First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte
P.O. Box 170, Eagle Butte, SD 57625
(605) 964-3617 (Office) / (502) 216-3782 (Pastor’s Cell)
May 26, 2022
Winter has passed, and Spring has come. The dark shadow of the pandemic has lifted, and nearly every restriction is gone. Here in Eagle Butte, the strain on our people has been bad-as I’m sure it was where you were living! But in the midst of it all, God was with us, and He has blessed us with the ability to weather the storm. Our church attendance is rebuilding, our old activities are resuming, and everything is getting back to normal. Our Lord is to be praised, and we will praise Him together as we enter this new dawn!
Wednesday Night Bible Study is Back on!
During the pandemic, wednesday night Bible studies fell by the wayside as we concentrated on Sunday morning worship. But as the restrictions began to lift, people began to crave the fellowship of Wednesday night Bible study once again.
I did not want to resume this activity by simply doing what we were doing before. If I may be completely honest, I have never been very good at leading Bible studies; preaching has been my strong suit. I was never happy with the way Bible studies went before the lockdowns, since they sort of seemed to turn into sermons. So this time, I decided to fundamentally change the way we did Bible studies, from the bottom up.
After church one Sunday, I asked everyone who was interested in having Bible studies to stay after church and talk with me about it. I asked each of them what they most wanted to find in a Bible study. One said fellowship; another said prayer; another said they wanted to learn something; still another said they wanted to be reminded of what was taught in the Sunday morning service, and talk about how to apply it. Together, we chose a format that achieved all of these goals, and then…
To my surprise, ever since then we have been having better Bible studies than ever before! People are sharing about their lives, and bonding with each other, and laughing, and crying, and supporting each other, and just plain BEING THE BODY OF CHRIST. We are also introducing “Zoom” as a more permanent part of Wednesday night Bible study. People can meet me at the church for Bible study, but if it is more convenient for them, they can join the group via Zoom. The result is solid, consistent attendance, and in higher numbers than I’m used to. I’ve never been happier.
Church Potlucks Have Returned!
A monthly tradition of our church has been potluck lunches, every month. They provided an opportunity for fellowship and mutual support. But when the pandemic came, potlucks ended as a matter of public safety. They were sorely missed by everyone involved.
But this Easter, all of that changed. Following our worship service celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, we sat down and feasted together-just like in the old days. It was deeply satisfying, and everyone present enjoyed being together. We look forward to continuing this tradition in the future, resuming our monthly feast once again.
Windswept Academy Finishes Another Graduating Class!
Windswept Academy, the Christian School that serves this community, has been associated with First Baptist Church ever since its founding. This year, we were proud to celebrate the graduating class of 2022, and the strongest condition in which the school has ever been. We even had a historical first this year-a young man graduated from high school at Windswept, after having gone to the school every grade since kindergarten!
Lakota Language Learning is Going Great!
For the third year in a row, I have been granted the honor of being Windswept Academy’s Lakota teacher. The students are having a lot of fun learning the Lakota language, and are showing substantial progress. Pictured above are two of my classes, and every student in each of these classes can count from one to twenty in Lakota without a single mistake. In the older grades, they are even able to translate lengthy sentences in Lakota, and do so faster than I can write them on the board! I’m so proud of them all.
An Upcoming Wedding!
Next month, I will be presiding over a wedding between two of our church members: Johnny Maholic and Amy Brown. They both are teachers at Windswept Academy, and serve in our church wherever they are able. I have had the privilege of conducting premarital counseling with them over the past several months. No two people are ever really ready for marriage, but these two are more ready than most. I see a bright future ahead for them, whatever God has in store.
Beautiful New Paintings!
Our church has a series of ten paintings in the hallway, telling the story of salvation history. They were painted by Bryson Dupris, a local artist who is known for his unusually keen grasp of proportion, perspective and shading. Recently, a new attendee of our church became impressed by these paintings and donated money to pay Bryson to paint three more. As a result, we now have pictures of Noah’s Ark, the baptism of Christ and the Triumphal Entry in our hallway. These pictures help us to share the Gospel in ways that words cannot.
From Windswept Academy Children to Ukrainian Refugees!
Burkemont Baptist Church, with whom our church has shared a longtime friendship, has sent a mission team to the eastern European nation of Moldova, and it is ministering to the needs of Ukrainian refugees as I write this. Eddie Bunton, the leader of the team, asked if the children at Windswept Academy would like to draw some pictures for the team to distribute to some of the Ukrainian children. The students of Windswept were eager to do it, and made a large number of pictures to share. Our prayers go with our friends to Moldova, and we hope these pictures will bring some little children joy.
An Unexpected and Wonderful Surprise!
Following the recent news that Roe v. Wade is expected to be overturned, I noticed that a number of churches nationwide had been vandalized out of frustration. I wondered if we would deal with any graffiti of our own. That Sunday, when I arrived at church, I had my answer, but it was so much better than anything I could have imagined.
One of our church members, out of an abundance of kindness, had cleaned up our entire backyard. Not only that, but he had spraypainted the message “Jesus loves you” on the back fence. Now, there’s some graffiti I never plan to remove!
So perhaps you are wondering how you can become a partner with us in our ministry here in Eagle Butte? If so, we certainly welcome your assistance. Here is what we need the most:
Prayer. It may be true that our church is getting along very well at the moment, and that God is doing great things here. But it is precisely when a church is being used by God that Satan does all in his power to destroy it. So please pray, my brothers and sisters. Pray that our leadership will keep their hearts pure and humble, and that we will live at peace with each other. Pray that we will be protected from the power of the enemy, and that God’s Holy Spirit will shine through in our lives. Pray that the Lakotas in the community will come to know the Lord, and that the commitment they make will not be a superficial group of words, but a real change in their spirits that will alter the course of their lives for eternity.
E-mail addresses. For those of you who have e-mail addresses, please send them to me. That way, these newsletters can be forwarded to everyone in your church who wants one. Just send your name and e-mail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll make sure you receive this newsletter as often as it comes out.
Financial Assistance. Our church is fortunate to have members who are generous in their giving. But some of our most generous members are, nevertheless, very poor. We have long been blessed with assistance from outside churches and individuals, and we try to use those gifts wisely and well. If any one of you wishes to bless the church with a financial gift, you may send it to:
First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte
P.O. Box 170
Eagle Butte, SD 57625
May God bless you all, and draw you closer to Himself each and every day.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Ben Farrar
First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte