Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rosebud Report - finally

First of all - come to Sunday School this Sunday and hear all about it. The following is my very simple report of all that God did.

The bulk of the pics will have to be on another post - cause I can't get this to load them right now.

This trip to Wood, South Dakota, was my best-ever missions trip. I say that most years, and it's true. There is no good way to explain it all. The best thing a person could do would be to come to Church this Sunday and stay for Sunday school and hear all about it. I'll try to tell a bit about our trip - at least the parts that matter.

The word of the trip was "surprise". Thanks Kyle - and last comic standing. It's a great word and people all over Iowa and some on the Rosebud are saying it a lot. It's the last word we heard yelled at us across the town as we left.

It may be fitting. I really believe God surprised us in many ways. He works in different ways in us individually and as a group each year. I was surprised by God's moving on the Reservation in general. A long story made short. The first night they brought in an unsaved man who told us that last year when he saw us he told his son - don't go near those white people. They will steal you. He said many things, and was quite serious. He talked about how to the Indians, "wounded knee" happened yesterday. He said we had a chance to be the first honest white person many of them had ever seen. He stayed for our worship time and was amazed - and through relatives, called the local radio station and they came and broadcast our worship time on the radio live. Then they made us do a community concert and broadcast that live. We couldn't have done any of that had we tried to pay them to do it. SURPRISE - thanks God.

A bigger surprise to us (though not to anyone else, it seems) was what happened in Wood. Over this past year, the kids from the main house in "housing" (Indian part of our town of 70) were taken out of the house and dispersed across the state due to abuse from an uncle or someone. Even a week before we came back none of them were home and our contact knew nothing about them coming home. The crazy part - the day we showed up, these kids were back and were unpacking. We had prayed that day that they would return - but could hardly believe it when they did. I'm not sure I had any faith that they would be there - only faith that God could do it if He really wanted to. Major SURPRISE!!!

I was SURPRISED by some conversations we had with adults. Adults who told us that what we are doing is vital and important. Adults who told us that their kids have been waiting for us to come for weeks. Adults who told us that they won't even talk to religious people who come to their door, but actually encourage their kids to come and to work hard at memorizing verses. Relationships are being built that we pray will be used to accomplish great things for God.

As a youth pastor, a key reason for going is for my own kids. I was very moved by how God worked in them. I heard the most amazing things said by them as they shared how God was showing them their sin and working in their hearts. It was an amazing week of God's work in us - SURPRISE.

The dorms we normally stay in were not available this year so 100 of us piled into Pastor Gus' church. I thought it would be rough in many ways. The 3 of us guys on the trip only took one shower. Things went so well and the complaining was minimal to none. Wow. SURPRISE.

I believe it's God's timing that has us now really contemplating trying to bring some of the students back hear for a week. Pastor Gus, the pastor we work with and an Indian, told us that he believes the only hope these people have is to get off the reservation for a few years and really get their feet planted on the ground. Pray with us about bringing students back here.

This little recap is too short and wimpy to begin to try to tell all that God did. I hope you'll talk to our students and really press them for info on how God worked in them and what He is doing on the Rosebud. I pray too that many young people and adults will consider joining us next year as we head back.


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