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.