Greetings to you all.
Here we are at the end of another year. I know I say it every year, and I will say it again. “Where did the time go?” It seems like some days and particular seasons drag on, and then you look back and wonder where did all the time go?
2021 has been a great year for us in ministry. A different type of year, it has seemed. I believe that the years ahead of us will all have a different look to them now marked by COVID. I know at the end of last year, I did not believe I would still be thinking of all the ways this virus has played a part or affected us through 2021.
I am so grateful we have been able to continue to love and serve our community. It has certainly looked and felt different, but the need for the gospel to be shared is the same, if not greater.
This coming March will be ten years since Amanda and I moved to SD. That is hard for me to wrap my head around as it does not feel that long and to see all that God has done in such a short amount of time. However, we are excited to see what the Lord has for us for the next ten years. It is exciting to think about!
There has been a lot of moving around and shifting for us here at Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch. I am genuinely excited to see what God has in store for us as a family and as a ministry for the next ten years. The Lord put something in my heart at the beginning of last summer that I could not shake even though I was a little uncertain about it. Frankly, I did not want to think about it because I did not necessarily want to do it. Over several months, through the Word of God and great people in my life, He has given me a whole bunch of peace, clarity on things that needed to happen, and the grace and wisdom to begin carrying it out. Some of those changes include;
Stepping down from pastoring.
I have pastored the church at Creator’s Fellowship for the last six years, as well as covered the helm as director of the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch. A few weeks ago, I stepped down from pastoring so that I could focus on being the Executive Director of the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch. This has been a tough decision but also one that has come with a great deal of peace and has grown into something I am very excited about. Our church has voted and accepted Chad Deible as pastor of our fellowship. We had an ordination service for him, and it was a beautiful sight to see Creator’s Fellowship having their first ordination service.
Send off for our Manderson church plant;
Last January, we started a church plant in the town of Manderson. We began by duplicating services on Sundays at different times to accommodate both locations. This has been a privilege as well as a growing experience for me. The plan from the start is that Jeremy Mouw would begin leading that church location at the beginning of 2022. We had a wonderful sendoff service from our Sharps Campus for the Mouw and the Homer families. This again was such an encouraging service for me, knowing the process and work that the great Father has done in our local church family.
New positions and roles;
These changes have led to defining roles and purposes that much more. Jeremy and Sarah Mouw have resigned from the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch and will be pastoring Creator’s Fellowship Manderson full time. Pray for their housing provision close to that area and the work to be done in that town.
Chad and Sarah Deible will be pastoring Creator’s Fellowship full-time while working part-time with the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch. Pray for their transition into learning and growing in a new ministry role and for the continued health of Creator’s Fellowship.
The Haddens will be working full time with the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch and our team that God is growing here on the ground. We are praying for the Lord to send us some help in this area as the ministry has grown tremendously over the last few years. Through the Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch, we will focus on three lanes of ministry;
Camp- As you know, this has and will continue to be a big part of our ministry because we believe that reaching and loving our younger generation is vital to God’s Kingdom growth.
Construction- Over the years, we have had many ministry teams come and help us do various projects and work here at the ranch and in the community. This is not a new lane of ministry. However, we believe the Lord is leading us to develop this more intentionally and have a more strategic purpose in what and how we are doing this type of ministry.
Wellness- The wellness center is very close to being complete. It seems I have said that for over a year now because I have. There have been some setbacks from state and tribal workings, but God has been working through it all, and I believe we are very near to having our state dental practice certification. There are still some very specific equipment and supplies needed. If you are interested in helping us in this way, please feel free to reach out for more details. We hope to launch the Wellness Center Dental ministry within the next few months. God is working out the details and is always going before us. Even when we don’t see it, He is working and moving in the hearts of people.
I heard it said once, “When God is moving, we should not be surprised that His people are moving” From the very beginning of time, we can see God moving, and the result is that His people should be moving. The church was never intended to stay put but rather be mobile, always following the Lord’s leading. As fearful as it may be, I want to encourage you to step out and move into an unknown and uncomfortable area. It is so worth it to be found in His perfect peace, to be found in His presence.
I cannot begin to thank you all for the encouraging words and prayers on our behalf for your sacrificial giving and the constant unexpected blessings that you share with my family and our team here. I do sincerely pray that God will continue to bless each one of you and that the year 2022 will be one of tremendous growth in the kingdom of God. May His glory fill each of your homes no matter the circumstances surrounding your lives.
Learning to serve the Lord in all we do,