Update from the Shoebox Christmas Gifts 2016
[Thank you very much!]
The people of God are very generous people! And we at Wo’iyopastake Ministry are very grateful to you for the many Shoebox Christmas Gifts you gave to the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Because of the generosity of Wellspring Church, together with 2nd Baptist Church of Clinton, TN, and some people who found our post on Facebook, we were able to send 160 Shoebox Gifts, with a gospel tract and a “Jesus is Life” wristband in each one! What a huge blessing!
A special thank you to Dan & Andrea Schleich and Lynne Bowen for overseeing the collection, processing, and shipment of the gifts from Wellspring.
This year the gifts were distributed in the two most challenging districts on the Pine Ridge Reservation: Potato Creek (the poorest of the poor), and Manderson (an extremely dangerous area).
Hear the words of our Team Member, Mary Young Bear, who lives in the heart of the reservation:
December 24, 2016
Greetings in the name of Jesus, from the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation!
I want to take this time to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I want to give a big heart-felt thank you to Wellspring Church and 2nd Baptist Church for all the Christmas cheer.
The gifts were well received by many families all across the reservation. This year we went to an isolated community. The Potato Creek community, a little forgotten place where some families live. One mother said she was glad we went there because no one ever comes all the way out to there. “You are the first to ever come to this community with Christmas gifts. We are very thankful”, she said.
A lot of the families only have one income check per month (90% unemployment). This has made their day! I told them the gifts were from a church in Berlin, CT and from a church in Clinton, TN. They replied, “Gee, that’s a far-away place, but tell them all thank you for remembering us out here in this little community.”
And today, we went out to the Manderson community. Sister Emma West, my daughter Lisa Young Bear and I did the gift distribution. Many grandparents, mothers and dads came out to get a gift for their children or grand children. We also sent 7 gifts to 3 Native families from Gillette, Wyoming. Due to the closing of the coal mines, they weren’t having Christmas this year. We also delivered 14 gifts to 6 Native families in Rapid City, SD.
Again, a very warm heart-felt thank you for all that you do for us out here on the reservation. Thank you kindly,
Mary Young Bear, Team member.
God bless you,
Dan & Bonnie Licata