To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

FROM THE HEART OF YOUR PASTOR OF YOUTH AND FAMILIES...

Posted on Jun 26, 2018 by Brian Seewald

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Revelation 21:3-6

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

It has been six years since God called us to work with Lakota Hope in White Clay, Nebraska, a ministry that serves the people of Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. When we first began ministry there we had a mission in mind: we were going to work hard, build things, plant gardens and be instrumental in the salvations of the Lakota Sioux people. Then the brakes hit hard. Barriers were revealed: alcoholism, homelessness (some 4,000 homes needed), poverty (of the highest in the nation), unemployment near 95%, suicide, lack of trust, and the list goes on. Yet, we saw a glimmer of Hope. His name is Jesus. We realized we couldn’t plant a garden, clean a facility or even have a conversation without Jesus being in the middle (of course, this should be our outlook on anything in life). We had our mind set on “doing” instead of “being”. God began to give us a heart and understanding for our mission to this area: to be present and available to whatever He is doing and needing in the moment. In the last six years, we have planted gardens, done highway clean up, fed the homeless, ministered to the poor, built things, and even had wonderful conversations with the Lakota People, but even more so, we have seen God do some amazing things. Alcohol has been removed from White Clay. Jobs are beginning to be created. Houses are being built. Lives are being transformed.

This year was a year of new things: new leadership, new ministry, new vision, and new hope! God is planting and things are growing. Granted, we only get to be there for a few days out of the year, but as Abram, Lakota Hope Director shared with us: “The work you do here for us in a just a few days goes such a long way. You are investing in a ministry that is here 365 days a year. You are making an eternal impact in your presence, prayers and service.” So, that is what we continued to do this year. And it was amazing! Not only did we complete certain tasks that would have taken them weeks (or even months to accomplish), we were able to connect with students (one skateboarder…amazing…who remembered us), adults and new ministry partners (and their kids) of Lakota Hope, but we had a truly enriched teaching and prayer time each day.  Thank you for your continued prayers and gifts in order for our students to be able to make an impact in the world for Jesus Christ. Stay tuned as we have more possible developments for future ministry at Pine Ridge!

One of the greatest updates we received this year since alcohol was removed from White Clay is that two of the Lakota Sioux men we have sat and talked with many times over the years, whom we never saw sober, have now been through treatment (are now completely sober) and are attending school/have a job…this is amazing!!! God is doing a new thing in Pine Ridge/White Clay and He is continuing to do a new thing with all those who believe! He is making a way in what seems to be an impossible place to live. If God can do it there, He can do it here too! God is the beginning and the end. He is our source of life. He is the Living Water. Where do you need streams of living water to bubble up in your life? What seems impassable (impossible to travel through) right now? Never forget Matthew 19:26, But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 



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