Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Why Lakota

The Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge South Dakota children and their families are: ______________________. How would you finish that sentence? Would you say they are unworthy of our time and resources? Would you say they should be left to fiend for themselves. Would you say they are simply making poor choices?

Like so many other people groups throughout history, their ancestors were treated with extreme brutality for many decades and after they were nearly annihilated, they were forced onto a parcel of land in a country they had made their home for thousands of years and were forced to become dependent on government assistance.

Once they were a proud, prosperous, peaceful, people who enjoyed a simple, but structured tribal life. They hunted, farmed, loved, laughed, played games and battled, but they thrived. Many historians agree there were approximately 15 million Native Americans in the continental United States by the early 17th century. Within 200 years, only 200,000 remained.

Their freedom was taken away. They lost hope. Their spirit was broken. They were pitied and treated without respect, but they thrived.

This year was the Lakota Outreach’s eighth, annual week long mission trip to interact with people in the Oglala area. Many Oglala Lakota children, men and women have become our friends. We have come to love and respect them. We have worked with them, laughed and played games with them and our hope is that we can continue to build relationships with them; two way relationships that benefit us as well as them.
God has touched our hearts and we have responded. The love of Jesus has been driven deeper within us because of our allowing Him to work within us. His grace and mercy has deepened our faith. Our faith has grown and our Christ like joy is more complete. We praise God for the opportunity He has given us.

Oglala Lakota hearts and minds have changed also. The Oglala Re*Creation and Worship Center (ORWC) has become the community center for many Christian activities, thanks to the pastor and his staff. The year around, on site staff at the Center provides spiritual recreational activities for the youth, feeds, comforts, teaches and provides a safe environment when required, as well as a place to worship. Many area youth have accepted Christ of late and recently a local father preached the Sunday sermon. A difference is being made. That’s Why Lakota.

We continue to seek God’s will and pray that He will continue to bless the work that has been done in the Oglala area as His kingdom is shaped.

The foundation, exterior walls, and roof of the gymnasium and bathroom/shower building addition to the ORWC was completed this year with hopes to put on the exterior siding and finish the interior in the next two years.

Please consider providing financial assistance, your labor and/or as always your prayers so we may continue the good work that God has begun in the Oglala area. Please consider contributing through the voucher program and/or monthly contributions. Any and all amounts of contributions are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks to all you supporters and thanks be to God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

LAKOTA OUTREACH MISSION STATEMENT

To prayerfully seek God's will and actively demonstrate our long-term commitment to the Lakota children and their families.

To build loving relationships through the spirit of generosity, acts of service and family support.

To develop disciples by openly sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas

"You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to ‘keep’ it. . . in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out—physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making; much less to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house."
- C.S. Lewis