VOB News July 2019 “9 Reservations Journey Report”

WOW! I’m sitting here pondering what to tell you about our 9 reservation prayer journey, and I’m at a loss as to where to start!  So I’ll start with the details:

• 9 different reservations-all in South Dakota.

• 8 different hotels.

• 6 team members from VOB.

• Over 25 team members, including folks from China, Japan, and Taiwan.

• Numerous Native American nations represented.

• 2000 miles driven in total, in Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Every day, we were somewhere different. On two of the days, we were on 2 different reservations in a single day.  Needless to say, we did lots of driving!  Prior to the trip, we had heard about all the flooding in South Dakota, and we sure saw evidence of it all over the state (really sad, actually-the people of Nebraska are still dealing with the flooding, and the folks in this part of our country need our prayers).  We heard about a tornado that landed and rotated clockwise, which is extremely rare in the northern hemisphere, just before our journey began. This tornado occurred near our last 2 stops. Towards the end of the journey, a tornado landed at our first stop in Pine Ridge, and hovered over the same area for a full 30 minutes!  Signs and wonders from Heaven? You decide!

At each reservation, our leaders gifted our local hosts, to begin the evening. Then hours of prayer and worship were poured out. I’ve never seen a team work together the way this team did. Even though we were from all over the country, and didn’t know each other before we started, GOD brought everyone together in such a way that we really worked like family. Each person did their part to push forward worship and prayer on each reservation. The hosts at each place, were super blessed,  refreshed, and encouraged.

The governor of South Dakota, who is a strong Christian, sent along a letter to be read at each stop on the journey, with her thanks and blessings on our efforts to bring healing prayer, salvation and unity to the “Seven Council Fires” Reservations (Seven Council Fires, is the english translation of what the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people call themselves). On our second to last stop, 2 state house representatives from South Dakota, joined our gathering, receiving protocol gifts from team members, as well as prayer and many encouraging words to continue fighting the good fight in the state house of legislation. Unbeknownst to ANY of us beforehand, the governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, and her husband showed up at our last gathering on Flandreau reservation!! She stood with our leaders, thanking all of us for taking a stand for healing between the races and people of South Dakota, healing and progress for the Native American people of the state, salvation, and encouragement for the tribal leaders and people.

Wayne and I were able to personally thank Kristi and her husband, and give a gift from our work in Mexico. Governor Noem asked us to pray for a meeting that was taking place the next day. She had invited the leaders on all 9 reservations to meet with her at the capitol, to discuss state-tribal issues.  Often, she told us, they choose not to come when invited. Later in the week, we found out that 7 of the 9 reservations were represented at this meeting!!! This is a HUGE step forward in progress with tribal leaders.  We know this was a result of the hours of worship and prayer poured out before the Lord every day. 

Each day, each reservation, every gathering, was different from the last. We never really knew what to expect!  The temperature got hotter each day, and loading equipment in and out daily, required a lot of work, and dedication. Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Yankton, Sisseton, Flandreau…..churches, community centers, tribal halls, casino conference rooms, outdoor parks….we met all over the place!!  Our 6 VOB team members, all crammed into a Dodge Caravan mini-van, with all of our suitcases, bags, musical instruments, water, food, etc, were quite a sight!  We looked like a clown car, piling out of the vehicle every day at the hotels, and this was quite entertaining for any onlookers!! Everyone kept a great sense of humor, which was an answer to prayer.  Truly, this was all a real labor of love.

My overall takeaway? That’s a hard one! I guess I have to say that I am completely, utterly, profoundly stunned, at the grace of GOD, and the way He orchestrated every part of this journey. Over and over and over again, I found myself shaking my head with overwhelming thanksgiving, that I got to be a part of this. Seeing people giving their life to the Lord; seeing people who feel otherwise forgotten, so happy and blessed, and laughing with joy;  seeing brothers and sisters in the Lord working together in such oneness….I truly stand amazed at the goodness of the Lord.  Wayne and I pray that you will feel GOD’s pleasure and joy at the part you played on this journey, praying, supporting, encouraging along the way.  We cannot thank HIM enough, and we cannot thank you enough! GOD bless you dear friends.

PS: please continue to lift us up in prayer. We have had quite a bumpy ‘re-entry’ back into day to day life, including various forms of warfare going on around our household as well as many of those on the team. We also would ask you to water the seeds planted in South Dakota, in prayer, that new life would come in Jesus’ Name. Lastly, we ask you to pray for the relationships that were created on this journey, because we believe there is so much more to come….Love and thanks-Carol and Wayne

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]