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.