Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Several weeks ago Ray and Kathy Griffin started collecting winter coats to take out to the Reservation. Almost 500 coats were collected and in early November Ray and Brian drove out to South Dakota to deliver them. Today Shelly called and told me that the day they gave them out was "amazing". She told me one lady said, "Hey Shelly - I think everyone in the village has a coat now!" Shelly said that's kind of a unusual thing on the Rez. As I was talking to her they were getting ready to take the rest of the coats to Whiteclay to give them to the people there. Shelly hopes to send some pics of this soon. If she's able to, I'll post them here.
The other reason Shelly called was to ask if our church would once again buy Christmas gifts for a family on the Rez. I told her we'd love to and sent out an email as soon as I got off the phone with her. Within a couple of hours every member of that family had someone buying them a gift for Christmas! Now we're on round two ....
If you would like to help make this Christmas extra special for this family contact me at AmberBuriff@aol.com and I'll get the information to you. It would be awesome to flood them with gifts. You won't regret it.
Monday, November 22, 2010
There is still time for you to join us. Just go to our web site www.PineRidgeMissionTrips.com and download the registration materials and make sure you have them in no later than Jan. 1, 2011 along with your registration fee of $100.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
October 25, 2010
I'd like to take a few moments to share a little about our mission with
you. The Pass Creek Church of God is a missions outpost and church on the
Pine Ridge Reservation. We are one hundred percent supported by those who
have chosen to partner with us through donations to serve the Lakota
Our vision is one of evangelism, discipleship and practical love throughout
the whole year.
This winter we are beginning a new and exciting program to help the poorest
among us. There are roads which are impossible to cross on the Reservation
during the winter. Snowstorms and unfinished roads are conditions which
often leave our poorest families without access tot he most basic essentials and
desperately in need of medical supplies. Unfortunately diabetes has
afflicted the Lakota people at an unprecedented rate (800% higher than the rest
of the United States). This gives us the opportunity to be Jesus' hands
and feet as we deliver these essentials through a partnership with the local
hospital and the use of a donated snowmobile. In order for us to continue
this mission safely we are seeking a second snowmobile so that we can go out in
pairs to deliver not only these basic needs, but also to evangelize and disciple
these families throughout the winter.
This coming summer, our usual schedule of work camps will resume.
Every year churches from around the country and missionary organizations (such
as YWAM: Youth With A Mission) take a turn spending a week or two with us to
help evangelize our community and to complete building projects with us.
Our three month plan through this upcoming summer season involved more than just
handing out gifts to underprivileged people. Our discipleship program
brings those seeking to know our Lord better through a series of classes that
incorporate baptism, communion and foot washing to prepare them for our fall
curriculum. Our hope is to help incorporate them into the body of
Christ. This season is a perfect opportunity to partner your VBS
fundraising with our summer missions projects.
Fall is just as exciting as summer and winter for us. This is the
time of year when part of our staff gets to travel to some of the churches that
partner with us through work camps and financial giving, showing what we've been
able to accomplish together. It is also the time of year when we can begin
to take stock of what we have and to pray for what we need. Right now we
are hoping to expand in to several new ministries including bereavement,
addiction and depression. In order to do so, we need to improve our
facilities, projector for our sanctuary as well as lighting and a public address
system for our amphitheater.
It is our hope that you would consider committing to a gift of $250.00 a
year to help us continue our ministry to the Lakota people.
Barry and Shelly Bentley
Pass Creek Pastoral Staff
If you would like to partner with the Pass Creek Church of God, you may make checks payable to:
Pass Creek Church of God
P.O. Box 600
Allen, South Dakokta
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The Oglala Lakota Nation has prohibited the sale and possession of alcohol on the Pine Ridge Reservation since the early 1970's. However, the town of Whiteclay, Nebraska (which sits 400 yards off the Reservation border in a contested "buffer" zone) has approximately 14 residents and four liquor stores which sell over 4.1 million cans of beer each year resulting in a $3million annual trade. Unlike other Nebraska communities, Whiteclay exists only to sell liquor and make money. It has no schools, no churches, no civic organizations, no parks, no benches, no public bathrooms, no fire service and no law enforcement. Tribal officials have repeatedly pleaded with the State of Nebraska to close these liquor stores or enforce the State laws regulating liquor stores but have been consistently refused.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
6200 Winton Rd.
If you have interest in going you really need to be at this meeting to find out what you're signing up for BEFORE you register in January. Once you register there's no backing out so come and find out what you're in for. :)
The date for the trip is July 30, 2011 - August 8, 2011
The deadline to register is January 2, 2011 (all registration forms and a non-refundable fee of $100.00 will be due at that time.)
There will also be mandatory monthly meetings on the first Sunday of each month from Jan - July to prepare for the trip.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Just got a call from Judy to let us know about Fred. He is still in the hospital and will be for a bit longer. He's pretty sick. They've determined that he does have pneumonia but there are other issues as well. They've called in a heart/lung specialist and are looking for blood clots. They are also trying to determine what the spot on his lung is ... perhaps asbestos or perhaps a fungal infection. He's in a fair amount of pain today. Fred knows everyone loves him and he would love to visit with each of you but he really needs his rest so please hold off on visits. You all know Fred would sit up and visit with everyone that came in and he's really not in condition to do that. Send him a card and pray for him but the last thing he needs is people dropping by to visit.
Rhonda has two cracked ribs. Not sure how she did that, the doctor says she could have just turned the wrong way and done it. She's in pain and will be for a while as it takes 6 weeks for bone to heal. Keep her in your prayers. Of course she's not slowing down at all and is already at work.
We're still waiting on word from Charles. They've done a CAT scan on his head/neck and he is being monitored. Perhaps later this week we'll know more.
This trip was no exception. And it began the first day on the road.
The Tire Issue
We were traveling to Sioux City to spend the night and were somewhere between DesMoines and Sioux City when Jeff Smith came to ride in our van. Jeff is one of the 3 truck drivers for the trip and since the truck drivers take shifts driving and sleeping it was Jeff's turn to rest in one of the vans. Chrissie, Jeff's wife, was riding in the other van and normally he would have chosen to ride with her, but for some reason this particular time he climbed into our van and hunkered down in the back seat to get some rest. After a bit he sat up and said that "something was wrong with the back tire". No one else had noticed it, but Jeff did. At the next stop he checked it out and discovered that we were about to blow a tire. A Walmart was 3 miles away so we made an unscheduled stop to get a new tire. Jeff later said he didn't think we would have made it to Sioux City. We weren't one day out and God was already showing up by having Jeff, for whatever reason, ride in our van long enough to notice a tire problem before it blew out at 70 mph on the freeway.
What? No Brakes?
After making it to Sioux City we got a decent night's rest and headed out early the next morning. The truck and two vans had pulled out of the hotel parking lot when the last van radioed and said to hold up, that they were having problems. Turns out, they didn't have any brakes on the van. So we spent a few hours waiting for a parts store to open so that Charles, Jeff and Dennis could get the problem fixed. Again, it was odd, and good, that it happened in the safety of a hotel parking lot rather than on the freeway where we may have had a van full of people involved in a bad accident.
We arrived safely to the Reservation later that day. On Monday morning Fred called the cement company near Allen and was told that he had lots of time to help us that week ... but if we had come a week later he wouldn't have had any time at all to help us out. Even last year when we scheduled the trip God was at work long before we even knew what we needed, making things come together in just the right way to allow us to accomplish what we needed to accomplish.
Sumo Suits and UPS
And on Tuesday I had been looking for the arrival of the Sumo Suits. I wasn't sure if they would come on Monday or Tuesday so all day Monday I kept checking in with the post office to see if they had arrived via UPS. I'm sure I must have annoyed the lady at the post office. She ended up telling me that UPS usually didn't arrive until after 3:30 ... and that the post office closes at 4pm. I decided to stop in on Tuesday at 3:30 when I took the kids back after VBS but at 2:15 on Tuesday Shelly asked me to run to the post office to pick up kids that had been in Summer School. I went to pick up the kids and resisted checking in again to see if the package had arrived. I figured we would wait till 3:30 when we were back there again. When I got back to the church with the van full of Summer School kids, Cathy met me and said that a parent had called because they're child had been at the post office but had just missed the van - could I go back and get them. I climbed back into the van and headed for the post office again. When I arrived there was no child in sight. In fact, there wasn't an adult in sight either. It was deserted. I got out and walked around the building to see if I could see anyone. Just then a UPS truck drove in. The driver got out and walked up to me without even asking who I was and said, "I have a package for you". He hadn't even gone into the post office so I'm still not sure how he knew the package was for me, but it was odd that he seemed to just know.
Backpacks at Calico
Before we left for the trip I had contacted the president of the Calico Community to see if they needed backpacks again this year. They did, so I set up a tentative time to deliver them on Friday, July 16th, telling her that we would probably be there around 10am but that I would call when we were close to give her a closer estimate on time. Friday morning we all headed out with 600 backpacks in the truck for delivery. When we got fairly close to Calico I phoned my contact there - no answer. I had 4 different phone numbers for her but after trying all four of them several times and getting no answer I decided to chance it and drive on to Calico. If worst came to worst I could walk around and try to find someone to ask if they knew her or where she lived. Knowing that God would work something out, we drove on. When we arrived at the building where we deliver them I tried to call one last time - and she answered!
Its crazy how God gives you just what you need at the exact moment you need it and not a minute before. I have a hunch that He does that just so we can marvel at His provision and learn to trust that He will come through - even if we don't see it ahead of time.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
While in Calico we again talked with Dawn Frank, president of the Calico Community. She explained how they distributed the backpacks we took out last year. What a fantastic lady! Be sure to check out the video below to hear what she had to say.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The plan is to have Charles and Jeff and Dennis fix it and then head on to the Reservation. This has put us behind schedule but that's typical for a mission trip. Its always a "change of plans". God is in control and knows exactly what He's doing. We're just along for the ride knowing it will work out the way it's supposed to. Its a nice bonding time. :)
Keep us in your prayers. God has our backs and will continue to have them. Things
could have gone horribly wrong on the highway at 70 mph but we've discovered every problem while we were in a safe place. We are also grateful that we are in a comfortable hotel lobby rather than sittting alongside the road somewhere. Can't wait to see what God has in store for this week!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Tomorrow John and I shop for more food for the trip.
I think we're almost ready to roll ....
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Friday, July 02, 2010
Sunday, July 11th - arrive mid-late afternoon. Greet Barry & Shelly then head to Wounded Knee to see the memorial there and learn something about what happened there.
Sunday evening - unload the truck, unpack, get settled in.
Monday - Thursday:
Work on the amphitheater.
Kool Aid run at 10am.
Pick up kids for VBS around 11:30
Lunch for the kids,
VBS (Aussie Outback Theme)
Take kids home
Pick up teens for Teen Night
Dinner with the Teens
Teen Nights (bowling in Martin, Sumo Wrestling Suits, Ice Cream @ Bingos, other fun stuff)
Some of us will drive to other villages to deliver backpacks & school supplies
Some will finish work on the amphitheater
Pick up kids & teens at 11:30
Lunch with kids & teens
Game Day! (sack races, tug-of-war, water fight, watermelon eating contest, etc)
Give out Backpacks
Take kids home.
Friday evening (undecided)
Trip to Custer State Park
Church at Pass Creek Church of God
Leave for home
Sunday night - stay in Des Monies, IA
Monday, July 19th - arrive back home!
We've had 4 people drop out and 4 people take their place. Brian Whitlock had to drop out because of work. John Lansdale took his place as the kitchen manager. Mark Bastin had to drop out because of work. Matthew Lansdale took his place. Bonnie Williams had to drop out for health reasons and Chrissie Smith took her place. And Jenny Porter (Brian Buriff's sister) who went with us last year, had to drop out due to a family need and Bub Whitaker took her place.
Sunday, July 4th - Morning Worship Service - Prayer and send off of team
Friday, July 9th - NO LATER than 7pm @ Buriff's - Load truck (ALL team members should be there to help - we have a 26' truck to load with all of our supplies)
Saturday, July 10 - 5:30 am @ Winton Rd. First Church of God - We leave! Spend the night in Sioux City, IA
Sunday, July 11th - Arrive in Allen, SD
Monday - Friday - Work Projects, VBS,
Saturday, July 17th - Sight Seeing at Custer State Park
Sunday, July 18th - Church at the Pass Creek Church of God, then start home. Spend the night in Des Monies, IA
Monday, July 19th - Arrive back home!
Amber Buriff - Team Leader
Fred Howell - Project Manager
John Lansdale - Kitchen Manager
Cheryl Schliesman - Team Leader (Hamilton First Church of God)
Beth Ann Curtis
Jim Scovel Jr.
Dan Van Bargen
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Thursday, July 1st at 7pm at Winton Rd. First Church of God
ALL crew should be there for important last minute instructions.
Each crew member from Winton Rd. needs to have a total of $800 in their account at this time.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This year we will be taking 600 backpacks out to 3 villages.
The thing that makes this so unique is that it draws people from all walks of life. We work with businessmen, community leaders, rock bands, bikers, church people, and even everyday ordinary people like me. For us as believers, its an opportunity ... to let the world see what we're made of.
On the way out we will stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Sioux City, IA. It will be a LONG drive and a LONG day, followed by a short night. The hotel has a complimentary breakfast to get us going in the morning and to save you all food $ on the road. Here's a pic of one of the rooms.
OK, so on the way home I'm allowing for a little more comfort. We'll still be staying 4 to a room but will be in a nicer hotel. We'll be staying at the Hampton Inn in Des Moines.