When my phone rang and it was Bruce Plummer, a Native American pastor from Montana, inviting me to help out with a Native American Gathering in Wisconsin, I couldn’t get my bags packed fast enough! I called Kristina Dix and, once again, we hit the road with no idea of what to expect.
Upon arriving at the reservation, Kristina and I were pleasantly surprised to find that we would be sleeping in an actual bed…and we had our own bathroom! The Lac du Flambeau reservation is completely unlike the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota…physically. However, we found that the one thing they do have in common is their level of spiritual darkness.
But God was at work! Mr. Ed and Mrs. Virginia Seneca, both long time members of the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church, were faithful attendees and participants at the gathering. They have a great love and a burden for “their people.” My heart broke as I listened to Mrs. Virginia literally cry out to God, weeping for her friends, her church and her community. Together, Mrs. Virginia, Mr. Ed and I went out among the people to invite them to the gathering. Mrs. Virginia’s excitement was obvious when she made the statement, “We are going out in two’s, just like Jesus sent his disciples!” We visited with employees in the tribal offices and then met with others at the Elder’s Center on the reservation.
Randy Carruth, recognized as the driving force among Southern Baptists in reaching Native peoples in North America, and a good friend of mine and Kristina’s, was instrumental in putting all of this together. Kristina and I were both looking forward to working with Randy…but God had other plans!
Shortly after arriving, Randy told us he believed God wanted us to travel south to the Menominee Reservation to minister to Bernadine, a Menominee Native American who desired to know more about the Word of God and how to teach the people, especially the children, of the reservation. I knew in my spirit that Randy was right. So, Kristina and I packed up after two days and headed south.
We spent three days visiting with Bernadine and her family. During that time, we answered questions that were raised about spiritual truths, instructed her on how to lead others to Christ and conducted a “hands on” Backyard Bible Club with Bernadine’s niece and nephew as a demonstration to help her work with the children in her community.
I have found a friend for life in Bernadine. She and I continue to speak on the phone and through texts. I plan to return to help her with a Back Yard Bible Club at her home this summer. Bernadine has also recently become a part of a Home Bible Study with Christian friends.
God is doing great things on both of these reservations. While the Menominee reservation is very opposed to allowing in groups who worship the “White Man’s God”, God made a way for Kristina and me to minister there.
The Lac du Flambeau tribal president expressed concern for his tribe due to high incidents of alcoholism, abuse, divorce, suicide, teen pregnancy and school drop-out rates. He invited the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church to work alongside tribal leadership to help bring a change to the reservation. This is nothing short of a miracle!
These are examples of what God is doing amongst indigenous people groups all over the world, and I am so grateful He is allowing me to play a small part in it!
Thanks to all of you who have prayed and contributed to help make all of this possible. God bless you all!