Pine Ridge - Season 1, Episode 11
Good news is a blessing to participant, hearer, and sharer alike. So it is with great joy that I bring you this report.
God Did It!
Many of you have been praying that Father would make a way for us to get the abandoned church building in Kyle. He did more than what we could have asked or thought.
As you may recall, we asked for the building in July, only to have the president of the district (Medicine Root is a large area encompassing Kyle, Potato Creek, and Sharps Corner) turn it down. She said she wanted to see more of the community represented, and expressed general distrust is us as we were a Christian church.
There was no meeting at all in August, as it kept getting cancelled because of funerals or other reasons.
Finally, the district had a meeting this last Tuesday. There were more people in attendance than usual, including thirteen from our assembly. The president of the district, Mona, started the meeting by asking me to pray! This is a very traditional area, and I was quite shocked by this request. But when I rose to my feet, the people rose as well. I then called on God to reveal His glory, manifest His love, and bless the people and families represented. I also asked for His will to be done, and prayed for unity in Jesus Name.
It was a long meeting, and we were the last item on the agenda. Mona asked me to state how we intended to use the building. Robin, a member of the council and also our church, spoke next. Then Anthony, an elder who goes to our fellowship and whom I met while ministering in jail, spoke about who is coming to our fellowship. Then two elders who don’t even go to our fellowship testified to good things they have seen and heard.
Finally, one traditional woman spoke up and raised cautions about us. It was Ray who raised his hand to respond (the man whose wedding I officiated back in June). The people all recognized him because his mother is a native of Kyle and well known as a traditional woman. He spoke with gentleness and respect, but also countered what the woman had said — going on to state boldly that he attended our assembly. He spoke of his passion to see youth and children touched. Then Norma spoke, and that was it.
The president then asked for a vote. There were no “nays”! We were approved overwhelmingly. Even an Oglala police officer voted for us.
What happened next was deeply significant.
The president, Mona, then turned to me and said, “We welcome you to our district!”
I felt something happen in the spiritual realm. It took me back to Africa, where I served for a number of years in Guinea Bissau. When God gave us favor with the mayor of Mansoa, the Muslim Governor of the region said the same thing to us. We then saw an explosion of favor and open doors to share Christ throughout the region.
Robin and Norma were amazed and rejoicing! I wonder if this has ever happened? A district leadership welcoming a church in their midst and community!? One of the elders even said she wants to come visit us. To God be the glory!
The other churches usually come in more secretively, or they are “treaty” churches from the late 1800’s where the Lakota had no say in it. The latter (Presbyterian Episcopalian, and Catholic) are dying and nearly gone.
They asked me to come back the next day and collect the key to the building. I am to meet with the district leadership monthly to assess how things are going, and to determine if we need more use of the building. But at this time they are paying the water and electricity for us!
The building is in need of work, but in God’s providence we have a team coming from Winchester, Virginia in early October. In the past, they have done an incredible job of construction and renovation in Pine Ridge.
I am amazed at God’s mercy. The church building has been abandoned for years, and the Pastor who was asked to leave had been quite stubborn in his unwillingness to pay any small fee for the use of the land (which was agreed upon before). His comment upon departure was, “I hate you people.” The fact they would now trust us is nothing short of a miracle. But God is raising up a witness, and it will testify in truth and in love.
We now have well over 100 men coming to Oglala for the Gathering, and have heard several from Rosebud Reservation (next door to Pine Ridge) are also looking to come. We are less than a week a way from the meeting! Please pray for safe travels, and protection over families. The warfare has been real and raw, but we are excited to see what Father is going to do for the glory of His Son’s Name!
We will be using one of the Sentinel Group videos, “Approaching Fire”, to mobilize and stir the men who are coming to Oglala. This will set the tone for Saturday morning and what the Father is speaking. (We showed this in the jail at Pine Ridge and it was well received.)
We are expecting something explosive to happen this coming weekend. More than 25 men have been fasting for a month, and many others praying for God’s glory to be revealed.
Men’s Discipleship Meeting Starts
Monday night we started our Lakota men’s discipleship time at Ted Standing Soldier’s trailer. We are starting in 1 Timothy, and had eight men show up for the first meeting. Praise the Lord!
Tomorrow we are looking to have two or three baptisms — including Ray and Felicia (the ones that were married). This is huge, as Ray’s family is very traditional.
Credit: Wade Kate