North Rapid is largely a Native American community located within the city limits of Rapid City, South Dakota. Rapid City has a population of approximately 85,000 people with approximately 20,000 being Native Americans. A large percentage of the people we are in relationship with live below the poverty line. We see families that struggle with poor nutrition, inadequate housing, substance abuse, drugs, and unemployment. The high school drop out rate among Native youth is high. Approximately 50% of youth fail to graduate. There is also the very real struggle of institutional racism which runs deep and creates many barriers to success of the Native person.
At He Sapa New Life, we celebrate the work the Creator has done in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to bring hope, forgiveness, and restoration to people of all tribes - especially among the Lakota People.
We are a ministry without walls and our philosophy is to go out and connect with people from our community where they are at. We host community events such as kids clubs, carnivals, concerts, school supply distributions, Christmas toy drives, etc. We seek also to meet basic needs through food bank distribution, weekly community meals, support groups, individual mentoring, winter clothing, blankets for the elders, and more. We are holistic in that we seek to meet spiritual, physical, social and emotional needs.
We have weekly church services that are bilingual in English and Lakota. Our services contextualize the gospel message so it is understood through the eyes of the Lakota. We incorporate the local culture into our services. For those living in remote areas we send out weekly DVDs of our worship services which encourages faith and discipleship. We have weekly children's church and youth activities as well.