I am one fortunate man. In many ways, namely to have snared the woman I am married to, to be doing what I love as a ministry in the service of God, and having been born so awesome. But that's not why I said that. Out here, in the middle of I don't know where (you may have been here before they invented GPS) I have internets, and am able to update everyone who reads this (all 3 of you, thanks mom) on our exploits and adventures here in the beautiful Badlands National Park and Pine Ridge Reservation. If you've been keeping up on Twitter, or read this blog, you know we hit some snags as a whole trying to get out here and love the natives on the reservation in a way that shows them Jesus.Well, only one snag-Blizzard! So that brings me to another reason I am so fortunate, we all got here today. It was a lot like a WW2 movie, or a fantasy adventure, where everyone gets separated during the story, but in the end there's a big homecoming and there's hugging, and laughing, and people acted like they thought they would never see each other again.
That festival of mirth was a little short lived, as we realized that we had about two tents to put up, but we couldn't see them. We couldn't see them because they were under 4 feet of snow. So a grand excavation began, one that was at least the size of a well stocked men's vocal ensemble. Anyway, it was modest. It also lasted about 30 min.We found 3 of the 14 poles and the top cover, and we even had a Bobcat tractor to push away most of the snow, but a lot of labor not turning up any more poles left us disheartened. That, plus we had an extra tent laying out, so we just put that one up.
After putting that up, and shoveling out some pathways...by the way, growing up in the South has some definite disadvantages. Not one of us really knew how to shovel a path in the snow, but somehow me and about 13 teenagers worked out a lovely path from one tent to another. At any rate, the hard work plus the smell of some great food made for an angry stomach, but all was forgiven the minute I gave stomach the gift of meatloaf. We then had a great meeting with Pastor Gary and Pastor Laurie, the founders ofWings as Eagles ministries, heard about how they got much land located right on the reservation, and also prayed a prayer and heard a honor song from Allison from the Blackfoot tribe in Wyoming.
Spirits here are high, and we hope to go into the communities tomorrow, and share unconditional love with people who have had things taken from them for generations.Thank you for your prayers, they are really working.