Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Stories of Giving

I am one of those people who happen to believe that Jesus meant exactly what he said in Matthew 25:31-46 so that is why I get excited when I see people who are quick to give. Today I had the joy of hearing about two ways in which the people I go to church with are involved in living out the words of Jesus.

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

Lookin' Good for 2011

We had a great meeting yesterday and are excited about the new people who want to join us next summer! It looks like we are going to have a great crew! The theme will be WATER. That means we'll have a water park theme for VBS and one of our main work projects will be getting water to Melda's house. We also hope to put some seating into the amphitheater that we built this year. And we have 800 backpacks full of school supplies to deliver! Its going to be a great year!

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

A Letter from Barry & Shelly Bentley

Following is a letter from Barry and Shelly Bentley

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
Bredon Faulkner
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

A Trailer Full of Coats

Early Monday morning Ray Griffin and Brian left for Pine Ridge Reservation with a trailer full of winter coats. Several weeks ago Ray and Kathy felt led to start collecting coats for the people on the Reservation to help them through the cold South Dakota winter. Since they they collected almost 500 coats. Kathy worked hard at mending what needed mending and had them dry cleaned, then they were packed into bags and loaded into the trailer for delivery.

Shelly Bently (missionary in Allen) helping unload the trailer

the kitchen at the mission full of coats

Many of these coats will be distributed to the people of Allen, Kyle and Wounded Knee and others will be taken to Whiteclay. For those who may not know about Whiteclay it is well known for its contribution to the problem of alcoholism on the Reservation.

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.
It is not uncommon to drive through Whiteclay and see the streets lined with Lakota men and women who are drunk. It is no different in winter. Often they will sit on the street without a coat and drink despite below zero temperatures. The plan is to take the coats to Whiteclay and walk the streets putting coats around these people and praying for them.
Ray and Kathy are great examples of someone who just wanted to do something to help. You don't need anything other than a willing heart and a willingness to get the ball rolling and God only knows how many hearts will be touched.