South Dakota Pt. 2

Read these two blogs to get an update on what happened today. A lot of our people all decided to write about our trip as well and I seriously think that’s awesome. I feel like they did really well so I don’t want to just repeat. Here are Sarah’s and Corey’s:

There are a few things I’d like to add, though.

  • Corey and Sarah already addressed the immense poverty and barriers the people here face. Seriously, check out what they said about it. It’s heart-wrenching in the worst way. But, this made me think about life back home. Someone in our car said something like, “how can that company have a fancy, graphic-infused sign when there is such poverty all around?” and then it got me thinking- how can we ourselves live like we do when people are in such conditions? The distance doesn’t change anything. Similar feelings to when I was India surfaced, really. I don’t know what to do about any of it, but I’d like to have a conviction that lasts and leads to a change to live more in reality with what’s going on (however far) around me.
  • We’ve only been here less than a day, but some scripture is already sounding different to me. An example (one of my favorite that I’m going to use in my teaching), Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
    • This passage usally convicts me, but driving through the reservation made it all seem so much more urgent. There is just no reason to waver in whatver silliness that usually weights us down when there is a chance to help spread the only love that leads to real change. I’m not trying to stand on some high horse or something, because I’m no saint in such things, but the idea has a hold on me right now.
  • Doubts are easy right now. Well, actually, after hanging out with a bunch of the dudes on the reservation tonight (playing basketball) and meeting a few of the workers at Oyate Concern it did give me a lot more hope. But the drive leading to here when we were reading the stats about the reservation and praying for the people just made me question a lot. How can this be okay? 80% unemployment and skyrocketing suicide rates? I know God cares so much about these people, but it’s hard to see in a messed up world sometimes. Praying together helped a lot. Hopefully we don’t get caught up in the vast amount of problems around us and instead see the need and let God use us to be one of the people to fight against it.
  • Contrast. This part reminded me of India the most. Abandoned houses. Houses that look abandoned but aren’t. Then, right beyond said houses, BEAUTIFUL hills and clouds and landscape like I’ve never seen. It reminds me of the contrast between God’s love and overall goodness and what we as people have done with it because of the underlying lack of concern we have toward one another.

I hope that’s not too depressing, but that’s what’s going on right now. Again, once we got to Oyate Concern the whole tone in my mind and of the people in my car changed. You can tell God is really working through the people here and I’m excited to finally start helping out tomorrow.

Lastly, pray for Max and Corey teaching the Teen Night tomorrow night. B and I are teaching the adult group next day.

Here’s a picture of the Badlands from this afternoon.



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