Monday, August 29, 2011

Hi everyone! I'm back in South Carolina. I don't feel like writing a big long post, so hopefully the pictures will explain my last month or so in South Dakota.

Pictures of VBS in Mobridge and Little Eagle.

Pictures in and around Cherry Creek.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hi everybody. Tomorrow we plan to go to Rapid to sightsee with a couple that’s been staying here for the past 3 weeks and take them to their motel so they can fly out early Tuesday morning. I’m writing this in hopes that somewhere I can get internet. So much has happened since I last updated. Here’s the run-down.


8- We took the youngest girls club to the gravel piles for a hotdog roast and to climb and slide on the piles.

10- The VBS team came. There were about 50 people including us, I think.

11- Work projects.

12- VBS started. A normal day went in this order: staff devotions, work projects, brunch, left for Eagle Butte to do VBS there (45 minute drive), early supper back here, then VBS here in town in the evening. It was a very full schedule, but overall everything went well!

15- The Nun who comes in and has services at the Catholic Church in town came to the Ladies Bible study we have during VBS. We were very surprised and thankful when she came the next night too!

16- This was the last night of VBS. When everyone else went to bed, I did the opposite and struck off to Rapid to the airport.

17- I flew to Atlanta and hitched a ride with Kim to Macon, Mississippi to be at Veronica and Lowell’s wedding.

19- 23- South Carolina. I had a wonderful time with my friends and family.

24- Kevin, Carmen, Bruce, Spencer Caroline, and I drove to Pennsylvania for Kevin and Cheryl’s wedding.

26 - We had a mini Cherry Creek reunion in Lancaster with Nathan Moser’s, Melissa Martin’s family, Devon Hartzler’s family, Troy Brubaker, and Mom, Dad, Spencer Caroline, and I. We spent the night at Melissa’s place then left that morning to drive back out here.

28- We arrived safe and sound back out here. Keturah Wetzel, a WATER student, also came.

30- We spent the day in Rapid. The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Cabela’s, Scheels, Gordman’s, Pizza Ranch, and Philly Ted’s Cheesesteaks were some of the highlights. We spent the night in a hotel and came home the next day.


2- We went to the Sitting Bull Stampede Rodeo in Mobridge with all the single staff here.

4- Mom, Dad, and Spencer Caroline left in the wee hours of the morning. It was so good to have them here! We had planned to do kids ministry in two different places, but we couldn’t really find anybody in the one town so we sang for a couple there who used to come to church before they moved. What we do is this: play games, act out a story, have a lesson to go along with it, sing, and have a snack.

7- Paul and Elsie Hess came to take Dennis and Melissa’s place while they go on a two week vacation.

8- We had the annual sleepover with the middle girls club. We were gonna go swimming, but some of their moms thought there was dangerous stuff in the river, so we quickly changed to plan B – played in a park in Eagle Butte and took them to Dairy Queen for icecream.

9- We all went to a pow-wow and rodeo in Dupree.

15- Kid’s ministry in two more towns. When we got to the one town, we saw that the YMCA was already doing something with the kids, and we didn’t wanna barge in and take over, so we only did it at one place.

17- Kristina, Keturah, and I took our trusty old air mattress and floated down the river on it. That’s so much fun J

18- Our AC broke...I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted. We took the oldest girls club swimming and had their sleepover. It was too hot to sleep out in the tent, so we all slept inside…where it was hot lol.

19- Our house stayed between 93 and 95 most of the day. I want to complain, but then I’m reminded of all those people who live in much hotter places who don’t even have a decent roof to keep the sun off. Gettysburg Presbyterian Church comes every year to Takini and does projects in the surrounding communities. One night while they’re here they have what they call a Fun Festival where they have all kinds of kids games and plus a rummage and supper and stuff. I think I said before, but a rummage is like a yard sale where everything is free- I love themJ. We all went and it was really fun.

20- We decided to have a tea party for all the ladies and girls here, so we printed up invitations and rode bike all around town and invited everybody.

21- Twenty-two people came to the tea party. It wasn’t anything fancy, but I think everyone enjoyed it. We certainly did.

22- Kristina, Keturah, and I left early to go babysit some kids who live out of town on a ranch. The two oldest come to our school, and we haven’t really seen then since school got out, so we were excited about being with them. After lunch, we met with the rest of our team and took the kids with us to do kid’s ministry in two more towns. Then we rushed home to go to a wake for Maurice Big Eagle, our neighbor.

23- We spent all afternoon at the funeral. A lot of people looked up to Maurice….you can pray for the Big Eagle family, for comfort and that they would turn TO God during this time rather than AWAY from Him.

All the empty gaps in here were filled with girl’s clubs, painting, cleaning, mowing (people in town pay us to mow their yards), cooking, and lots of other stuff.

Our AC is still not working. The people have to come from Pierre to fix it, so it’s taking a little while longer. They say it burned up, so we need a whole new unit. I imagine that’s gonna be pretty costly, so if you would like to help at all with it, I’m sure the mission would be very grateful.

I have been very encouraged by Paul’s writings in the Bible. I Corinthians 2:3-5 really struck me as I read it recently. “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” I always thought that Paul was some fer superman because of all he did. But he says here that he’s not…he’s just like us. He doesn’t feel like Superman. He freaks out. He isn’t perfect. He doesn’t say everything right. But that’s all designed by God so that through our weaknesses, God’s power can be shown. I’m trusting God to continue to use my weaknesses and imperfections to show his strength through me and I hope you can do the same.

God bless each one of you. Until next time, Laura

Pictures of VBS

Pictures of everything else

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God. My times are in your hands…’” –Psalm 14-15a

Hi once again from the hot and dry plains of South Dakota! Summer finally showed it’s face on June 2. It was cold and rainy then *bam* it got hot and dry. It feels good to feel the sun and sweat again!

The last few weeks have been very busy….here’s what I’ve been doing.

- As of Friday afternoon, we are done with our volleyball court!!! We had a lot of unexpected things change our plans. We were planning to use a payloader to get sand from the river but we couldn’t get in there because of sand bars and mud. Then we got a week of rain. Soooo, we had to go to plan B. Take the truck out. Get as close as we can to the sand. The girls fill up 5-gallon buckets. The guys climb a muddy bank on a plywood walkway up to the truck. Dump the buckets. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. When it was all said and done here’s what it amounted to: 30 trips to the river, 1274 buckets of sand, 41.4 tons of sand now in our volleyball court. That is the most exciting thing that has happened since school, because it looked impossible and now we’re finally done!

- Martina’s mom and dad came and helped their family move back to Pennsylvania. I miss them a lot. Join us in praying for whoever will fill their spot here.

- We’re preparing for VBS. Lord willing, it will start on Sunday. The VBS team is planning to get here on Friday. We will have a very busy week. You can also pray that seeds will be planted in all the kids hearts that would take root and enable them to grow up to serve God.

- I’m reading Nick Vujicic’s book called “Life Without Limits”. To see a man with no arms or legs have such a positive outlook on life has been such a challenge and encouragement to me….a challenge to stop complaining about tiny little things that really don’t even matter, and an encouragement that nothing is impossible if we try. Here’s a piece of advice that he gives, “Offer compassion when you need it. Be a friend when you need friendship. Give hope when you most need it.”

- Hopefully, in two weeks from today, I’ll be in SC for a few days. See y’all then!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Psalm 13:5-6 “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”

Truly, God HAS been good to me…in more ways than I can even imagine. As I look back over the past months, I can see so many instances where God has stuck by my side and proved his unfailing love and faithfulness. I trust He has been doing the same for each of you. What a mighty God we serve!

As I write this, the night wind is howling outside. In SC, strong wind always meant a storm, but here it has become almost a peaceful sound. The weather is warming up and today we worked outside all day on our volleyball court. We’re digging out the hard dirt/gravel/glass and hauling in sand from the river. It should be really nice soon! It was a gorgeous day…..bright blue sky and warm sunshine. The sun is a very welcome sight after our loooong winter…I was looking about as white as something on a Clorox commercial.

School ended on May 13. That evening was our awards banquet where we give each student a diploma and have supper for their families. It’s pretty much like a program. We sang a few songs and gave out some different awards. I can’t believe school is already over. We had a lilypad number line in our classroom. Each day we would put a paper frog on the next number to keep track of how many days of school we had. I distinctly remember looking at that frog on day 38 and thinking,” This is never, ever gonna get over!” Well, waddayaknow… did! While school wasn’t all peaches-n-cream, I miss it and I will always look back on the past 9 months as time well spent. I learned a lot, and I guess that’s what life is all about.

We had a tiny little field day at school. The weather didn’t permit us to do much other than a few races and an indoor obstacle course. Nate, the principal, set it up with furniture from our thrift sale. It was hilarious J

Now that school is over, we will clean and reorganize there then begin to get ready for VBS in June. I think it starts on the 10th or somewhere around there. Lord willing, I’ll fly to Mississippi on the 17th to be at my friend’s wedding then hitch a ride back to SC. My mom and dad are planning to drive me back out here after we drive to Pennsylvania the next weekend for another wedding.

I’m very thankful I can stay here through the summer. The warmer weather and summer vacation opens up so many more opportunities. I’m not sure what all we’ll be doing, but I’m very excited! Towards the end of summer vacation, we’ll be getting ready for VBS in Mobridge. We’ve never done it there before, so it will take some extra work.

Today I got accepted for first term at SMBI which starts in the middle of September. So, Lord willing, I’ll also be doing that. Tomorrow morning we’re planning to leave for Rapid. Shopping is fun, but eating at a restaurant is always my favorite part of the day and I can hardly wait! Seeing all these plans and stuff written out makes me just want to just crawl in bed and go to sleep, so that’s exactly what I’m gonna doJ Goodnight.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hi people. We're on what we call a "staff outing", so I'm sitting in a cutesy little cabin in Hot Springs on Wi-fi :)

This is gonna be short.

This is my life for the last month.

- Audrey came for about a week. That was very fun and we were able to catch up on sister time.
- Kevin and Ryan came for a long weekend. We went to Mt. Rushmore and bombed around one day and had a lot of fun then, too.
- Kevin brought out my gun and bought me a prairie dog license. Prairie dog hunting was definately one of the biggest highlights of the last month.
- We're wrapping up school. We have 10 days left, and one of those is a field trip. Can't believe it's already almost done. God has been so faithful so supply me with the strength and patience it takes to teach. It seems that patience is a continual struggle for me, but I pray the students can take things from this school year that will help them to grow into strong Christian men and women.
- Hm. Well that's about all I think I'm gonna write for this time. Love y'all. Thanks for all your prayers. Laura

Friday, March 25, 2011

I’m still alive and kickin! I just haven’t had internet for a very long time. Here’s what’s been keeping me and the rest of our team busy:

· The last time we went to town, the other girls and I were fixin to sing at a nursing home in Pierre. Well, we had a lot of fun and the people really seemed to enjoy it. I have a big spot in my heart for elderly people, so I’m so glad we can do things like that!

· Over Valentine’s Day it warmed up and the river started breaking up. Pictures cannot describe it. It’s so peaceful, yet so unrestful. I think I could watch it for hours….huge slabs of ice just ramming into each other and jamming up. And to think that God makes everything work together so perfectly. Like the ice melts slowly to keep everything from just flooding. Wow…it just really made me marvel at God’s creation to watch it.

· On the 15th, it was 67 degrees! We were so happy that Kristina, Ethan, and I took some time off from school in the afternoon and picked up cans along the road. We collect cans so raise money for our mission. Now, people from town are starting to bring us cans and we pay them. It’s really cool to see doing something like that and working to earn money.

· Kevin came on the 17th. I had looked forward to that for a long time and I was so glad he could come see where I live. He got a very cold welcome as the warm spell had abruptly ended and we got a foot of snow that Sunday. On top of that amount came a lot more snow later. We had about 16 inches on the ground for what seemed like a very long time. But that’s not all bad, because we got to go snowmobiling more.

· We had a meal for the community. It was really cold and only like 30 or so people came, so some of us went and knocked on people’s doors and asked if they wanted food. That got rid of food quickly and was a lot of fun.

· Melissa, Kris, and I had a Valentine’s supper for the staff couple’s and 2 other couple’s. It’s something that’s kind’ve become a tradition, and we had a lot of fun doing it. One couple couldn’t make it, but Mr. Dennis’ parents were here from Manitoba, so it worked out just fine.

· A group of Christian college students came from New York over their spring break and gave a presentation here in town. Some of them shared their testimonies and they acted out a song that was very touching. After their program, 9 people from town went up for the invitation. While many of them went up just to get prayers for themselves or their families, pray that this will be a beginning of a yearning to give their lives to Christ. They had a rummage also. A rummage is a Cherry Creek version of a yard sale…everything is free!!! They’re fun J One of the group leaders had lived in Columbia and had been in Bamberg….that was kind’ve interesting. Anyways, we girls got home about midnight to find a drunk man sitting in our car. After a while, he finally got out and walked away. I don’t think I’ll forget that for a while.

· Kristi and Lavon came on the 7th of this month. They weren’t here very long, but I was so excited that they could come!

· The 7th was also the last ladies Bible study for this winter. We always do a tea party thing for the last one and do a craft of some sort. For a devotional thing, we gave everyone a copy of “The Father’s Love Letter” and played a recording of it. It’s kinda long and this is getting very long already, so you can just look it up online if you want to. It was amazing to see how many of the ladies were crying as it played and were obviously very touched. Pray for them, also, that they would think seriously about their souls and not just forget every time they realize how much God loves them. It seems like all the promises we hear to “come to church” or “do right” are always empty, and that’s discouraging. It’s so tough for them to just stick out and be different in this town, but somehow, someday, we trust that some of these people will make a decision for Christ! Praise God, though, for some who are faithful witnesses for Him; Christian Natives can do so much more for these people that we ever can because they can identify so much better.

· A couple times a year, a OBMM board member comes here for a few days. Daryl and Andrea Martin from Pennsylvania came a few weeks ago; they really encouraged and inspired us.

· We’ve outgrown our church! For a while now, we’ve been thinking of ways we can make more room. They’ve been trying for a long time to get an abandoned Baptist church right next to ours, but could never get the title or something. Well all of a sudden they recently got into contact with a pastor from somewhere else who had ties to it. My pastor called the guy on a Wednesday, and he said he would come show it to us that Sunday. Well, on Sunday he came and we went and looked at it. Then to our surprise, he handed Mr. Dennis the keys and said, “We all working for the same goal, so take it. It’s yours as a gift.” God just totally worked a miracle for us, and we are very excited! The floor needs to be replaced, but there’s several work groups who are planning to come help us get it in shape.

· Some updates on our Spring. March 16 was a big day – Kristina found a piece of green grass and I saw 2 robins! Last Saturday, I washed our van at the artesian barefooted and in short sleeves. BUT, it has snowed the last 3 days and is freeeeezing now. Happy Spring! J

· As the river starts flowing again, it erodes. Last spring, it moved enough that it washed out the road about 5 miles from here, so they made a detour around it. Within the last few weeks, it has moved a lot again, and they had to move the power lines before they fell in the river. We hung out there a good bit, watching huge chunks of the ground fall into the water. It has stopped moving towards the road now….I think it’s a little over 7 yards from the road at the closest spot, so we should be good until next spring.

· On Monday, we took the students to Pierre for a field trip. We went to St. Mary’s Hospital and to a SD museum. Something that I thought was kinda interesting was that the first LPN school in the US was right there in Pierre. We also ate at Pizza Ranch, which is my favorite restaurant. Ever.

· Lord willing, I’ll be staying here until the middle/end of August. I was planning to leave after Bible school in June, but then Mr. Dennis asked me to stay for the summer. I’m really looking forward to it! We’ll be able to do many more things since we won’t have school and such a rigid schedule.

· We girls are in Rapid for the night. It’s so good to have a break…we’ve looked forward to this for a long time!

· This feels like a term paper or something. Now I know why preachers go overtime J Hopefully this extra long post makes up for all the weeks where y’all didn’t hear outta me.

Take are and God bless, Laura

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4

Hi everybody! We’re planning to go to Pierre tomorrow, so here’s an update on Lop. I haven’t been to town since I came back after Christmas, and a lot of water has been over the dam since then.

School has changed so much since I came back – I now only have 2 students. We were able to get Evalyn enrolled in a special education program at a public school about 45 minutes from here. She seems to be doing really well there. I’m so happy to see her getting the extra help that we couldn’t provide for her. I still keep in contact with her and her family – they are very friendly. Her mom came to the ladies’ Bible study this Monday…that was so rewarding! Just seeing her sitting there listening was enough to make all the struggles with Evalyn seem worthwhile. Myanna, also, is no longer at our school. She stopped coming regularly and was absent more days than she was there, so we had to follow the school policy and expel her after she missed a certain amount. I really miss her. While she was a challenge to teach, it was rewarding to see her progress. So now it’s just Ethan and Kyson. They both learn quickly and are fun to teach.

It’s really late and I’m tired, so I’m just gonna blast through my journal and pick out some of the high points of the last few weeks.

· We took the kids to McDonald’s then snow tubing at a ski resort in the Black Hills for a field trip.

· The drove out to the river in 15 degree weather and roasted hotdogs in the snow. Those memories are frozen in my mind forever. Ha.

· We tried to go ice-skating but the ice too bumpy.

· We went snowmobiling twice. It was really fun, but now I think I’m done for a while….I don’t think I’m enough of a dare-devil or something.

· Two Sunday’s ago we started church with only 2 people from town. By the end of Sunday School, 25 people had come! God has really been answering prayers!

· One morning when we went to school it was 39 degrees! We were so excited that we opened up all the windows and enjoyed it for a while :)

· God has also been answering prayers about the ladies’ Bible study. This past Monday 28 people came! We ran out of pencils, Bibles, song folders, and chairs….what a blessing!

· The warm weather didn’t last forever. On Wednesday, it was -20 when I woke up. That’s the coldest I’ve seen it. But today was in the 50’s I think, so I’m thawed back out again.

We’re planning to sing at a nursing home in Pierre and pass out Valentine’s tracts and cookies. A lady from Cherry Creek lives there and we have so much fun going there. And the people think we’re awesome :)

“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior; and my hope is in you all day long.” –Psalm 25:4,5

“The highest reward for our toil is not what we get for it, but rather what we become by it.”

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterwards, when you have worked on your own corner.” –Aldous Huxley

God bless, Laura