Saturday, June 24, 2006

more pics

pics from the community dinner and other Kid's Club and some work pics for good measure.

lakota journey - Wanblee, South Dakota

Trip Log -

Friday June 16 - 8 students, Carrie and I spent a day working and preparing for the trip in Boone, Iowa. We did several team building activities, including preparing, eating and cleaning up our spaghetti dinner all tied together with rope. We also worked on our skits, music and lessons.

Saturday June 17 - At about 7AM I went into the Emergency Room. I had been feeling bad the previous day and horrible all night (I tossed my cookies). I got some anti-nausea drugs (and a shot in the rear), some antiobiotics, and they sent me off to the 8AM mission's trip departure. I slept nearly every minute of the traveling hours, while the 18 other mission trip members into a nice 8 hour joy ride to South Dakota. We spent some time preparing our hearts and materials for the work that was ahead. We also canvassed the town with fliers inviting kids to come and join us for Kid's Club all week.

Sunday June 18 - (slowly recovering health wise) We had a 10:30AM church service that morning with a few Native Americans and a team of 22 from Emmanuel Bible Church (Chicago area) who were in Wanblee hosting a Vacation Bible School and basketball tournament. They were a group in love with Jesus. We enjoyed worshipping with them. We started working in the afternoon. This included lots of cleaning, the beginning of a bathroom remodeling project, and a lot of jobs lists created. Our first night of Kid's Club was CRAZY. There were over 70 kids there. They didn't listen to a word we said. The students barely survived the lesson time. The craft and snack time was very scary. Who would have thought making a mobile could be so crazy? Our debriefing time revealed some serious reservations and fears, but we committed to loving and serving these kids and this town no matter what. We later found out one of our fellow church's working on the Rosebud Rez in Parmalee were stoned out of town unable to have their Sunday night club (they made it in on day 2).

Monday June 19 - The projects continued, we prayed a lot for Kid's Club, and we trusted in God's provision. Much painting occurred on Monday as well as a new cover for a very dangerous well opening. A food pantry was organized and cleaned. Much cleaning and organzing all throughout the children's home continued. And praise the Lord . . . Kid's Club went awesome. He answered every prayer. Kids listened and learned about Jesus. The craft went well, the snack was a delight, and kids began to understand that we really loved them. There was much rejoicing during the debriefing time.

Tuesday June 20 - On Tuesday our team drove about an hour east to join about 10 other churches at a prayer breakfast. All these teams go out together every summer. Some stay together, others are off on their own. We each host Kid's Clubs at various Native American towns and housing developments and then do a variety of other ministries to bless the people. It was a rich time of prayer and fellowship as we listened to several local ministers share about their ministries. God is good. We worked hard all afternoon and had another fabulous night at Kid's Club. We only had 40 kids that night because of a looming storm. It was nice to have a little better ratio.

Wednesday June 21 - Our second to last day was very similar to the other days. Work in the morning and afternoon. Kid's Club at night. We had to take one of our students to a nearby hospital in the evening because of a serious infection.

Thursday June 22 - On our final day we left about 7AM to visit Mount Rushmore. We also drove threw a part of Needles Highway and Custer Park. It was gorgeous and fun. Carrie got to see her grandparents at Rushmore. That night we had Kid's Club early. It was sad to know it was our last night. Then we hosted a community dinner. About 50 parents or so joined a slew of 100 kids and teenagers. We sang some of the songs with teh kids for the parents, had a student share about her relationship with Jesus, and had our hosting pastor Gus Craven share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He's picture with his wife somewhere in this entry. God showed up big time. We also gave out some food from the pantry to almost every person who came.

Friday June 23 - We headed back east to spend a closing night of debriefing in Sioux City. We stayed at a so-so (at least we know NOW) hotel that I reserved. We ate a huge meal at Famous Dave's. We also had a closing time of sharing, prayer, and debriefing.

Saturday June 24 - Left for home at 8AM and arrived a bit before noon. It was a special week. Praise the Lord. More pictures to come.

don't mess with my camera

One brave student thought it would be funny to take my digital camera and take (may I say waste) dozens of pictures on silly photos. I thought the world should see his handy-work.

I love you TJ!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lakota Missionary Journey

Our church leaves Saturday morning at 8AM to head out ot the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. We'll be serving a small community called Wanblee, South Dakota for one week. We will be hosting a Kid's Club (mini-Vacation Bible School), remodeling a bathroom, cleaning, organizing, and loving the Lakota Sioux people. Pray for us please.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

more mexico pics

1. Joel and Chela in front of the cathedral in Puebla
2. A fountain oustide the cathedral
3. Joel's parents
4. Chela's parents

So we also visited the city of Puebla. It's a 2-3 million person city with all kinds of amazing architecture and history. It's believed that the cathedral destined for Mexico City actually is built in Puebla because of a mix up of blue prints and shipping. woops! The cathedral in Puebla was amazing!! But a little spooky for this red-blooded protestant.

We also saw an ancient temple, the largest in Latin America. Right on top the conquestors has built a Catholic church. The syncretism of religion was facinating.

Carrie and I had great flights, and we even got to visit Carrie's uncle on the way back. He and his family graciously let us sleep one night before driving back to Boone.

The best part of the trip was meeting the families of Joel and Chela. They were so so kind and caring. They were very hospitable and they loved us deeply.

A week in Mexico

<--I think that's the Mexican capitol building for congress and the cathedral is below it
Next - a wedding centerpiece, the one that was on every table! Then some cactus forest pictures

So my wife and I had a wonderful trip to Mexico. We left May 25 and returned June 1. To start this crazy adventure my wife and I drove from Boone, Iowa to Chicago, IL. The silly part was we left Boone around 9:30PM, arriving in a Chicago suburb around 3AM. WE got up a bit after 6AM to head over to the airport. We arrived tired, but well in Mexico around 2PM. We had a driving tour around the city after we ate a restaurant that's like Perkins called Sanborn's. I think an English group of folks own it. It tasted good to me. We saw the captol building, cathedral and a few other buildings that are all around the same huge courtyard.

We stayed with the cousin of one of Chela, one of our hosts. Our hosts were Joel and Chela. On Friday morning Joel and Chela left us to do some of our own sightseeing in downtown Mexico City while they went to the U.S. embassy to come up with a Visa. I guess that's important :)

Next we drove to Joel and Chela's hometown Tehuacan southeast of Mexico City about 3 hours. We had a very nice lunch (3:30PMish) with both sides of the family.

The next day we attended a gorgeous wedding of Chela's cousin. The reception went from 2PM-2AM, with 2 meals, the first being a 5 course meal and the second being served aroudn 10PM. It was very beautiful. Sunday we slept a bit (too much partying the day before). We walked into downtown Tehuacan in the evening. I wasn't very smart when I decided to eat a bunch of jalapenos. They were delicious but my body was mad at me for a few days. I actually ended up getting some medication and spent a few too many hours on the toilet in Mexico. So I think it was Tuesday that we went to this national cactus forest. Very amazing stuff. They say a cactus grows about a centimeter a year and we saw some 15 meters high (that's like 1500 years!) There was one cactus that was like a little bush, that had a strange resemblance to a bean bag. It's non-scientific name was the chair of the mother-in-law. I guess back in the day, the natives would make the mother of a loose daughter sit on that chair to punish her for poor mothering. Ouch!!

More to come in the next blog because i don't understand computers.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Da Vinci Facts

This is what I do when I am bored:

It is a simple sheet of the bare facts of the Da Vinci Code book and the 2nd sheet has some of the book's statements lined up against the non-fiction version of those same so called facts.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

web counters

First off, I'm glad to be back in the U.S.A. I will post some thoughts on our trip to Mexico later, but needless to say, we do live in a great country. It's safe (food, streets, etc.), people drive within the lanes, and the sanitation system is in full swing.

The main reason for this post is to rant against the use of webiste counters. I have to admit in my pride I want to know how many people look at this site, besides my mom. But I think the concept of a web counter is just a vain attempt to see if people think you're interesting (and you are if no one else has told you recently). But I think a web counter will always have a negative effect because only 1 or 2 options will occur and neither produce healthy results. The results are:

1. You see that only 3 people visit your site each week and you realize that's how many times you look at it. This will only produce feelings of sadness, despair, hopelessness. Really, why do we think people care about our personal diaries and political thoughts? But we do, and when no one cares to read our thoughts or even visit our site, the net result is disappointment.
2. You find out your site is as popular as the google search engine. The net result of this possibility is pride. We think we are the greatest thing since sliced bread (which is an awfully silly expression by the way). Pride is never good and actually sets us up for failure (see the ideas found under option #1) or it causes us to treat others less "web popular" than us with disdain.

Thus, I think all web counters should be shirked from the sites of people who do not want to be disappointed or who don't want to be given to pride.