- 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).
After seeing the need in her community, June began serving youth, women, and Hispanic families through a number of ministries throughout the North Olympic Peninsula.
“But what about my sin?” The young mother asked with intensity. A faithful church attendee familiar with stories about Jesus, she was obviously burdened and seeking answers not yet found in her spiritual journey. "But what about my sin?” This question still rings in June’s ears, used by God at the beginning of her ministry with InFaith to reveal heart hunger and need in her own back yard.
Along with InFaith co-worker Leeann Deutsch, June teaches English as Second Language (ESL) classes in Forks and Sequim, Washington to adult Spanish and tribal language speakers from countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, and Venezuela. Learning a new language is often difficult and intimidating, especially when working full time to support a family. Students often feel isolated in a strange country and culture. In addition to following Jesus’ example of meeting real needs at a personal level, the free ESL classes and in-home tutoring build relationship bridges, allowing the love of Jesus to be experienced and the gospel and biblical truths shared with people who are often religious but may lack a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ—or may be saved but mostly untaught or lacking discipleship opportunity. Including Bible verses, stories, and songs with ESL instruction—when appropriate—has resulted in students requesting Bibles, 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 an oral culture, speak a tribal language, and are often learning Spanish, English, and literacy skills to survive and thrive in their community. Reading even a simple Spanish Bible or understanding a Spanish-speaking pastor may be very challenging. This can open doors to share CDs and Bible Sticks with the New Testament in their 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.