Rev. Marrles W. and Frances Moore

Rev. Moore is the founder of Christian Life Fellowship Church and White Eagle Christian Academy

The Past

The conditions that exist today for the Native Americans result from factors extending back to the arrival of the first Europeans and the so-called “discovery” of America.

For the past half millennia, the indigenous peoples of America have been running for cover, without a chance to develop normally as a nation.

Their progress in agriculture, mining, schools, home building, was disastrously interrupted by the coming of the European empire builders.

They fled for their lives from America’s armies, presidents and governors.  Some fled to Canada, some to the mountains, some to the deserts, some to the forests and prairies, hoping for a few more years to live.

Finally, when there were no more places of refuge, they were forced to live on “Indian Reservations”, which are small areas of land which they were allowed to keep.  They were then divested of millions of acres of land by the government using the Senate passed law called the “Allotment Act” sponsored by Senator Dawes.

Living on reservations in areas lacking natural resources necessary to sustain the traditional Indian way of life or even a minimum standard of living.

The hostile position of America’s thinking was explicitly expressed in 1847 by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Francis A. Walker, who said “Indians should be reduced to suppliants for charity.”

The “Indian Reservation” concept developed by the war department has been accomplished.

The Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation was established in the 1800's.  Though isolated, ignored, deprived, and short changed, the Native Americans have come far in the last 100 years.  They have survived.

The Present

Examining the conditions of the Native Americans today is a matter of “fact vs. fiction”.  To understand the spiritual, socio-economic status of our Indian population living on Indian Reservations, the non-Indian must look beyond the traditional stereotypes and shallow media information.  The National statistics regarding nearly two million Indians living on 300 different reservations, all within the U.S.A. paint a very grim picture.

Over 51% unemployment - 1990 census lists Todd County, which encompasses the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, as the fourth (4th) poorest county in the United States.  Christian Life Fellowship is located in the middle of Todd County, SD.

50% of the reservation population, and that of the entire Indian population in South Dakota, are in their teens or younger.  This growing population creates greater challenges for the agencies that serve them - Federal,  State, and Tribal.  This group is also one of the greatest challenges to confront modern day Evangelical Christianity.

Issues such as teen pregnancy, alcoholism and substance abuse, illiteracy, gangs, and domestic violence,  along with other social dysfunctions, are significantly compounded by existing problems associated with poverty.

Education: The U.S. average dropout grade among Native Americans has hovered around fifth (5th) grade for the last 50 years.

Many are without a strong sense of family. Many of them have lost faith in government agencies which has disenfranchised them from the decision making process that will affect their lives.  Many of them are without the power of a vision, and most important they are without hope.  We must not and cannot lose another generation to political and social dysfunction.

Christian Life Fellowship will accept its share of the responsibility by addressing these concerns and providing solutions.

We have already established White Eagle Christian Academy, a Bible based kindergarten through eighth (8th) grade educational center.  We have received full accreditation from the South Dakota Department of Education.

Our outreach to this reservation is in progress.  Services of Christian Life Fellowship include regular church services, Bible Studies, prayer groups, children and teen programs, and counseling, and Christmas parties for 500 children in the Antelope and Okreek communities.  This is a multi phase program that will embrace the 21st Century with Christian based ministries while preserving the integrity of cultural values and God’s promise for every nation and every person.

The Future

An old Indian man stands upon the top of a mountain looking out over the vast forests and plains and remembers the days when this was his home.  He looks for the great herds of buffalo..they are gone.  He remembers the happy days of singing and dancing..they  are gone.  He remembers when families lived without fear..they too are gone.  He remembers when his brothers, relatives and friends took time to think of the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka).  No time to do that now, those days are gone.  He remembers taking the time to write his personal history in pictures on the side of his tipi, those days are gone forever.  The old Indian man turns and looks at his people and asks, Where is the eagle? Gone!  Where is freedom.  Gone! Where is hope?  Gone!  Now that we have been driven to the reservations, we must learn to survive.  We are surviving.

Is there hope after all of the “survival techniques” are learned and exhausted?   Yes!

Like the strong eagle that soars higher than all other creatures that fly, there is a Man, named Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Wakan Tanka), who soars to the very presence of His Father and prays for us.  While He was here He declared..”I am the Truth and the Way.” John 14:6.  The Lakota translation for the word way is “canku” (trail).  The Indians knew the topography of the land we call America.  They knew how to get from one area to another area so well that engineers followed old Indian trails when they built many of our national highways.

Out of all the sins that separate us from God, out of all hopelessness, out of all spiritual darkness, there is a “Canku” and His name is Jesus!  When all survival techniques have failed us we can put our weary moccasined feet on this “Canku” and He will lead us to the Father God, Wakan Tanka.  He will restore peace to our minds, He will restore hope to our weary souls.  He will give us spiritual power for service.  He will give us a vision that will sustain us throughout our lives.  He will give us the spirit of power.  He will give us the spirit of love.  He will give us the spirit of a sound mind, to meet all the challenges that come our way.

Your prayer support gives us spiritual energy to follow a vision.

Your financial support makes it possible for us to work here.