Wo’iyopastake (wo-EE-YO-pash-ta-ke) – Lakota word for Encouragement


Our Three Goals:

1. To encourage, strengthen and build up the Lakota pastors and Christian leaders who are there, in the good work they are already doing to help all the Lakota people.
2. To win others to Christ by serving them.
3. To materially help all the Lakota people in whatever ways we can.


We are a Christian ministry, led by the Holy Spirit, and dedicated to encouraging, strengthening, helping and supporting the Lakota pastors and Christian leaders on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

We do not bring our own agenda from outside the reservation (they have surely had enough of that!), but we support the good work that the Lakota pastors & leaders are already doing there.

We pray for them and send words of encouragement. We support the work of the Whiteclay Makerspace and the Chanku Waste Medical Center. And we supply them with Bibles, medical & dental supplies, artisan supplies and other items so that they can further advance their ministries and benefit all the people of the reservation.

Acts 16:9 “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.'”

So we go, and we help.

General Information:

  • The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota, is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut.

  • Population: approximately 40,000 



  • Unemployment rate of 85-90%, due to lack of sustainable businesses and industries on the reservation.

  • The high school drop out rate is 70%

  • There is only one full size grocery store  on the reservation.

  • There are no banks on the reservation except a mobile unit that comes in on certain days.

  • Health issues: 1 in 5 persons is diabetic. Over age 40, 1 in 2 persons is diabetic.

  • While the reservation is legally “dry” (they want it that way), alcoholism touches 80% of the families.  1 in 4 babies are born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

  • Death from heart disease, pneumonia, influenza, and suicide is twice the national rate (suicide rate is 4 times the national rate for teens); death from alcoholism, ten times the national rate; from homicide, more than three times the national rate. The infant mortality rate is 5 times higher than the national average.

  • Life expectancy is the lowest in the United States (average of 48 years for men and 52 years for women), and the lowest in the western hemisphere outside of Haiti.

  • There are at least 39 gangs across the reservation that are involved with drugs, alcohol, violence, theft, and sexual abuse.

  • At least 60% of the homes are severely substandard, without water, electricity, adequate insulation and sewage systems. Some elderly die each winter from hypothermia.

“The housing shortage on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is so severe that only 16 people living in a four-bedroom house is considered lucky. Next door there are 23 people in a three-bedroom house” (Rapid City Journal). Note: There may even be 30 people living in one house.

This is a third world country within the United States of America!

But God…

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty… (1 Corinthians 1:27)

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us… (Ephesians 2:4)

But God is faithful… (1 Corinthians 10:13)

There is HOPE across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation!