Many of you were praying for us last week as we traveled out to South Dakota to minister on the Cheyenne River Reservation alongside brothers and sisters from Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Dakota. Last year a missionary couple (Jed and Sally) from La Plant, SD, had invited us to sing at a Native family camp that they were helping run, and this year we were excited to return to work with the same group of believers, only this time at the church where Jed and Sally work.To get here we had to cross the Missouri River. The rolling hills surrounding it are beautiful anyway, but the golden evening sunlight was splashing on the hills and it was a sight to behold.Blue Baptist Church from OK was holding Vacation Bible School in the afternoons and revival meetings in the evenings. We arrived Monday night in time to join their first meeting. It was so exciting to see familiar faces again! Even though we walked in late, they made us feel right at home.That first night Brother Larry (above middle) had each person from the Oklahoma church stand up and say their name and why they love Jesus. Some of the responses were: “I love Jesus because He loved me first”; “I love Jesus because He saved me”; “I love Jesus because He resurrected”; and from a five-year-old, “I love Jesus because He makes me happy.”
In the mornings after breakfast there was a time of singing in the church and then John Morris would give a message from the Word and an update on the work at Haskell Indian Nations University where he is serving the Lord.
Following the morning meeting was lunch…the cooks from Blue Baptist made some amazing meals. At 2:00 VBS (or “classes”–including one for adults) began. Jed and Sally drove around to different communities to pick up people, mostly children, to come.
We had so much fun with the children that came! God has had us working with kids on the Reservation near us for the last several years and it has prepared us to serve Him in other places He has opened the door to. And we love doing it! Yes, there are times when you really don’t want to play another game of tag…or you think your arm might be longer from being pulled around…or someone loves you one day and hardly talks to you the next…but God has given us opportunities and it’s worth it to be exhausted from loving on the kids.
After supper everyone gathered in the church building for more singing and a message from Jess French. The gospel went out every evening, and throughout the week God was working in people’s hearts, resulting in some who renewed their commitment to Christ and others who were saved!
Please pray for these and other new believers who came to know Jesus here, for rapid growth and spiritual protection. Also pray that others who made commitments will be faithful.
Recently our family was talking about how we can so easily pray just because it’s the right thing to do. We hope God will answer our prayers, but we have little faith that He will. For those who had faith that God was going to save souls last week, look what He did! And for the rest of us who need encouragement to pray in faith, look what He did! He saved souls from an eternity without Him. And He also was moving in others’ hearts who may yet come to know Him–Sally would say things like, “So-and-so came out for the first time in years!” “She was here. That’s big.” Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” May we allow His workings to strengthen our faith, so that if God is for us, we will believe that no one can prevail against us.
There was always some down time before and after meals. These times were filled with fellowship, playing games, and hanging out with kids. Sometimes during the earlier part of the day a few of the kids from Blue took it upon themselves become hairdressers for a few of us.
Jed and Sally put us up in their home and were so gracious to us. Please pray as they labor in La Plant. The work is not easy, and they need strength to keep going. They love the Lord and want to see His work continue there.
“I will mention the lovingkindness of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us…” Isaiah 63:7