Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Today, I’m going to switch gears a little (or a lot).

My heart hurts for the Lakota at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

If you’ve never seen this 20/20 episode that aired last year, I highly recommend it.

The piece by 20/20 is fairly well done.  But they leave you with the feeling that things are looking up for these kids.  We know the aunt of Robert Looks Twice’s and can tell you that his mom is back to drinking heavily.  The picture you get from 20/20 is not the reality.

Not only that, but you don’t hear what the main problem is on Reservation.  I don’t entirely blame the producers, because they have a target audience to cater to.  Still there is a blaring problem that is not mentioned once during the show.

First let me tell you that we live less than an hour from this Reservation and have been friends with and loving on a Lakota family for about 2 years. We’ve ministered to them and seen their ups and downs throughout this time.

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We have received calls from them telling us that their 13 year old niece killed herself, then another niece, then a nephew.  Multiple attempts at suicide.  Tears over getting drunk again and admission to addiction to prescription pain medications. Demon oppression & possession (yes it is true I don’t care who you are or your lack of “experience” with it). Our own frustrations with the times they struggled or finding out that money we gave them for gas was really for pot. We’ve prayed and cried with this family.

But the problem that 20/20 can’t share is that the sexual abuse is very normal and begins at a young age for so many of the Lakota on the Reservation. Many grow up, and in turn, do the same thing. This is just how it is. It is heart-wrenching to know what goes on.

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This evil is what we have come to believe it is one of the biggest contributors to the sucicide and alcohol problems on Pine Ridge. There is no hope of ever escaping the abuse.  Add to that, the shame and embarrassment that comes along as baggage.

To the Lakota, if you leave the Reservation and make something of yourself, you are betraying your people. You are an apple, red on the outside but all white inside. “You are no better than anyone else so stop trying to be.”

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Three families have set aside Saturday to go and do church with them. They invite their family and extended family. Several souls have committed their lives to Jesus but there are obvious ups and downs as these babes in Christ learn who they really are.  They are 100% Lakota, no doubt about it, but the alcohol, drugs, & abuse have ruined their culture.   Christ redeems them and their culture from what is destroying them.

We’d covet your prayers as we love on this family.

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Blessings,

Julie-Signature