Our Family in Washington

Our Family in Washington

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fall 2017 happenings!

Thanksgiving week is upon us, so we wanted to give a Fall 2017 update!

We have had a great season with no health issues and much traveling. We are praising the Lord for health and safety! September 15-October 14 we drove to and attended a pre-field training at Mission Training International in Palmer Lake, CO. This was a precious time of connecting with other missionary families and learning from those who have been on field. 

Zeke's teacher, Ms. Emily

Our people! 

It snowed on Tollie's birthday while we were in Colorado! 

We took a few days after the training to decompress before making the long drive back to Washington. YMCA of the Rockies at Estes Park is so awesome! Most of the activities are included in your stay. This is a super economical place to go as a family. 

When we got back to Washington, the fall ministry events were in full swing! 

Church Carnival (the BYGE coordinated this event:))

Firewood Ministry (delivering to elders in the community)
Pumpkin carving at Kingdom Kids (after school program)

Tollie and Zeke made a one week trip to Mississippi for a wedding early November. We are so happy for this new family that has been formed! Congrats to the Thompsons!

We were laughing and crying all day long! BFF's since first grade!!! 

Zeke spent the majority of the time in MS on some type of tractor, 4 wheeler, or side by side! He was super happy to see his grandparents and spend so much uninterrupted time with them. He grieved severely on the flight back to Washington. Thankfully, we had training at MTI on saying good good-bye's! It was very hard to see him grieve, but I am glad that he loves family so much.

We also got to see four of the children we had at Palmer Home for Children while we were in MS.

We are all settled in to our rental home and waiting for the Lord to provide a place for the long term. Zeke and Tollie have begun the preschool routine again and are enjoying it so much!

Our little man can say five verses and answer the first five questions of the Children's Catechism. We are focusing on kinesthetic learning which is the best fit for him at this age. 

We are thankful for so many things at this stage on field. We pretty much know our way around, where to shop, and have witnessed 6 months worth of ministry events. We are so thankful for the training that we received at MTI and how applicable it is to our daily life. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to transition to life on the Reservation!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

First summer on the Rez!

Our first summer of ministry on the Yakama Reservation is coming to a close. We have blown many bubbles, drawn a few sidewalk chalk pictures, given several piggy back rides, and transitioned to life here in a studio space. One room living has been the way to go during this time. Zeke always knows where we are and this has been key to his security.

Zack has learned so much about roofing and general contracting this summer. Next summer, he will have a very active role in the construction that the work groups and staff complete. We were able to see the Lord's perfect timing in our move one month after we arrived. Due to a family emergency, Uncle Dave, the construction team leader, had to leave for several weeks. Zack coordinated the work during that time. We got a glimpse of one of his roles here. He is excited to learn more this fall and next spring which will enable us to love our neighbors well through sound construction methods.

Photo cred: Davy Granberry

The first step to becoming a school bus driver is complete. Zack got his CDL learners permit last week! The next month will be a time of completing driving hours for training. This license will provide income and benefits that we currently need given our level of support. Zack is glad to have the opportunity to see the kids on a daily basis and he will be another trained driver for the ministry routes. Zeke loves to wave and say goodbye to everyone aboard the church bus!

We will attend COMPASS at Mission Training International from mid September to mid October. This will be a time that we will learn about cultural differences, team dynamics, and personal growth.
All the current SRM staff have attended and we are looking forward to gleaning from others experience from their time on field.

We have a few prayer requests that we are sharing:

1. Housing! It is very hard to find decent and affordable housing on the Reservation. We have applied for a rural development loan and are waiting for approval. We have been looking for a rental home and have an option which we will view later this week! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

2. Schooling! Due to our transition and lack of preschools close by, we decided earlier this year to keep Zeke home for the next two years. Tollie will lead this work using The Homegrown Preschooler's A Year of Playing Skillfully curriculum. Please pray for Zeke and Tollie as they begin the end of August. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

3. Travel and Transition Again! We have gotten settled here in WA, but will leave for CO in a short six weeks. Zeke's transition here has been very hard. He is much better now that things are more familiar. We know that the time at COMPASS will be worth it, but we need prayers for our little man who is going to be confused why we are leaving our new home so quickly. We are anticipating another transitional time when we return back to the Reservation. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

 The below pictures are just a glimpse of summer time here!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Moving to the Rez...

Hi Family and Friends!

We are very happy to report that we have a move date! The first week of May, we will pack up our earthly possessions and begin the long trip across these beautiful states of America!

We are currently funded at 55% per month and have the opportunity for Zack to pursue a part time job in the community. The Lord is so, so, good to us! He has seen fit to provide almost all of the support we need.

Will you please pray for us? There are many endings here that we must process and many beginnings once we get to the Reservation. We are so thankful for the past two years with family, friends, and a small community. That being said, we know that while this will always be our "growing up home", it is not our forever home! We are looking towards the future and all that the Lord has in store for us in ministry to the Yakama Nation.

Please pray for these things specifically:

1. For Zack to get a school bus driver job which will bridge the gap in our support needs and provide more opportunities to connect with the Yakama youth. 
2. A healthy "See you later!" to all our family, friends, and Palmer children who visit us.
3. Safe travels for Zack and Jimmy as they drive cross country and for Zeke, Shelle, and Tollie as they fly cross country.
5. A church couple are graciously letting us stay in their studio upon arrival. Please pray for the Lord to provide more permanent housing by the fall. 

Can you help us? With our current support and the part time job, there is roughly a 5% gap in our monthly needs. We need a few more families and churches to come along side us on a monthly basis!

If so, please email us at graygravelroads@gmail.com and let us know how much you are willing to send each month. You may also give online here:


Please join us in praising our Lord and Savior for the great things He has done!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday

On this Giving Tuesday, we would like to ask you to consider investing in the Kingdom's work with the ministry to the Yakama Nation.

You may give online here: http://www.sacredroadministries.org/www/docs/7/giving.htm

If you prefer to mail a check, please send it to 

Sacred Road Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrah, WA 98933
Memo Line: Nail family

We are currently 40% funded and can go when we are at 100%.

Can you help us?

To learn more about the current staff and our roles once on the Reservation, visit the ministry website here:

For further information, please email us at graygravelroads@gmail.com or call us at 601-398-7500.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Summer 2016 Update

Hello Ministry Partners!

We are happy to provide an update on the status of our support raising to join Sacred Road Ministries in Washington state. To date, we have all of our one time costs covered and are at 30% in donations for our monthly needs. We must have 100% of our first years costs and pledges for our second year before we move.

We are eager to go to Washington and are praying that the Lord provides discernment during the support raising process. We ask that you consider thinking of opportunities when we could share about our future roles in the ministry! We would love to speak to your church, small group, or group of friends!

For those more tech- savvy people, please join us on November 10, 2016, at 8 p.m. central via Zoom. We will be presenting on the ministry and would love to "see" many people there! We will post the log in details here closer to time. 

More about this process.....

Once we are funded the first year, we will attend a four week training session (COMPASS) at Mission Training International in Palmer Lake, Colorado. We are very much looking forward to this time! Others that have attended have spoken of the many benefits and we know first hand that training is always a good idea!


There is a session that begins on February 6, 2017, and guess what??? We WANT to be there! The spring work teams arrive to the Reservation mid March. We are praying towards this timeline, but know that the Lord's timing is perfect.

For those who have already given and are giving on a monthly basis:

We appreciate the investment that you are making in the Kingdom's work!

For those of you who haven't given yet and are wondering: Where will the money go?

We made this pie chart so you can see!

Insurance is the highest expense followed by Taxes, Transportation, and Housing. We are picking up half of the youth ministry budget and are raising to foster two children in our home in the future. 

So, what does 30% mean, exactly? 

That means, that we are 70% away from the amount that will send us to work with the Yakama. 
Can you help us?

This is what we need:

(6)  RED donors at $200 per month
(16) YELLOW donors at $100 per month
(36) BLUE donors at $50 per month
(44) ORANGE donors at  $25 per month

Will you consider partnering with us?

If so, here is how you can help:

Paypal is also available at the website. If you prefer to mail a check, please send to 

Sacred Road Ministries
P.O. Box 400 
Harrah, WA 98933
Memo Line: Nail family

We covet your prayers. To receive our quarterly updates via email, please send us an email at graygravelroads@gmail.com.

 Questions? Call Zack at 601-398-7500 or Tollie at 601-942-9881

Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring 2016 update!

Hello Ministry Partners,

We are excited to share an update with you! We have been raising support for five months now. The Lord has opened many doors for us to speak and to share our future roles with Sacred Road Ministries.

Many of you have already given and we are so thankful. We want to take this time to express our gratitude to you! Your one time, monthly, quarterly or yearly gift is so appreciated.  You will be receiving a contribution statement for tax purposes. 

To date, we have received the funds to cover all of our one time needs! Praise be to the Lord!

We stand amazed at the amount raised already and know that the Lord will provide the remainder according to His timing! 

To date, we have 15% of our monthly support pledged. We must have one year’s worth of support in our account and pledges for our second year before we can actually move. We would LOVE to be moved by November of this year if not before!

We are constantly looking for opportunities to share about Sacred Road Ministries. We are searching out non-traditional ways to raise support! More to come on that front soon……

SRM has opened an online store that we would love to share with you! All of the proceeds of the sales go directly to the Yakama artisan. This is one big step for economic development on the Reservation!

We want to share a few pictures from our time spent on the Reservation. These are from our first trip in June 2011 to Warm Springs, Oregon:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Go west, young man...

Hello Family and Friends!
We have received confirmation and we are going West!!! To the Pacific Northwest, more specifically. We will join Sacred Road Ministries in the Lord's timing. He will use His people to lift us up in prayer and give financially to support the work we will do on the Yakama Indian Reservation in White Swan, WA. 
What will we be doing? Zack will be coordinating short term work groups, helping with the expanding youth group and providing care for Yakama children in our home. Tollie will be taking care of Zeke and Yakama children, working in the after school program and coordinating with the summer interns. We hope to provide residential care in some form to many Yakama children and young adults in the future.
Why are we going? Native American children in the town of White Swan are born into a bleak and seemingly hopeless situation:
  •   75% of the children have some form of disability
  •    the drop-out rate between grades 6 through 12 is 65%
  •    the rate of unemployment is 75% 
  •   70% of teens are functionally homeless
  •    four out of five children are subject to physical or sexual abuse before they reach 14 years of age
  •    all Yakama people are deeply affected by drug and alcohol abuse
  • only 2% of Native Americans claim to be Christian
These are very startling statistics. To see the need first hand is even more affecting. We have seen and heard the need. The teenagers who come to church for youth group and do not know where they will spend the night, the preventable diseases such as infantigo on little ones hands at Kid's Club and barely a speck of food on the floor after gatherings because all the food is consumed. This is life in White Swan. We have seen their reality. Now is the time for us to act. Please prayerfully consider joining our family in this ministry!  

How can you get involved? We are so glad you asked! There are three ways:

Pray: Please keep our family picture nearby and pray for us daily! Specifically that the Lord would give us strength, clarity and dependence on Him!

Give: Checks can be made payable to:  Sacred Road Ministries, PO Box 400, Harrah, WA  98933.  Include “Nail” in the memo line of your check, please.  Gifts can be made online via PayPal or credit card at: http://www.sacredroadministries.com/www/docs/7/giving.htm.  You can set up automatic payment through your bank to send checks to the above address each month. Include “Nail” in the memo line of your check.

Come&See:  Sacred Road hosts short term work groups throughout the year. Skilled laborers are especially needed! Contact Veronica at 509-930-0346 for more information. Once we move to the Reservation, we will be happy to host you!