South Dakota No.3

"But thank God! He...continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God... And who is adequate for such a task as this? ...We preach the Word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us." from 2 Cor. 2:14-17

May God help us to spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go. 

This is new territory for many of us, going onto a Native American Reservation and helping with projects at the church house. I think we were a little nervous but excited to get started! Here, we are getting our instructions for the first day's work.

The major undertaking was replacing the church roof, so they got most of the guys onto that right away. We have a number of experienced roofers in the youth group which turned out to be a tremendous blessing. I was quite impressed with how swiftly they got it done!  

Keith on the roof with the project overseer, Matt Hunter.

Scraping paint at an inconvenient angle. But then, construction is seldom convenient.

Yes, they went way way down to the rafters!

Matt and Nancy Hunter, who have been working among the Native Americans for about 7 years at this location, have twin 11 year old boys named Brandon and Bradley. Here is one of them helping the guys, just don't ask me which one! 

Pastor Howard is a painter by trade, so he was in charge of painting the exterior of the church house.

Here are a few of his helpers!

Jolissa, I'd be careful of the head about now!

Replacing siding

And of course, I have to pop in a few of my favorite guys!

Kristi is a fabulous babysitter!

For the girls, there were quite a few smaller projects to work on. Painting closets was one...I simply do not know how these two managed to get in there and paint together!

One closet had a bunch of little drawers, which they cleaned, then Nancy decided to have them paint the fronts since there was plenty of paint and time enough to get it done.

We found some interesting contents in one drawer! Someone thought to throw it all out, but I said we'd ask to make sure. Nancy knew we'd have questions! So she informed us these are used as an object lesson in the children's Sunday School, due to the environment they grow up in! Great idea!

Jacki and Heidi were put to the task of repainting the church's sign. It was a bit overwhelming for them so they asked me to help. I wasn't sure I'd know how either, but was willing to try!

We used these stencils for most of it.

Heidi did a great job of free hand script for the message of hope across the bottom of the sign!

It was new to Jacki as well, but she was up to the challenge and did really nice work.

This is a completely different aspect of painting. I am used to walls and trim, not tiny details. But I got into the swing of it and had fun! 

Not too bad for inexperienced hands!

These busses are used to haul children and teens to and from Sunday School and other church events. They were due a good scrubbing!

Cutting out angel costumes for the Christmas program

They had four sewing machines humming to make as many as possible before it was time to leave!

One of the last projects to be completed was installing air conditioning in that hot basement. They must have been trying to screw through metal, since it seems Keith is adding his push to Chris' elbow to try to get that screw to go in!

I find it so beautiful to see the body of Christ at work in a practical way, each one supplying according to his ability. We all have different talents and they are God-given. When we use them to bring honor to Him and benefit His Kingdom, it becomes a sweet fragrance of Christ. 

Cleaning the church house

We were served some wonderful meals by Nancy and her crew!

I was blessed and challenged by Pastor Howard's love for the people he ministers to.

Here is the completed church house with the dear people we were privileged to help out for two days! They were a blessing and an inspiration to us, and we pray God will continue to bless them as they minister among the Native Americans in South Dakota!

Wed. night we had a service at the community center. The youth group sang a few songs, a trio of girls sang one song, then Hopesong sang as well. The Presence of God was in our midst and spoke hope and freedom in Jesus.

It was such a joy to see the youth interact with those who came to the service! We had a meal together afterwards, so there was plenty of time to fellowship. 

May God open our hearts to hear His Voice speaking and directing us as we go from this place. I know it has brought new perspective and a fresh vision to reach out to hurting souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is our Answer in everything!

To be continued...