Category Archives: Cherokee

From The Hills Of Cherokee

Category : Cherokee

Greetings on a beautiful, but cool spring morning here in Cherokee, NC.

We trust you all are doing well and prospering in the Lord. We want to thank you for your faithful support our ministry to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. God is doing an amazing work here and we are excited to be a part of it.

Grace Community Church of Cherokee: As you know, one of the purposes of our coming to Cherokee was to seek God’s blessing on planting a PCA Church on the Qualla Boundary. That vision began to take shape early in 2016 and we held our first worship service on June 5, 2016. We knew planting a church would not be a quick process, but, after much prayer, we believed God was leading us to move in that direction. Attendance was low for many months, but we remained faithful to the task. At the end of the summer of 2016 we moved our worship services from the dining hall to a small building that was originally set up as a craft room. For many months we had only a few families attending, some Sundays only two families or one family and another individual. Over the past several months, however, God has been doing an amazing work. He has been bringing folks in and we have been averaging 30-35 in attendance each week. The majority of those who are attending have no church background and are hungry to hear the Word of God proclaimed and are interested in learning. This is exciting, but it has also presented us with a new challenge. We only have 40 chairs in our current building, so we are maxed out! Pray for us as we make plans to expand our current building and increase our seating capacity to approximately 90. We will need to purchase additional chairs or perhaps new chairs if we are not able to match up what we currently have. We would like to upgrade the building with a sound system if possible. If any of you has knowledge and experience in sound equipment and would like to help us determine what we need, we would be most appreciative. Just let me know.

Children’s Church Program: We recently began a Children’s Church program for young children in the church. One of the issues we were facing was that parents were being distracted by young children during the sermon. Remember, these are adults with no church background, so the children have no church background. We made the decision to keep the children in the service through the second song and then send them out with two teachers, so they could begin to learn basic Bible truths and the parents could focus on the sermon. This has worked well, but again, we are facing new challenges. The number of children is growing, so we need to figure out how to divide them up and where we will find the room for two separate classes. Please pray for the teachers, the children, and the logistical issues we are facing as God grows His Church.

Youth Group: On February 7, 2018 we began to hold Youth Group meeting each Wednesday evening. Norman and Julie Beck have been faithful to plan and lead the meetings each week. Growth in this ministry is slow, but we believe their faithfulness will pay off. Norman is also serving as a volunteer assistant coach with the girls’ soccer team at the Cherokee Central Schools. Pray with us that God would open doors for opportunities to invite these girls to the youth group and that God would grow this ministry as well.

Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting: We believe that one of the greatest responsibilities we have as we minister here in Cherokee is to be faithful in prayer. A few months ago, we began holding a mid-week prayer meeting. While attendance fluctuates, we have been encouraged with those who have been attending and with the openness to pray. Pray with us that God would bless our commitment to prayer and that we would continue to see His hand at work in our lives and in the life of Grace Community Church of Cherokee.

Life Recovery Group: As many of you know, Norman Beck, Tammy Jackson, and Scott Hill have been involved with a Life Recovery Group, which is a scripturally based addiction recovery program. We have seen God at work in the lives of several of the individuals who have been attending the Tuesday afternoon class and it has been encouraging to us. God is allowing us to speak scriptural truth into the lives of these individuals and to disciple them in His word each week. Hearts are opening up toward the gospel as they are beginning to realize that true freedom comes, not from a program, but only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Pray for us as we meet each Tuesday from 3:00-4:00pm.

Family Happenings: The Hill family is doing well as we are all at our various stages of life. Scott keeps busy with Grace Community Church and as the Chaplain for Tsali Care Nursing Home here in Cherokee. Pray for him as he plans his days and works to help coordinate summer teams and the ministries they will be involved in.

Ruth stays busy with her involvement with the Cherokee Cancer Support Group, teaching Children’s Church, and serving alongside Scott in many ways. Pray her as she juggles the responsibilities of home and ministry.

Bethany is currently living with us and working at Foggy Mountain Vet Services in Clyde, NC. We are thankful for this position that God has provided for her and for the ways He has been stretching and growing her. She loves animals and we would have a small farm here if she had her way! Pray for God to continue to grow her and stretch her in many ways.

Scott, Jr. and Bekah are doing well in Greenville as Scott works for Sherwin-Williams and Bekah continues to teach 3rd grade. They are adjusting well to married life as they will celebrate their 1st anniversary in July. Pray for God to continue to grow them as a couple.

Johnathan is doing well. He is finishing up his final year of high school, serving as a volunteer fire fighter in Cherokee, and trying to make plans for the future. Pray for him as he seeks God’s leading and direction for life after high school.

Katie is keeping busy with her dual enrollment classes at Southwestern Community College. She has maintained an A average through her first two semesters. Pray that she would finish strong. Katie will also be heading to Canada in May to serve on a mission team with John and Elizabeth Sexton. She and Johnathan will both participate in a week mission trip with NEXT (Formerly MTW’s Global Youth and Family ministry) as the NEXT team leads a trip for MK’s from the Americas Region to La Ceiba, Honduras.

We have one final prayer request to share. 2018 has been the first year that we have seen a decline in giving to our ministry. We have lost some significant financial support this year and we need to raise additional funds. Would you pray with us that God would provide the funds needed to carry out this ministry.

As a reminder, the address for donations to MTW has recently changed. The new address is: PO Box 744165, Atlanta, GA 30374-4165.

Thank you for your prayers for our ministry and our family.
Scott, Ruth, Johnathan, and Katie Hill


Cherokee Mission Trip 2018

Category : Cherokee

Consider joining the team this year as we are back at Tsali Senior Center. Our goal will be to assist Scott and Ruth Hill (SPC supported missionaries) make community connections and help local seniors do crafts while showing them Christ’s love.  Cost will be approximately  $650 each.  Please contact Nancy Cook 843-222-5677 by March 1 to sign up. 


Fall Update from the Hills of Cherokee

Category : Cherokee

The fall colors are appearing all around us here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. These colors bring beauty and spectacular sights for residents and visitors alike. Seeing this change never gets old, it never becomes mundane. For me, the fall colors are a reminder that God continues to work among His creation.

We wanted to take a moment and send out a brief update on the ministry here in Cherokee to let you know how things are progressing and how you can be praying for us. We are excited about the ministry here in Cherokee and the way we see God working in the lives of individuals here on the reservation. We have had an increase in the number of local folks who are joining us for worship on Sunday mornings at Grace Community Church of Cherokee. Our highest attendance thus far, without teams, has been 16. We have three local family units attending on a regular basis which is encouraging. We also have had visitors from the addiction recovery program we are involved in. One of the women from this group commented after one of the sermons Scott preached, “I realize now that one of my problems is that I have never repented for my sin.” These folks are hungry for the truth of God’s Word and Scott is seeking to faithfully proclaim the truth, trusting God to work through the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, repentance, and faith to these men and women who are in need of salvation.

Scott, along with Norman Beck, is helping to facilitate an addiction recovery group for men while Tammy Jackson is leading a group for women. We are inviting the men and women who participate in these groups to worship with us at Grace Community Church. One of the issues these men and women face is the stigma that stays with them even after they have stopped using drugs or have been clean from their addiction.

We are using the Scripture as the basis of our teaching for these groups as we believe that true freedom from any bondage can only be found through a personal relationship with Christ. We encourage these individuals to get involved with worship, but one of the comments we have consistently heard is, “I will not go to any of the church’s here on the reservation because people judge me as soon as I walk in, and if the pastor knows me, I will become part of the sermon.” Grace Community Church is a place where they can come without the fear of being judged by those in attendance or being made part of the sermon. Would you pray with us that God would build His Church with these broken people whom He will draw to Himself and set them free from their bondage.

Along with the drug recovery program, Scott and Ruth are going to begin a support group for family members of those who are battling addiction. One of the truths that has been driven home time and again as we get deeper into the addiction recovery process is that addiction takes a toll on the entire family. We both knew this  mentally, but we have witnessed it first hand over and over. Pray for us as we put this group together, again with a Biblical foundation to be an encouragement to family members of addicts. The Life Recovery Groups and the Family Support Group will all be outreach ministries of Grace Community Church of Cherokee. Pray for God’s leading in all of this and that God would draw men and women to Himself and that He would build His Church through these and other outreach opportunities.

We also hosted a tailgate gathering before one of the Cherokee High School home games. We invited young people to join us for pizza and fellowship prior to the game. We hope to do more events like this in the future.

On November 18th Grace Community Church will host a Thanksgiving dinner for the children and staff of the Cherokee Children’s Home. The Children’s Home is located just across the hill from us, so we are asking God to open doors for us to minister to the children and staff there. We have also invited the staff to bring the children and join us for worship on Sunday mornings.
Ruth and Scott continue to be involved with the Cherokee Cancer Support Group. Scott has the privilege of serving as a chaplain for the group which affords him the opportunity to visit cancer patients and their families in their homes. One of the women from the group finally accepted our invitation and joined us for worship. She has told Ruth that she used to attend church, but left the church several years ago and has not been back. She is opening up her life to us a little at a time. Pray that God would use us to be encouragement to her and that she would see Christ in us and would be drawn back to God as the Spirit works to renew her heart and heal her wounds.
Scott has the privilege of serving as the chaplain for the Tsali Care Center which is the nursing home here on the reservation. We were both asked to participate in the volunteer training that is required by the nursing home and the state. While we were meeting with the Director of Tsali Care Scott thanked him for the privilege of serving as the Chaplain for the residents, but also mentioned that he would like to be available for any of the staff that needed spiritual counsel as well.

These are just a few of the ways we see God working in and through us here in Cherokee We want to thank you all for your prayers and your support for our ministry here. Without you we could not serve here. We believe God is building His Church here in Cherokee. It is a slow process, but it is a process that continues to move forward nonetheless.

Thank you for partnering with us!
Grace and peace,
Scott, Ruth, Johnathan, and Katie Hil

 


Cherokee Team 2017 Report

Category : Cherokee

When you submit yourself to do a job for God, you really can never predict exactly what it is you will be doing. Sometimes God may say, “This is something that I need you to do.” But often, in my experience, He just lets me know that there is an opportunity to serve and fills me in on the details as I go. This year Team Cherokee had a good idea of what we would be doing and prepared as much as we could. We knew we would be at a senior center making four crafts. But we did not know how many people would be coming, nor what their spiritual state would be. And as usual, the numbers grew as word spread that we were there. Eight had signed up and we got to know more than 30 people before we left on Friday. Many we met are Christians, but one lady expressed to me that we had challenged her to be more a part of other people’s lives. She said she usually talks to everyone about the weather, the craft they are doing or Tribal politics. She saw how within one hour, we had gotten to know people more closely and had more opportunities to present the Gospel and to even pray with those who were hurting, than she had in years.

Every day we were invited to eat lunch which allowed us to sit and talk with even more people. On Friday, several people we’d gotten closer to and some of the Christians stayed after lunch for an impromptu hymn singing time. Our “good-byes” were hard to say.

We did not have the number of home visitations we had expected, but did have the opportunity to show the Lord’s love to one woman by home visits, witnessing to her and several phone calls throughout the week. Then we spent time with another dear Christian lady who needed encouragement during her time of grief.

We enjoyed visiting with Scott and Ruth Hill and Katie and Jonathan. The kids have grown and matured in wonderful ways. They are active in the local Cherokee Youth Council even though they aren’t Native Americans, the Tribal Council has chosen them as examples of what they want their youth to look like in the community. Scott and Ruth are very involved in community activities and MTW has brought on a couple to work with the local Cherokee Youth. The teen population is having an explosion of drug related deaths and other issues. Each week the Teams coming to work are making more connections to the community and communicating the news of God’s love for them.

Missions Report by Nancy Cook