As the team has been settling back into normal college life it is amazing to see how each of us have been careful not to forget the memories and experiences that we had, during our trip to Wanblee, South Dakota. Each member of this team had the honor and privilege to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
Personally, I loved being able to physically do the work of God and see the results of our work. Gus and Terry from Eagle Nest Life Center kept us all busy with tasks like repairing fences, cementing and replacing windows, and collecting trash. The fellowship and friendships that developed from our hard labor and challenges will last a lifetime.
As a team we had the opportunity to host what Gus calls "Kids Klub," where we sang a few worship songs, gave a Bible lesson and played "Simon Says" among other games. My favorite part during this time was the opportunity I had to speak life into a young girl who lived on the reservation. She was strong-willed, determined and a leader with such force. She was only in the seventh grade, yet she had aspirations bigger than any college student I know. Not only did she want to attend Minnesota State University, but she also had dreams of playing for the WNBA owning her own cafe and bakery. Did I mention she also wants to be a teacher?
In the few short days I had with her, this young lady shredded all the pre-conceived notions I had about these people. They are human first, and I think as short-term missionary students it is easy to forget that. We are on the same level as these people, if anything we should think of ourselves as less than them. Everything that could go wrong, does. Yet these children and families have a faith so strong it could move mountains. When our trip was coming to an end I had the opportunity to witness to her, and she was receptive and encouraged by the fact that she has a Savior who loves her and forgives her of all of her sins. I was humbled and honored to share the gospel with her.
As the weeks have passed since our return I have continued to pray over her and her dreams so that she would never lose the fierceness God has blessed her with. It is my hope that as the year goes on I can continue to push through with as much exuberance and passion as our team had on our first mission trip. It is truly an honor to be a member of this team.