Lakota Hope gathers leaders to cultivate lasting community solutions

Lakota Hope Ministry (formerly known as the ABOUT group) will draw together local leaders and Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) representatives to brainstorm solutions to critical community issues. The May 4 lunch gathering will be at its Lakota Hope Center/Green Tipi Gardens site in Whiteclay.

“The purpose of the gathering is to bring together local, state and tribal officials and civic leaders who have an interest in seeing the deplorable human and street conditions in Whiteclay resolved,” said Bruce BonFleur, Lakota Hope Ministry Director. “AGRM national and regional officials, who will tour the Pine Ridge Reservation and Whiteclay, will help evaluate the local level of support and commitment and provide valuable input to help make these important changes reality.”

AGRM, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the nation’s oldest and largest Christian-based rescue mission association. More than 200 rescue missions across America are affiliated with the organization.

“AGRM members have an incredible record of success in literally saving the addicted, the homeless, the destitute and the hopeless from some of the worst street situations you can imagine—places just like Whiteclay,” BonFleur said. “In fact, AGRM’s particular ‘ministry of hospitality’ model remains among the most effective methods of saving such people and even developing some of them into responsible workers and staff counselors.”

Lakota Hope and other ministries have been working for eight years to help improve local citizens’ lives, BonFleur said. He hopes that the meeting with AGRM representatives and political leaders, law enforcement officers, health and social service agents, and area pastors will significantly boost these efforts and propel the community and its people toward genuine change.

“All of the protests, politicizing and procrastinating have done nearly nothing to alleviate the human suffering that has existed here too long,” BonFleur said. “We believe that it is still possible in this country for a group of concerned and committed people—those in decision-making positions—to come together in a positive atmosphere and solve anything—even a situation like Whiteclay. And with God’s help, it will be done!”

For more information about AGRM or Lakota Hope Ministry, visit their websites at www.agrm.org and www.lakotahope.org. Persons interested in becoming involved may contact Bruce BonFleur at 308-862-4555.

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