Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Being Physically Prepared

Its almost February and that means that its time to talk about being physically prepared for the trip.  That will include some easy things, and some that are not so easy - all are important and all are worth the time and effort. 

I suggest the first thing you do is schedule a visit to your doctor to make sure you are healthy.  You will not need any shots for this trip, however, if you are not current on your tetanus vaccine, it would be a good idea to get up to date on that - you never know what you will encounter, step on or get cut by on these trips. 

While you are talking to your doctor, if you are one of those folks who have allergies that cause you to go into Anaphylactic shock, see if your doctor will prescribe an EpiPen for you to take with you on the trip.  We've never had a problem like that, but ... you never know.  Since medical help can be far away (the nearest big hospital is 2 hours away) you will want to do everything you can to take care of yourself. 

And while you are at the doctor, check with him/her about an exercise program.  (This will make your doctor very happy.)

What does exercise have to do with mission trips??  Well ... a lot actually.

These are very physically demanding trips.  The way I see it, you can suffer some now while you have all of the comforts of home, or you can suffer more there where you have none of the comforts of home.  Either way, you're gonna hurt.  You will hurt less if you do everything you can to get in better shape for the trip.

It doesn't have to be a lot.  Just do something.  Walk for 10 minutes.  Then next week, walk 15 minutes.  Keep doing a bit more and soon you will surprise yourself and you'll be feeling better.  I find it easier to keep up an exercise program if I find something I enjoy doing.  If its something I like, I'll be more likely to stick with it rather than dread something I have to do because I should.  Think of it as time to go out and play like a child, or as time for yourself.  Whatever it takes, please, please, please do it.  It''ll mean more room in the van. : )  Just kidding.  You will be more productive and more effective in serving God if you are more fit.  That my friends, is just a fact. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

What Can You Expect??

It’s not about you!   You've heard me say that a million times, right? What does it mean??       

Sometimes … some people ….sign up for a mission trip thinking it will be a good thing for them or thinking it will be a good time for their family.  While that can be the case, it is not a good reason to sign up for a mission trip. 

Mission trips by their very nature are demanding.  They demand your time, your commitment, not only to do the actual trip, but to prepare for it as well.  They demand that you put yourself, your wishes, and your comforts aside.  The days are long and hard as you will experience some of the following:

  • No privacy – even when you go to the bathroom, someone will be there.
  • Food that is not what you would choose if you were at home.
  • Crowded, cramped conditions.
  • A climate that you are unaccustomed to.
  • A culture you are unaccustomed to.
Those are just to mention a few of the challenges you will face on a mission trip.  It takes someone who has the ability to put themselves last.  That sounds simple enough, but can you do it?  There are 52 weeks in a year and most of us spend every one of those doing everything within our power to make ourselves comfortable and happy.  Doing differently for a week or more can challenge the best of folks.  For those able to pull it off, they discover a joy that is unattainable if you merely are trying to make yourself happy and comfortable.

Yes, yes, I know that we ALL need the help of the Holy Spirit to pull that off or to even come close – that’s a whole other topic and one we will address when we talk about being Spiritually Prepared.  This post is to give you a head’s up about what to expect.

Our Mission

To Build Relationships with the Lakota people

To share the love of Jesus is practical ways

To Listen and Learn from the Lakota people



What can you expect?  I’ve mentioned a few things here already.  Let’s go a bit further. 
It is HOT in South Dakota in July.  Temps can reach as high as 110.  BUT, don’t plan on it being hot.  In the evening it can cool off to the upper 50’s or 60’s.   Plan your dress accordingly.  Shorts are fine, but don’t forget to throw in a pair of jeans and a jacket or sweatshirt.

You will be dirty.  You will be working, sometimes outside.  You will be outside teaching and playing with kids all afternoon.  There is some dust.  J  You will get dirty and will likely stay that way. 

You will be tired.  A typical day looks like this:

Breakfast at 6am.

Work Projects after breakfast – 11-11:30am

Pick up kids for VBS

Noon - Lunch – feed up to 100+ kids lunch

After lunch - VBS

After VBS - Playtime on the playground

4:00pm  - Take the kids home

Pick up Teens

5:30 - Dinner with the teenagers

Teen Night activities

9PM – Take teens home

10pm – evening devotions and team sharing time

Besides all of that, there is kitchen duty, bathroom duty, cleaning out vans that needs to be done daily.  Yes, you will be tired. 

What I expect from the crew

I’ve been known to have high expectations of the crew – because I believe that 1, we are doing one of the most important things we as followers of Christ can do – affecting souls, and 2, I believe people going on mission trips are capable of great things.  Its really pretty simple stuff – stuff that your employer probably expects from you – and since souls are far more important than a job, its my belief that we should be no less responsible on mission trips as we would be to other responsibilities.  Here are some things I expect:

Be respectful –  That is really central to all of my expectations and all of the others hinge of this one.  Be respectful of the Lakota people, of the missionaries there, of your crewmates – even the one’s who get on your nerves.  If you have a disagreement with someone, handle it in a respectful manner – just as you would want someone to approach you with a problem.

Be responsible – be at monthly meetings so you are informed and equipped to carry out your responsibilities.  If meetings were not important, I wouldn’t waste my time on them.  Don’t ask if we’re doing anything important – we are, hence the meeting. 

Being responsible also includes being on time to meetings, and being respectful of your teammates time.  Others have taken time out of their day and made the effort to be on time, to do less is disrespectful of their time. 

Being responsible means making payments on time.  We have a person who spends hours and hours of their time keeping our accounts in order and making trips to the bank to deposit payments.  When someone is late, it really throws a wrench into all of that and makes their job MUCH more difficult than it should be.  Respect their time and willingness to serve our crew in this capacity and get your payments in on time. 

Oh, and one last thing that will really help you out a lot – a sense of humor! 



Friday, January 11, 2013

A New Year, A New Trip, A New Crew!

Meet  "The Dirty Dozen", our crew for 2013. 

We have a somewhat smaller crew this year but we also have some really cool possibilities ahead for this year's trip.  There is a chance that we'll be joining with another congregation from Arkansas for the trip.  Their pastor, Scott P. contacted me about their interest in going along with us this year, and it couldn't be at a better time! 

On our end, we have 12 crew members:

Amber B.
Cathy J.
Charles J.
Earl B.
Linda B.
Ericka B.
Bailey C.
Dennis W.
Jeff S.
Roy H.
Angie C.
Carrie P.

We are looking forward to another year with our friends on the Rez!!