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!