Jun 30 2010

For All Tribes – Jesus

A Sioux Indian in Rapid City told us as we were passing through to the Rosebud Reservation that the Native peoples reject the white man’s God because of the boarding school experiences. Children were removed from their homes, from their parents and all that was familiar and placed in a school where they were forbidden to keep their Indian names, speak their native tongue and practice the tribal traditions. The boarding schools were an attempt by some early missionaries to “convert” the natives. This attempt not only backfired but served to drive them away from Christianity in deep anger and bitterness. We heard a similar story 25 years ago from a Seneca teacher, herself growing up in a convent boarding school and claimed to have been baptized several times with no conversion.

We brought the matter to the Lord and asked Him to divinely give us a hearing among the tribal people.

Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel celebrating the four colors of humanity

Piya Mani Otipi Rehab Center

Eighteen people filed into the room of the substance abuse recovery program, took their seats on the couches and chairs that circled around the room and look at us, the “white” folks that have a message for them. Howie introduced us and began to share and play. Some yawned, a couple giggled and many avoided direct eye contact. We were wondering if we would be able to make the connection when Chris, the gal who took us there, passed out tambourines, which turned out to be a good thing as it helped open the communication between us all. Howie shared his own story of his involvement in drugs and alcohol, how he discovered the Bible out there on a dirt road with no Christians around, surrendered his life to the Lord and found freedom. He also shared how we lived on the Cattaraugus Reservation and began praying 25 years ago that we would have the opportunity to visit the Rosebud for Jesus.

I shared that my brother and I have always had a great admiration for the Native Americans because of their respect for the created things. Then I shared how Jesus himself was not the “white man’s” God, but was from a tribal people, the Jewish Nation, who had twelve tribes, much like the Sioux, and Jesus was called “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”. This is a noble name.


"It does not require many words to speak the truth" Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

Howie and I worked together to explain how the Creator became flesh and choose to become a man to teach us how to live. This perfect man, God in the flesh, took our sins upon himself and was nailed to the tree. But he did not stay there as he arose and conquered death. He will return to take us home – those who call upon his name.

By now the folks had discovered that our message was not what they expected and were tracking with us. Howie brought out his Indian made wooden flute and played for them. Many closed their eyes and respectfully listened with a prayerful attitude.

Howie shared the Gospel message clearly and in a very relevant manner. Then he offered prayer for anyone who wanted it after the session concluded. To our delight, nearly the entire group responded, individually coming up and sharing their story and receiving prayer.

The Lord Jesus applied His healing balm that day. Hearts were touched, decisions made and we were blessed beyond words.

Wanbli Wiconi Tipi

We brought a similar message to the kids at Wanbli Wiconi Tipi: A Juvenile Detention Center

But the blessing was to continue. God scheduled the opportunity for us to return, via a surprise cancelation and a phone call to Ray, Chris’ husband, to come lead the Sunday afternoon meeting. This was just as we were planning to leave the area. We saw the working of the Holy Spirit as He was not finished yet. We arrived to bright smiles and joy filled room. This second visit not only reinforced the message we shared, but strengthened our connection as well. We left our new friends each with a Gospel of John and exchange smiles until our paths cross again.

There is no speech, nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:3

Concert in the empty lot on the Rosebud

Concert on Rosebud Reservation, Mission SD

Jun 21 2010

God blew the doors wide open at Pasco Farmers Market

When playing places like the Pasco Farmers Market in Washington State, we have to be very careful not to “preach”. Obviously in today’s culture most public venues are very cautious about this so we need to pray and be sensitive as well, especially if we want to be welcomed back. Our goal is to share the message of Jesus by using methods that are not commonly associated with “preaching”.

Howie Plays at Pasco Farmers Market

Howie and Debbie Play the Pasco Farmers Market

After an hour or so of music, I took a break and pulled out the bag of salvation bead bracelets that Kayla made for this year’s Great Circle Tour. (Read more by following the link below to our April 3, 2010 post). Bev, our trusty area coordinator and promoter, along with Pastor Dan, a former hippie from Southern California, joined me in sitting on the curb next to Howie’s music.

Dan and Bev

Pastor Dan and Bev

Our goal was to sort through the bracelets and divide them by lengths. Little did we know that this activity would become a platform to share the Gospel message with most everyone at the market that had children.

It started as one couple walked up and asked “What are you doing?” The door opened and we shared the meaning of the beads and gave them each one. One after another came up and before we knew it, we had shared the message over 50 times.

Dan Shares

Children Loved the Message Dan Shared

An elderly woman, Mary, was particularly touched by the music and the beads. With a big smile she began to point children our way to get their “free” bracelet and hear the message.

My concluding thought is this: many places, like the Historic Downtown Mall of Charlottesville, VA, have an ordinance that forbids approaching a person to hand something out. But, if they come to you, that gives you freedom to share what you wish. Having supplies on hand, gathering in a public place and making the bracelets is a great way to open doors.


PS: We were invited back!

Read “>Kayla and the Salvation Band Project:

Salvation Bands