Greetings from the Spirit Lake Ministry Center. As we approach our seven-year anniversary as Dakotas Conference Missionaries and as the Directors of the Spirit Lake Ministry Center, Libby and I want to thank you all for the great support you have shown us over these years. We have seen God move in amazing ways, from the very beginning with the Bath House to just this summer and the Youth Works (a Tribal program for youth) participants working with our team from Chicago. This participation involved one youth works member stating, “I want to make this place (The Ministry Center) a part of my life. The partnership with the Tribe has grown beyond expectations, and our ministry has grown beyond the Spirit Lake Nation. We now partner with six reservations in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Delivering Shoebox Christmas Gifts and in some cases new and gently used clothing. God has truly blessed us. Our first year at the Ministry Center we hosted approximately 60 volunteers and thought we were tremendously busy! This last summer we were host to over 400 volunteers. As the ministry continues to grow, so do the needs of the Ministry Center. We have seen increases in utility, insurance, and fuel costs. These increases take money away from important programs such as the Food Pantry, Clothing Closet, our Spirit Lake Sidewalk Sunday School program, the Community Children’s fund and the newly planned Youth Program’s Disc Golf Course. We also must continue to improve the facilities for our teams and our friends from the community. Updates to the sleeping cabins and kitchen facilities are needed to make our volunteers and friends more comfortable when sleeping, eating and fellowshipping. The relationships forged between our volunteers and friends are an important aspect of making disciples for Jesus Christ. We have several friends who visit on a regular basis to strike up new friendships and renew old ones. These friendships foster trust and provide us with the opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with all who visit. The witness of our volunteers provide a model of Christ’s love to those who don’t always see it, feel it or hear it. We need your help with our non-controllable expenses. We seek churches or individuals to become covenant partners with the Spirit Lake Ministry Center. We ask the covenant partner to pledge $100.00 per month for two years to help with the expenses of utilities, insurance, and fuel costs. We thank you for your prayerful discernment in becoming a covenant partner with the Spirit Lake Ministry Center. Blessings. Mike and Libby
Shoebox Christmas was a tremendous success. Thanks in part to an article printed in the United Methodist Interpreter, 3,079 gifts or 48% were received from churches outside the Dakotas Conference. Because of the generosity of our local churches, 3,336 gifts were received from within the conference. This gives us a grand total of total of 6,415 gifts given to children on six reservation in the Dakotas and Minnesota. This year God blessed us with enough gifts to add the Standing Rock Reservation. This is the first time we have been able to provide them with gifts. There are far too many people that have donated gifts, funds and time to mention them all here, but please know that we appreciate your generous support and prayers. You have shared the love of Jesus Christ and made the difference the lives of many children and adults. I wish everyone of you could be there to witness the tears of joy when we deliver these small gifts of love. God Bless you all. Mike and Libby.
It's been too long since I posted here, and I promise I will start again as soon as we get home. It was a very busy summer and now the fall is turning out to be as busy as the summer. It keeps me out of trouble. Here is a prayer God put on my heart at 3am the other morning. It was for a friend.
Great creator, Holy Spirit, I AM, Jehovah, Healer, God. You are known by so many names yet you are one. We are many yet we are one. We come together in the name of Jesus Christ looking to you in admiration of your mighty power. Humbled by your great love and patience for our many transgressions and brokenness. We thank you for the blessings in our lives. Those we can see and those we can't see. Forgive us our sins. Knowing that we are all related, we thank you for the blessing of family. Our lives are like threads being woven together to create a tapestry of this thing we call family. Because we are all different yet one, the threads you weave are strong and tightly knit. Making for a beautiful tableau of colors and designs. There are times though that we misunderstand each other. We fail to communicate effectively, we listen to the deceiver, and because of that we are hurt and can have feelings of betrayal that dull the colors and designs. At times that pain can tear entire pieces away. Creating ugly holes in the beautiful tapestry you have created. It is during these times we need your healing hands to soften the hearts of those who have torn themselves away. We pray that you bring these torn pieces back to our family. Re-weave those torn threads and repair the ugly holes made by our own brokenness. Make our tapestry, our family whole again. Create beauty out of ugliness, forgiveness out of spite and love out of hatred. We ask that you continue to weave new threads into this beautiful tapestry making it bigger as we bring more people into our family. These things we ask in the name of the great healer; Jesus Christ. Amen.