Friday, December 29, 2006

Sad News from the Rez

RKW, a blogger friend of mine from Today at the Mission brought this story to my attention which you may also want to check out. .

Click here for the story

By the way, RKW has a new book out about his work at the Homeless Shelter. I have a copy and I highly recommend it. You can find it on his web site or on the sidebar of my other blog.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Another Flood

Those who went on the trip last year will well remember the "flood" we had in the ladies trailer. Well .... I just spoke to Barry (the missionary there) and he was in the middle of cleaning up after and fixing yet another water line break.

It took several of us shop-vacing for a few hours to get all the water up and then it took quite a while for the carpet to dry out - and that was in the heat of summer. Now they are out there by themselves in the cold trying to fix it. Keep them in your prayers! I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to get the trailer fixed up nicely only to have the water line break and flood it.

He also sent word that the backpacks are VERY MUCH appreciated! He said that all the kids have their backpacks when they get on the bus every day and that they get a lot of use out of them. He said those backpacks are probably the most appreciated thing we do! It however is not the most important thing we do, but it's nice to know they are appreciated.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who Knew ???

Wow! I just never cease to be amazed.... I sent out the new info about all of the fundaisers and mentioned that we needed a LOT of plastic pink flamingos .... and whadda know ... someone on the team works for a place that just happens to have 20 - 25 of the little creatures and they are willing to let us use them! Ya just never know do ya.

Yep, I'd say God' s still in control.

Monday, November 27, 2006

More Fundraisers ...

LOTS of info here from the Fundraiser meeting yesterday - read carefully!

For those of you who were not at the fundraiser meeting yesterday, here is the new info.:

NOW! Pie Sales - see Connie for an order form. All sales and money will need to be returned to Connie by Dec. 6th.

NOW! Christmas Candy/Cookie Sale - orders are still coming in. Be at the table as much as possible so people can order from you.

DECEMBER - Gift wrapping. Each Wed. or Sunday after the services. How it works: People will be bringing their gifts, wrapping paper, bows, and name tags and any team member who can stay after the service to help wrap will benefit. This will be done on a free-will offering basis. Tell your friends outside of church about this too!

Jan. 13th from 10:00 - ? - The Pancake Breakfast/Variety Show/Face Painting/Silent Art Auction/ etc. You will need to be there earlier than 10 am to help set up and stay to clean up.How it works: Anyone who comes to work and stays to help clean up will benefit.

January - The Penny War! Each Sunday in January.How it works: Each SS class will have a jar set up on a table with their name on it. The idea is for that class to put as many pennies into their jar as they can. Each penny is a + point. The class with the most + points at the end, wins the trophy which they can display in their classroom for the next year. The catch - other classes can put silver money or paper money into the opposing classes jars. Each silver coin or paper money will count as - points. (a dime = -10 points, a $100 = -100 points). This gets really competitive and fun. Any team member who helps count and roll the coins each week will benefit.

Feb. 10th - The Valentine Dinner. More info to follow. If you have questions, see Tonya. How it works - If you come to help and stay to clean up, you will benefit.

April 14?? - Haiti/Pine Ridge Rock-a-thon Dates may change. Any questions see Tammi. How it works: Get a sponsor sheet from Tammi and gather sponsors. On the date of the rock-a-thon, bring your own rocking chair and snacks and prepare to rock from 9AM - 9PM. More info coming as I get it.

Flocking! Josh is working on a really fun fundraiser where we can "flock" someone's house. How it works: Someone pays us to "flock" someone's house with several of the pink plastic flamingos that you sometimes see as yard ornaments. When the house is flocked there is a note left telling the person that they have been "flocked". That person can then pay to get revenge on the person who flocked them by paying us to flock their house. People may also purchase "insurance" to ensure that they are not flocked. Get the idea? Sounds like fun, eh? If you know where we can find several pink flamingos, let us know!

ANYTIME - Sponsor Letters. You can always send out sponsor letters. They really do work! Some have had their entire trip paid for this way. Just a note - I recommend that in addition to sponsor letters you also participate in the fundaisers because I have had a number of people who are good givers that they will not sponsor someone who is not willing to work for their trip.
I think I remembered everything. There are lots of opportunities to raise money for your trip. If you have any questions, see either Connie or me.

Just a thought or two ... if you can afford to pay for your trip you may want to choose to sit out of the fundraisers so that those who really need them will benefit more. Or you can work and give the money you raise to another team member. I know all of us would prefer not to pay for our trip but the sacrifice can often make the trip more meaningful. The more you sacrifice, the more you will be blessed. I really believe that.

Secondly, remember to invite and include as many people from your work/neighborhood/circle of friends/family as you can so that we do not overtax the church with fundraisers. In addition to these fundraisers for the Pine Ridge/Omega trip there is also the Haiti group who is trying to raise moeny. That's a LOT of hands out so lets try to spread the net out a bit beyond the same people at church who keep getting hit up. Remember that our church family has already given over $2000.00 to this trip and that does not include the Christmas Candy fundraiser.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Remember ....

Click to Enlarge

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Backpack Packing Party!

Thanks to everyone who came to help fill and pack the backpacks!

We set a new record by filling and packing all 150 backpacks in 30 minutes!!

The "backpack truck" will roll again!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Holiday Candy/Cookie Price List

Here is a price list for those who wish to purchase their holiday candy/cookies/cakes/pies from the Pine Ridge mission team.

Logan Buriff
Peanut Butter Fudge ..................................$8.00/ 9x6 inch pan
Rocky Road Fudge ......................................$10.00/ 9x6 inch pan

Amber Buriff
Homemade Gingersnaps ..............................$5.00/ dozen

Cathy Jackson
Buckeyes ........................................................$10.00/3 dozen
Diabetic Pumpkin Pie ....................................$8.00/each
Peanut Butter Fudge......................................$8.00/pound

Josh Lansdale
Peanut Butter Pie ..........................................$8.00/each
Carmel Popcorn ..............................................$2.00
Chocolate Covered Pretzels............................$4.00
Connie Whitaker
Chocloate Truffles............................................$5.00/dozen
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies.....$5.00/dozen

Kristen Morgan
Cheesecake..............................................$8.00/large - $3.00 individual
Thumbprint Cookies ............................................$5.00/dozen

Brian Buriff
Rooster Eggs (coffee/chocolate balls)...................$10.00/dozen

Graham Cracker Snax .......................................$5.00/dozen
Spicy Nut Triangles ..........................................$5.00/dozen
Peanut Butter Cookie Balls ........................... $10.00/3 dozen

Mini Banana Loaf ............................................$5.00/loaf

Jessica Barnhill
Blueberry Cheesecake ..................................$3.00
Cinnamon Loaf.............................................$3.00
Banana Nut Loaf .........................................$3.00
Strawberry Cheesecake Loaf.......................$3.00
Sugar Cookies ...........................................$2.00/dozen
Chocolate Chip Cookies ............................$2.00/dozen
Decorated Christmas Cookies....................$2.00/dozen

Jessica Carmado
Banana Bread Mini Loaf ................................$5.00
Pumpkin Bread .............................................$5.00

Chrissy Smith
Peanut Brittle .................................................$5.00

In addition to the baked goods, the following team members will be selling:
Cathy Jackson .... quilted photo albums
Denise Bell .......... Necklaces
Bev Beasely ......... holiday arrangements
(see them for price info.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jessy's Artwork

Going through some of my "stuff" today, I found this picture that Jessy drew for me last summer. Notice I'm the one with the cowboy hat on and we're all sitting on the swingset that seems to be at the center of everything!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

They're Here!!!

The other day I posted that I had ordered the Safari hats and the Animal Print Sunglasses for the kids at Pine Ridge .... well .... today they arrived!

Brian has not-so-willingly posed as our model.

OK, so he's not so cute in them but the kids will be adorable!

Monday, October 30, 2006

It Begins....

Just an update on where we're at ....

The DVD sales went well and will help to keep everyone's cost down! We made $342.00 on the DVD sales and I've already spent it! I just put in an order for the Safari hats, animal print sunglasses, and the lion pinata! The kids are going to be SOOOO cute in their safari hats! I am getting really excited about this trip and if you don't believe that, see my post on my other blog.

The Holiday Candy/Cookie fundraiser is also off and running. We've only had a few team members participate but those of us who are will be earing money toward that first payment that is coming up soon. I personally can't wait to see Josh making peanut butter pies!

If you had planned to participate in this fundraiser but didn't get your info to me by Oct. 29th, then you can still participate but your stuff will not be included in the bulletin and price list we will be putting out.

Those of you who are participating, remember to bring your free samples on Sunday, Nov. 5th and stay at the table before and after all services so that people can give you their orders.

This is going to be a great trip!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's That Time Again

Time to fill and pack the backpacks for the 2007 trip!

The Backpack Packing Party will be at the Buriff's on Sunday, Nov. 19th @ 3:00 PM

If everyone shows up, it shouldn't take more than an hour.

Mark your calendars now and plan to help us out

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christmas Candy/Cookie Fundraiser

We have the Christmas Cookie/Candy fundaiser coming up really soon. It is for anyone who wants to participate. You do not have to participate if you do not want to. All of the money you make on the products you sell will go into your account. If you choose not to participate, you will not be benefiting from this fundraiser.

For those who want to participate here is what I will need from you.

  • Email or give me your list of the products you will be selling and a price for each of them by Sunday, Oct. 29th, so that I can make up a price list with everyone's products on it. A lot of people want to take these with them as they think about what to order.
  • Print up your own order forms for your products. I will be happy to do that for you if you let me know.

  • Be prepared to make samples that will be given out for free on the first weekend in Nov. (Nov. 5th) At that time we will just give out samples and start taking orders. Package your samples in small sample-sized packages.
  • I will also need someone to sit at the table before and after each service to take orders. If you can help with that, let me know and I'll schedule you to sit at the table. We will be doing this Nov. 5th - Dec. 13th to give you time to deliver your products by Christmas

Things are beginning to roll!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wounded Knee

On the morning of December 29, 1890, members of the Miniconjou Sioux (Lakota) tribe led by Chief Big Foot were massacred by the Seventh Cavalry of the United States Army on the banks of Wounded Knee creek. If you are unfamiliar with the events of that horriffic morning, please take a moment to read about it here or watch the video posted at the bottom of this post.

Over 300 unarmed Lakota were killed that day, their bodies left to freeze in the snow for 3 days. Of this number 69 were children, 133 women, and 39 elders.

After the shooting ended the wounded were piled into wagons and taken to a church which was used as a makeshift hospital. It was 4 days after Christmas and the sactuary was still decorated with Christmas greenry. A banner hanging at the front of the church ironically proclaimed "Pease on Earth, Goodwill to Men".

On New Year's Day a government burial detail arrived to bury the remaining victims. The bodies were stripped of valuables and dropped into a mass grave. Chief Big Foot was scalped, the scalp sent as a trophy to the Seventh Cavalry's museum in Massachusetts. There it remained over the protests of Chief Bigfoot's family until the summer of 2000.

The soldiers who carried out this gruesome massacre were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor which remain to this day.

Below are some pictures of the actual massacre.

The church where the wounded were taken

Burial in the mass grave

Site of the mass grave and the memorial marker

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The site of the mass grave today

The Names Listed on the Monument at Wounded Knee

Chief Big Foot

Mr. High Hawk

Mr. Shading Bear

Long Bull

White American

Spotted Thunder

Shoots the Bear

Picked Horses

Bear cuts Body

Chase in Winter

Black Coyote

Ghost Horse

Living Bear

Afraid of Bear

Young Afraid of Bear

Yellow Robe

Wounded Hand

Red Eagle

Pretty Hawk

Wm. Horn Cloud

Sherman Horn Cloud

Scatters Them

Red Fish

Swift Bird

He Crow

Little Water

Strong Fox

Tooth its Hole

Red Horn

He Eagle

No Ears

Wolf Skin Necklace

Lodge Skin Knopkin

Charge at Them

Weasee Bear

Bird Shakes

Big Skirt

Brown Turtle

Blue American

Pass Water in Horn

Scabbard Knife

Small Side Bear

Kills Seneca

You can sign an online petition to recind the medals of honor awarded to the U.S. Soldiers by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Valentine Fundraiser

Tonya, Lisa and Tina are at it.... they've been planning some kind of BIG fundraiser for us and are thinking about a romantic Valentine's Day dinner. This will be a chance for our team to earn money for the trip. Tonya is heading this up so you may be hearing from her soon. Stay tuned for more info.

Lions and Tigers and .... Bears???? Oh My

Come on a safari with me!

Until late last night I had not come up with a theme for the 2007 trip. That didn't worry me much because I usually operate under the "it'll come to me" rule. I think from past experience that God leads in certain directions. I would never be so bold as to say "God told me this", because frankly, I'm never certain of that. It may well be a concoction of the steriod/narcotic meds I'm taking to fight this pneumonia, or it could just be my normally weird mind at work. In any case, about 2am last night, "it came to me".

The theme for the 2007 trip is just that - an African Safari!

The kids will all have safar hats, animal print bandanas, and will make all kinds of safari crafts! Tim, I'm volunteering you to come up with a CD of "safari" songs... (The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Jungle Love, etc.)

We will have cool decorations ... including animal prints drawn on the sidewalks with chalk and signs like "Zimbabwe ---> 3000 miles" stanked in various places on the playground.

It's be FUN! Silly, yeah, but fun.

AND then, we'll do something really different ......

We will take a moment to tell the kids about Africa and the desperate needs there and give them an opportunity to GIVE to help build a well for the African children to have clean water. It may seem strange to go to the poorest place in America and ask them to give but I believe they will be blessed to be able to do something for someone else.
We will be giving through Blood Water Mission, a ministry set up by the guys of Jars of Clay to help provide clean water for Africa (and to fight AIDS and extreme poverty). You can check them out here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

We Made the Journal News!

I was out of town last Sunday, but if you can find a copy of the Journal News from Sunday, August 27, 2006 look for the picture of James and Charles handing out backpacks. It is in the "Picture This" section and has a short story about our trip.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A New Twist and a Change of Plans

There are TWO big changes that you need to be aware of if you are thinking of going on the Pine Ridge mission trip in 2007.

The Omega Youth group will be going with us in 2007! I am excited about this and belive it is going to be a GOOD thing!

Because of this change I am going to push back the deadline for registration so that the youth can have a chance to make some $ before payments are due.

The new deadline is ....
January 1, 2007

This deadline is FIRM so don't miss it if you want to go.
After Jan. 1st the trip will not be open to accept new team members.

Remember we have an Informational Meeting on
Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006 @ 4pm
in the Omega Youth Room

ANYONE who is thinking of going next summer needs to be at that meeting.
Parents of youth also need to attend.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

God Provides

Our church family has done it again!

ALL of the backpacks and school supplies are paid for!
Many thanks to all of you who gave!
It never ceases to amaze me how God supplies exactly what we need. For the past couple of weeks we have been collecting money for school supplies and backpacks. I decided to go ahead and purchase school supplies now, while they are on sale and readily available and wait unitl later to buy the backpacks. Today I finished purchasing all of the school supplies and was out of money. I was starting to get nervous wondering where the money would come from. Then I went to church tonight and was given the rest of what we needed to buy all of the backpacks! Once all of the backpacks are bought, we will have collected exactly the amount we needed - to the penny! Is God perfect or what?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

2007 Trip News

Informational Meeting

An informational meeting for the 2007 Trip to Pine Ridge will be on Sunday, Sept. 3rd at 4:00pm at the church. If you are at all interested in going to Pine Ridge next summer, please attend this meeting to get important information.

Registeration Deadline

The deadline for registering for the 2007 trip is Nov. 5, 2006. After this time the trip will be closed. You will need to register by submitting all of the following:

  • Your first non-refundable payment of $100.00
  • Your health forms (available at the informational meeting)
  • Your completed Team Member Information paper (available at the informational meeting)
  • Your signed Team Member Agreement slip
  • Your driving record if you are age 21 or over and have not previously turned it in to the church. The church requires this in order to drive Thelma & Louise (the church vans).

Our first fundraiser will be the Christmas Cookie/Candy sale. We will begin this in mid-November.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Thanks to everyone who made it possible to take backpacks filled with school supplies to the reservation this year. We almost didn't take them this year - the money just wasn't there, but at the last minute our church family pulled together and made it happen. I am SO glad we did.

The first day we were there one of the kids saw the big Ryder truck parked in the parking lot and exclaimed, "Cool! There's our backpack truck!" It would have killed me if I had to tell him we didn't have them this year. After that I promised myself that we will take backpacks there every year.

So, I am again asking for your help. I know this comes just on the heels of this year's backpack pleas but it is the time of year when school supplies are on sale and it is a lot easier to find deals on backpacks as well.

$15.00 will buy a backpack with school supplies for one child.

If you would like to help us with purchasing backpacks for the 2007 trip, see me ASAP so we can start stocking up for the 2007 trip.

Let's make sure the "backpack truck" rolls again next year!

Policy Regarding Money

It's the time of year when people generally are really happy that I over estimate the cost of the trip. Every year we end up with money left over. I over estimate on purpose to ensure we have plenty for any unforeseeable event that might happen on the trip. I would much rather make you all happy by giving money back than to disappoint you by having to ask for more money at trip's end. Since this trip is not underwritten by anyone - I see no other way than to do it this way.

So here is the policy regarding left over money:

There are generally two figures - sponsor money and money the team member paid out of his/her pocket.

Sponsor Money

Sponsor money can NOT be returned. It was given for Pine Ridge and must be spent on Pine Ridge in one way or another to keep us out of trouble with Uncle Sam - and God for that matter. It CAN be used in one of several ways:
  • IF the team member is planning to go back to Pine Ridge next year, the money can be held in their account for that trip. However, it cannot be held for more than ONE year because it makes a mess of the books. We have a volunteer bookkeeper and I don't want to make that job harder than it already is.
  • If the team member is not going back to Pine Ridge next year, the money in their account can be given to someone else who is going next year.
  • It can also be given to the church on the reservation.
  • We could also choose to use it to purchase something for the village.

Money Paid Out of Pocket by Team Members

Money paid out of pocket by team members is refundable unless it was given to the church. The church has a policy of not returning donations. You get tax credit for money given to the church but it is not returnable. But if you wrote your check to the Pine Ridge Mission Fund, then that can be returned to you. You do not get the tax credit for any money given to that fund though because it simply a checking account set up for trip expenses and not a non-profit organization.

You can choose to do any of the following with this money:

  • Have a check written to you to put back in your pocket.
  • If you are going back next year you may also hold it in your account for that trip and be that much further ahead for next year. (I recommend this option.)
  • You may choose to give it to someone else who is going back next year.
  • You may choose to send it to the church on the reservation.
  • You may choose to purchase something for the village on the reservation

You will need to let me know ASAP what you wish to do so that we can cut checks and wrap this year's trip up, clear the books and begin on next year's trip.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Out-Takes Reel

Out takes & Bloopers from the 2006 Trip

Pine Ridge 2006

Building "Pam's Court" - Pine Ridge 2005

Dates for the 2007 Trip

We are set to beging planning for the 2007 mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The 2007 dates are:
Leave Fairfield on Saturday morning, July 28, 2007 -
Arrive back in Fairfield on Monday evening, August 6, 2007
Informational meetings will be announced soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The 2006 Trip

I've been working on the picture presentation for the 2006 trip and it's coming along nicely. This year we will include some video in the presentation (thanks Tim). I will wait until next Monday to post it though because we want our church family to see it for the first time in the service Sunday night.

It was a GREAT trip - the best yet, and we have a lot to share so if you are in Fairfield/Hamilton, be sure to join us this coming Sunday, July 30 at 6pm at the Winton Rd. First Church of God to hear all about our trip!

In the meantime, there are a few stories up at my blog and at Brian's blog.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How You Can Pray For Us

We are currently in the middle of signing people from our congregation up to pray for us. While I could care less about having names on a sign-up sheet, I really do want to know that people are praying. It occured to me that perhaps posting specific prayer needs would be helpful to anyone who is praying for us, so here are some ways in which we need prayer:

  • That God would be glorified on this trip - by the way we relate to each other and to the Lakota people.
  • That some will come to know Jesus as their Saviour. We will be actively sharing our faith and will be attending church every night. "It's all about souls."
  • For health and safety for our crew memebers ....
  • For Charles who is going with a bad knee and will be having surgery on it when we get home.
  • For Cliff (my dad) who is safely the oldest person on our crew and will be affected by the heat and grueling schedule more than the rest. He is doing great physically but the cancer treatment does tire him out more easily.
  • Several of our crew are affected by motion sickness - a problem when we travel for 4 days
  • Andrenia who lost her uncle just before leaving and may not be able to attend the funeral
  • Debbie who is awaiting word from a biopsy while on the trip
  • Jean who is leaving behind her ill husband.
  • Amber who is working 60 hours this week at her job and trying to cooridinate the details of the trip. Pray for strength since rest is not much of an option. Also pray for wisdom as I deal with the usual chaos of the trip.

If you are praying for us, please leave us a comment to let us know. That would really encourage us - a lot. As always, thank you for your support!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Dangerous Post

Well it is the last few frantic days and I've been busy doing all the last minute stuff. I do believe I've been to WalMart at least 4 times every day. Good thing it is only 2 min. from my house. I think all that is left is to buy the bakery items and pack them, buy the refridgerated items and put them in the freezer until we leave, and to pick up the truck and load it. And then there is that last minutes donation that I may need to pick up Friday night. Oh, I should probably pack my suitcase at some point too.

This is always a team effort and as such it takes MANY people to make it happen. I wanted to take a moment to say THANKS to some of those people. That is always dangerous because I am sure to overlook someone, but here goes....

Thanks to ...

Our crew, most of whom have sacrificed and given of their time as well as money to go share Jesus with a bunch of kids.

Our GENEROUS church family who have ...

~ Sponsored some of the crew. Some of our church family have even paid the entire way of some of the crew!

~ Given so that the kids in the village can have a birthday party.

~ Given to purchase backpacks and school supplies for the kids in the village.

~ Allowed us the use of the church vans at no charge

~ Brian for keeping the $ books for us - a HUGE job

~ Sophie, who helped secure a HUGE donation for us AND drove to pick it up at 5am
~ Kathy G. who helped to get bread donated

~ Scott H., who brought boxes and more boxes to pack our stuff in.
~ Charles J. who made sure the van was in good working condition

~ WalMart in Oxford who gave us a $25.00 gift card
~ Burger King on Kemper Rd. for givng 12o hoagy buns
~ Klosterman's for giving all of our bread, hotdog buns, and hamburger buns

~ Pierre Foods who donated all of the meat for the trip

~ Theo, an online friend who gave to some folks she has never met

~ Brody and Ann who donated an 80 foot rope (not cheap), cement blocks, and sand

~ John who took time to meet with us give us suggestions for cooking for 150 kids

~ Fred who delivered a water fountian for the church in Allen
~ Judy H. who donated toys

~ Cliff and Judy who put a LOT of effort (and money) into the Christmas Candy fundraiser so that we could have a chance to earn some money for the trip

~ Allison for helping us fill backpacks

~ Jerry, Shredin, and Charles, Logan, and Brian for helping us load the truck

~ Brian & Cliff for going to pick up the truck for us

And those who signed up to be our prayer partners:

~ Linda P.
~ Becki
~ Bev
~ Christina and Trent
~ Beth
~ Nancy
~ Bub
~ Phillis
~ Phyllis
~ Debbie S.
~ Debbie L.
~ Denise
~ Jerry
~ Nora
~ Lisa M.
~ Sophie
~ Laura
~ Hershell
~ Martha
~ Yvonne
~ Marlyn
~ Vicki
~ Brenda
~ Jim
~ Lenny and Theresa
~ Paula
~ Sherdin
~ Freddy
~ Judy
~ Bill
~ Gloria
~ Marsha
~ Barb & Charles
~ Maxine
~ Bill & Dixie
~ Sheri H.
~ Connie W.
~ Scott
~ Linda H.
~ David M.
~ Kelly M.
~ Judy D.
~ Brian

Without YOU this mission would not happen.
We simply could not do it without your prayers and your generous giving!
We appreciate it.
The Lakota kids appreciate it.
God bless each of you.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Heb. 6:10 - 11 (from New International Version)

Wounded Knee

What Happened

White officials became alarmed at the religious fervor and activism and in December 1890 banned the Ghost Dance on Lakota reservations. When the rites continued, officials called in troops to Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota. The military, led by veteran General Nelson Miles, geared itself for another campaign.

The presence of the troops exacerbated the situation. Short Bull and Kicking Bear led their followers to the northwest corner of the Pine Ridge reservation, to a sheltered escarpment known as the Stronghold. The dancers sent word to Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapas to join them. Before he could set out from the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, however, he was arrested by Indian police. A scuffle ensued in which Sitting Bull and seven of his warriors were slain. Six of the policemen were killed.

General Miles had also ordered the arrest of Big Foot, who had been known to live along the Cheyenne River in South Dakota. But, Big Foot and his followers had already departed south to Pine Ridge, asked there by Red Cloud and other supporters of the whites, in an effort to bring tranquility. Miles sent out the infamous Seventh Calvary led by Major Whitside to locate the renegades. They scoured the Badlands and finally found the Miniconjou dancers on Porcupine Creek, 30 miles east of Pine Ridge. The Indians offered no resistance. Big Foot, ill with pneumonia, rode in a wagon. The soldiers ordered the Indians to set up camp five miles westward, at Wounded Knee Creek. Colonel James Forsyth arrived to take command and ordered his guards to place four Hotchkiss cannons in position around the camp. The soldiers now numbered around 500; the Indians 350, all but 120 of these women and children.

The following morning, December 29, 1890, the soldiers entered the camp demanding the all Indian firearms be relinquished. A medicine man named Yellow Bird advocated resistance, claiming the Ghost Shirts would protect them. One of the soldiers tried to disarm a deaf Indian named Black Coyote. A scuffle ensued and the firearm discharged. The silence of the morning was broken and soon other guns echoed in the river bed. At first, the struggle was fought at close quarters, but when the Indians ran to take cover, the Hotchkiss artillery opened up on them, cutting down men, women, children alike, the sick Big Foot among them. By the end of this brutal, unnecessary violence, which lasted less than an hour, at least 150 Indians had been killed and 50 wounded. In comparison, army casualties were 25 killed and 39 wounded. Forsyth was later charged with killing the innocents, but exonerated.

In Their Own Words – Eyewitness Accounts

Military Department of the Missouri Telegraph dispatch to Washington, D.C. on Dec. 19, 1890

Commanding General Nelson A. Miles

"The difficult Indian problem cannot be solved permanently at this end of the line. It requires the fulfillment of Congress of the treaty obligations which the Indians were entreated and coerced into signing… Congress has been in session now for several weeks, and could in a single hour confirm the treaty and appropriate the funds for its fulfillment; and, unless the officers of the army can give positive assurance that the Government intends to act in good faith with these people, the loyal element will be diminished, and the hostile element increased."

Black Elk - Lakota

"… My people looked pitiful. There was a big drought, and the rivers and creeks seemed to be dying. Nothing would grow that the people had planted, and the Wasichus had been sending less cattle and other food than ever before. The Wasichus had slaughtered all the bison and shut us up in pens. It looked as if we might all starve to death. We could not eat lies, and there was nothing we could do…."

Commanding General Nelson A. Miles

"I was in command when what is known as the Messiah Craze and threatened uprising of the Indians occurred… During this time the tribe, under Big Foot, moved from their reservation to near Red Cloud Agency in South Dakota under a flag of truce. They numbered over 400 souls. They were intercepted by a command under Lt. Col. Whiteside, who demanded their surrender, which they complied with, and moved that afternoon some two or three miles and camped where they were directed to do, near the camp of the troops."

Black Elk - Lakota

"It was now near the end of the Moon of Popping Trees and I was 27 years old. (December 1890) We heard that Big Foot was coming down from the Badlands with nearly four hundred people. Some of these were from Sitting Bull's band. They had run away when Sitting Bull was killed, and joined Big Foot on Good River. There were only about a hundred warriors in his band, and all the others were women and children and some old men. They were all starving and freezing, and Big Foot was so sick that they had to bring him along in a pony drag. When they crossed Smoky Earth River, they followed up Medicine Root Creek to its head. Soldiers were over there looking for them. The soldiers had everything and were not freezing and starving. Near Porcupine Butte the soldiers came up to the Big Foots, and they surrendered and went along with the soldiers to Wounded Knee Creek."

Commanding General Nelson A. Miles

"During the night Colonel Forsyth joined the command with reinforcements of several troops of the 7th Calvary. The next morning he deployed his troops around the camp, placed two pieces of artillery in position, and demanded the surrender of the arms of the warriors. This was complied with by the warriors going out from camp and placing the arms on the ground where they were directed. Chief Big Foot, an old man, sick at the time and unable to walk, was taken out of a wagon and laid on the ground."

Dewey Beard - Lakota

"…Most of the Indians had given up their arms; there were a few standing with their guns, but the soldiers had not been to them. The knives were piled up in the center of the council; some young men had their guns and knives, but they had not been asked yet for them. There was a deaf Indian named Black Coyote who did not want to give up his gun; he did not understand what they were giving up their arms for… The struggle for the gun was short, the muzzle pointed upward toward the east and the gun was discharged. In an instant a volley followed as one shot, and the people began falling…."

Dewey Beard - Lakota

"…I was badly wounded and pretty weak too. While I was lying on my back, I looked down the ravine and saw a lot of women coming up and crying. When I saw these women, girls and little girls and boys coming up, I saw soldiers on both sides of the ravine shoot at them until they had killed every one of them… Going a little further, (I ) came upon my mother who was moving slowly, being very badly wounded… When (I) caught up to her, she said, 'My son, pass by me; I am going to fall down now.' As she went up, soldiers on both sides of the ravine shot at her and killed her… (I) heard the Hotchkiss or Gatling guns shooting at them along the bank. Now there went up from these dying people a medley of death songs that would make the hardest heart weep. Each one sings a different death song if he chooses. The death song is expressive of their wish to die. It is also a requiem for the dead. It expresses that the singer is anxious to die too…."
American Horse - Lakota

"There was a woman with an infant in her arms who was killed as she almost touched the flag of truce… A mother was shot down with her infant; the child not knowing what its mother was dead was still nursing… The women as they were fleeing with their babies were killed together, shot right through… and after most all of them had been killed a cry was made that all those who were not killed or wounded should come forth and they would be safe. Little boys… came out of their places of refuge, and as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrounded them and butchered them."

Thomas H. Tibbles - Omaha World Herald

"Though the active attack lasted perhaps twenty minutes, the firing continued for an hour or two, whenever a soldier saw a sign of life. Indian women and children fled into the ravine to the south, and some of them on up out of it across the prairie, but the soldiers followed them and shot them down mercilessly."

Thomas H. Tibbles - Omaha World Herald

"Nothing I have seen in my whole… life ever affected or depressed or haunted me like the scenes I saw that night in that church. One un-wounded old woman… held a baby on her lap… I handed a cup of water to the old woman, telling her to give it to the child, who grabbed it as if parched with thirst. As she swallowed it hurriedly, I saw it gush right out again, a bloodstained stream, through a hole in her neck."Heartsick, I went to… find the surgeon… For a moment he stood there near the door, looking over the mass of suffering and dying women and children… The silence they kept was so complete that it was oppressive… Then to my amazement I saw that the surgeon, who I knew had served in the Civil War, attending the wounded… from the Wilderness to Appomattox, began to grow pale… 'This is the first time I've seen a lot of women and children shot to pieces,' he said. 'I can't stand it'….Out at Wounded Knee, because a storm set in, followed by a blizzard, the bodies of the slain Indians lay untouched for three days, frozen stiff from where they had fallen. Finally they were buried in a large trench dug on the battlefield itself. On that third day Colonel Colby… saw the blanket of a corpse move… Under the blanket, snuggled up to its dead mother, he found a suckling baby girl."

Medals of Honor

20 medals of dis-Honor were awarded to soldiers of the 7th calvalry for their valiant efforts in defense of the great American way.

An email campaign has begun to support the reciendment of the medals of (dis) honor. Please lend your support at

Lost Bird of Wounded

KneeZintkala Nuni (Lost Bird) as an infant survived the Wounded Knee massacre of 1890, only to be adopted by a white general as a political stepping stone for his ambitions, tjhen later abandoned to a miserable life of harsh Native boarding school, being passed among many men, abandoneed and betrayed, and dying at age 29 of diseases she had no immunity from. Lost Bird’s body was traced by Pine Ridge Lakota relative and reburied at the Wounded Knee Massacre memorial cemetery on Pine Ridge reservation in SD.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Some Ideas for Sharing Your Faith

IF everything goes as planned (fat chance), then we will be sharing our personal testimonies with the children in VBS on Monday, July 17th. Just tell your "story" as simply as you can. If you have ever struggled with some of the issues that the kids have (durgs, alcohol, abuse, poverty, etc.) , then be sure to include that in your story, HOWEVER, remember that it is not necessary for you to relate to everything in their lives. Not ALL of the struggle with such issues. EVERYONE'S story is important because every child is different and will relate to different stories.

Then we will be sharing the gospel with the children in VBS on Wednesday, July 19th.

As you meet in your groups to prepare for this, here are some ideas that may help. Feel free to use any or none of the following:

Show How Jesus Can Relate To Their Experiences

Things Jesus has in common with American Indians:

  • The Creator wanted to have a relationship with human beings. But because He was Spirit, he had to come to the earth in the form of a man.
  • The Creator chose to identify Himself through the incarnate Christ with one of the nations of the earth. He chose the Israeli people.
    What does the Bible say about the Israeli people?
  • They were a minority.
    o “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of them all. (Deut. 7:6-7)
  • They were a tribal group. (Genesis 49:28)
  • The Israeli people had to struggle to survive, but they did survive.
    o Survived slavery in Egypt.
    o Survived Hitler’s execution of more than 6 million Jews.
    o Even now are fighting for the survival of Israel.
  • Jesus was born in the ancestral homeland of his people and that land was under the rule of a dominant society – the Roman Empire.
  • His people faced many of the same kind of atrocities that American Indians have faced.
    o When Jesus was born, king Herod massacred all of the baby boys
    o Hitler’s concentration camps and mass executions.
  • Jesus grew up living in with a mixture of his own culture, traditions, and language but they were also held to Roman rule, including having to pay taxes and submit to the law of the donminate society.

A Illustration

If you prefer having an illustration for sharing the gospel, one can be found here

Another Site with Tips is here. This site disusses how to deal with hecklers.


If interested in seeing my personal fears about the trip, see my regular blog.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Panic Mode

This is about the time when people start to freak out. We leave in 9 days and the reality of what we're attempting couples with fear of the unknown and people start to get nervous. I know I am ... and I've been to the rez several times. My main fear is not about what will happen there, but "what will I forget"?? I actually woke up in a panic the other night. I could have sworn I was in Iowa and had forgotten the map! It took me a few minutes to realize that I was NOT in Iowa, that I had NOT forgotten the map, and that in fact, we had NOT left yet. It was comforting to know I was in the safety of my own bed and only having a bad dream.

SO, if you're feeling a bit nervous, I came across a phrase a while back that I've adopted.

"In the end, everything will be okay. And if it's not okay, it's not the end."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Let it Rain

A vision of hope for the children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (For an clue as to a fun surprise that Brian included, see my other blog.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Check This Out

Jean sent me this article. It is good. It will help you see life from the Lakota perspecitve and give you some things to think on.
Liberation and Oppression: Redefining the Task of Post-Modern Clergy
Joann White

I am a spinner of yarns, a woman, a crucified person, an oppressor by birthright, a would-be pastor. I will reveal to you the task of post-modern clergy. I will share with you my story. This is a saga of liberation and oppression, of unwitting workers of genocide and crucified people, of improbable homecomings and gospel writers. This is a tale about the eyes of Jesus, and the way in which he continues to look out on this world. As you read, perhaps you, too, will glimpse Christ in unlikely circumstance. Perhaps you, too, will be moved to simple acts of service. Perhaps you, too, will be set free.

Lakota Wake

The sky is cloudless and endlessly blue, as only the sky of a South Dakota summer can be. A mini-van pulls to a stop in front of a yellow, asbestos-shingle, tract house. I know, from hours spent cleaning within, that this home is held together by cigarette smoke and cockroaches. There are fist-sized holes in the back wall stuffed with flannel against the chill of past winters. The air is heavy within, with the smell of poverty and metabolized alcohol. This is Jepthah?s home, the place from which his spirit will depart for its yearlong journey to the next life. This is the place where he was raised with ten brothers and sisters, where he staked out a sleeping space on the floor behind a door. This is the place where two days before I had read the hopeless credo burned with countless patient lighter clicks onto the ceiling, "One day at a time. Fuck it." The body has been resting here for two days, accompanied by family and visitors.

There are Lakota people in the yard. Men-folk perch on the top rail of a fence, making small talk. From the corner of my eye, I see a quart jar filled with a brownish liquid making the rounds among a silent few seated in lawn chairs. I emerge from the van, feeling conspicuous with my white face and blue jeans, ill clad for a wake. I file across the lawn with eyes downcast and pass through the front door to find that the living room has been transformed. Star quilts are nailed to the walls in multicolored cascades. Flowers cover the floor at the foot of the casket. Favorite pictures of Jepthah in happier times are lovingly displayed. I smell the pungent aromas of burned sage and strong black coffee. As I step across the room to pay my respects, I keenly feel that I am an intruder here. I imagine myself, long legs flying, running far across the surrounding grasslands away from this place, from this reality, but I stand my ground. I wonder what is in the quart jar. Time crawls as I wait. I step up. It is my turn next.

And there is Jepthah, a slender, gentle man, dead of an alcohol-related death at age thirty-two. He is younger than I am. He is the father of four children. Just days before, I had cut careful slabs of sheet cake, piled them onto a paper plate, and shrouded them in saran wrap for his later consumption. He told me that he liked chocolate and laughed. Now a thin veil of netting separates us. His eyes are closed and his mustache has been groomed pencil-thin. He is rakishly clothed in dress slacks and a stylish black cowboy shirt with pearl snaps. Clutched tight in his folded hands is a large silver crucifix, its chain draped in a silvery pool. I cannot take my eyes from the crucifix, this ornate Christ held fast in unfeeling hands. I want to pray for Jepthah?s safe journey, for the well being of his children, but I feel guilty and complicit. As I stand face to face with the concreteness of life on the reservation, of graveyards filled with those who have met young, untimely deaths, this silver Jesus cradled in brown hands silences me. The well-intended oppression of my clergy predecessors has served to weave this spell of death and silence. They have brought Jepthah to an early grave and have left me suddenly unable to even pray.

continued tomorrow

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Backpacking Party

Thanks to all who came and helped fill the backpacks with school supplies!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

News from Pine Ridge

Two Associated Press News articles regarding Pine Ridge

Organizers of beer blockade don't plan arrests

PINE RIDGE, S.D. - American Indians supporting a planned blockade of beer sales from Whiteclay, Neb., gathered Wednesday in nearby Pine Ridge for a prayer meeting before walking two miles south to Whiteclay to start the effort."I just hope they have enough people to man the blockades," said Mark Vasina of Nebraskans for Peace, an activist group that has tried to end alcohol sales in the border town."If they can establish probable cause when they stop the vehicle, that fits with South Dakota's citizen arrest law," he said.Blockade workers said they didn't plan to arrest anyone but would confiscate any beer purchased in Whiteclay.The plan was to set up checkpoints just inside the reservation. Volunteers in Whiteclay planned to use radios to tell checkpoint workers which vehicles should be stopped and searched for beer.Alcohol is banned on the 16,500-member reservation. But four stores in the tiny town of Whiteclay sell an estimated 4 million of cans of beer every year, mostly to Indians.

The stores have been a source of tension for years, and tribal members have tried to stop alcohol sales in Whiteclay through the courts, the county and the state licensing board.A half-dozen law officers gathered in bright sunshine between the village and the reservation boundary Wednesday morning. The reservation was just "a stone's throw away or a beer-can throw away," joked one of the officers, who are from the Nebraska State Patrol, Sheridan County, Neb., and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Police department.Authorities said they count not comment, but Alex White Plume, tribal vice chairman, has said they would maintain order but not take part in the blockade.Whiteclay was quiet late Wednesday morning, with some American Indian facing north toward the officers and Pine Ridge in the distance.In Whiteclay, Joseph Elk Wing of Whiteclay and Tucker Wayne of Pine Ridge said they had not heard anything about the planned blockade. "We don't take beer across that line," said Wayne.Inside one of the four stores that sell the beer, State Line Liquor co-owner Clay Brehmer was looking over videotape to try to identify a possible shoplifter. Brehmer the activity in anticipation of the blockade was "a bunch of hoopla" with the goal of drawing media attention.Vasina said the blockade was the only option remaining.A service of the Associated Press(AP)

Indian Activists Give Up Beer Blockade

The Associated PressWednesday, June 28, 2006; 10:56 PM

PINE RIDGE, S.D. -- Activists on Wednesday gave up plans to seize beer from motorists driving into the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after a tribal police official said it would be illegal and dangerous and promised to help find a different way to fight alcoholism.

Supporters of the blockade had described it as their only option after failed efforts to get the courts and county and state officials to stop the flow of beer from tiny Whiteclay, Neb. Alcohol is banned on the 16,500-member reservation, but four Whiteclay stores sell an estimated 4 million of cans of beer every year, mostly to Indians.

Indian activist Russell Means, background center, sits in the cab of his vehicle which stalled on the Nebraska-South Dakota state line and stopped traffic across the road leading from Whiteclay into the Pine Ridge reservation, Wednesday, June 28, 2006, during a planned beer blockade protest announced by Indian activists. The activists' plan was to set up checkpoints just inside the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, and stop vehicles who were suspected of transporting beer from Whiteclay, Neb., into the reservation. Alcohol is banned on the 16,500-member reservation.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (Nati Harnik - AP)

PINE RIDGE, S.D. -- Activists on Wednesday gave up plans to seize beer from motorists driving into the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after a tribal police official said it would be illegal and dangerous and promised to help find a different way to fight alcoholism.'

The fewer than a dozen activists were outnumbered by journalists and law-enforcement officers from several jurisdictions as blockade organizer Duane Martin Sr. and James Twiss, the reservation's acting police chief, hashed things out at the state boundary, a few feet from the sign for South Dakota's Shannon County.

Blockade supporters had said they didn't plan to arrest anyone but would have confiscated any beer purchased in Whiteclay at checkpoints just inside the reservation. Volunteers in Whiteclay planned to use radios to tell checkpoint workers which vehicles should be stopped and searched.
Twiss said it was unclear whether the blockade would violate motorists' constitutional right against illegal searches and seizures. "A person's vehicle is their property," Twiss told Martin.
Allowing the blockade also would invite liability issues, Twiss said: "If someone decides not to stop, we're going to be responsible."

"Whose side are you guys on?" Martin told Twiss.

"Don't try to make me be the bad guy," Twiss said.

Twiss acknowledged his department has not done enough to go after bootleggers who buy large quantities of beer in Whiteclay and distribute it on the reservation, but said he doesn't have the money or manpower to do more.

Twiss vowed, however, to work with Martin and others to find some way to ease the problem.

The two sides planned to meet, possibly as early as Thursday.

Mark Vasina of Nebraskans for Peace, an activist group that has tried to end alcohol sales in the border town, said he was pleased with the outcome.

"I think this is a success because we got a commitment from the new police chief to deal with the problems of illegal alcohol sales," Vasina said.

Sheridan County, Neb., Sheriff Terry Robbins had a different take: "Waste of time." The episode was intended to draw media attention, he said.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I just received an email from Erin Red Bear at the American Horse School. It is confirmed that on Friday, July 21 we will be going to work at the school. It looks like we will be doing any or all of the following:

  • Cleaning out a fence row so weed killer can be sprayed
  • Cleaning up the grounds including the teacher's housing area and the pow wow grounds
  • Painting parking lines on the parking lot

They have all of the materials we will need but we will need to bring rakes, hoes and gloves.

- Crew - if you bring any of these with you, please remember to put your name on them so we can make sure you get them back.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Memorable Sayings From Past Trips

Each year there is at least one good line that is worthy of remembering for some laughs. Here are a few from pervious years....

"What is, is." - John

"I see a buffalo!" - Cathy upon seeing a car in the distance and thinking it was a buffalo.

"Take this one - it's just like all the others except it's different." - Amber when the children got fussy over what backpack they wanted.

"What has happened to our basketball court?!?!?" - a child upon seeing us dig out and frame up the basketball court

"We're gonna rock your trailer Paul". - Bev arguing with Paul about the music for Teen Night

"Horse! Horse! Horse! Horse!" - Amber after nearly running into a herd of wild horses driving through the badlands at night.

"SHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT!!!!! - Cathy after Brian nearly drove off a cliff

"Don't make me laugh anymore - I have to fart." - unnamed person

And who could forget - Johnny poo poo pants! - Brandon and Bub

There's a Dining Room in there Somewhere

I've done more shopping. So far we have almost all of the school supplies and 137 backpacks (at last count). God really blessed this shopping trip because I found some GREAT deals. Spiral notebooks for 10 cents, boxes of 24 crayons for 10 cents, and folders for 10 cents! I've hit several Walmarts in the area and I imagine the cashiers dread to see me walk in the door.

It's also a blessing to see how much people support us. So many times people give me funny looks when I have two carts full of school supplies and when I explain what we're doing, they always think it's great. I've heard "God bless you" several times in the past week. One lady who worked for Walmart called the manager to ask if she would mark the stuff down any more for us. The manager never returned her call but at least she tried.

Since most of the stuff is here now, we will plan to have a backpacking party NEXT SUNDAY, JULY 2nd. Meet here at my house at 2pm and we will knock this out in no time. You do not HAVE to come to the backpack packing party but it is a lot of fun. You are welcome to stay here until church starts if you like but we will probably be finished by 3:30

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

'Tis the Season

Back from shopping. That's right. I'm already at it. No time to spare. I was thrilled to find spiral notebooks for 10 cents each! Now I'll let them restock before I go back because I pretty much cleaned them out.

Good News!!!

We are going to be able to take backpacks with school supplies out to give to the kids again this year!

I was disappointed that we were not going to be able to do that this year and finally just asked the board if they would be able to help out and they agreed to do so! This is a great project for several reasons:

  • The kids get SOOO excited about getting school supplies
  • The parents also really apprecite that we do this for the kids.
  • It is needed. Pine Ridge has been deemed the poorest area in the U.S.
  • It is a small way of encouraging the children to stay in school in an area that has a high drop out rate.
We will also be giving people in our congregation an opportunity to be involved as well if they would like. Here is the deal ...

For $20.00 we can purchase a backpack and school supplies for one child.

If you would like to help with this project, make checks out to the Winton Rd. First Church of God and note that it is for backpacks. Give the check to any Pine Ridge crew member and we'll see that it all goes toward backpacks and school supplies.

Crew - we will be having a backpack packing party soon!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Pirate's Name for Me

Click here to find your pirate name. Then let us know what your name is.

I'm "Stutterin' Liza Sparrow"

And no, I didn't plan it that way. Really.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Shopping

Today my dad went with me to do some more shopping for the trip. And I think we have most of it packed now and stacked in my dining room. I think this completes phase one of shopping. I've bought everthing that wont go bad. The first week of July I'll shop for the things that can be frozen and then probably the day before we leave I'll have to buy bread and things that are last minute items. Somewhere in there I'll have to pick up the Ryder truck too.

I wish you all could come shopping with me - not to help, but to see the looks on people's faces when I buy the amount of stuff I buy. The guy at the store today had the funniest look on his face when I told him I needed 700 small bags of chips and 1500 paper plates. BTW, those are on order and my dad and I will pick them up on Saturday.

More Shopping

Today my dad went with me to do some more shopping for the trip. And I think we have most of it packed now and stacked in my dining room. I think this completes phase one of shopping. I've bought everthing that wont go bad. The first week of July I'll shop for the things that can be frozen and then probably the day before we leave I'll have to buy bread and things that are last minute items. Somewhere in there I'll have to pick up the Ryder truck too.

I wish you all could come shopping with me - not to help, but to see the looks on people's faces when I buy the amount of stuff I buy. The guy at the store today had the funniest look on his face when I told him I needed 700 small bags of chips and 1500 paper plates. BTW, those are on order and my dad and I will pick them up on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Some are you are wondering what we're eating. Here is the menu - assuming that we have the meats donated again this year. If not, we may have to make changes. All meals on the road, you are responsible for. All meals on the reservation are included in the cost of the trip.

Saturday - Travel Day
Eat on the Road

Sunday - Travel Day
Eat on the Road

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice

Lunch: Chicken Drummies, Celery/Carrot Sticks, Ranch Dressing, Cookies

Dinner: Pork Chop, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Bread & Butter, Iced Tea

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, OJ, Butter,

Lunch: Hamburgers, baked beans, chips

Dinner: Chicken Breast, Green Beans, mac & cheese, bread & butter, Kool Aid

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice

Lunch: Hot Dogs, Chips, Fruit Cups

Dinner: Spaghetti, Salad,Garlic Bread

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice

Lunch: Rib-B-Q sandwiches, chips

Dinner: Hamburgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans

Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice,

Lunch: PB&J’s, chips, fruit

Dinner: Left Overs!

Saturday - Sight-seeing Day (travel)
Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice

Lunch (on the road)

Dinner (picnic at Custer State Park - provided)

Sunday - Travel Day
Breakfast: Cereal, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Muffins, Fruit, Milk, Coffee, Juice

Eat on the Road

Monday - Travel Day

Eat on the Road

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Another note:

Everyone needs to get their driving records in - again. All of the records from previous years have been lost (not by me) so we all need to get them in again.

Please, please, please, get them in before the end of June. That will make my life SO SO SO much easier. July will just be too hectic for me to have to worry about paper work.

Monday, June 05, 2006

VBS Teams

At our May meeting we assigned VBS teams by allowing those in attendance to choose what team they wanted. Those not in attnedance were assigned to the spots that were left.

Each team needs to meet ASAP to plan how you are going to divide up the story-telling and how you want to cooridinate sharing His story. If you've not received a call from someone on your team, go ahead and contact them and set up a time to get together. This is the most imporant thing we will be doing there and we can't drop the ball because we would not take one hour to be prepared. If you were not at the meeting and do not know what team you are on, here is the list:



Little Ones


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30th - Grocery Shopping

Today was spent groc. shopping for the trip and then packing what I bought.

Wow, do I ever miss having a cook. It's like most anything else - you just don't know what all is involved until you have to do it. I made 4 trips to GFS and 2 to Walmart. Too bad Jeeps can't hold more.

The meals will not be fancy but I don't think anyone will starve to death.

Grocery shopping for the trip always makes me nervous. I don't like spending other people's money and I worry about making mistakes - especially mistakes that will cost the team money. And I always wonder if I've planned correctly. Do we have enough food? Too much food? Did I budget enough for ice? The questions can go on and on, and then, I have to remind myself of Who I serve. The message Ralph Watts preached "What's the name of your God" comes echoing through the chaos.

Last year I was fortunate enough to spend a week on the reservation during the American Indian Council. That week I had planned to do all the things I wanted to do on the reservation but don't have the time to do when I'm with a group. Soon after arriving it became apparent that was not to be. They needed help. They had a LOT of people that would be arriving and the donated trailers that were to house the people needed to be cleaned (they were really nasty) and food needed to be prepared for the crowd.

Instead of spending the week the way I had hoped, I took my place scrubbing trailers, bathrooms, and then served as one of the cooks and clean-up crew during the council. It was during that week that my faith was increased. Every day I would be given a certain amount of food to serve for a meal and panic would set in. I knew that there was no way that amount of food would feed that many people. But, I did what I was told and prepared it. Every single time there was enough to go around - with some left over. Every day I felt I was witnessing a modern day miracle of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes.

Two lessons from that week:
1. Things may not be the way we want them to be.
2. God is in control and knows exactly what He's doing.

This is a faith adventure!
What's the name of your God?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reminder to Crew


  • Important Meeting (if you like to eat, be there) on Sunday, June 4th at 4:00 pm.
  • Bring your toilet paper and paper towels to the meeting so I can pack it. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, check your crew booklet)
  • Bring $15 per person for your t-shirt to the meeting.
  • Make sure ALL paper work (health forms, permission slips, and driving records) are in.
  • If you have not already done so, please call your teaching group together to discuss how you are going to work out your story time. The last thing you want is to have a prarie full of unruly kids and no plan.

Another Change of Plans

Are you getting the feeling that everything changes all the time? Well, you're right, it does. And it will change again I'm sure. It's just the way mission trips go... we start with a plan and then constantly re-adjust. So be prepared to be flexible.

Yesterday was a busy day. Most of the loot bags are packed - just waiting for one more shipment to arrive so I can finish them. I also spent time in the phone and in email with a number of people regarding a number of issues. Too many to really get into and in the end, the only one that will change anything for the crew is this one ...

We had planned to take some of the kids to Rapid City for a movie and pizza on the Friday that we will be there. Well... for a number of reasons, that isn't going to work out. So, I've been working on another possibility. I've been talking to the superintendent of the American Horse school and it looks very likey that we will be able to do a work project there on Friday. She gave me a list of projects - everything from, get this, pouring basketball courts, to fixing a fence, to reseeding part of the lawn and planting some flowers. I'm pretty sure we wont be doing the basketball courts since we couldnt get that done in a single day. I would like to be able to complete anything we start there and not leave them with a half-done project.

The cool thing is that we will be able to be to do some work that will benefit the village - even those who do not have a connection with the church.

Crew members - are you praying??

I have a good feeling about this trip. I think it may be our best one yet!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Packing Has Begun!

150 pirate hats showed up on my front porch the other day. Followed by 150 pirate bandannas and 150 pirate bubbles, 150 rubber bracelets with "religious" inscriptions, a treasure chest pinata, and a ton of candy.

So, as I'm taking a break from packing to post this. I've got 150 brown lunch bags for our "loot bags" and am putting candy, one bracelet, a pirate bandanna, and a thing of bubbles into each bag. So far, I've filled and packed 30 bags. Great. only 120 to go and it's only 11:30.

I do wish you all could be here to help - not so that I could get some help but so you could have some fun. It starts to get exciting when you really see things coming together. Unfortunately, I really need to get this stuff packed away THIS WEEK so there just wasn't time to get everyone together to fill the bags.

Anyway, just click on the links above to see them.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Crew Member Experiences

If you have been on one of the trips to Pine Ridge, then you can now share your experience here. I've put a link to another page at the right side of this page.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Good News!

Thanks to our church family, yesterday we raised all that we need for the Birthday Party!

If anyone is reading and didn't get to give to the B-day party project, I would REALLY recommend that you give instead to the Haiti Mission Team. In a couple of weeks they will be raising money to purchase Beans & Rice for the Haitian people. I've been to Haiti and have seen the extreme poverty and hunger there.

Some of those folks are literally starving to death. Please support the Haiti crew as they try to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a very dark and desperate place.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Just a reminder of upcoming meetings. We are officially at "crunch time" now so it is vitallly important for you to be at the rest of the meeitngs to be fully prepared for the trip. Put them on your calanders and be there.

Meeting Schedule:

Sunday, May 7th, 4pm- We will be talking about being prepared spiritually. I cannot express how important it is for you to be there. We will have a guest speaker so it is not a meeting I can update you on via email. You really need to be there.

We will also be assigning teams. If you are going to be prepeard for your part of this trip, you will need to meet with your team and discuss what you will be doing.

Sunday, June 4th, 4pm - John will be with us to answer questions you may have about the kitchen equipment. Since you may well be the person responsible for getting meals on the table on time, you can't miss this one. You will only frustrate yourself and your team members if you don't know what's going on during mealtime prep. If eating is important to you, be there.

Sunday, July 9th, 4pm - This one will be our final meeting. We will be dealing with conflict resolution and going over the last minute details. We will discuss packing and giving out final instructions. If you miss this one, you will be one frustrated workcamper and you will have a team of workcampers frustrated with you.

Change of Plans - Again

If you've been on a mission trip, you already know that being flexible and going with the flow just goes with the territory. We plan, knowing that at any moment, without warning, our plans may be turned upside down.

That has happened.

And it will happen again, I'm sure. Probably a few more times.

So here's the deal...

I talked to the missionaries there Tuesday night and found out that the church at Wounded Knee is having a Campmeeting (revival) the week that our team will be there. SO, we will be going to church at Wounded Knee every night.

I realize that will be disappointing to a lot of us - me included. I realize that we do not drive all the way to South Dakota to go to church every night. And I realize that this development will cut our time with the kids a bit short, and that spending time with the kids is the whole reason we go out there.


I also know that God is in control. I believe that He knew, long before they even knew, that they would be having Campmeeting that week. And I believe He knew, long before we knew, that we would be there that week. Frankly, I think God has this thing planned for a reason. Do you realize that this is the ONE thing that I do not have my sticky fingers involved in? This one is pure God. I've not had the opportunity to mess this one up, so, I suspect, it may well be the best part of our trip.

The problem.

The problem is that we had planned to do Teen Nights each week we were there. Most were simple - just a video and popcorn, or driving into Martin to get ice cream with the teenagers after church. The big one that we were counting on was a big birthday party to celebrate 3 of our crew memeber's birthdays and to give the kids a chance to celebrate THEIR birthdays. I imagine most if not all of them have never had a birthday party. We really wanted to give them one.

And we will.

Instead of doing the birthday party for a Teen Night, we will be doing it at VBS during the day - with all of the kids.

Another problem.

That means that instead of doing a birthday party for 30 teenagers, we will be doing a party for up to 150 kids! Which means, the cost of this trip just went up. Not good. Our crew was already strapped for money and the extremely HIGH gas prices have put a sqeeze on things. Now we have to plan for a LOT more kids for the party AND we have more gas expense in driving to Wounded Knee every night (Wounded Knee is about a 45 minute drive - one way.)

SO, I spent the day Wednesday trying to revamp the trip and figure out what to do with this development. And I think I have it figured out. (God is laughing at me about now because I think I have it figured out.)

I have figured the cost of doing the party for that many more kids and I think we can do the party for $3.00 per kid. We will be asking people to help us out by purchasing a party pack for a child.

The $3.00 Party Pack will include:

One cupcake
Ice Cream
A Party Hat
Party Favors
A Loot Bag

For $3.00 anyone who wants to help us out
can make sure the kids get a birthday party.

The Good News is...

This will allow more kids, and younger kids to enjoy a birhtday party.

We will get to spend each night in the church at Wounded Knee. That building is a part of our nation's history because the American Indian Movement (AIM) took over that building in the 1970's uprising. You can still see the bullet holes in the walls of the church.

We will also be worshiping right across the road from the Wounded Knee memorial and mass grave. I don't know about you, but I will find that difficult to ignore as we worship and pray to God.

We will also get to meet more of the adult Lakota people. They are sweet and you will love them.

And best of all, God has something for us while we are there. I have a feeling this is a GOOD thing that has happened.