We're on our way to Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota for Mission Trip 2010!
The 9-hour drive to Mission, SD, was full of lively conversation as we continued to get to know one another, and shared expectations (and fears) about what we would see and learn in the coming week. We saw the recent tornado damage around southwestern MN and were shocked at the destruction. And gradually, the landscape began to change - rolling, green hills were beckoning us (as well as Wall Drug signs)! It was beautiful! I couldn't wait to see a sunset over those hills!
We arrived at Tree of Life Ministries around 5pm. We unpacked. Amy made us a delightful, healthy dinner! We had a few moments to meet the other group that would be co-habitating in the house with us (a youth group from Kansas - nice to have such energy and enthusiasm in the house!). And finally, we had our orientation for the week.
Russell, the Tree of Life Ministries coordinator, led our orientation about what the week would entail. His passion for this ministry and the culture of the Lakota Sioux was very apparent and made all of us excited to share this experience with him!
We signed up for our jobs for the week - everything from working in the Thrift Shop, the Warm Welcome Center (serving meals), the sewing room, tutoring young kids in reading, construction, sorting clothes and food in the warehouse, gardening and landscaping, etc. Lots of choices!
We ended the evening with our own small group devotionals outside on a gorgeous evening! We talked about gratitude in the midst of the unexpected - and handed out gratitude journals for the week. On a mission trip, you just never know what frustrations may pop up - but at least we were ready to look at everything the happened with a lens of gratitude and watching for God in the details.
"God has a place for every person. And when he gets them there, he empowers them to do what he needs done...
"...Doing the best we can, with what we have, where we are - is the biblical standard of serving."
--John Ed Mathison, "Treasures of a Transformed Life"
(Pictures courtesy of Carol E. and Megan A.)