Thursday, November 27, 2008

Broken Walls at the SD Women's Prison

Saturday, November 1, Pierre Aglow partnered with the Mission Wounded Knee team to bring Jonathan Maracle and Broken Walls to the South Dakota Women's Prison as part of their tour of South Dakota prisons and reservations.

The team joined us at the Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place for a powerful time of prayer and testimony on Friday evening, October 31. Karon and Ron Young joined in hosting a portion of the team while they were in Pierre. Due to a paperwork mixup, Kimberly Stover, Janie Cass and Norma Blacksmith were not allowed to join us at the prison, but continued in prayer while the rest of us were there. Merlyn and DeAnn Hilmoe were the only local people who entered the prison with Broken Walls and the team.

From Bruce Bartelli's email recap:"The team, outside of Jonathan, Kris, Bill, Donna and myself, included Cindy Austin (Rochester, NY), Wayne and Chicky Taylor (Wakefield, MA), Sound techs Paul Starling and Richard Erb (Canada), Jim Uttley, Indian Life Newspaper, (Manitoba, Canada) and joining us from Rosebud to Pierre were Elizabeth Thomson, Dave and Joyce Bell, and John and Beth Russell (Rochester, NY area). Wendy Barcaro came from Rosebud to help with the Sioux Falls beginning side of the journey, set up the Middle School assembly, helped prepare dinner for the rest of team at Sinte Gleska University in Mission, came over to Pine Ridge in the evenings and then came up for the Women's prison outreach (all while working full time during the week). Locally, "mom" Norma Blacksmith worked tirelessly on the star quilts for the Whiteclay honoring ceremony before the Broken Walls Concert and prepared a meal at the Re-creation center. Marvin and Julie VanHooten of Rushville prepared a meal for all attendees at Whiteclay and were marvelous workers and servants. "

From Jonathon Maracle: "....we're on our way home after the most successful tour ever. We played Whiteclay the other night and truly connected to the native people. A powerful time of worship was had. We did several memorials to sons, daughters and brothers who had died. It was powerful and an awesome tool to reach their hearts. Two days ago we played in the SD Maximum Security for women.

About 120 came out and were very excited to have us there. When I played "Tears"
(flute song) for the mothers and grandmothers they all stood and cheered after I was done.
We ministered very clearly about the love of Jesus and as I played "Rise Up" they all stood to their feet and raised their hands over their heads, many with tears. The supervisor was really moved by their response and is going to send us letters from the prisoners as well as her endorsement of Broken Walls. Sunday morning Bill and I did the service for New Life Assembly ... Once again it was a powerful time as the church began to dance and sing with BW. The Pastor said "You shared things that people really needed answers for in a
way they could truly embrace". We were very encouraged!

Those of us from our local Aglow prison ministry were gratified as the ladies lifted their hands in worship, joined us in a welcome dance, and responded to the concert. One inmate was moved to worship exuberantly in her native dance, even using the Wendy's shawl when it was offered (with the approval of the prison staff). This was an enormous effort by the Mission Wounded Knee team and volunteers and we extend our thanks to all who assisted. God was honored.

Please add any reflections or comments you have.

Church of Hope at the Women's Prison

Merlyn Hilmoe had the opportunity to preach at the Women's Prison for their weekly Saturday evening church service twice in October, and once at the H Unit, and Janie Cass led worship. At the H Unit, we viewed the Louie Giglio video, "How Great is Our God", which is a moving and inspiring discussion of the universe and our (very small) place in it. Here's a link for part of the video

When we called the distributor for permission to present it at the prison, they were extremely gracious and indicated that we could show it wherever we want, whenever we want, with only the caveat that we not make copies of it (as of course we would never do).

We plan to use the DVD at our December 28 Aglow service at the main prison, with live worship before and after the video.

Recap: October 13 The Prayer Experience (Jehovah Rapha)

Life got so exciting there was no time to blog! If you can imagine.

To recap: The Prayer Journey, provided by Barbara Roos from Carthage, was a joint meeting of the Jehovah Rapha prayer meeting held each month at New Life Assembly of God, and the Pierre Aglow group.

The Prayer Journey was awesome! We began with some worship in the main room, then one by one, the attendees moved to the starting point, where we washed our hands in preparation for the journey. Tables throughout the room focused our attention on many of the different ways the Lord has revealed Himself to us.

We loaded backpacks with blocks of wood representing the problems we have such a hard time laying down, and then noticed the difference after they had been discarded.

We received Communion; we knelt before the cross; we wrote our names on God's hand; we tried on bridal veils.

And we wrote, drew or colored our prayers of thanksgiving to the One who gave His life for us.

As I said, it was an awesome time and I'm so thankful for all who took part, especially those to whom this was not a familiar or easy task. Thank you, Barbara for working so hard to present it.

Please add your comments if you attended.