Their Ministry Focus
Tim and Kim Wardell serve in Allen, South Dakota, among the Lakota people. They are mentoring the growing congregation of the Pass Creek Church into what it means to be a fully functioning, self-sustaining church with the vision that one day indigenous leadership will be at the helm of this church. Worship, fellowship, Bible study, Sunday school, and youth programs are some of the areas in which they provide leadership and modeling to those who will someday step into roles themselves.
They see their role here as building a bridge between people who are defined by hopelessness to the God who is the definition of hope. During the summer, the Wardells host up to 12 weeks of short-term missions teams—one week of engaging in the lives and challenges of the Lakota people in order to begin the building blocks of ongoing relationship.
Tim and Kim began their ministry journeys on separate roads, unaware how God intended to intersect those paths and reroute them to a completely different destination.
Tim was active in various roles and responsibilities in his church but found his evangelistic calling when he became a coach and chaplain for a high school football team. His ministry there was not only to the young men he mentored but also to the dads and families of these teens. Through God’s hand this led him to a new church family and what God had next for him.
Kim’s ministry among the Lakota people began with a church summer mission trip in 2009 to the Pass Creek Church in Allen, South Dakota. From that first week among the children and families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, her heart remained in this place and every summer she returned, building ongoing relationships with several families. Each time she asked God, “When do I get to come and stay?”
In 2014, 10 days after their wedding, Tim and Kim were part of the annual summer mission trip to Allen and it was on that trip that God answered that question. Kim says, “God had intersected our paths and our lives and he confirmed that Allen, South Dakota, was the destination he had for us.”
After completing the ordination process and four months of fundraising, the Wardells landed in Allen in September 2016. Their first year was spent working with the couple that was retiring from the ministry and establishing a healthy transition period for the church and the community. By August 2017 they celebrated the retirement of the Bentleys and began full leadership of the Pass Creek Church and the ministry to the community.
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