- My Local
- My Reach
- My Self
There are many needs throughout the North Olympic Peninsula. Some communities are dealing with issues related to homelessness, suicide, drug use, and addiction. Youth may feel “stuck” in small communities, needing safe and beneficial options. In 2010, there were 50,498 people (70.7%) stating they had no religion. Some churches struggle to meet the needs of their congregation and the surrounding community due to a lack of workers and resources. There is opportunity to minister to non-English speakers (mostly Hispanic).
Along with InFaith co-worker Leeann Deutsch, June teaches English to adult speakers of other languages in Forks and Sequim, Washington. Group classes and in-home tutoring are offered in person, or via Zoom if student has internet connections. Students are from countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Venezuela, each with his or her own story that may include very hard life experiences. Learning a new language is usually difficult and intimidating, especially when working full time to support a family. Students often feel isolated in a strange country and culture, wondering if their neighbors “see” them. In addition to following Jesus’ example of meeting real needs at a personal level, the free English classes and other practical help individual students request build relationship bridges, allowing the love of Jesus to be experienced and the gospel and biblical truths to be shared with people who are often religious but may lack a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ—or may be save but untaught biblically or lacking discipleship opportunity. Inclusion of Bible verses, stories and songs with English instruction when appropriate (some students prefer to not have Bible content) has resulted in requests for Bibles, audio Scriptures, Bible study, and/or discipleship, and has been a great way to come alongside a small Spanish-speaking church in Forks.
Students’ educational backgrounds vary from no schooling to college degrees. Guatemalan students are typically from an oral culture, speak one (or more) of several tribal languages, and are often learning Spanish, English and literacy skills to survive and thrive in their new community. Reading even a simple Spanish Bible or understanding a Spanish-speaking pastor may be very challenging. These challenges can open doors to share CDs, Bible sticks or other audio / internet Bible, New Testament, or Bible teaching options in a student’s heart language (or closest dialect possible).
June has served as InFaith field staff since 2002.
June grew up in the Forks, Washington area. She trained as a nurse, believing God was calling her as a missionary to Central or South America to meet both physical and spiritual needs. After nurse’s training and Bible school, God redirected June’s life to service in a local church as a youth leader.
After nine years, June felt God calling her back to her hometown of Forks, where she has since served as a missionary to people from Central
America. “Forks had very few Hispanic families when I first left home,” June writes. “Who would have dreamed that in twenty years I would return as a missionary to the Spanish-speaking community?” And now, God has expanded that ministry to include Hispanics in Sequim, WA as well.
This past year God directed June to move to new house and open her home (along with co-worker Leeann Deutsch) to another single lady with an unusual, terminal disease that can make it difficult to live in a community care setting. While this has been very challenging, it is clearly God’s directing, and has opened doors to serve and share with her new roommate spiritually, as well as minister to caregivers and others in home on daily basis.