SAULT SAINTE MARIE, MI – Bill Haas and his wife, Cindy were the featured speakers at this years’ annual Michigan WMU Retreat at Bambi Lake. More than one hundred women came to hear what God is doing among Native American people in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Sault Sainte Marie has been a historic Native American gateway and gathering place for centuries. Situated on the United States side of the U.S. and Canadian border, it is home to the largest Native American tribe in the state of Michigan. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa has over 40,000 members spread out across Michigan. The Haas are looking at an opportunity to start a new church in Watersmeet in the western U.P. This is near where they live, and they say the Lac Vieux Desert Reservation has great need.
Haas says, “I have been praying for this reservation near where we live. You can only imagine how our hearts were thrilled when we heard about the Michigan WMU ladies who decided to begin praying for every Native American reservation and community in the state.” He adds that they are seeing God move among Native people. A man they had lost touch with has resurfaced and is very interested in having a Baptist church started in Watersmeet. Three days before they heard from this man, a pastor in Ironwood told them about a Chippewa woman who is interested in a church, too.
Watersmeet is home to the Lac Vieux Desert Reservation. Like many in Michigan and even in Wisconsin, it is an Ojibwe (Chippewa) reservation. The Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Ottawa are part of a group called the Anishinaabe. The Anishinaabe are only 5% evangelized across the United States and Canada. Just north of the reservation is Bond Falls.
Haas describes the area, “It is a beautiful place of mighty rushing water and yet is peaceful as well. It reminds me of the power of God and the peace of God simultaneously. The Gospel that we preach is both a powerful message and a peaceful message of hope to all who receive the Savior. Even the name, “Bond” Falls, brings to my mind the bond that you and I have as we agree together to take the message of hope through Jesus Christ to our Native American people.”
Haas is inviting anyone interested to contact them for ways to be a part of their team of partners.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Haas, Church Planter/Missionary at Grace Fellowship of Sault Sainte Marie, in Northern Michigan. Working among Potawatomi, Native Americans.