25 Years of
On May 26, 2012 Exodus 14:5-22 was the Daily Bread scripture--concluding “Be still and see the salvation of the Lord.” God has showed himself strong, our deliverer. What an awesome God we serve.
As I look forward into 2013 we will be celebrating 25 years of ministry by Hands of Faith on the Pine Ridge reservation. This week long celebration is June 23-29, 2013, starting on Sunday night at Yo park with a youth concert. Then each evening Tuesday through Friday 5:30 pm with praise, testimony and sharing as well as a free meal, at our site 3.5 miles south of White Clay. Much has been done here, much needs to be done--our work is not complete.
In the last ten years.
A few statistics---54 certificates of classes completed at Wings of Eagles-LTLI
-Electrical and carpentry/construction skills-
48 men completed at least 60 days of recovery while in residence at HFM
2 churches--completed ground up-Porcupine-Lakota Gospel Mennonite
-Restoration Church-Slim Buttes-John Two Bulls-2012
Church related-Family Life Center-Wounded Knee Church of God
Recreation Center Oglala--Assembly of God-Gymnasium
Houses completed-Gooseneck rd-Ken Lone Elk family
Henry Red Cloud-log cabin
Mission teams staying at or working with HFM-in the last 5 years
2012---300+ at HFM---600+ at WEC-Next Step
2011--325+ at HFM --550 at WEC Next Step
2010--300+ at HFM -400+ at WEC--Youthworks
2009-300+ at HFM --400+ at WEC--Youthworks
2008-260+ at HFM --Beginning Rancher-starts
Total 1,485 + 1,950=3435 team members in last 5 years
Men’s lives impacted through ministry--50+% part or full time employment
--many dedications to Christ-30+ many growing in faith through Bible studies and devotional times. His word will not return void---many hundreds of seeds planted.
-Lakota men by God’s grace and restoration ,after being involved in HFM programs are leading Bible studies, revival meetings, leading their families to church and at home in Bible studies. Praise the Lord.
Hundreds of homes skirted, repaired, shingled, water or sewer systems installed.
Eight years of serving in White Clay---35 mealsx2/ week x52 x 8 yrs=29,120 est.
Serving meals on streets of White Clay-needy Lakota
All heard the Gospel -most many times before the meal.
Wood for elderly, vets, needy families distributed: Wood-pickup loads delivered in the last 5 years----200, 200, 175, 100+, 40=715 total -Floyd Chavers Hands of Faith Chaplin--also delivered wood boxes and food boxes to needy families. PTL
Hands of Faith has served Lakota men for 25 years and we have learned how to do it effectively, especially in terms of touching their hearts for Jesus as Messiah and Savior. This I believe is the key to helping reach the Lakota men. They recognize Yahweh God the Father as Creator-- but miss knowing his son Jesus as their Savior.
Jesus can help them overcome alcohol and drug issues, give forgiveness when hurt, and allow ask for forgiveness from those they have hurt. Jesus is the great healer.
Second, we do an intensive discipleship program with emphasis on scripture memorization, assigned readings, followed by discussions on life related issues. These steps will build a Christian worldview, relating to their actions in everyday life. This helps them in rebuilding relationships with their children, wives/girlfriends and helps them to build those relationships based on Biblical principles. This is a big challenge. Becoming more relational would be our goal and intent as a ministry. We have Lakota in leadership in our training programs. Rich Cross, Bruce Whalen, Henry Brown, Robin, Colon Condon, AJ Morrison, Tom and Mike Merrival, and Isaac Lame have all led in helping other Lakota men.
Some steps we need to follow:
1.Continual prayer over our ministry efforts and goals.
2.Moving forward in a plan for the HFM Center for Service
Man plans his ways, but God directs his steps.
3.Prepare Building footprint and detailed plans.
4.Seek out grants and private gifts.(start in December)
5.Move forward as God provides the resources--Forward in Faith
6.Plan on using Lakota men and mission teams to complete the building.
7.Celebrate our progress(25 yrs) this summer and God’s provision.
****Goal--Land dedication Saturday June 29, 11am-Groundbreaking Fall 2013 spring 2014-start building****
I hope as you look back, you too will be encouraged by the lives that have been impacted on the reservation for eternity. God asks us to be faithful, many of the results we may or may not see in our lifetime--as my son Adam shared at our Thanksgiving worship service at Lakota Baptist. Our life is like an extension cord---the part we live here on earth is about the length of the plug, the rest of our life is like the cord extending into eternity. Therefore we need to always keep an eternal perspective--that changes our goals, our priorities, our desires, and our own selfish nature. We can then count it a privilege to serve others as Christ taught us to serve.