This was the Missions Team that traveled to South Dakota
to the Rosebud Indian Reservation. My daughter and I are
in the front on the far left. A 15 hour trip until we finally
arrived safely...tired but no traveling or vehicle issues.
This was the church facility we stayed at. Upon arriving
late Sunday evening, we met the pastor/missionary who
showed us our quarters. First surprise...no beds!
We thought we were going to have bunks to sleep on,
so all we had brought were sheets and pillows.
Tired and weary from traveling and then having to
unpack our trailer (we had to bring all our own food,
griddles, crockpots, coffee makers, toasters, sound
equipment, lighting, etc. that we would use for the
week) we put our heads together to figure out sleeping
arrangements. Just enough church chairs for everyone
to have a makeshift bed. Not the most comfortable,
but better than the floor!
We knew those bungee cords would come in handy
for something....this was our added "security" every
night. This lightweight door and a simple lock was
all that was between the outside and US! We had been
warned about people trying to get in before, theft, etc.
so we took no precautions. This was funny, but made
us all feel a little safer every night!
Funny story: One night, the Pastor came back to
the church late at night to get something he had
forgotten. We were all asleep. He used his key to
the door but could not get in because of the bungee
cords! Every time he tried to push the doors open,
they would snap back shut on him. HaHaHa.
At least we knew they did the job well!
Every morning up early and out to pass out flyers
inviting kids to the various programs and services.
The temps were over 100 degrees most days, but
we were in it and on the go all day.
We saw such poor living conditions, stray dogs
and trash everywhere, and so many children that
appeared to just be out and on their own with no
supervision. They followed us where ever we went.
So hungry for love, kind words, acceptance and
simple interaction. What an eye opener.
Picking up the kids would sometimes take 3 hrs.
Then we would have the program or service and
then another 3 hrs. to take them back home!
I was in charge of registration. This gave me an
opportunity to get to know their names and interact
with them. So precious.
It also allowed me to administer first-aid...I saw
some pretty disturbing injuries. Mostly on the feet,
as the children are barefoot most of the time on
such dangerous terrain...rocks, broken glass, etc.
This broke my heart, but I cleaned them up, and
bandaged them up and PRAYED over them.
This was SOOO outside my box. I cannot stand
to see blood or anything painful to another. I
just can't. But I had to. And I did.
And this is what Pastors/Missionaries Johnny and
Heidi Wade do. They have a traveling Metro Kidz
ministry and set up in random areas and spread
the gospel, love on the children and do whatever they can
to help make life better for these precious children.
My daughter Olivia...in heaven with a child
on her lap. Put her in a group of children
and she is in her "happy" place. I feel God's
calling on her life, and am preparing myself
for the day she will probably tell me she too
will become a missionary.
This day we decided to have the program
in the evening, inside the church
because we were afraid to risk having the kids
in the extreme heat....it was a scorcher! Look
at all these kids...at least they got a break from
the heat, and got a little food and fun too.
Then the task of getting them all home afterward.
Some didn't get home til after 11:30 p.m.
This was a block party we had for the community.
Free hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, face painting,
balloon animals and so much more. What a great
outreach...people came out from everywhere!
This 14 yr. old boy stole my heart. I will never
forget him. His name is Jason and if I could have
hid him in my suitcase and brought him home with
me, I would have. He has had a hard life, but he
will not be broken. He is generous, and loving, and
chooses to be happy no matter what life throws at
him. I think he will be a great future leader or helper
for the children on the Reservation.
This was a Free Yard Give-Away. Kind of like a
free garage sale. We set up tables of clothes, shoes,
toys, toiletries, food, etc. and people could take what
ever they wanted or needed. It was awesome.
We had one free day on our trip and we definitely
made the most of it. We went to Wind Cave,
Mt. Rushmore and ended it with a stop at the
Badlands. What an awesome experience.
And last but not least...Buffalo!
Thank you for letting me share a glimpse into
our Missions Trip to the Rosebud Indian Reservation
in South Dakota. And thank you for all your prayers,
kind words of encouragement and advice. I was
overwhelmed with the response I got from so many
of you. I treasure my conversations and e-mails
I received from such wonderful people.
God's hand was upon us the entire trip. His favor
and protection was with us all the time.
After the culture shock of being there a couple days,
I wondered to myself...is what we are doing here really
worth it? Are we really making any kind of difference?
These are children, we love on them and talk to them
about God, but we are only there a week, and then we
are gone. You just want to do so much more for them.
You want to change their world. And NOW.
As I read my Bible that evening, I kept coming across
Mark 4 ... the parable of the Sower. Please read it.
It was so clear to me. We couldn't change their world
in a week. But we planted seeds. With our love,
kindness, outreaches and programs, we planted the
seeds. We will pray over those seeds. And others
will come and water, tend and nurture the seeds.
And hopefully, many seeds fell on "good soil".
MARK 4:20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word,
accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty,
some a hundred times what was sown.”
Thank you again,