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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pic of the Day

Do we all look tired or what? And this was after a day of sight-seeing.

Meeting and Payment

The last payment of $100 was due Monday, May 1st. I don't know about you, but I'm SO glad the money part is over!

We will have a team meeting Sunday, May 7, at 4:00. Please be there.

Remember to PRAY for the Lakota people, the missionaries there, and for our team.