Greetings and blessings to all of you who partner with us financially and prayerfully! I apologize that it’s been over a month since you’ve heard from us. It’s been a crazy and at times, rough winter. The weather along with sickness has at times kept us from going down to the Reservation or anywhere really for that matter. Over 4 weeks ago we were blessed to be able to go to Portland, Oregon to be part of a very close friend and brother in Christ’s wedding. We were there for 5 days and unfortunately on the 3rd day I (Elliot) got sick (bad sore throat, cough, sinus pressure, etc.) and it wasn’t long before Everly (our 2-year-old) and Crystal got sick. That lasted for a couple of miserable weeks. Everly and I are still dealing with colds. With that, for the past 4 weeks I’ve only attended our church twice and been on the reservation during the week twice as well. That, along with snow storms, has kept me from being able to lead services in the jail, or go to the hospital to pray for the sick for over a month now. This week will be in the forties so I’m excited to get back.
For those of you who have been following our newsletter, you may remember that David Blacksmith and I have been meeting with several Lakota men one on one in the jail who have made decisions for Christ. Zan Wright and Michael Mestith have both gotten out so please pray that they would be able to resist temptation to return to alcohol and continue to follow Jesus. Also pray for Christian Janis. I’ve known him almost the whole time we’ve been ministering in Pine Ridge. He’s in his mid-twenties and has been either in juvenile hall or jail for most of his life from the age of 12. He’s struggled with alcohol and drugs for much of his life. I met with him before going to Portland. He says he wants to change and follow Jesus.
Last week I met with the son of a Lakota pastor. He knows much of the Bible (even went to Bible college) and believes in Jesus but has been struggling on and off for years with alcohol, various drugs, and now Meth. He has also been through several traumatic experiences in his life and needs real emotional healing. His father is trying to get him into Teen Challenge so please pray that happens. Also pray that the Lord continues to give us wisdom on how to support him in the meantime. I’m not putting their names because I need to be blameless in seeming to exploit them. There has been a recent article accusing the church and missionaries of exploiting the people for gain so we have to be careful. The new tribal president would like to see us all gone. That’s not the feeling of the people as a whole, just a few who are making their voices heard.
In January, the leadership of our church, the ReCreation Center, started to meet together every other Monday to pray and go through Francis Chan’s new book, “Letters to The Church.” It’s sparked really good discussion on what God has us doing as His body on the Rez. It’s been challenging but really productive as well in helping us grow in unity with the Lord and each other. Pray that we hear the Holy Spirit clearly in these meetings and grow in our love for one another as well as those we minister to.
The women’s group has been going well and have had a consistent group since they started in September. This week they started a new study, Open Your Bible, and are believing the Lord to use it to spark a hunger for His word. Please pray for these precious ladies!
Please pray for sickness to be gone from our home, especially for Everly! Aside from that, she is getting so big and getting smarter as each day passes! Her vocabulary is increasing and she is just such a joy to us!
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About Elliot and Crystal Morales
Elliot and Crystal Morales currently live in South Dakota and minister on the Pine Ridge reservation to the Lakota people. They are involved in discipleship, Bible study and jail ministry as well as various other things including working with the local church.