Our WiW Lakota team (Mary, Kathy & Leecy) has returned and could not be more grateful for all the ways God blessed our trauma healing training last week! More than a dozen Native American women leaders attended our Women in the Window training on the Cheyenne River Reservation at a beautiful spot called the Moreau River Sanctuary. Lynn Huber, a member of Red Warrior Ministries Church, our local Native American ministry connection, served as a powerful liaison to this community. As you may notice in the pictures, the Sanctuary is a beautifully decorated retreat center with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. A perfect setting to begin the healing process from a lifetime of trauma.
As the women settled in, it didn’t take long to discover that their problems were deep and that the destructive legacy of abandonment, substance abuse and violence seemed to touch every woman present. And throughout the trauma healing training we saw how these wounds of trauma constantly pulled them down. Yet at the same time there was clearly a powerful surrender to Jesus as their prayers were spoken with deep humility. All of these women leaders were clearly touched by the love of Christ during each aspect of this experience.
A highlight of every trauma healing training is the forgiveness ceremony. Each woman is invited to write down her pains, sorrows, losses including those who hurt her, those she needs to forgive and then symbolically brings them all to the cross. This powerful ceremony touched all our hearts in profound and meaningful ways.
Another highlight of the final day was a chance to creatively express how each participant planned to apply the timeless truths we learned from the Women in the Window inductive narrative Bible study. The elements of WiW Bible study include Observation, Interpretation and Application. Looking through these “windows” enabled us to effectively study the life of Abigail. Two of the timeless truths discovered through the Interpretation window are:
1) a humble approach defuses a tense situation.
2) no matter how bad your situation is, God can use you.
Here is a favorite creative expression penned by one of our North American sisters through the Application Window:
Being an Abigail
She keeps asking me to do this or that.
Got me feeling like a dusty doormat.
Walked on and walked over;
All it does is enable her to never be sober.
I got a bit of David in me.
Out there trying to survive in the wilderness like he.
Seeking a break or consolation for all them favors I done made—
Not a single one has been repaid.
In a world full of foolish Nabals,
Why don’t I turn the tables.
Lord, let me be more like the biblical Abigail.
Surely then, I won’t fail.
I’m gonna stop in my thought track.
I’m gonna approach this with some tact.
Ask myself what would be most humble;
Doing nothing that would cause me to fumble.
You know Abigail didn’t hesitate—
She knew the right thing to do, right out of the gate.
I guess I haven’t always known the right thing to do like dear old Abby.
But I can become more Holy Spirit savvy.
Instead of the constant resentment in the past,
I could teach her about the words in the Bible I hold fast.
Testify about a God that turned my life around—
That His love for us is so tremendous, it abounds.
Hopefully that can be a seed planted in her life
To cause a change so great there’ll be no more room for strife.
We can get along in perfect harmony;
What a beautiful future that will be!
On Sunday, Mary, Leecy and Lynn had a chance to serve with Pastor Jerome Slidesoff of the Red Warriors Ministry Church in their Thanksgiving extravaganza. Pastor Jerome is the only Native American pastor on the Cheyenne River Reservation. The Community Center in Eagle Butte was packed out to hear the gospel presentation. One highlight was a young Native man who told his story of how God had set him free from a life of drug abuse and homelessness. Don Lee told the crowd, “I was a hopeless dope addict but now I am a dopeless hope addict.” When Pastor Jerome invited people to come forward to receive Christ, more than a dozen Lakota men and women stepped forward to begin following Jesus! Afterward we served turkey, stuffing, etc. to a seemingly endless line of hungry folks.
We thank the Lord for this training, and each of you for your prayers and generous gifts which made this Women in the Window trip a success. Please continue to pray for our Women in the Window partnership with these Lakota ladies:
- That each woman will understand and continue to meditate on the reality that she is deeply loved by God, as His Beloved, part of the Bride of Christ. “I will call those who were not my people, my people, and those her who was not beloved, Beloved.” Romans 9:25
- That the transformational process of healing begun during this Trauma Healing training will continue as the women go back to their everyday life. Many of these women face extremely challenging family and work situations.
- That the WiW inductive narrative Bible study method will make the Word of God come alive for these women and that they will learn to both teach and live the truths they discover that God includes women in His Story, for His glory!
- That God will raise up a leader or two from the Native American women present and those who have participated in the previous WiW trainings on the Reservation. This is Women in the Window’s 5th training in 4 years on this Reservation and we are asking God to bring a rich harvest as a result of these years of sowing and watering “seeds” of His love in their hearts.
Yours because I’m His,
Kim on behalf of our Lakota team