VOB News June 2018 “South Dakota bound”

We need your prayers!!!  Recently, VOB was invited to bring a worship team to Pine Ridge reservation, in South Dakota, to lead worship and prayer at a series of camp meetings. As we accepted the invitation, the organizers decided they also wanted to add different sessions of outdoor worship on the land, as well as a downtown outreach for the residents of Pine Ridge! I had literally been praying for such an opportunity, right before I received the invitation!

I’d like to share a couple of thoughts regarding Pine Ridge: If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Bury my heart at Wounded Knee”, the infamous ‘Wounded Knee’ massacre, occurred here in 1890, essentially ending the major wars between the US government, and the Native American people. The land was taken from the Lakota (as in so many other instances), and the people were shuttled onto reservations, which they were rarely allowed to leave, causing starvation and dependence on the government for provision (something they had never needed). Pine Ridge is home to the Oglala Lakota people, of the Great Plains, and is the 7th largest reservation in the country, with a population between 18,000 and 19,000 people.  Many people consider Pine Ridge to be ground zero for the issues facing Native America. The poverty rate is extremely high on Pine Ridge, with an estimate of 85% of the people being unemployed. The school drop out rate is 70%, and there is only an estimated 28% of people having attained a high school or GED diploma. The Oglala tribe, says that infant mortality among the people is 300% higher than the US average, and the teen suicide rate on the reservation is 150% higher than the US rate.  I was stunned to find that the life expectancy for men on the reservation is 47 years old, and for women, 55.  Two of the 5 poorest counties in the USA, are located on Pine Ridge Reservation.

Yet, there is more going on at Pine Ridge, than just ‘statistics’.  Among the people, are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, men and women, who desperately want to see salvation and healing come to their people.  They want to see the calling of GOD restored to the Lakota, and to see healing come to communities, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Many have gone to lend a hand on the reservation. Believers have been standing strong for decades, and inroads to salvation are coming. 

We feel deeply privileged and honored to be able to partner with our brothers and sisters in the Lord on Pine Ridge, to come together and worship GOD, praying and interceding ‘onsight’, that the land and Lakota nation might be changed for the glory of the Lord. We can’t wait to go!!! Please join us in prayer, as we prepare for the journey, July 11-15. Your prayer support for our families, and the trip, will be greatly needed.  We will need to make a long drive from the Denver airport, to the reservation. As well, we are in need of raising support to send the team, with airfare, hotel and car rental expenses.  So if you’d be interested in giving towards the trip, you can give on our donate tab . 

As you know, our VOB mandate, is to serve those in need ‘among the nations’ with worship, and compassion.  Would you support us, as we go to South Dakota? We need YOU!   As the Lord continues to open doors to partner with First Nations in North America, all we can say is “Thank You Lord….and all for Your glory”!!!!    Blessings, Wayne & Carol 

[Above stats from re-member.org]

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VOB News May 2018 “2nd chances”

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie 18, Jasmine 17 and Fernando 16, in the photos above show how long we have known them. You will remember this family, as we have shared about them over the years. We first met when they would come to our Tuesday night outreach. Soon after we met, their older sister became ill and suddenly died. Our mercy medical fund, “Karen Fund”, is named after her. Three years ago this month, their father Carlos was killed in a robbery at his work place. Yet another heavy blow to the family. With your help, VOB has since supported the family monthly, to make up the sudden loss of their father’s income.

Our main goal was to keep the boys in school, as the oldest was considering going to work full time. Unfortunately, both boys dropped out of school recently. Charlie just became uninterested, and Fernando got in trouble, fighting a lot. Charlie recently has got into some trouble. We are hoping this will help him get back on track. These are common problems with young men in Tijuana, as they grow bored, lacking encouragement to rise above their circumstances. With their dad gone, that became all the more difficult. I see them every week, and try to encourage them to make better choices. They know I love them, and they respond respectfully, but still lack initiative. I hope to get them to reconsider school. Please pray for them. We love them dearly!  Their sister, Jasmine, also was greatly impacted by the loss of her father. But  inspired by the tragedy, she desires to be a criminologist. She graduates high school in July, and plans to go on to college for a degree. She needs our help, and we surely plan to give it. Would you help us sponsor her each month?  We know roughly, how much money it will take every month, and it’s not as much as one might think.

Antonio is a success story who we prayed for, and one who gives us hope for Carlos and Fernando!  A few years ago, Antonio did not make the lottery to continue public school. We sponsored him each month, to attend private school. He lost interest and, against advice, dropped out, to go to work. He said he might return one day. Three years later, at age 19, he has returned to high school, not only paying for it himself, but will be graduating next month!

Yay God!

 

This months highlight, was officiating our nieces wedding! What a blessing to be with our family, celebrating such a special occasion. Leading the ceremony was one of my greatest honors. Brooklyn and Corey, may you be blessed with many years together, as you continue your own family roots in the Lord!