The 3rd Annual Dance For Life Suicide Prevention Powwow was held here in Lawton, Oklahoma on September 18th. Once again Amy and Rusty Cozad and the KTSP Staff did a great job with the Powwow. There were many dancers who came to participate in the contest. Beautiful dancers filled with life!
This year the Powwow dancers grew in numbers. Each year the Dance For Life Powwow seems to attract more people. We believe that the word is getting out and that the communities are becoming more aware of the epidemic of suicide, and most importantly, the resources that are available to them to battle this serious issue.
This year as part of the Powwow the Kiowa Tribe Suicide Prevention Program honored the following people. A Native American Elder, James, from Rosebud Sioux Reservation for his continued work among many Native American tribes in the area of cultural preservation, and suicide prevention. Howard, a Christian Minister, and survivor of suicide, (Father committed suicide) who continues to work in the area of suicide prevention and in support of Native American Ministries. Also Salina, a young lady of the local community who journeyed from attempted suicide to being an advocate for suicide prevention among her piers .Salina is one of the KTSP success stories.
The Riverside Indian Boarding School participated in the Powwow by providing a concession stand. All the proceeds form the stand went to their youth activities fund. They also had volunteers who helped prepare and serve the meal that was provided free to all who attended the Powwow. There were many other volunteers, too numerous to mention, some from organizations such as Youth With A Mission Southern Plains, and Agape Lane Ministries.
With Amy's help, Howard was able to interview several Native American people on the subject of suicide and suicide prevention. These interviews will be used whole or in part to report the need and accomplishments of the program to the KTSP's grant providers, produce community awareness TV and radio spots, and produce TV and radio promotions. One young man agreed to have Howard photograph him in his regalia for the same purpose as the interviews and also to be used on billboards and posters.
All in all, we believe the KTSP Powwow was a great success, and we thank God for all those who are participating in providing assistance in battling this serious issue among Native American people and we humbly thank God for all that He has accomplished through this program and the people He is using.
Howard and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, filled with love and appreciation for who our Heavenly Father is, the Author of every good and perfect gift.
A friend recently gave me a gift card to a local Christian bookstore for my birthday. As I searched for what to purchase I came across a journal with the heading "Praying the Names of God" by Ann Spangler. Within the journal I have read of El,Elohim- the One True God, El Roe- the God who sees, El Shadday-God Almighty, El Olam the Everlasting God or Eternal God, Yahweh Yireh- The Lord will Provide, Yahew-Lord, Adonay- Lord, Master, Yahweh Rophe- The Lord who Heals ,Yahweh Nissi- The Lord My Banner, Esh Oklah, El Kanna- Consuming Fire, Jealous God, Qedosh Yisrael –The Holy One of Israel , Yahweh Shalom – The Lord is Peace, Yahweh Tsebaoth –The Lord of Hosts, Yahweh Tsuri- The Lord My Rock. The journal continues on with other names, but this is where I am in the journal.
If we meditate on just one of those names, oh how can we not praise Him and be thankful for Who He Is, His very character. In previous years we have read and experienced those names of God, but how we all need to ask ourselves from time to time Who is this God we love, and serve? The enemy tries relentlessly to bombard our mind with lies about, our God, ourselves, our futures, and our very existence. What makes us think we can go on without meditating on Who God Really Is and survive in today's world? As we meditate on who God is we defeat the lies of the enemy, we encourage ourselves in the Lord. Sometime there is no one to encourage you and we are commanded to encourage ourselves in the Lord! I want to give testimony as to some of the specific things we have to be thankful for, but wanted to preface it with We Praise Him, and are thankful to Him because of who He is.
Nov. 9th of 2009 the journey with Howard's eye began with a tear in his retina. Two weeks later, after laser surgery to repair the tear, it developed into retina detachment. On Oct. 27, 2010, almost a year later, Howard had the final surgery in a series of three conventional surgeries to repair the retina and restore the vision in his eye.
Throughout this whole process God has made it possible for Howard to be treated by the best surgeons in the state of Oklahoma. He not only provided the best doctors but he also provided the funds to pay for the surgeries.
The first three surgeries where performed at the Baptist Integris Hospital in Oklahoma City. The medical center reduced their almost thirty-thousand dollar bill (for each surgery) by 90% for the second and third surgeries. The surgeon reduced his bill by 45% for all three of the surgeries. The final surgery was preformed at the Comanche County Memorial Hospital which reduced their bill by 20%. And the surgeon in Lawton reduced her bill by 55%.
Howard and I do not have health insurance; we belong to Christian Healthcare Ministries, which is a non-profit benevolence fund where Christians help pay each others bills. Each month we pay a monthly amount which is applied to other members needs. After examining our original bills, without deductions we were looking at almost sixty –five thousand dollars, after the deductions and portions paid by Christian Healthcare ministry our out of pocket expense was less than five hundred dollars!
After Howard's next check up on Nov. 23 he will receive his prescription for glasses, and he will be able to see with both eyes again. We have much to be thankful for.
A few months ago Howard's video editing computer was having problem after problem. He spent many hours trying to reprogram, and repair it to get it to function properly, to no avail. After prayer we believed that he should make the situations known to the churches that support the ministry.
The response from the churches was amazing! In approximately forty days the ministry received $3,925.00 earmarked to purchase a new editing computer. This may sound like allot of money to you, but as a frame of reference, video editing computers range from $3,000 to $10,000. With the funds we received Howard will be able to purchase a good video editing computer that should be usable for years to come.
This is perfect timing because Howard's eye is repaired, and this is the season that we are raising up a multi-media production team. We are Thankful to our God for how in His infinite wisdom He provided many churches who came together to meet this huge need. Our words cannot adequately express our thankfulness to God, and all of the churches.
The follow is a page from Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler.
The Lord My Rock – Yahweh Tsuri pronunciation: yah-WEH tsu-Ree
What better word than "rock" to represent God's permanence, protection, and enduring faithfulness? When you pray to the Lord your Rock, you are praying to the God who can always be counted on. His purposes and plans remain firm throughout history. The New Testament identifies Jesus as the spiritual rock that accompanied the Israelites during their long journey through the desert. He is also the stone the builders rejected but that has become the cornerstone of God's church.
Key Scripture: Psalm 144:1-2, 7, 9-10
Praise be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in who I take refuge… Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me… I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the one who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.