Thursday, July 31, 2008

His Grace is Sufficient

We've been back from Cherokee since last Saturday. I'm still working on a presentation for it. I'll post it when its finished.

We've had a very busy week. VBS at our church started on Monday. We're using the same VBS our mission team taught in Cherokee.

This week my friend, Donna and I are presented Missionary stories. Each day we introduce the students to a new missionary. The kids are making lapbooks and add new inforamtion each day.

I taught about Tammy Jackson, our Cherokee native missionary. I even put together a Charlotte Mason styled lesson plan.

Missionary Stories

Tammy Jackson, Native Missionary
Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation

Object: 1. To introduce children to a living missionary
2. To give them an understanding of why the Cherokee need evangelism and discipleship.
3. To create interest in praying for the needs of the ministry
4. Learn a little of the Cherokee language, singing Amazing Grace in their language.

Materials: Lapbooks, Glue, Markers, Cherokee Flag, Original Cherokee Territory Map, Current Qualla Boundary Map, Tammy Jackson’s picture (make 1 large copy, 55 small copies), picture of Cherokee Flag (55 copies), Amazing Grace in Cherokee song sheet (55 copies)


Step 1. Display Cherokee Flag. Ask children if they know who the Cherokee are where they are from.

Step 2. Show the picture of the Cherokee Territory before the Indian Removal Act.
Originally, Cherokee land encompassed 140,000 square miles throughout what would now be part of eight southern states.

Step 3. Tell Children that Missionaries first brought the Gospel to the Cherokee around 1800.

Step 4. Tell children briefly how/why the Cherokee were removed and to where. Explain Cherokee hesitation to trust gov’t.
“by 1820s and after nearly 200 years of broken treaties, the Cherokee empire was reduced to a small territory. Andrew Jackson began to insist that all southeastern Indians be moved west of the Mississippi. The federal government no longer needed the Cherokees as strategic allies against the French and British. Land speculators wanted Cherokee land to sell for cotton plantations and for the gold that was discovered in Georgia. Although the Cherokees resisted removal through their bilingual newspaper and through legal means, taking their case all the way the Supreme Court, Jackson’s policy prevailed. In 1838, events culminated in the tragic Trail of Tears, the forced removal of the Cherokees in the East to Oklahoma. One quarter to half of the 16,000 Cherokees who began the long march died of exposure, disease, and the shock of separation from their home.”

Step 4. Show picture of current EBCI reservation.
A few Cherokees refused to move and hid among the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains, avoiding the army and authorities. Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal members are direct descendents of those who avoided the Cherokees’ forced removal to Oklahoma. These Cherokees were allowed to claim some of their lands in western North Carolina in the 1870's. In 1889, a 56,000 acre sect of land was chartered and is now called the Qualla Boundary.
The Qualla Boundary is the current home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). The 56,000-acre area is located in western North Carolina adjacent to the southern end of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The main part of the Boundary lies in eastern Swain County and northern Jackson County, but there are many smaller non-contiguous sections to the southwest in Cherokee County and Graham County. A very small part of the Qualla Boundary extends eastward into Haywood County. There are more than 13,300 enrolled members of EBCI and approximately 60% live on the Qualla Boundary. The total land area of these parts is 213.934 km² (82.600 sq mi), with a
2000 census resident population of 8,092 persons.

Step 5. Introduce Tammy Jackson. Give brief biography of her life. Pass her picture around. Tammy Jackson grew up in Cherokee and is an enrolled member of the EBCI. At age 12, her grandmother urged her to “go down to the altar”, and make an insincere profession of faith. But Tammy, despite fear of disapproval from her grandmother chose not to go at that time. Two years later, after feeling like the Lord was truly calling her, she finally “went down front,” where she made a sincere profession of faith and received Christ. Unfortunately, due to lack of discipleship, Tammy did not grow in her faith and began to make wrong choices. But, the Lord has been faithful to complete the good work He began in her and Tammy was introduced to the Doctrines of Grace. She began to grow and felt like the Lord was calling her to disciple and teach other Cherokee women the Word of God. Tammy currently serves as a missionary to the Native American people of Cherokee, NC. She also serves the needs of the Lummi, Colville, Omaha, Creek of Alberta, and Hobbema of Edmonton, Canada, through Mission To The World.

Step 6. Tell of Tammy’s desire to minister and disciple the needs of the Cherokee, her native people.
Having seen in her own life how the truth of God’s word can transform, Tammy’s focus has been and continues to be the discipleship of Cherokee women in Christ through various Bible Studies and ministry opportunities. She asks the we pray for hearts to be opened and the Word to reach out across the Cherokee Reservation.

Step 7. Tell of Tammy’s health issues and her prayer requests for the ministry.
For many years, Tammy has been serving the Native peoples. This year, she was diagnosed with lupus. Due to this, she has had to cut back on her ministry roles. But again, the Lord has been faithful and He has risen up fellow Christians to take over where she has had to leave off. Her specific prayer needs:

Pray for me as I learn to live with lupus and make the necessary adjustments to my life, and that it will go quickly into remission. Pray as I seek God on what His new ministry for me will be and how to approach it. Pray for a hunger for truth among the Cherokee and a desire to know God.

Pray as we continue to recruit additional members for our Cherokee missionary team. We still need a family or couple that has a background in discipleship, working cross culturally and outdoor adventure programs or at least some experience with such programs.
Pray for Ronny and Patricia Starling whom served there this summer and assisted Tammy with the development of follow-up programs. Pray for the Starlings further ministry here and raising their support.

Pray for the MTW staff, teams and their leaders. Also the Cherokee who will assist or just be apart of the ministry.

Pray for God to continue moving on the hearts of the Cherokee. That He would open more doors and grant more opportunities for MTW to take the Gospel further in the relationships we have formed with the Cherokee people.

Pray for the eight Native American and First Nations Tribes MTW will send short-term teams to again this summer and the new work we will begin among tribes in Washington State.
Living Faith recently returned from a mission trip to Cherokee. We did this same VBS with the children at a Summer Camp and visited with the elderly at the Tsali Care Center. Pastor Wadhams also went to Washington State on the Lumni Reservation preaching God’s word!

Step 8. Pass out song and sing Amazing Grace in Cherokee.

Step 9. Have children add Tammy Jackson and her location to the lapbook.

Step 10. Give children picture of Tammy and Cherokee flag for lapbooks. Let them take home the music for Amazing Grace.

Tonight, I'm teaching about John and Betty Scott Stam.

The year 1934. Americans John and Betty Stam were serving as missionaries in China. One morning Betty was bathing her three-month-old daughter Helen Priscilla Stam when Tsingteh's city magistrate appeared. Communist forces were near, he warned, and urged the Stams to flee.
So John Stam went out to investigate the situation for himself. He received conflicting reports. Taking no chances, he arranged for Betty and the baby to be escorted away to safety if need be. But before the Stams could make their break, the Communists were inside the city. By little-known paths, they had streamed over the mountains behind government troops. Now gun shots sounded in the streets as looting began. The enemy beat on the Stams' own gate.
A faithful cook and maid at the mission station had stayed behind. The Stams knelt with them in prayer. But the invaders were pounding at the door. John opened it and spoke courteously to the four leaders who entered, asking them if they were hungry. Betty brought them tea and cakes. The courtesy meant nothing. They demanded all the money the Stams had, and John handed it over. As the men bound him, he pleaded for the safety of his wife and child. The Communists left Betty and Helen behind as they led John off to their headquarters.
Before long, they reappeared, demanding mother and child. The maid and cook pleaded to be allowed to accompany Betty.
"No," barked the captors, and threatened to shoot.
"It is better for you to stay here," Betty whispered. "If anything happens to us, look after the baby."
When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice, and doing lots for Him, when really we are only letting go some little, bitsie trinkets we have been grabbing, and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of His treasures. --Betty Stam
Betty was led to her husband's side. Little Helen needed some things and John was allowed to return home under guard to fetch them. But everything had been stolen. That night John was allowed to write a letter to mission authorities. "My wife, baby and myself are today in the hands of the Communists in the city of Tsingteh. Their demand is twenty thousand dollars for our release. . . . We were too late. The Lord bless and guide you. As for us, may God be glorified, whether by life or by death."
Prisoners in the local jail were released to make room for the Stams. Frightened by rifle fire, the baby cried out. One of the Reds said, "Let's kill the baby. It is in our way." A bystander asked, "Why kill her? What harm has she done?"
"Are you a Christian?" shouted one of the guards.
The man said he was not; he was one of the prisoners just released.
"Will you die for this foreign baby?" they asked. As Betty hugged Helen to her chest, the man was hacked to pieces before her eyes.
Terror in the StreetsThe next morning their captors led the Stams toward Miaosheo, twelve miles distant. John carried little Helen, but Betty, who was not physically strong, owing to a youthful bout with inflammatory rheumatitis was allowed to ride a horse part of the way. Terror reigned in the streets of Miaosheo. Under guard, the foreign family was hustled into the postmaster's shop.
"Where are you going?" asked the postmaster, who recognized them from their previous visits to his town. "We do not know where they are going, but we are going to heaven," answered John. He left a letter with the postmaster. "I tried to persuade them to let my wife and baby go back from Tsingteh with a letter to you, but they would not let her. . . ."That night the three were held in the house of a wealthy man who had fled. They were guarded by soldiers. John was tied to a post all that cold night, but Betty was allowed enough freedom to tend the baby. As it turned out, she did more than that.
ExecutionThe next morning the young couple were led through town without the baby. Their hands were tightly bound, and they were stripped of their outer garments as if they were common criminals. John walked barefoot. He had given his socks to Betty. The soldiers jeered and called the town’s folk to come see the execution. The terrified people obeyed. On the way to the execution, a medicine-seller, considered a lukewarm Christian at best, stepped from the crowd and pleaded for the lives of the two foreigners. The Reds angrily ordered him back. The man would not be stilled. His house was searched, a Bible and hymnbook found, and he, too was dragged away to die as a hated Christian. John pleaded for the man’s life. The Red leader sharply ordered him to kneel. As John was speaking softly, the Red leader swung his sword through the missionary’s throat so that his head was severed from his body. Betty did not scream. She quivered and fell bound beside her husband’s body. As she knelt there, the same sword ended her life with a single blow. Although John and Betty's earthly lives were ended, they were placed forever in the glorious presence of their Lord.
BettyBetty Scott was born in the United States but reared in China as the daughter of missionaries. She came to the United States and attended Wilson College in Pennsylvania. Betty prepared to follow in her parents’ footsteps and work in China or wherever else the Lord directed her. But China it proved to be. At a prayer meeting for China, she met John Stam and a friendship developed that ripened into love. Painfully they recognized that marriage was not yet possible. “The China Inland Mission has appealed for men, single men, to work in sections where it would be impossible to take a woman until more settled work has commenced,” wrote John. He committed the matter to the Lord, whose work, he felt, must come before any human affection. At any rate, Betty would be leaving for China before him, to work in an entirely different region, and so they must be separated anyhow. As a matter of fact, John had not yet even been accepted by the China Inland Mission whereas Betty had. They parted after a long tender day, sharing their faith, picnicking, talking, and praying.
Betty sailed while John continued his studies. On July 1, 1932, John, too, was accepted for service in China. Now at least he could head toward the same continent as Betty. He sailed for Shanghai.Meanwhile, Betty found her plans thwarted. A senior missionary had been captured by the Communists in the region where she was to have worked. The mission directors decided to keep her in a temporary station, and later ill-health brought her to Shanghai. Thus without any choice on her part, she was in Shanghai when John landed in China. Immediately they became engaged and a year later were married, long before they expected it. In October, 1934 Helen Priscilla was born to them. What would become of her now that her parents John and Betty were dead?
Pastor Lo
In the HillsFor two days, local Christians huddled in hiding in the hills around Miaosheo. Among them was a Chinese evangelist named Mr. Lo. Through informants, he learned that the Communists had captured two foreigners. At first he did not realize that these were John and Betty Stam, with whom he had worked, but as he received more details, he put two and two together. As soon as government troops entered the valley and it was safe to venture forth, Mr. Lo hurried to town. His questions met with silence. Everyone was fearful that spies might report anyone who said too much.
An old woman whispered to Pastor Lo that there was a baby left behind. She nodded in the direction of the house where John and Betty had been chained their last night on earth. Pastor Lo hurried to the site and found room after room trashed by the bandits. Then he heard a muffled cry. Tucked by her mother in a little sleeping bag, Helen was warm and alive, although hungry after her two day fast.
The kindly pastor took the child in his arms and carried her to his wife. With the help of a local Christian family, he wrapped the bodies that still lay upon the hillside and placed them into coffins. To the crowd that gathered he explained that the missionaries had only come to tell them how they might find forgiveness of sin in Christ. Leaving others to bury the dead, he hurried home. Somehow Helen had to be gotten to safety.Pastor Lo's own son, a boy of four, was desperately ill -- semi-conscious after days of exposure. Pastor Lo had to find a way to carry the children a hundred miles through mountains infested by bandits and Communists. Brave men were found willing to help bear the children to safety, but there was no money to pay them for their efforts. Lo had been robbed of everything he had.
From Beyond the GraveBut from beyond the grave, Betty provided. Tucked in Helen's sleeping bag were a change of clothes and some diapers. Pinned between these articles of clothing were two five dollar bills. It made the difference. Placing the children in rice baskets slung from the two ends of a bamboo pole, the group departed quietly, taking turns carrying the precious cargo over their shoulders. Mrs. Lo was able to find Chinese mothers along the way to nurse Helen. On foot, they came safely through their perils. Lo's own boy recovered consciousness suddenly and sat up, singing a hymn.
Eight days after the Stams fell into Communist hands, another missionary in a nearby city heard a rap at his door. He opened it and a Chinese woman, stained with travel, entered the house, bearing a bundle in her arms. "This is all we have left," she said brokenly.
The missionary took the bundle and turned back the blanket to uncover the sleeping face of Helen Priscilla Stam. Many kind hands had labored to preserve the infant girl, but none kinder than Betty who had spared no effort for her baby even as she herself faced degradation and death.
John and Betty spent but a few years in China before they were martyred, but their deaths stirred a revival for missions. Money poured in to missions agencies and a new generation of young people dedicated their lives to overseas service. Through their faith and dedication, John's last written wish was honored, and God was indeed glorified in life and in death.

What Happened to Helen?Kathleen White has written an excellent and very readable biography John and Betty Stam, available from Bethany House Publishers (1988). She reports that Betty's alma mater, Wilson College in Pennsylvania, took over baby Helen's support and covered the costs of her college education. She added: "Helen is living in this country (USA) with her husband and family but does not wish her identity and whereabouts to be made known."

All the missionaries we've learned about are so inspring.

Tomorrow we leave at the crack of dawn to attend my flower girl's wedding in PA. She was only 7 when we got married! My, how time flies....

Thank God for His grace that keeps us going.....



  1. I have a dear friend here in Charlotte who is related to the Stams. Also here's a site for her
    cousin on Worship by Chip Stam:


  2. Thanks, Bonnie. I have read about the Stams several times. Each time their story strikes me. I even teared up during my lesson at VBS! Thanks for the link. I'll definitley check it out.