears to have a moral compass. If you are interested, check out
https://www.evanmcmullin.com/ . He is on the ballot in 11 states, running as an Independent. Check out your own state’s regulations regarding write-in candidates. May God have mercy!