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]