Honoring our friend Audrey Swan

Audrey Swan

Audrey Swan

From Hope for the First Nations Secretary Bria Fritsch:

About this time last year, I sent out an email about an awesome opportunity we have been given to help honor our dear friend Audrey Swan, who passed away in 2013. Ricky Smith, Jolene Craig and Hope for the First Nations have committed to sponsor a competition dance in Audrey’s memory and honor for four years at the Pine Point Powwow. This is year No. 2. Last year we collected almost $1,000 to give away to the winners of a jingle dress dance. This year is fancy men’s grass dance.

If anyone feels lead and would like to donate in honor and memory of Audrey, you can donate directly to HFTFN via check or PayPal through Saturday, Aug. 1.

Here’s where you can donate via PayPal:

And checks can be mailed to:

Hope for the First Nations
P.O. Box 13075
Springfield, IL 62791

I am heading up to the reservation for powwow on Thursday, Aug. 6, to help with sponsoring the dance and am really excited. Let’s make this year as awesome as we can for our dear friend! Miss her so much.

Thank you in advance!

10 quotes on love and justice from The Justice Conference in Chicago

Photo via The Justice Conference on Facebook.

Photo via The Justice Conference on Facebook.


It’s a word you’ll hear us use a lot at Hope for the First Nations.

It’s right there in our mission statement: “Sharing the love of Christ in culturally relevant ways.”

And it came up a lot at The Justice Conference in Chicago.

After all, as Cornel West told thousands of conference-goers, “Justice and love are not identical, but they are indivisible.”

This past weekend, as our team from Living Life Reformed Church in Firth, Nebraska, traveled to the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota to launch our first two Hope day camps of the summer, several team members from Chicago attended the two-day conference.

The Justice Conference is sponsored by World Relief; hosted in Chicago, Hong Kong and Melbourne; and streamed all over the world. It is one of the largest biblical and social justice conferences in the world, serving the discovery of ideas, celebrating the beauty of justice and fostering a community of people who live justice together, according to its website.

Here are a 10 of quotes on love and justice from speakers at the conference we still are meditating on this week.

Cornel West

  • Learn to love. “That’s it. The rest is not your business.”
  • “Love your way through the darkness.”

Eugene Cho

  • The Bible doesn’t say, “Seek justice, love mercy and … seek justice.” It’s “walk humbly.” We must remain humble. We must remember why it is we seek justice. Because “everybody loves justice until there’s a cost.”
  • “Everything we do is a response to God’s love.”
  • “Let’s do what we can, and let’s do it with love, integrity and with justice in mind. In a way, that reflects God’s glory.”

Bob Goff

  • “Love everybody always.”
  • “We will be known for our opinions, but we will be remembered for our love.”
  • Don’t try to close the deal for Jesus. Just “talk about the stuff you love.”

Ken Wytsma

The opposite of poverty is community. The opposite of injustice is love.

Ann Voskamp

Caring is not a Christian pastime or nicety. “We are here to care like a boss.”

Apply now for our summer trip to Pine Point (and an opening for a lifeguard in Elbow Lake)

Thomas, Terri Sue and Kaya show off their crafts during our 2014 Hope Day Camp in Pine Point.

Thomas, Terri Sue and Kaya show off their crafts during our 2014 Hope Day Camp in Pine Point.

Interested in joining Hope for the First Nations for a week this summer?

We have two opportunities for you!

We’re excited to announce Hope Church in Springfield, Illinois, is organizing our Hope Day Camp in Pine Point this summer. Hope had been a longtime supporter of HFtFN and sent teams in the past to lead day camps and work crews in the community. In fact, Hope Connections Pastor Beth Funk was a teacher at Lutheran High School in Springfield when our organization was a summer mission trip through the school, and she chaperoned several trips (she also started a proud tradition of driving on the rumble strip, which is another story).

The Pine Point trip will be Saturday, July 11, to Saturday, July 18, leaving from and returning the church in Springfield. During the week, we’ll lead five days of Hope Day Camp for students ages 4 to 12 at the Old School. We also are exploring work projects and other opportunities to serve while we are on the reservation. You can see photos of last year’s camp here.

The total cost of the trip is $700.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Hope this summer, and the church has agreed to consider applications from others who are not members. For more information, call Beth at 217-787-1446, extension 214, or 217-652-2954, or email her at bfunk@hope-church.ws.

Download the application here.

Our Elbow Lake trip – organized by Vineyard Christian Church of Evanston, just outside Chicago – also has an opening for a certified lifeguard on its team. The trip is Friday, June 12, to Saturday, June 20, leaving from and returning to the church in Evanston. During the week, we’ll lead five days of Hope Day Camp for students ages 4 and up and host a community dinner.

The team can offer a full scholarship for the cost of the trip if you are certified as a lifeguard.

For more information, contact Vineyard Community Life Pastor Elizabeth Hawes at 217-414-0515 or elizabeth.hawes@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!


… And please pardon our dust as we build a better website to keep you connected with our work on the White Earth Reservation.

Hope for the First Nations has been partnering with the people of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota since 1997. The faces of our team members and friends on the reservation may have changed over the years, but our goal has remained the same: to partner with the community of White Earth and to share the love of Jesus Christ.

Our major project each year is our weeklong, summertime Hope day camps for children ages 4 through 12 in communities across the reservation. The kids get to play games, make crafts, sing songs and learn about Creator. We have snacks and lunch every day and end the week with a community dinner.

We also organize trips throughout the year to visit our friends and offer our hands and resources at powwow, at Christmastime and on other projects, as requested.

And several of our team members have found homes and jobs on or near the reservation, making our vision of a permanent presence on the reservation come closer to reality.

We’ve grown a lot from a team of nine high school students and one teacher leading Vacation Bible School for 18 kids. The only unfortunate part of this growth is that our normal sources of funding no longer are enough to support our work.

Please click here to find out how you can help us as we continue to grow.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Pray for us.

And stay tuned to this space.