Hope Dealers in South Dakota

This summer we received an invitation to visit the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. We were invited by a pastor who lived there and we’re excited to go. We traveled almost 2000 miles to get there, and as we crossed the border to the reservation we realized how far away this was from what we call home!

The Rose Bud Sioux Nation in South Dakota is a nation of 25.000 people living on 2800 square miles of land. The land is vast, the summers are dry and the winters are cold. It is not unusual for South Dakota to have severe hot, dry spells in the summer with the temperature climbing above 100 °F and winters going low to -30 °F with an average snowfall of 41 inches.

We stayed in a small town called “Mission” and found out that this was a mission, even more than expected. The church there was small. The first night we were only a few people, the pastor, the leader of the school, the worship leader and his wife, plus a family with nine kids! Even though the meetings had been advertised on the radio nobody from outside showed up! We realized that God had to give us a new strategy to reach the people, so we decided to make a bill payment. If Jesus came to announce good news for the poor, what would be more fulfilling that paying peoples bills?

Next day we went out with flyers and visited every corner of town, as many trailer homes as we could reach, every apartment, every street. As we knocked on the doors, the kids would answer. Many places we did not see the adults. Most people were friendly, and when we invited them for the bill pay they were very surprised. They had never heard of anything like this, and they all had bills that needed to be paid. One family had been without electricity for five months!

As we walked around and talked to people we could feel the hopelessness. So much poverty, misery, drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment … there were only a few grocery stores in town, only one bank, a Family Dollar with next to nothing on the shelves and more than 100 miles to the nearest Walmart. I was thinking of the family in church with the nine kids. How do you raise your kids and provide for your family with little substances in such a desolate place?

We were “hope dealers”, dealing hope to the hopeless. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, so in this case, hope had to come before faith! We were speaking hope, declaring hope, singing songs of hope: “Let hope arise, let hope remain, the dawn is breaking, it’s a new day!”, expecting God to change the atmosphere.

Many people came for the bill pay, they brought their bills and entered the drawing. The first two nights we gave away 2 x 500 dollars, and Sunday morning we gave away 1.000 dollars. The money was donated by people in our home church and people that we met on the road, it was awesome to see how it all came together!

First night five people were saved. The pastor was crying. For the past 40 years he had never seen five people saved at the same time, he said. The following days more people got saved. I think we counted 21 in total. We saw how hope was restored in peoples lives, maybe they came for the bill pay but they stayed for Jesus. They did not hurry to get back home, those that came the first night came back, and some of them also brought friends and family along.

When we left with our team after service Sunday, we wanted to pack them all up in the car and take them back home to Orlando, but obviously, that can’t happen! We believe God has another plan. Jesus says, who should I send, who will go? I trust God will call and send people to fulfill the mission out there, he is the author and the finisher of our faith, and we believe that He who started the work will be faithful to complete it, not only in our lives but also in the life of the people we ministered to.

We left a piece of our hearts there, and we pray that we will be able to be back. Help us share the vision. Some of you have supported this trip financially, and we trust that God will call more people to support. Pray for Mission, pray for the reservation, pray for the Native Americans. Let hope arise!

You can watch the video from the reservation here: hope dealers in the reservation

When The Bellboys Came for Prayer

20170731_023602.jpgToday as we start our roadtrip to visit the Rose bud Sioux Indian nation in South Dakota I want to share with you an experience from last year so that you can understand how God is opening doors and directing our steps supernaturally.

On our roadtrip last year God put in our hearts to pray for revival among the native Americans. We had no clue how to reach them but we asked God to use us and made ourselves available.

God did not only open our hearts, he opened our eyes .Suddenly we saw them everywhere: At the roadside, gas stations, the laundromats, the casinos ..  At one point we picked up a Navajo woman in the middle of nowhere. She had left her drunk husband in the village because she did not want to live with him anymore. She wanted to go back to town and get her own apartment with water and electricity so that she wouldn’t have to cook food on the fireplace no more!

One night in New Mexico we stop by a casino. As we went in to find something to eat we realized that the Indian people not only worked here. Many of them lived here. They sat at the slot machines drinking and smoking waiting for luck to come. There was absolutely no luck. Only emptiness and misery to be found.

We tried to reach out but nobody wanted to talk. We asked God to lead us to somebody, believing for one that God had prepared for us to meet!

On our way back we checked into our hotel .My husband took the luggage and meet the bellboy. This young man was half Arapaho and half Cheyenne. My husband started talking about the Holy Spirit and when I finally got to our hotel room on the 7th floor the bellboy was standing outside the door, hanging over the cart, speaking in tongues so loud that people stopped and watched in the hallway.

After 20 minutes the bellboy went back to work and we could finally go to bed. Just before midnight my husband received a text message. It was the bellboy asking if he could play golf with us tomorrow! What the heck …???

We realized this was not about golf, but rather an attempt to meet again. The bellboy wanted to introduce us to his bellboy friend so we could pray for him. The story was like this. When our bellboy came down from the 7th floor his friend could see the change in his face and now his friend wanted the same thing!

This was the moment we had been praying for. We got back in our clothes and invited them to our room. Next thing we had two bellboys kneeling at the bedside praying to receive the Holy Spirit. What a sight. My husband had to take a picture, if not, nobody would have believed it.

That night we were able to sow a seed into the revival amongst the native Americans. It started with our prayers and before we knew of it, we were having a prayer meeting with two bellboys in our hotel room. This was how it began, and here is how it continues this year as we are on the road again to preach the gospel in the Indian reservation.

Pray for us as we go, that God will have his way and people will receive salvation, healing and deliverance. We are driving for the next three weeks, so follow the blog and stay tuned!