Friday, March 16, 2007

I'ts Starting to Look Like a Safari

Thought you might want to see what's happening with the trip prep.
Click for a larger view.

These are some direction signs I've been working on. There will be more of them and they will be mounted on a pole poiting all directions. Yes, I'm aware the milage isn't right - it's just a decoration.

This is our "mascot". Unfortunately, Taser got a hold of him so he's in need of repair. In the background are the boxes of backpacks with school supplies. The hat is there too - we're taking a bunch of them for the kids (and us) to wear for fun.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Blood:Water Mission

The current total for Blood:Water Mission is $766.00

The average cost of a well is $3000.00 so we are almost 1/3 of the way to having a built a well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Red Bracelet Brigade

I'm not sure why I've got the idea of a "brigade" in my head, but that word seems to be popping up. In this case, it may be the exact word I'm looking for since according to the dictionary it means "a group of troops".

This year we will be doing a "Red Bracelet Brigade". I'm not sure if that's really what we'll call it, but whatever...

Here's the idea ....

This year the Haiti and Pine Ridge mission trips overlap by a few days.

Pine Ridge being July 28 - Aug. 6
Haiti being August 2 - August 11

All of us who have been on trips like these are well aware of the importance of PRAYER. Prayer is the life-blood of any outreach. In fact, I believe it is the life-blood of our spiritual lives.

This year we will join with the Haiti team and will be signing people at our church up to commit to pray for 30 min. segments for the trips, for the mission projects, and for missions in general whether they be Haiti, Pine Ridge, or somewhere else.

Each person who prays will get a Red Bracelet as a reminder to pray.

We will be making these Red Bracelets at the Rock-A-Thon on April 14th. They are very EASY and FAST to make and they are CHEAP. They will NOT be "pretty" but hey, this is not about pretty.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

February Newsletter from Pass Creek CHoG

We praise God in all seasons, not only seasons of life but seasons of the year. Sometimes out on the prarie when the wind blows and the snow drifts it seems more lonely somehow and more desolate than other times of the year, but God is always near. Soon the crocus and daffodil will show their presnece and we will know new life with spring will also follow shortly. As the Easter season aproaches and we begin to teach our children the story of Jesus, his death and resurrection I cannot help but see the similarity with winter turning to spring.

The needs of the people are more desperate and pronounced in the winter months with the cold, and we continue to try and meet those needs. In meeting those needs we make new friends and can share the love of Jesus with them. We find we must meet the physical needs first in order to share the spiritual, just as I believe was the example Jesus gave.

Once again I want to thank the people who have faithfully sent us money to keep this ministry going and to those who have sent us coats, blankets and so many other items we need.

As you know the work with the children is very important to us here. We want to have programs for the kids that include outings, crafts, fun nights and fellowship. We want to equip them for a world that is often unfair and people that are often unkind. We want to teach them about the love of God and that with God there is a different way of life. This is a poem I came across when I worked in the school system with migrant/homeless children that touched me very deeply. Read this and pray for ALL the children everywhere.

A Prayer For Children
We pray for children who put chocolate fingers everywhere, who like to be tickled, who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants, who sneak Popsicles before supper, who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire, who can't bound in the street in a new pair of sneakers, who never go tot eh circus.

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who sleep with the dog and bury the goldfish, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money, who cover themselves with Band-Aids and sing off-key, who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink, who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those who never get dessert, who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents watch them die, who can't find any bread to steal, who don't have any rooms to clean up, whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser, whose monsters are real.

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday, who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who like ghost stories, who hove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool, who squirm in church and scream in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at, and whose smiles can make us cry.

We pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who aren't spoiled by anybody, who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, and who live and move but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must, for those we never give up on and for those we don't get a second chance. For those we smother ... and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

This poem has always impacted me and made me think and given me cause to always pray for the children.

As spring is just around the corner, we eagerly anticipate in the coming months the workcampers and all the work and excitement that spring and summer bring. We are blessed that we have so many coming this summer and our prayers are that we can impact this community and each person in this community. Pray with us that God will send His Spirit on Allen, South Dakota and there will be revival here and the people will come to know the love and saving grace of Jesus. We received notice from the workcamp in Ohio that they
will have 27 people coming with that group!!!! Praise God. We'll be ready and waiting for everyone! We also continue to pray for all of you and your work for the kingdom. God bless.

Now for something fun. the people here love to celebrate and birthday parties are one of the most fun times here. We have been trying to get the word out that the fellowship hall here is for all in the community to use and encourage anyone who needs a place for a gathering to give us a call. We can meet many thing way and have a good time!

In closing we thank you again for your support and prayers for the Pass Creek Church of God and the Lakota people here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. God bless all of you in your work and we will speak with you in March.

Love in Christ,
Barry and Shelly

Friday, March 09, 2007

EXCITING News From The Rez

In the post below you will find the Jan. Newsletter. I will try to get the Feb. Newsletter posted tomorrow.

I also received a letter from Shelly detailing some of their needs and how we can best help them. There have been some folks at church who have offered used clothes, toys, etc. and I have had to turn these down because there was not a good way to give them out and because the missionaries discouraged us from doing a lot of that kind of thing.

Well, there is good news! Shelly is a lady on the move and she has created a "store" in part of the pain building where they can keep goods for the people to come and get what they need. This way seems to work better for everyone. She has outlined some things that are always needed and appreciated which will help us give some guidance to those who want to help the Lakota people.

John and I will be in touch with Matthew 25 Ministries to see if they are willing to supply any of these needs. If so, we will be taking as much as we possibly can with us this summer. Apart from Matthew 25 Ministries though, anyone can donate any of the following at any time and we will take them to the rez when we go.

Here is the list:

For the People
  • Blankets
  • hats
  • gloves
  • diapers
  • baby products (powder, baby shampoo, lotion, desitin)
  • small diaper bags
  • shampoo
  • dish soap
  • laundry soap
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • combs
  • electric heaters (when they run out of propane which is the main heat source, they often go days without heat)

For the Church

  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • cleaning supplies
  • copy paper
  • colored copy paper

For the Kid's Play Area/Sunday School

  • Any kind of girl play area things, stove, vacuum cleaner,
  • anything to play "store" with
  • Boys play area rugs with car tracks on them
  • Lincoln longs
  • Legos
  • Puzzles - 100 pieces or smaller
  • fun foam
  • construction paper
  • markers
  • poster paint in the big bottles
  • any kind of craft items

In addition, they are also in need of a good VCR/DVD player. They are doing "Dinner and Movie Nights" with the kids and their DVD player is broken. They also use this in their youth meetings for the DVD series they are using. The church at Wounded Knee is also in need of a DVD player.

Another cool thing that Shelly is doing is making care packages if personal care items and taking them to the jail in Martin and Kyle. She also takes the children to visit nursing homes - the elders love it and it is good for the kids to be involved in giving of themselves.

The January. Newsletter From Pass Creek CHoG

From Barry & Shelly

We hope the new year is bringing new hope, new challenges and new promises revealed by God. Christmas was a wonderful time here in South Dakota, even though it wasn't white. We would like to thank everyone for their continued prayers and support for the mission here.

Kid's Corner

We now have a youth group for kids age 11 and older, meeting on Thursday nights at 6:30. We are using the series Revolution 2 by bluefish TV, a DVD series that also has a Bible study that goes with it. We will continue our children's program on Wed. nights, children's church on Sunday mornings, and the program Sunday nights. We visited the nursing home before Christmas, taking treats and gifts to the residents there. That is something I would like to continue, the residents love it and it will be good for the children to give of themselves to others.

Work Camps

  • The scheduled work camps to date:
  • Tri-S Group from Anderson University - March 11-17
  • Jersey Shore, PA - June 15-22
  • Fairfield, OH - July 29-Aug. 5
  • Monroe City, IN - Aug. 6-10

This winter we have experienced some very cold weather and have found that there is a need during these times for blankets, coats, hats, gloves and electric heaters. Our items are depleted, but thankfully there are 26 boxes of blankets, hats and gloves on the way.

During our cold weather we had some pipes break in one of the work camp trailers and Barry is working to not only fix the pipes, but to install a new shower. We should have things looking good for all you work campers!!!

We enjoy all the newsletters that come here an dhow all of the other Churches are doing. T here are some exciting things going on for the kingdom of God and I believe that we will see many more in the days to come. Please remember Paul and Kathy in your prayers. They now live in Rapid City and are adjusting to retirement. I know they would love to continue to hear from everyone. (See Amber for their address) They continue to come here many Sundays to help with music and the message sometimes. Barry is doing most of the services now, studying a lot and praise God for His divine inspiration.

Giving Thanks

We would like to thank God for always looking out for us here and also a couple of people God continues to use for This work. Bill R. we would like to thank you for the green truck that you have given to God's work, and to Paul and Kathy for the transmission they had put in the truck, AND the new snowplow that is on the front. Those of you who ave seen South Dakota winters on the prairie know that this will be one of the most useful things we need here, especially on church days to get everyone in and out safely. THANK YOU!!

It is easy to sometimes get discouraged and lonely and feel that what we are doing makes no difference. When I have those times I try to refer to this little story.

As an old man was walking along the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them back into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked him why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. "But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish, "countered the other. "How can your efforts mane any difference?" You young man looked at the starfish in his had and then threw it safely in the waves. "It makes a difference to this one," he added.

I have to keep reminding myself that what we do matters to someone and the reason we are doing it is found in Matthew 28:19020.

God Bless,
Barry & Shelly