We do not have to travel very far to find people in need or places to serve. There are broken communities a short drive away and broken people just down the street that need the hope of Christ. Team Africa recently returned back from their trip to Standing Rock Reservation, where we encountered a community in dire need of Jesus. We partnered with Pastor Josh Froelich (TBC & GS Alumni) at Selfridge Assembly of God and Fort Yates Assembly of God.
We are so thankful for the opportunities we had to work with our hands and serve the local churches through various work projects, community events, children’s services and Sunday church service.
Our first few days at the reservation were spent working hard to prepare the churches through the various work projects — fixing old flooring and retiling the floors of both churches, organizing a room full of donations, cleaning, and staining wood.
This trip helped us gain a deeper compassion for marginalized people, practiced good work ethics, and learn more about God’s heart for all people… everywhere.
We also had the opportunity to host a service for the children of Fort Yates. Children from the surrounding communities came to hear us teach lessons about the many emotions we experience and how God should be the center of each emotion. We danced, sang, laughed, played games, and built connections with these wonderful kids!
Turkey, stuffing, green beans, corn, and bread were served hot and ready for the local people. People came from all over Fort Yates for a Thanksgiving Feed — some heard from the invitations we had previously passed around the neighborhoods, and some even came straight from deer hunting as they were driving by and saw our signs. We met dozens of strangers who shared some bits of their lives with us. Two women spoke to us about how their niece and daughter had recently committed suicide and how having a free meal really lifted their heavy hearts. We were able to listen and offer prayer and encouragement that God is good and always knows exactly where we are, no matte what we are going through.
A couple students even had the opportunity to bring some of the guests home — which was a life changing experience for them. To see people in America living in such poverty, sin, and brokenness just hours from where we attend college is heartbreaking. The people who lived at this house were drunk and dealing with hopelessness, yet accepted the prayer we offered. We prayed that Jesus would set them free from anxiety, addiction, and various other requests and they were deeply moved and brought to tears. It is a powerful thing when you are able to se God’s presence impact another’s life. We are thankful for the chance to declare hope and healing over the broken.
Lastly, we had the opportunity to lead the Sunday service at the Selfridge church. We led worship, shared a testimony, performed a drama, and preached a sermon. The sermon was about putting our full trust and faith in God and how people in our lives can fail us but Jesus never will. This was a fitting topic in this community because of the many issues in these communities that cause us to lose faith in God. Our prayer is that Jesus would continue to be their hope and those who do not have a personal relationship with Him would be moved into that direction. We are blessed to have hopefully played a small part in that.