Musicians, ministers, intercessors, tree planters and others representing nine Indian nations and a dozen states came together last weekend to pray, celebrate and dedicate a new and unique structure, The Arbor, at the Lakota Hope Center in Whiteclay, Nebraska.
“We were extremely honored to host representatives from the Crow, Delaware, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Shoshone, Lakota, Oneida, Arapahoe and Cherokee nations,” stated Bruce BonFleur, Co-Director of Lakota Hope Ministry. “The atmosphere of unity and common purpose, that of bringing positive, lasting change to this area was overwhelming,” he added.
Activities included a dedication of the structure foundation, the planting of 40 fruit trees, a fellowship of local ministries, a veteran’s honoring ceremony and several meals. Highlighting Saturday’s gathering was the return of multiple Grammy award winner, Tom Bee. After several songs and a gospel message, Bee, who is also President of S.O.A.R. Records and head of Red Sea Ministries (Albuquerque, New Mexico), offered an invitation to those present. Ten individuals responded and came forward to receive blessings, prayers and new bibles.
Delaware Nation Judge, Beverly McLaughlin of Tulsa, Oklahoma, led a Holy Communion following Mr. Bee’s part of the day’s program.
Earlier in the day, Rico Montenegro, Director of International Planting Projects for the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation based in Pennsylvania and California, conducted a tree planting mini-workshop for a group of about 20 volunteers from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Sheridan County. Forty trees, including apple, plum, pear and peach were planted on the Lakota Hope Center site along Highway 87 in Whiteclay.
“Our ministry effort in Whiteclay continues to be one of being a ‘light’ in a place where way too often only darkness and negatives seem to be dwelled upon,” said BonFleur. “We are working to create programs and opportunities which will employ folks and give them the dignity of providing for themselves or a family. Progress is slow, but things are definitely on the move in this place. We know that God is in it, and in His time, all things will be made right,” he added.