Monday, June 29, 2009

All I Can Say is ... Wow! I Hope This Will All Fit on the Truck!

Sad to say but these pics really don't do it justice. There's more than it appears in the pics. I've gotta be honest - I'm ready to get this stuff out of my house. But hey, I'm SO not complaining. Its not about me. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Melda's Shower

Thanks to Michelle and Sherri for hosting the shower for Melda today! It was great! Melda got a LOT of stuff and will be so blown away when we give it to her. She knows she is getting a new kitchen but has no idea that we did a shower for her. I'm sure she will share of the abundance. Not far from her is a small, single-wide trailer with no indoor plumbing, little electric, and 15 people living inside (8 of them are children). The Lakota believe in generosity to the point where they define it not by how much you give, but by what you have left. Thanks to all who gave. You will bless a lot of people!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Blood

Monday evening Bob and Pat delivered the exterior door, a frame for it, and a storm door! Tuesday my dad (Cliff) came over to put the frame together and hang the door so it's ready when we get there. That is a HUGE help since we're really limited on time after we get there. So, Melda's project has officially begun! My dad is battling cancer and all the wonderful side-effects of chemo so he's not able to go with us this year but he got the honor of drawing "first blood" on the project when he cut his hand. There are 14 of us going to the Rez, and 13 of us working on the project (Whitlock is the cook and will be on overtime cooking for the crew, the kids, and whoever else shows up to eat) but there are SO many other folks who are a part of it in one way or another.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009


Gary interviewed me (Amber) about all we do for Pine Ridge over on the Communitas Collective web site. You can read the interview here. The second part will be posted on Monday.

Gary also does all of our art work for us! He is the talent behind the Backpacks For Pine Ridge logo, the REZonate Music Fest logo and all of our promotional materials!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Got Raw Brute Strength?

OK, so you don't really need raw brute strength... even I can do this and I'm an out of shape 48 year old lady.

IF you can't go on the trip but you would like to do something to help out ... here's an opportunity...

Friday, July 10 @ 6pm we have a 26' truck to load.

This year we could use some extra help because we have SO much more to load (building materials for Melda's, 45 heaters, 550 backpacks, plus all the food for the trip) and we have a smaller crew and of that smaller crew, two are injured.

Not all of the boxes are heavy - some are filled with toilet paper and/or paper towels. Most are easy to manage (remember even I can handle most of them).

If you can help out, shoot me an email or see me @ church to let me know we can count on you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do Short-Term Mission Trips Really Make a Difference? (Part 1)

Click here to read my blog post about "Do Short-Term Mission Trips Really Make a Difference?"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You're Invited!

Melda's Shower
Sunday, June 28th
Winton Rd First Church of God
2:00 pm
Michelle and Sherri are hosting a Kitchen Shower for Melda! Melda's getting a new kitchen and what's a new kitchen without knew kitchen "stuff?"

We will have cake and fellowship

Bring your unwrapped gift so everyone can ooh and aah and then we'll wrap everything up and pack it for the trip!

If you would like to help Melda but you can't make the shower, feel free to donate a gift card to WalMart or Target or bring a giftand give it to Michelle or Sherri.

We will be taking lots of pictures to include a scrapbook we will put together after the Pine Ridge trip for Melda.
Suggested Gift Ideas:
Dish Towels
Pot Holders
Pot Scrubbers
Dish Soap
All sizes cast iron cookware
Non-breakable glasses/mugs
Kitchen Gadgets (non-electrical, things like spatula, tongs, long-handled spoons, etc.)
Kitchen knives
Tupperware type storage containers
Non-breakable pitcher
Cutting board

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two Down

Our crew needs help. We're dropping like flies.
Pray for Fred who is still in a LOT of pain.
Pray for Charles who blew his knee out and as of Sunday could not walk without holding on to things.
I've gone to buy ice packs - one for Fred, one for Charles, and one for whoever else gets hurt. I'm also stocking up on Icy Hot and Advil for the trip.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I don't like posting things like this because I'd rather do a lot of things than ask for money. I love what we do and I love that I get to be a part of it, but the one thing I always regret is having to ask for money.


We have 2 crew members who need help. Both are hard-working, irreplaceable, people who are willing to give up personal vacation time to go help others - but they are short a few hundred dollars. One owes $350 and one $250. The money does not go to them personally - it goes to pay for travel expenses for the crew, food for the crew and 150 kids each day, VBS materials, materials for Melda's project, and other supplies we need for the trip.

So, if you are unable to go with us but would really like to be a part of our trip, one way you can do that is to help these two folks out. Contact me at and I'll see that it's taken care of.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Couple of Cool Stories

Got an email from a lady on the Rez asking for 300 backpacks for the kids in her village. I had talked to her earlier and was waiting to hear back to see how many she needed. The only problem is - we only had 250 for her. We have 150 going to one village & 100 going to another which only left 250 for her. I hate the thought of 50 kids being left out. SO ... I tried to figure out a way to get the other 50. I sent out requests on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and the Backpacks blog. Don't ya know .... within a short time a good friend replied and said, "count me in for the $50". Turns out someone had unexpectedly given him $50 today so he passed it on. Amazing.

A package also came today. I wasn't sure what it might be. I order lots of stuff for the trip, but so far everything I had ordered was accounted for. I didn't recognize the box either. Hmmm... I brought it in and opened it and found a large cast iron skillet, dishtowels, dish clothes, and cooking utensils - all for Melda. From a total stranger who happened to read about it on a blog. This same sweet lady recently send $150 to help build Melda's kitchen. I was totally not expecting more from her. Wow...

Thank you!!

The Backpack Truck Is Gonna Roll Again!

Got the truck reserved and its a BIG one. Normally we take a 15 ft truck but this year we have 500 backpacks, 44 heaters, and all of the materials for Melda's in addition to our luggage, food, bedding, tools, etc. so this year we've got a 26 ft. truck.

The good news - we should have enough room

The bad news - it gets 6 miles per gallon. Yeah, fuel costs will kill us. Oh well. If its God's will, its God's bill.

We will be driving it both ways - we had considered taking the truck one way but we just have too much stuff to bring back home so it's gotta go both ways. We'll also take one of the church vans. It'll be cozy but we can do anything for a week, right.

I must say Ryder trucks have been a JOY to work with. They are always so nice and seem to do their absolute best to make sure we're taken care of. We usually get the best truck on the lot and get a bit of a price break too. They know us by name now and are just really great to work with. Unknown to them, the kids on the Rez think that "Ryder" spells "Backpacks".

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Updated Materials List

In case anyone is insterested in what we have for Melda's. Here is an updated list of what we already have.

Assorted Nails
Assorted 16 Penny Nails
Assorted Beige siding / Corner / J-Channels / Starter Strips
3 Bags 80 lb. Quikrete
2, 45.5" x 45.5" windows
3, 4' x 8' x 1/2" obs plywood - T/G - blue edged
2, 4' x 22.5" -x 1/2" obs plywood - T/G - blue edged
16, 4' x 8' x 3/8" obs plywood - blue edged
14, 4'x8' interior wall paneling (white)
5, 4'x12' x 1/2" Drywall
10, 9'x16' x 1-1/2" planks
6, 4'x8'x3/4" Plywood (traditional)
11, 4'x8'x3/8" obs plywood - yellow edged
65 (est?), 2"x4" studs
4, 4"x4"x10' posts
10, 2"x4"x12'
1 roll tar paper / roof felt
12 bundles shingles
6, 8' base-board moldign
1, 1 Gallon Self-Stick Tile Primer
5 boxes of 12"x12" vinyl floor tle (45 tiles/box)
1, ceiling light (3 bulb fixture)
1, 5 gallon bucket of Interior Latex Semi-Gloss paint
1, large bucket Sheet Rock Joint compound
Assorted Roofing Felt nails
Assorted Shingle Nails
16 joist hangars
10, 10" galvanized bolts with nuts