Today was our day of rest. We tried going to service at a new church, but God had other plans. When we arrived we learned that the pastor’s wife’s father had died suddenly on Thursday, so services were cancelled as they had to go out of town. We decided to have our own service. The local assistant director lead us in song and a brief message. We met a local Lakota woman, Lucy, that shared with us how her faith has evolved over time and how she was very concerned that we are Lutherans. She felt that denomination rituals are a distraction to learning God’s word as she has had some bad experiences in the past where rituals were forced on the Lakota. This discussion made us think about how we present our “religion” as we could be offending some and scaring others away. We will consider changing our shirts to not say “Lutheran”.
We did have something interesting happen today…. A herd of horses came through before we started our service. Since the Church was locked, we decided to have our service in a pavilion near by. It was hot and the horses were looking to use the same pavilion for shade. They saw us and moved on.
We also had a tour of the facility where we will be working this week. This short video starts in the kitchen/eating area, progresses to the common area where a fireplace will be in the middle all the way to the ceiling next to the large pole in the center of the room, then is pans past the living areas which will house 16 men in Phase 1. It will be interesting to see the changes during the week.
Most of our team did some site seeing with two of the Lakota men that have started the rehabilitation program last week. They helped our team gain a new understanding of the local culture and history.
Prayers today included the family of a Lakota father, who was killed on the road near the church we attended, Pastor John Two Bulls, and his family (whom we have worshiped with several times on previous trips) as they honor his son who passed away in a tragic accident yesterday. We pray that God continues to direct us to accomplish what he wants accomplished this week and guide us to have conversations with the Lakota we meet.