Thursday, October 27, 2005

Update on our 2006 Status

Well, the deadline for signing up is fast approaching. So far we have 8 people who have turned in all of their registration materials and money. I would really like to have a crew of 15. I just don't know how we can do what we do out there with less than that. It's going to be close - really close, so keep praying that if God wants this trip to happen that He will bring the right people on board. If we don't have 15 people then we'll have to step back and see what the next step should be. So far it's looking like a really good crew but we do need some more people.

Why the early deadline?
Some have said that the early deadline is part of the problem - that people just can't plan that far ahead. I'm not sure what to say to that. I do see their point, but I also have to consider all that it takes to put a trip like this together. I am especially thinking of the person who has to do all of the planning and shopping for the meals. The planning and cost estimating all has to be done by mid-December so that in January I can have an idea how much the trip will cost each person. It's not fair to team member to drag them along with no idea as to the cost of the trip. Since the price for each member is dependent on the cost of materials, I really need to start getting esimates early and I need a crew to do that with first. So the early deadline is to give the cook a bit of grace. All of his/her planning has to be done early and all during the busy holiday season. They have a hard job and it is my hope to make things a little easier for them by not having to rush them to get Pine Ridge work done.

The Meeting for this Sunday
We also had a meeting scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 30th. That meeting will need to be rescheduled once we see if we have a crew or not. I'll be posting the resecheduled meeting sometime next week.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

About the Registration Deadline....

Everything changes..... isn't there a song by that title? Well, it is certainly the rule of any mission trip. When I set the deadline Hurricane Katrina had not even developed let alone hit Louisiana, so little did I know that I'd be joining workcamps to that area. But, things change.

I've thought about what to do about the deadline since I wont be here but I *think* and hope that we can all deal with registering without my being here and without me having to reset a deadline. I really don't want to get into the habit of pushing back deadlines - otherwise, what's the point of a deadline. That would only open up the doors to misunderstanding and complaining so we'll keep the deadline as is. There are still ways you can register ....

I will be here until the Wed. before the deadline so you can give me your registration then, or you can mail it to me at my home. I wont' post my home address on the 'Net but anyone in our church can easily find it.

What is, is.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Deadline

The deadline to register for the 2006 trip is October 30, 2005

After Oct. 30th, registeration will be closed.

To register you need to turn in

- Your first non-refundable payment of $100.00
- Your Team Member Info. Sheet
- Your Medical Authorization Form
- Your signed Team Member Agreement
- Your driving record (if you are 21 and over and have not previously turned one in)

All of the forms are in the packet that was given out at the informational meetings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

First Meeting

This year I'm going to have 2 informational meetings to accomodate people's schedules. Anyone who is MILDLY interested in going on the 2006 trip needs to attend one of the two meetings. They will be:

Sunday, August 28th at 4PM and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 4 PM

You will receive information about the trip as well as all the paperwork you will need for registeration. Since there is really no way for me to fill you in if you're not at the meeting, please be at one of the two if you want to go on the trip.

Dates for the 2006 Trip!!

Wow, I've just caught my breath and we're off on a new adventure! Actually, I began working on the 2006 trip before we even left for the 2005 trip! Anyway, we now have dates for the 2006 trip. The trip will be from July 15 - July 24.

We will leave on Saturday, July 15, travel to Sioux City, IA and spend the night.
We will arrive on the Rez on Sunday evening, July 16th and will begin work on Monday the 17th.

We will leave the Rez on Sunday, July 23rd and will arrive back in Fairfield on Monday July 24th!

We'll spend 5 days working with the kids and one day of sight-seeing.

I'll be having an informational meeting SOON so be looking for more details in the near future.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Policy Re: Payments

There are two ways to make payments:

Sponsor Money
If someone sponsors your trip, that money is tax deductible but it is not returnable. Because it is given for the trip, it must be spent on Pine Ridge missions and cannot be returned to you at the end of the trip. It can be held over for use for the next year.

If someone sponsors you, have them make the check out to Winton Rd. First Church of God and earmark with your name. Then give the check to Amber or Brian so that your account is credited. DO NOT have them put it in the offering plate where it may get lost in the offering.

Out of Pocket
If you are making a payment out of pocket, the IRS does not allow you to take that off your taxes. Make a check out to the Pine Ridge Mission Fund and give the check to Amber or Brian. This money is not tax deductible but it is returnable to you in the event the cost of the trip is less than estimated.

Deadlines for payments are firm. Deadlines will be give at the informational meeting. You will be allowed ONE WEEK grace period. Please be sure to let Amber know if you are going to need the extra week. DO NOT just fail to make your payment and assume that I will assume you need the extra week. If you fail to make your payment after the one week grace period, you will lose your spot on the team. If this happens, money you have already paid in will not be returned to you.

The reason for this policy is that payments are spaced 4 weeks apart. If you are not able to make a payment at the end of the grace period, you will be only 2 weeks away from another payment which you will also likely not be able to make. That that point you will be digging a hole for yourself that you will not likely get out of and this could conceivably put the trip at risk. .

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The American Indian Council ... and other news

Well I'm back. My luggage is still somewhere between here and Rapid City and I'm hoping and praying that it arrives before we leave Saturday. If not, I'm in trouble since all my clothes for the trip are in there.

My week was good. It was not what I had hoped for, but it was good. I know God's hand was in it in a big way and I have no doubt that He knew exactly what was needed and had me there for a reason. When I made the last minutes plans to go, I had in mind a nice week of leisurly getting to know some of the Lakota people better, the adults as well as the kids. That was not to be. At least not in the way I had hoped and imagined. When I arrived and Paul greeted me with "Are you ready to get to work?" I knew things might be a bit different than I imagined. :) I ended up spending the week doing a LOT of cooking and a LOT of cleaning. You know, the monotonous daily grind kinds of things that no one relishes in but that someone has to do. As I cleaned and cooked for the AIC I was reminded that very often missionary work is not the glorious, exciting things that everyone dreams of doing. More often it is doing the daily grunt work. It's choosing a lower positon and becoming a servant who is willing to do whatever is needed rather than striking out to do "great things" for God. Sometimes I think those daily events of life, be it on the reservation or in your own home, are the things God uses to shape us ... the stuff of spiritaul growth. Rich Mullins has said,

I would like to encourage you to stop thinking of what you're doing as ministry. Start realizsing that your ministry is how much of a tip you leave when you eat in a restaurant; when you leave a hotel room whether you leave it all messed up or not; whether you flush your own toliet or not. Your ministry is in how you love people. You love people when you simply call your wife to let her know that you'll be late for dinner rather than letting her burn the meal. Loving people - being respectful toward them - is much more important than doing music.

.... If you're a Christian, ministry is just an accident of being alive. It just happens.

In doing what I did, I was able to build a better relationship with the missionaries there and have been blessed for it. I saw a side of Paul that I imagine most workcampers never get to see. Yeah, he is still Paul but he is also a sweet and gracious man. Who knew?? Many times he tearfully thanked me for coming and said he didn't know what they would have done without me. I've never felt so appreciated. And I think by being willing to work hard I won his respect. That will help to lay the groundwork for future mission trips. Even though Paul and Kathy will be retiring, they will still be around to influence the new missionaries and I am confident that they will have noting but good things to say about our group. Let me assure each of you who are going or who have been that they are VERY grateful for your sacrifice and hard work there. They could not do what they are doing there without each person who is involved and they know that. If you've ever questioned "why are we going" or wondered if your week there really makes a difference at all, let me tell you that it does. I saw how much of a difference it really does make by being there this week.

And least I forget, in the end, God did give me a reward. Breeanna, a 3 year old Lakota girl (pictured below in a post) remembered me from last year and clung to me almost the entire time. I remember her being very shy last year and shrinking back from all of us. Not so this year. She lit up when she saw me and would not leave me alone. I also saw Bubba, Michael, and I got to know some of the adults that attend the church better too. In fact, I ate every meal with them from Wed - Fri.

The trailers

Someone had donated 2 trailers to the church there and they were both pretty much trashed. I arrived on Monday and the AIC (American Indian Council) began on Wed. so there was still a LOT of work to be done to clean the trailers up enough for people to be able to stay in them. They needed to be scrubbed down - many times. I got 4 buckets of black, dirty water out of the kitchen cabinets in one trailer and we vacumed up a lot of nails, staples, screws, etc out of all the rooms. The Radison they aren't, but at least they are now in good enough shape to sleep in. The people from the AIC slept in them and they all survived. Nice to know they tested them out for us, eh?? BTW, they now also have a pot-a-potty in them. That will save everyone a long walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night if nature calls. Now, that said, I must tell you that Terry (Paul's son-in-law) placed them in the living room of each trailer. :)

Construction of Pam's Court Begins

On Monday or Tues (I forget which), Cody ) began digging out the basketball court. That was a nasty job. The dirt there is like cement and is very hard to dig up. He used the bobcat to scrape of the top layer of dirt and grass and then began tilling it to losen it up enough to be leveled out. Because the dirt is so hard it had to be tilled several times. I also attempted to help by raking the dirt in a vain attempt to level it up a bit. Of course, I have no idea what I'm doing so I probabaly only succeeded in moving the dirt around. To make the job even harder, it was over 100 degrees that day. Imagine us covered in dust and dirt and sweat and battling the cement hard dirt and you can get a picture of how that day went. On Monday of this week Paul and Cody will be working on it some more. They will be forming it up and filling in the sand and rebar so that it's ready for us to pour next Monday when we get there. Better pray the sand doesn't blow away. The first night Cody arrived they had a sand storm with 80 mph winds. Our sand may well blow away if that happens again. That is the only day Paul has to work on it though ... what is, is.

Buying the sand and ordering the cement proved to be ... interesting. I know where the cement place is but the man who owns it is apparently never there. The day Cody and I went in to Martin to find him and order the cement we were told to "look for a Ford pick-up with a backhoe on it". Hmmm ... needless to say we were not in Cincy anymore.

Cody's softball ministry

Tues evening Vi drove me and Cody and Paul and Kathy's grandkids into the village to visit with Ella a bit. We were not there long but it was nice to see her again. Then we were just driving around to show one of the grandkids the village and happened to notice several young adults playing softball over at the school. We stopped and went over to watch. Cody slowly worked his way into that group and ended up playing with them. Once they saw him play they were thrilled to have him play and asked him to play with them in a tournanment. He has been playing every night and getting lots of chances to witness to them as a result. When our team goes out, he will be not be with us for the Teen Nights because he has a ministry in place there at the softball field and I think it is wise to let him continue that. Let me just remind everyone that the rule that no one goes into the village alone still applies to our trip. Cody will be the only exception because he has already built up a rapport with the Lakota people on that team and I don't want to hurt what he has started. No one from our team will be allowed to go over to watch either .... the reason being .... while I was there a number of us when over to watch and I got the impression that we overwhelmed them a bit. I don't think they were comfortable with us being there. I didn't sense that they were hostile, just uncomortable. Once the ohter left and it was just Cody and I, they seemed much more at ease and began talking to us some. I just don't see any good coming out of a number of us going over so the rule is that no one will. I hate to see us hurt what has been started there.

The American Indian Council

When I left I was not sure what an AIC was. I had been told by someone here that it was where all the tribes gather to make their laws. That was not correct. It was the First Church of God's missionaries to all the reservations in the US coming together for a campmeeting of sorts. They had confrences all day long and then services at night. Many of the FCOG missionaries are Native American so it was cool to get a taste of each culture. During one of the confrences we divided up into groups with a member from each tribe in each group and we discussed some of the problems the reservation faces and what needed to be done to deal with them effectively. I decided that since I was just along for the ride to keep my mouth shut and listen. To my surprise they asked me for my input so I was able to contribute a bit and left feeling very humbled by that experience.

It was heartbreaking to hear the missionaries talk about the problems they face. The discouragement they feel is truly overwhelming. I don't know how they continue on. Surely it is only through the grace of God that they do. The need is just so great and the workers so few. Time and again I heard them speak of their need for help - especially help to work with the teens ... and there is just no one to step up to answer the call. In the past years that I've been to the rez I've not cried but this time, listening to the missionaries express their need and their discouragement and knowing that there is just SO much to be done and no one to do it, made me cry like a baby.

Please keep them in prayer.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

107!!! You've got to be kidding!!??!?!?!

Cody just called from Paul and Kathy's. It's good for mom to know he arrived safely. Last I talked to him he was crossing the Nebraska state line and was sleepy. That's just what I wanted to hear. When he called he asked if I had asked Paul about something and he had said "Yes". I had no idea what he might have been talking about and Paul couldn't remember but thought he remembered saying yes to some request. Hmmmmm .... we could use this .... I'm thinking about that water fight we wanted to have last year. :) Just kidding.

A water fight does sound nice though .... from the weather reports it was 107 in Allen today. Arrgghhhh ... we could be in for a hot one. Maybe the kids will use the water bottles to douse us with water??? We can hope.....

I head out tomorrow. I'll have lots of updates when I return.

What is, is.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pam's Court

I know everyone always likes to have an idea what we're doing and what's planned for these trips, as if any of us know, so I thought I'd let you know that we PLAN to place the stone for Pam into the basketball court on Wed. morning. IF all goes as planned, we'll be pouring cement on Monday and possibly Tues. By Wed. the court should be ready for us to place the stone. We PLAN to do this right after breakfast and that will take the place of our morning devos.

I also have a possible surprise for our trip - please be praying that this works out! At this point, it doesn't look likely but you just never know .....

What is, is.

What's for dinner?

Sheri and I went to Cosco yesterday to buy some of the food for our trip. It's amazing how much stuff you can cram into a car. This will be a mission trip where we will be eating well. :) I don't have a copy of the menu so I can't post that, but I can tell you that breakfasts will be a serve yourself thing. We have poptarts, cereal, danish, and that sort of thing for breakfast. Lunches will be pretty simple since we'll be herding all the kids through the lunch line. I think she has PB&J's planned for one lunch, and hotdogs for another and hamburgers for another. I can't remember the other lunches. Evening meals will be a bit more substancial. And on Saturday we'll do the picnic with lunchmeat and chips and pop. We have a lot of food from Pierre again. You can look forward to:

Rib-B-Q sandwiches, Chicken nuggets, pork chops, chicken breasts and mashed potatoes to name a few items. Pierre also gave us some breakfast sandwiches and french toast boats. Those were really good last year so I'm sure you'll love those.

We also have punch for drinks - or water if you don't want something sweet to drink.

John, Sophie and someone else - probably Brian, will be going over to Pierre early on the 30th to pick up the food from there.

As for snacks, you can bring whatever will fit into your luggage, or you can buy some along the way. I'm sure we'll be making a trip into Martin (a white town near the reservation) at least a couple of times during the week too so you can always have Sheri, or whoever shops, to pick something up for you.

We will not be having a box of snacks in each van this year. John did that out of the goodness of his heart last year and I think he paid for it out of his own pocket. I didn't think it was fair to Sheri to put that expectation on her this year. We make a LOT of stops along the way so there will be plenty of opportunities to buy snacks on the road.

In addition to all of that, I think Bev and Steve have footlong hotdogs planned for one of the teen nights. They are also doing an ice cream night too. It doesn't look like we're going to starve on this trip. I've been on a few mission trips to other places where I thought that might be a possibility but when we go to the rez we eat well. :)

I went dumpster diving again this past week. On my way to work I saw some boxes sitting out in someone's garbage just waiting for someone like me to come along. You can bet I pulled the Jeep over and grabbed them. I could still use some BIG boxes though. We have a lot of paper products that we really should pack. I'll be out of town though so we may end up just throwing them in the truck as is - unless someone want's to volunteer to hunt down a couple more boxes.

What is, is.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Well our last meeting is history. I think we had everyone there with the exception of one person. Woo hoooo!!!

I've been busy getting ready to leave for my trip and getting last minutes stuff taken care of for the team's trip. Our devo books are printed up thanks to Brian. They aren't as nice as last year's but they'll work.

Sheri and I are going shopping for groceries on Monday. Hopefully we'll be able to fit it all into my Jeep. And hopefully most of it will be boxed already so we won't have to deal with a whole lot of packing. One can hope.

I've also been assured that the vans are working. They were taken to the shop last night after the meeting to be checked out and serviced. I think Steve is going to have the oil changed and the tires rotated again after the Alpha group gets back from Texas so we should be good to go.

Two of our team members practiced driving the vans in the parking lot after the meeting last night and I think they are feeling somewhat comfortable now. After the fiasco that followed I've vowed to get a key chain that I can hook to my belt loop so MAYBE I'll be able to find my keys. I'm notorious for losing keys. Poor Dennis, Steve, Lisa and Kristen may kill me soon. I was riding in the van with Theresa so she could get some practice driving in and laid my keys in the cup holder of the van. Naturally I forgot I'd put them there until I was ready to leave the church and realized that I had no car keys. I went back into the church to try to figure out where I'd left them and came up with nothing. Then it occured to me that I'd left them in the van. Problem - they had already taken the vans to the shop. No problem - Lisa was on her way to the shop to pick Steve up so I could go over there and get my car keys. Cathy drove me to the shop but as soon as we pulled in Steve said that he had just locked the vans and put the keys in the shop's lock box. We ended up calling Dennis who had an extra set of keys to the van. Unfortunately he had already left the church and had to make a special trip back over to bring the keys. Opps. I think he was ready to kill me. Then Steve and Lisa had to drive me BACK to the shop to unlock the van and get my keys, then drive me back to the church where my Jeep was. *sigh* I'm sure Steve and Kristen will find a way to get me back at some point. And I think I'll just avoid Dennis for a while - unless I have a peace offering with me. :)

What is, is.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Change of plans

OK, don't anybody freak out - it's a change of plans for me, not for the team. Just thought I'd get your attention. ;)

It looks like I'll be flying out to the rez on the 17th of this month and then will return on the 23rd. I have no idea what I'll be doing there, but hopefully I'll get to know some of the people there a bit better. I know the American Indian Council is going on that week so I'll be part of that. Don't ask me what an American Indian Council is because I have no idea but I suppose I'll find out.

This will be a good chance for me to soak up the experience. When I take a group there I'm often pulled in 20 different directions and have a hard time just enjoying being there because I'm caught up in "stuff". It will be refreshing to just be able to "be" there without the distractions and responsibilities. I'll be back a full week before our team leaves so I'll still have time for those last minute emergencies.

Bev also came over this morning and ordered blankets. We ordered 180 of them!! I'll talk to Paul and Kathy when I'm out there to see if there are any especially needy people who could use one since we will certainly have more blankets than kids.

Wow, things are really happening fast now. We'll be out there before we know what hit us. :)

What is, is.

Opps, I forgot to mention

When I talked to Kathy yesterday she also told me that a man in Rapid City has given them two mobil homes which they have sat out in the field. Their plans are to fix them up and build an open deck between them and then use them for retreats and to house workcampers. That will make it so much nicer for everyone. I can't imagine how Paul and Kathy do it having people in their home all summer. I don't know if working on the trailers will be part of our work project this year or not, but possibly so.

Bev is on her way over to my house as I type this. We will be ordering the blankets for the kids. At last count she had close to 180 blankets! The support we receive from our church family just continues to blow me away.

What is, is.

Monday, July 04, 2005

July 4th!

As I type this I'm thinking about the 4th of July 2004. Those who went will remember that we left for Pine Ridge on the 4th last year. Some of us were a bit bummed that we might be missing the fireworks but figured we would see some as we drove through all the different cities. Little did we know that God was going to take care of the fireworks. :) I remember driving through some state, I can't even remember which one it was, and watching in silence as the sky light up with the most AWESOME lightening display I've ever seen. No man-made fireworks show could begin to compete with what we watched that night. Just another example of how God must care about even the smallest of details that concern us. He saw fit to bless us with something beyond our expectations.

I talked to Kathy today. There is a chance, a small one, but a chance, that I will be flying to the reservation at some point this month. I'll be back in time to travel out with our group on the 30th, so don't worry. :) Now all I have to do is find someone to cover my shifts at work - no easy task, and then I'll be able to get a ticket and fly out. If all goes as I hope it does, I'll be there for the American Indian Council. I'm really excited about this possibility. It has long been a dream of mine to live on a reservation and work with children there. Way back in the day I was majoring in Social Work with the hope of moving to a reservation to work with the children there. That never quite worked out so I've settled for taking short-term mission trips there each year. Being able to spend a week more there would really mean a lot to me so I'm hoping....

Kathy asked that we keep them in prayer - especially tomorrow and the next day. Some of the people who've been there before may remember Larry, the older Lakota man who was with Paul a lot. He was a BIG help to Paul and Kathy and a very active memeber of their congregation. Larry passed away a couple of days ago. He apparently had collapsed on the floor of his house and was there for a day or so before anyone found him. He passed away shortly after being found. The problem is, there is a workcamp at the Pass Creek church this week and they are concerned about how the funeral will work out with the group of workcampers there. And then there is the heat to consider - never a good thing when you have a dead body laying in the church. Kathy sounded stressed and asked us to keep them in prayer.

Remember our meeting this Wed., July 6th at 7PM.

What is, is.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Spiritual Attack?

Just a couple of updates to report. Cody has arrived in CO where he will be taking classes with Campus Crusade. He has been hiking through the Rockies and next week will go whitewater rafting. I suppose at some point they will have class too.

I think it's time to call in the troops. I know that for myself putting this trip together has been a nightmare. It is truly the first time in my life I've really asked God what in the world He was thinking in putting me in this position. Even when we were kicked out of a church and left on the street with nothing I didn't ask that question, but now I'm asking. And I'm not too proud to tell you that I'm not handling the stress well at all. I think I've gained 5 pounds in the past 2 weeks because I'm eating like there's no tomorrow. It not that I am concnered about how things will work out. I've done too many of these trips to worry about that. I know things will go wrong. That's OK. The thing that stresses me is dealing with all the people issues that have come up this year. I've never been involved with a trip where this kind of stuff just keeps happening. And I'm not the best person to deal with issues like this. Talk about being out of your comfort zone! I am really being asked to operate outside of my area of giftedness.

Please be praying for all of our team. I am not the only one dealing with "stuff". A few of our team members are going through some really difficult times and really need your prayers. What I'm dealing with is small potatoes compared to what they are having to deal with in their personal lives. Keep them, and all of us, in your prayers as that is the only way we are going to get through all that is ahead.

With all this pre-trip stuff, I am beginning to think that we may be under spiritual attack. Those of you who know me, know that I don't make a statement like that very often. Honestly, I don't know what's going on but I do know that this trip and the crew members really need to be kept in prayer.

OK, on a lighter note.... I've warned out team that our family is weird and that we often quote movie lines to each other when something just "fits". I suppose the funny part of that is that I am always quoting them wrong. I jsut can't seem to get a quote right to save myself, but they're used to it. Brian and I were watching Pirates of the Caribbean a few nights ago .... remember the scene where Jack Sparrow is gathering his crew and has them lined up so he can walk down the line and check them all out?? He says, "Do you have the courage and fortitude to follow orders and stay true even in the face of danger and almost certain death?" Brian (no not me - him) dreamed that night that I was doing that bit with our crew. I'm not sure which crew member was which pirate so don't ask. :) Speaking of pirates, I do have pirate blood in me, or so I'm told by some batty old aunts. Apparently we are related to Sir Francis Drake. So, those of you going, "Can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not?" OK, enough with the silliness. Nah, if it wasn't for the silliness, I'd not survive. In all seriousness though, I do think we need to keep our swords handy. :)

What is, is.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

One of the kids on the Rez

Chore and Devotional Schedule

Sunday, July 31
Clean out vans at end of day

Organize Kitchen - EVERYBODY follow Sheri’s

Kitchen Duty
Daniel, Jeff , Chrissie, Cathy

Bathroom Duty
Tim, Josh
Tonya, Theresa

Evening Devos - Chrissie

Monday, August 1
Clean out vans at the end of the day - All the girls

Kitchen Duty
Amber, Bub, Ericka, Theresa

Bathroom Duty
John, Jeff
Jessica, Chrissie

Morning Devos - Jessica
Evening Devos - Cody

Tuesday, August 2
Clean out vans at end of the day - All Boys

Kitchen Duty
Nora, Bev, Jessica, Kristen

Bathroom Duty
Steve, Bub
Amber, Kristen

Morning Devos - Logan
Evening Devos - Nora

Wednesday, August 3
Clean out vans at the end of the day - All Girls

Kitchen Duty
Steve, Tim, Josh, Logan

Bathroom Duty
Brian, Logan
Nora, Ericka

Morning Devos at Pam’s Court - Amber
Evening Devos - Brian

Thursday, August 4
Clean out vans at the end of the day - All Boys

Kitchen Duty
Brian, Jean, Cody, Tonya

Bathroom Duty
Cody, Daniel
Cathy, Jean

Morning Devos - Bub
Evening Devos - Jeff

Friday, August 5
Clean out vans at the end of the day - All Girls

Kitchen Duty
Chrissie, John, Jeff, Amber

Bathroom Duty
Jeff, Bub
Bev, Tonya

Morning Devos - Tonya
Evening Devos - Theresa

Saturday, August 6
Clean out vans at the end of the day - EVERYBODY

Kitchen Duty (breakfast & picnic)
Tonya, Tim, Nora, Cody

Bathroom Duty (you got off lucky!)
Daniel, Brian
Kristen, Theresa

Morning Devos - Tim
Evening Devos - John

Sunday, August 7
Clean out vans at the end of the day - EVERYBODY

Kitchen Duty
Jessica, John, Ericka, Amber

Bathroom Duty (Do an extra nice job since we’re leaving)
Tim, Bub
Amber, Jessica

Trip Schedule

OK, here's what you've all been waiting for ... the trip schedule!

Everything subject to change. :)

Saturday, July 30 - Travel Day - Be at the church at 6AM, Leave church at 7AM SHARP! Arrive at hotel and SLEEP!

Sunday, July 31 - Travel Day
Be ready to leave the hotel at 8AM. Arrive in Allen. Unpack

Monday, August 1 - We begin!
6 AM - Rise & Shine!
7 AM - Devos & Breakfast
8 AM - Morning chores & Work Projects
12 Noon - Lunch
1 PM - Work Projects
6 PM - Dinner
7 PM - Possibly travel to Wounded Knee
10 PM - Be in the sanctuary for Evening Worship,
Devos, and Team Sharing
Bedtime as you wish.

Tuesday, August 2
6 AM - Rise & Shine!
7 AM - Devos & Breakfast
8 AM - Work Projects
10 AM - Kool Aid Run to the village
11:30 AM - Pick up kids for VBS
12 Noon - Lunch (serve kids first)
1 PM - ? - VBS and Play Time
4 PM - Take kids home!
6 PM - Dinner
7 PM - Pick up teens for Teen Night
9 PM - Take teens home.
10 PM - Be in the sanctuary for Evening Worship,
Devos, and Team Sharing
Bedtime as you wish

Wednesday, August 3 - AM Devos at Pam's court where we will place the stone. The rest of the day is the same as Tuesday
Thursday, August 4 - Same as Wednesday
Friday, August 5 - Same as Thursday (possible PowWow)

Saturday, August 6 - Sightseeing Day!
6 AM - Rise & Shine!
7 AM - Devos & Breakfast
7:45 AM - Load into vans and head to Crazy Horse
12 Noon - Lunch at the Laughing Waters restaurant
at the Crazy Horse Memorial
1 PM - Meet at vans and head to Custer State Park
5 PM - Picnic at Custer State Park
6 PM - Head to Badlands (possible PowWow)
10 PM - Be in the sanctuary for Evening Worship,
Devos, & Team Sharing
Bedtime as you wish

Sunday, August 7
6 AM - Rise & Shine!
7 AM - Devos & Breakfast
10 AM - Church
Immediately after church — be in vans to head home

Monday, August 8 - Leave hotel at 7 AM and head HOME

Cody's Off

When you park a Jeep outside, you really should make sure that the top is on and the windows are up. My floorboads are flooded. Oh well ... one for the trip eh??

Cody left for Colorado today. He will be taking seminary classes there and then will head to South Dakota. He is supposed to be in Allen on July 16th. I hope to have more news from the rez once he is there.

A bit of sad news ... John and Vi will not be in Allen when we are there this year. They will be traveling that week. They are such a sweet couple. I really hate to miss them.

Today I've been working on the devotional books. I'm cheating and using the same devotionals from last year. The books will also contain the lyrics to the worship songs and our daily schedule. I'll try to post the schedule a bit later so you can get an idea of what's going on when we are there. Of course, everything can change in a moment's notice.

What is, is.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Dates to Remember

July 6th, 7:00 PM - our next meeting!

Friday, July 29, 7:00 PM - everyone meet to load the truck - bring your one suitcase, sleeping bag, and air matress. Everything that can be packed, will be packed that night.

Saturday, July 30, 6:00 AM - Be at the church and ready to head out! Yeee Hawwwww!!!! (Sorry, I watched "City Slickers" again last night.)

Sunday, August 14th, 6:00 PM - our group has the evening service to share about our trip! We have 22 people so we'll only have about a minute each to share! Wow.... that'll be hard but we'll give it a shot.

The backpack packing party - and a letter from Ella!

We're moving right along. Almost the entire team and a few friends and family members came over yesterday to fill the backpacks with school supplies and pack them up. Whew! What chaos! I think we all had fun in spite of the chaos and the confusion and the HEAT. I'm not sure of the final count but it doesn't really matter as long as we have at least 100 and we do. That BIG box is sitting in the garage and my beloved Jeep is going to have to stay in the driveway until we leave. I have a feeling we're going to have to repack the BIG box. We may leave it unsealed and then take the backpacks out of it, put it in the truck when we load it up and then put the backpacks back in and seal it. As long as they get there ... that's really all that matters.

In other good news - Cathy called today to tell me her school has come up with 21 more backpacks and they are willing to fill them with school supplies. We gave them the list of school supplies and they will take care of it. Cool! I'll be looking for another box for those babies. :)

And I got a nice surprise in the mail today - a letter from Ella! She sent me one of her senior pictures along with the letter. It seems she has joined in with every one else I know and has started teasing me about Johnny Depp. Agghhhh.... it is really THAT noticible?? OK, so it is. She also wanted to know what my "real" haircolor was. Now that was funny. But I wonder what makes her think I color my hair??? She said to tell everyone, "I'm hanging", and "What's up?" She says the kids there are looking forward to seeing us. That's good because I for one, can't wait to see them too.

It's nice to know that all of the hassle and stress of pulling this trip together will pay off when we arrive and we can just enjoy the kids!

Remember: the only things that really matter are

1. Love those kids with the love of Jesus,



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Trucks and Coke

We have the truck rented. Man, their rates have really gone up since last year, BUT they gave us a non-profit rate which is considerably cheaper than the normal rate. Even with that it will cost more than last year. Not too much more though. I estimated $1500 and it will be around $1400 so we're safe on that. We've got another 15 footer. We could probably get by with a smaller truck but we do have a lot of stuff to haul out and people always seem to bring along something extra. This way we'll know we have plenty of room.

Bev also called. Boy was she ever excited. She reminds me of me when I find a box. Coke is going to donate all of the pop for Teen Nights! I think they are even going to deliver it to her! That is great! Teen Nights will be the only time we'll have pop to drink. The rest of the time it's WATER, WATER, WATER. Or of course, punch. I bought one container of Lemonade for Monday, the day we do work projects all day long. I thought that might sound a bit more refreshing than punch and since the kids won't be there we can drink it and not worry about them thinking we're getting something special. We could do Lemonade every day but it is a lot more expensive. I got 5 gallons of punch for $3.49 as compared to Lemonade for $7 for the same amount. That's when I decided we were drinking punch. Anyway, water is good for you! As I say every year - DRINK YOUR WATER. If you don't, you'll regret it. Trust me. :)

What is, is.


Monday, June 20, 2005


Well another week down and 6 more to go! I'm getting excited just thinking about the trip. Even the van ride will be fun. By the way, are you guys praying for our ailing vans?? If you don't like long walks, you'd better be.

Just a few updates:

Bev has decided to give away blankets to the kids who come to VBS. She is hoping to buy 150 of them so we can give them away on one of the VBS days. This was something she wanted to do on her own and she is currently raising money to buy the blankets. The last time I checked with her she had already collected enough money to buy 15 blankets - not bad for having just started this project.

Ericka is my box lady and I SO love her for it! She unloads the truck at her job on Thursdays and unpacks the boxes according to which boxes would be best for our trip. Gotta love that girl! That is NO small job gathering boxes. Of course, we're not taking advantage of that and leaving it all up to her - we're still box hunting too but she has been a big help. All of you just try to picture her breaking down BIG boxes and trying to squeeze them into her little Miata. That would be funnier than trying to get them into my Jeep. I think her daddy even made a special trip to help her get the boxes home.

Brian is working on getting the cement materials together. It is looking like we will be pouring cement 2 days (Mon. and Tues.). That will complicate things a bit when all the kids come for VBS, but I guess we'll deal with it. The plan is to pour early on both mornings so it will be somewhat set up by the time the kids come at noon. When we do play time we'll just have to post some of us around the court to try to keep the kids off. We do have the construction fencing too which will help to deter them. It will most likely just present a challenge to them that they will feel inclined to take on, but we'll try do to our best.

Cody is getting ready to leave next Monday and is getting really antsy. At our backpack packing party we'll pray him off. Once he arrives on the rez he is SUPPOSED to call home frequently so I'll be posting updates from the rez on a more regular basis.

As of yesterday we also have all of the school supplies and all of the backpacks! Phyllis has been running herself ragged trying to get the school supplies together. Give her a thank you when you see her. She was able to get Walmart and Biggs to donate some of the supplies and was even willing to buy several of the supplies herself if need be. I'm just blown away by the way people are so willing to help out.

And last but not least, we've received another check from an online friend from the National Association of Christian Recovery. I am just amazed. I certainly never expected to have such support from people who have never even met us. We have put both checks from the people online toward buying things for the kids on the rez. We have been so blessed with support of all kinds. Putting this trip together has at times been a real pain in the butt, but it also has some unique blessings. I get to be in a position to see the generosity of so many people. Some in our church have paid the way for others to go, some have bought supplies for us, others have given VERY generously toward the cement and STILL went beyond that and sponsored team members. I sat down and added up all that we've saved as a team because of the generosity of others and it just blows me away. Our trip would have cost an additional $7000 if not for people who were willing to give. That means that each team member would have been paying an additional $319 per person to go. Just makes you want to say WOW, doesn't it.

What is, is.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Cement Clinic

For those of you who missed it, we had a cement clinic last night at church. Don't worry - you didn't HAVE to be there. It was primarily for the guys who will be doing the cement work but it was open for anyone else who wanted to watch. Anyway, it went well. It went great, actually. I know I had fun even if I did make a fool of myself trying to lift an 80 pound bag of cement. I'm sure Toby thought it was funny anyway.

Just a cute story... As we were pouring the cement Tim made a comment about how likely it was for Pastor Elliott to open the door and step into the wet cement. He had no sooner said that than, you guessed it, Pastor opened the door! I swear the man has radar and knows when we're talking about him.

Bub also got his hands dirty and did a great job working with the cement. Everyone did. I now have hope for this project. :)

Big thanks to Toby, Fred, and Darrell for your generous help and your patience! God really puts the right people in the right place at the right time, doesn't he. For those who didn't get to meet Darrell, you missed meeting a really great guy. We poured a small sidewalk behind one of the doors in back of the church. Check it out if you dare. I think it looks great and if the basketball court looks half as good I'll be happy.

Doing the cement clinic really made it all seem more "real". In 45 days we will be there and will be getting ready to pour the court! I know Brian has been busy making sure everything is in place and getting all the materials together. We have asked Home Depot for a donation of rods to fasten the fence to. I think most everything else is in order as far as the basketball court goes. Just pray for GOOD weather that Monday ... and possibly Tuesday!

When we are there and are ready to set the stone in memory of Pam we will all gather at the basketball court and have a short memomrial of sorts for her. I've been thinking of what do to for that and have some ideas. This has been a difficult week in that respect. The 20th of this month, just a few days from now, is the one year anniversary of her passing so my thoughts are naturally turned toward her this week. A year ago I would have never guessed we would be preparing a memorial for Pam. Life is short. Too short for some. All the more reason for us to live every moment to the fullest and to use our time wisely. Keep Pam's family close in prayer always, but this week especially. And keep praying for the trip! Still a lot to be done before we leave!

What is, is.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Team T-Shirts Are In!

Just got the team member t-shirts and everybody just say Ewwwwwwwww all at one because they are UGLY! I ordered them off of the Internet and it was a bit hard to tell exactly what color they would be. I thought I was getting a light blue but they are actually a brilliant turquoise! We'll not lose anyone this year if we all wear them. Oh well, what's a mission trip without an ugly t-shirt?? Sorry guys about the color ... think of it this way ... turquoise is a HOT new color in fashion this year, so we're all "in style"! They are also big. A large is more like an extra large so you'll have plenty of room in them. Opps. What is, is.


Van Issues

Yikes! I got an email from Tammi last night. The good news is that the Haiti crew arrived safely! But ... the church van broke down before reaching I-275! Not good. Not good at all. The vans will be worked on I'm sure, and I may suggest that the church get them both checked out. That actually wouldn't be a bad idea since they will be getting a work out this year. They are being driven to Kentucky, then to Texas just before we take them to South Dakota. OK Pine Ridge team - something else to add to your prayer list. We really need those vans to work for us this year. We simply do not have the money to rent even one van. The reason the vans always concern me is not that I mind a break down. I've been there and done that before, in South Dakota on a mission trip as a matter of fact. A break down is just one of the many things that will cause a "change of plans". But I feel a responsibility to get people to where we're going and back home at the times I've said I would. I don't want to see us get stuck on the road waiting for a repair when we have people due back at their jobs. It could also really mess up the ability to pour cement on Monday and if we can't pour on Monday, we will have to figure out what to do with all the kids ... or else pour cement with 100 kids running around. Keep praying guys.

What is, is.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Water Bottles are here!

I just got the shipment of water bottles! We have 150 to give out. They aren't fancy at all - just plain frosted bottles with blue lids. I wanted to get something printed on them but (1) couldn't think of what to have printed, and (2) didn't want to pay the extra $35 to have them printed. But they'll work. I think we'll probably give those away on the first day of VBS and hopefully (not likely) the kids will hang onto them all week so they can get a drink of water when they want. I imagine they will find other uses for them though .... like squirting us and each other and making Paul angry. Yeah ... that sounds about right... a typical day at VBS at Pine Ridge. We may end up having the water fight we wanted to have last year, this year. It won't be a planend one though. This will probably be one of those things that we'll plan for the best and deal with what really happens. As the trip motto goes ... what is, is.


One down, one to go

Logan and I went to the church at 3AM today to see the Haiti crew off. 3AM!!!! Those Haiti people are hardy. It was exciting to see them take off. Having been to Haiti I know they're in for the trip of a lifetime and I almost envy them. Almost. Until I remember the bus ride. No, honestly, even with the bus ride going to Haiti is worth it and is something I wish everyone could experience. It's just a great trip!

We were laughing this morning remembering the trip to Haiti that I was able to go along. I was really worried about the size of my carry-on. It was really pushing the limits that the airlines allow and I was afraid they might tell me I couldn't take it. Since everything I needed to sustain life for 2 weeks was packed in that carry-on, I was starting to freak out a bit. I remembered some story about a misionary slipping Bibles into communist China and how she had prayed for God to blind the eyes of the guards so she could get the Bibles in, so I prayed for God to "blind the eyes" of the person checking our baggage. For anyone who doubts that God has a sense of humor, when we got to the airport and were in line to check out bags, I looked up and noticed that the man checking our bags had a patch over one eye! I couldn't believe it! Isn't that just like God though .... to have play with us. He does have a sense of humor and sometimes He uses it to give comfort to a lady who's heading into the great and sometimes frightening adventure of Haiti. Pray for our sister team in Haiti!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We now have ...

Today was another eventful day. We now have acquired 300 feet of fencing thanks to a generous donor. That will be used to go around the basketball court after we pour the cement and will hopefully keep the kids off of the court until the cement dries. Hopefully being the key word.

We also have word from Pierre Frozen Foods that they are again donating a LOT of food. We will be eating well again this year. This is one of the few mission trips where the team members gain weight. Pierre is also going the extra mile and packing all of the food in dry ice! That will save us SO much money, time, and hassle. Sophie and John will pick it up the morning we leave. They really need at least one other man to go with them to help them lift and carry the boxes. Let Sophie, John, and/or me know if you can get up early and go to Pierre with them to help out.

Is anyone else getting excited?? It's hard not to when so much is happening! Keep praying for us as we pull this last of the prep work together.

What is, is.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Backpack Packing Party!!!

Just got a call from Bev - she picked up 9 more backpacks today so we're good to go! The backpack packing party will be Sunday, June 26th from 2PM - whenever we finish at my house!

Bev is also working on getting donations for blankets. She found a good deal on them from a company in TX. They will even ship them to the rez so we won't have to take them. They are $8.75 per blanket including shipping and tax. We'll be giving a blanket out to the kids who come to VBS. This coming winter they will come in really handy as winters are brutal on the rez with temps often dropping to 30 below zero. Every year there are some elderly people who die if they cannot afford propane to keep warm. Anyone who would like to buy a blanket please let Bev know as soon as possible.

So, it looks like we've about got our give-aways nailed down.

Tues. we will give away water bottles
Wed. we will give away a bag of candy
Thurs. we will give away the backpacks
Fri. we will give away a blanket (assuming Bev gets enough donations to purchase them)

Wow, the trip is really starting to come together. That's good because it will be time to leave before we know it!

What is, is.


We have an amazingly large group going to the rez this year. 22 of us will be heading out July 30th at 7 AM (team members be at the church at 6AM to load the truck). We'll leave PROMPTLY at 7AM.

Here is a list of who's going and who's doing what:

Cook - Sheri

Teacher – Cathy
Helpers – Josh, Logan

Teacher – Nora
Helpers – Jessica , Steve, Chrissie, Daniel, Jeff

Teacher – Cody
Helpers – Ericka , Brian , Bub

Teacher – Theresa
Helpers – John , Tonya , Kristen

Music (VBS)
Teacher – Jean
Helpers – Tim , Beverly

Teen Nights (evenings)
Leaders - Beverly , Steve

Basketball Court
Leader - Brian
Helpers – Cody , Tim , Steve ,

Various Work Projects
Leader - Cody
Helpers - everybody

Worship Leader (evening devos)

Nurse – John

In addition to this, there will also be daily chores such as bathroom duty, kitchen duty, and cleaning out the vans. You'll be assigned to specific chores each day and will get your assignment when we leave. Lots of work to do! Be prepared for really long days and really short nights. It will be worth it though. You will be building realtionships with the Lakota people and with people on your team and will be making memories that will last a lifetime. Your life will be changed by going on this trip and you'll even look back and laugh at all the things that go wrong. There's truly nothing like being a part of a mission trip.

We also have t-shirts. They are ugly again this year (sorry) but the when all the kids sign them on the last day they really do make a nice souviner for you. They are blue this year. :)

We have a cement clinic scheduled for Wed., June 15th at 7PM for the guys on the basketball court crew. Other team members are welcome to come and watch if you like.

You may be wondering where the phrase "What is, is" came from. That was the motto John came up with last year. Once you have traveled with us, you'll understand. :) :D

Well, I see on my computer screen that one of our team members is calling so I guess I'd better go answer the phone. :)

What is, is.

More backpacks!

We received a $50 check from someone this week so I'm going to go ahead and buy some more backpacks with it today. I have a staff meeting at work (which I'm almost late for) and then I'll head out to shop! I think Big Lots had some for $5.00 so I may be able to get as many as 10. That means we will only need 7 more to make 100! Last year we gave away around 130 and could have given more. I'd really like to at least have 100 for this year. There are some people who have said they will be looking for backpacks for us so we may get more and that is always great. Those kids really went nuts over the backpacks last year and even some of the parents called to say how nice it was for us to bring them. As soon as we get 100 of them, we'll have that backpack packing party. I'm aiming for some Sunday afternoon in June. (It won't be on Father's Day.) It will probably be short notice so if everyone can't be there that is fine. The backpack packing party is not a mandatory meeting - just a fun one where we get some work done. It will be here at my house and I'll have coffee and snacks for y'all. Just be watching your email for the word on when it will be.

What is, is.


Well, I did find some backpacks but not as many as I had hoped. Big Lots was sold out of the $5 ones so I went to Dollar General and found 8 of them. They cost a bit more but not much. As I was digging through the backpacks to find as many as I could a man came up and asked me where something in the store was. I told him I had no idea because I didn't work there and he laughed and said, "Oh, I thought you were stocking all those". It never fails to get comments from people when I buy in bulk. :) The cashier wasn't too happy to part with the backpacks either. She was waiting for them to go on sale a little more and buy them to donate to the school. She felt better about me buying them when I told her we were taking them to an Indian reservation. :)

Monday, June 06, 2005


OK, OK, I'm gonna freak right out. :) I'm a wee bit stressed. Actually, I'm quite sure I've lost a few years off of my life in the last week or so. I sure hope my team is praying for me. They have every reason to complain about me, but I hope they're praying instead. :)

Every area of my life seems to be out of whack. My day job is really stressful because they are demanding so much of my time. I think it would be easier to just take them a sample of my DNA and let them clone me so they can have me all the time and be happy. And then there's the trip .... oh my .... SO much to do and so little time to do it in. I don't mind the hard work, I'm all up for that, but being a person who tends to see the negative easier than the positive, I'm seeing some areas where we really need to get it together. It's a bit disconcerting trying to get 22 people to work together and accomplish a major task when I can't seem to get all 22 of them together for a meeting. *sigh* I know, I know, God is in control and it will all work out. I do know that. But I also know that God expects us to do our part too ... and that's the part that worries me.

Let's see ... what was that my husband preached about last night???? Something about looking at what is working rather than what's not working. Not bad advice. SO, ya'll want to know what's going right?? Here we go ....

* We've got 22 people going! That's a HUGE group and it shows that people in our church DO care about missions and reaching out to those beyond our own walls. That's not even counting the group going to Haiti! As we become more involved in outreach, we can't help but become better followers of Christ ourselves.

* Everyone is paid up! What a load off of everyone's mind. In addition to that, we've raised ALL of the money for the basketball court - not a cheap project! And we still have money coming in which will help us to do even more for the Lakota children! I've had a lot of folks ask me what we need and offer to help with both time and money. Team - if you dont' realize it, you really do have a church family that supports you!

* Bright spots. There are some of the team who are just doing an amazing job. They're quiet so they don't attract as much attention but while I freak out, they quietly go about their work and make my job SO much easier. Do you guys realize that one of our team members showed up for a meeting on the day they had lost a family member?? Wow that really goes WAY beyond my expectations. Do you realize that we also had a team member (one of our youth) who sold a prized possession to earn money for the trip?? That's sacrifice and I know God will bless it.

* The teens. Wow .... I'm just so amazed by how completely cool our teens are. I know there are people who think taking teens on a trip like this would be a hassle but they just don't know our teens. I really can't wait to spend a week with them because they are just the most awesome people on the planet and are going to make this trip so much fun. Just they're beautiful personalities will make the trip great but then they go and blow me away with how helpful they are and how willing they are to do whatever it takes to make this trip happen.

* I have people offering me boxes!!! Wooooo hoooo..... you have no idea how excited I get over boxes. It's a PAIN to have to take days to drive all over town to find boxes to pack all of our stuff in, not to mention that it's a challenge to get them into a Jeep when I do find them. And I'm not sure why major stores don't have boxes that they're throwing away, you'd think I had asked them for gold when I ask if they have any boxes. SO yeah, I get really happy when somebody gives me a box. :)

* Cody. I know it's not cool to brag about your own kids, but really, what would we do without Cody??? He's going to be there 2 weeks ahead of our team and will have the tough task of getting the basketball court ready for us to pour. If he weren't there to do that we would really be up a creek without a paddle. Can you all just imagine trying to pour that court with 100 - 150 kids running wild?? Somehow it makes me feel good too to know that somewhere Pam is really proud of that kid. She thought the world of him and I'm sure she would be touched and proud of him and his work in helping us get the basketball court together. OK, better wipe the tears or I might ruin my keyboard. *swallow*

* And I have a great family. They put up with all the stuff piled all over the house, AND they put up with hearing me whine, complain, gripe, and have a total meltdown on a daily basis.

* Oh yeah, and then there's God. Frankly, I'm a little ticked off with Him right now because I'm QUITE sure He picked the wrong person to coordinate these trips, but He IS faithful and I know He has something really awesome in store for all those going. And I suppose I am grateful to be a part of that.

Well, OK, maybe I wont freak out ... yet. What do you know ... this "look at what's right" stuff really works!

What is, is.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I continue to be amazed at the kindness of strangers. When I began this blog I never in my wildest dreams thought that anyone would read it and want to support our work on the rez. But it appears that Mr. Johnny Depp has some amazing fans. Wow, I'm really outing myself here, but if the fact that I'm a fan of Mr. Depp has eluded you, well, you've not been paying attention. :) As I've surfed the Internet I've come across a fan site that has some really amaizng folks. And as I've chatted with them I can say that it has truly been a blessing to get to know some of them better, at least as far as one can get to know someone on the Internet. Most you who know me know that I talk about Pine Ridge enough to annoy the most patient person, so of course, I've shared with them about our trip to Pine Ridge on numerous occasions, (yes we do talk about things other than JD).

When anyone chooses to give their money to support us, I don't take it lightly. People work hard for their money so it represents their time - a valuable commodity to all of us. Today I received a check from one of the ladies at the Depp Impact site and I am really, really grateful for their support and willingness to care about a group of native people whom they've never met. Many thanks ladies! Your money will go toward something for the Lakota children at the Pine Ridge reservation.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

God always provides exactly what we need

On previoius mission trips to Romania, Haiti, and to Pine Ridge, I've been able to experience God's provision in ways I might not have been able to otherwise. That's one of the cool things about going on a mission trip - you learn, really learn, about how God provides.

I mentioned in a previous post about getting a letter from Ella Spotted Elk. Ella is one of the young ladies that we see each year on the Pine Ridge trips. Well, that letter came at just the right time for me. Planning and oragainizing a trip like this always has challenges and this year has been no exception. I've often commented that this year's trip looks like a disaster waiting to happen and that if I had any sense at all, I'd can the whole thing. Of course, I know things will work out - they always do, so the trip will go on. Maybe not as we planned, but it will happen as God sees fit.

Well anyway, I had really hit a brick wall of frustration in trying to pull this trip together and was wondering whether or not this was all really worth it for just a week on the rez. When I picked up my mail that day I noticed a big manilla envelope with Ella's return address. Tearing into it I pulled out a beautiful painting of a Lakota angel along with a letter. I had not heard from Ells in several months and her letter could not have come at a better time. I remember getting home from the trip last year and getting a letter from Ella saying, "you were the best part of my summer". Yeah, it's all worth it. No matter how frustrating or challenging it is to pull a trip together, in the end it really is worth it. And what a reminder that God really does provide. OK, sometimes, many times in fact, I think He's a bit late, but He is faithful to give us exactly what we need at just the time we need it.

What is, is.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ella's Lakota angel Posted by Hello

News from the Rez

Cathy talked to Paul (the missionary in the village we visit). He, Kathy, Vi, and John are all doing well. Vi is working full time at the post office now and Paul and Kathy are keeping busy. They really do need our prayers as they are getting up in years and are not in good health. Paul was sad to admit that they have all but lost an entire generation because they just do not have the energy to do all that they really need to do. They are desperate for someone to come and take their place - be praying about that.

Ella's mother is also quite ill. She is doing dialysis. I'm not really sure what her illness is but she is not doing well. CJ is in rehab. We are not sure if this is the same CJ that we all know or if it is another one. He is a 19 year old guy from the village.

I also received a letter from Ella Spotted Elk the other day. She sent a beautiful painting of a Lakota angel and is very excited about us coming again this summer. She says "What's up" to Cody, Jean, Logan and Brian. She thinks it's cool that Jean named the dog "Shuka" (the Lakota word for dog).

Paul and Kathy have another group coming next week. I'm not sure how they do it. I go crazy after having house guests for a few days ... they have huge groups of people all summer long. I doubt if most of us will ever really understand the sacrifices they have made over the years.

What is, is.

Pine Ridge Stuff Posted by Hello


I've started purchasing food for our trip! Don't worry, nothing that can spoil. Yesterday I bought 1250 paper plates, 1300 paper cups, 100 gallons of punch, 1250 napkins, and an assortment of games for the kids. The dining room is really getting cluttered. Unfortunately, the picture above just doesn't do it justice. I'm keeping my eye out for cheap games as well - much to my family's amusement. Yesterday Logan was working on his volcano for science class. He called me out to the garage to look at it. I immediately noticed all the newspaper he had placed under the volcano (an impressive volcano I might add) and asked if those newspapers were recent. "No, I don't think so" he answered with a questioning look. "Because there's an add for a basketball for $2.99" I explained. He just rolled his eyes while Cody laughed. OK, so I'm a BIT obsessive about all of this. :)

I hope to have a backpack packing party in June so we can get all the school supplies into those backpacks and get them packed up. We still need about 20 more backpacks before we can do that. I found some last week at Dollar General (thank Bev for the head's up). I really wish you guys could be there when I buy these backpacks. Half the fun of the trip is wheeling a big cart full of backpacks to the reister and watching the clerk's face. Cathy and Alice got to experience that last Christmas when we were out shopping and happened across backpacks on sale. It was quite an experience cramming all those backpacks into my Jeep while still leaving room for US. Cathy will probably tell on me and let you all know that I also managed to lose some of them becasue as I was leaving Alice's house I left the back of my Jeep open. Thanks Cathy for rescuing a few of them.

What is, is.

Backpacks crammed into the Jeep Posted by Hello

The box ...

Wow ... we have SO much to do before we leave and time just keeps moving right along with little regard for my busy schedule!

Some of you have heard about my obsession with boxes. For those of you who don't know ....Right now my dining room is unidentifiable. There are currently somewhere around 80 backpacks, various bags and boxes of school supplies, a huge box of candy (treats for the Indian kids) and only God knows what else scattered about my dining room. SO I am anxous to get all that stuff packed up and have been looking for boxes to pack it all in. I do this every year so you would think my family would be used to it but they still seem to think I've lost my mind. They could be right.

Last week I took Cody to pick up his car from getting a paint job at Maco. I had to wait a good bit while he talked to the guys there. I read for a while, then got bored with that and began looking about. That was when it happened.... I saw the most beautiful box sitting by the dumpster! I climbed out of my Jeep and went to check it out to see if I could possibly fit that big beautiful thing into my Jeep. About that time Cody came out and saw me near the dumpster. "What are you doing?" he asked in a tone that suggested I'd lost my mind. "I want this box! Will you help me to get it into the back of my Jeep?" (a task that seemed unlikely due to the huge size of the box.) Cody suggested that I ask the guys at Maco if I could have it before we loaded it up so I marched into the office and asked the man if he had plans to dispose of the big box beside the dumpster.

He smiled and asked, "Do you want it?"


"Well, I don't know .... it's pretty special."

In the end he agreed to let me have the box so Cody and I tackeled the thing and began folding, shoving and scooting until it was in as far as it would go. The front of the box was hitting my windshield and there was still a heafty portion of it hanging out the back of the Jeep. I crawled into the driver's seat, scrunching down under the box and holding the steering wheel with one hand and the box with the other I took off for home. I got many strange looks along the way - one man who was mowing his lawn turned all the way around to watched as I passed him, but I made it home with the box!

What is, is.

It begins ...

This is my second year organizing a short-term mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and my third year of traveling to the rez. Since I seem to have all the fun on these things, I thought I would start a blog for anyone else who would like to read all about what goes into planning and pulling off one of these trips.

We actually start planning a trip about a year in advance. As soon as we get home from one trip, we begin planning the next one. It takes the better part of a year to pull a trip like this off. The first part of the year we spend getting a team together and raising money. Generally a trip like this costs around $15,000 total!

At the time I'm creating this blog, we've already done a good deal of prep work. Now we're entering crunch time where we have to pull it all together and be ready when July 30th comes around!

As you read here you will find some funny stories and perhaps some sad ones. It is my hope that as you read, you will feel a bit more connected with the comings and goings of this trip.

What is, is.