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