My year has been blessed with opportunities to be a part of two mission trips. I shared details of the first trip with the youth of our church a few weeks ago. Now I want to share the happenings of the second trip that took place in Pierre, South Dakota.
EFBC mission team in Pierre, South Dakota
Our church, Englewood First Baptist Church (EFBC), has a mission committee team that researches possible mission trips. Finding several possibilities, they contact the churches to see what their needs are and if they would be interested in a mission team coming out to help. After much prayer and meetings, a destination and a time was in place. We would be going to help Capitol Heights Baptist Church (CHBC) in Pierre, South Dakota from July 10th-15th. This information is brought before the church, encouraging everyone to pray, asking God to guide them in a decision for this mission.
Aaron is ready for the long ride...
Dinky and Toby enjoying the ride.
We're almost there...
After several months, we had a mission team of 17 members. This group included four families (4 couples, 5 teenagers, 2 pre-teens), one youth, and one lone gentleman. We met several times, making decisions on travel, budget, accommodations, and duties. We had a nice budget from several fundraisers and monies over from last years mission trip. EFBC rented each family a rental car, accept the lone gentleman who drove his truck and camper. Most of our team stayed at the Riverlodge hotel in Pierre, but our pastor and his family stayed with the pastor of CHBC. CHBC had a need for a revival and a few repairs at the church and parsonage. After several more months, everything was in place. There was some reservation among us because of all the flooding in Pierre. The Missouri River had flood and nearly engulfed our hotel. God still sent us on our way.
Flooding as we come into Pierre.
Sandbags are everywhere.
The water coming out of the spillway.
Our lone gentleman left out on Thursday, July 7th, with his pull-behind camper. The rest of us packed our cars and headed out Friday the 8th between 4-5 am. Terry, Aaron, and I left on our own because we knew we would have frequent stops traveling with the two wienies, but the rest of the group left together. We drove all day stopping over in Clear Lake, Iowa for some much needed rest. The next morning we took off, anxious to meet our new friends in Pierre. We arrived at our hotel in Pierre around 3:30 that afternoon.
Morning devotion led by my hubby.
A little singing at the nursing home.
Capitol Heights Baptist Church
Although we had a general idea about what we would be doing, our plans were not firm. I felt blessed because I knew what I would be doing. My main duty was providing meals for our team. I love to cook, and seeing the smiles on peoples faces after eating something yummy is just a bonus for me. After checking into our hotel, I headed over to the church to see where I would be cooking. The kitchen was large with two ovens, refrigerators, sinks, and lots of counter space. After there, I headed over to the Wal-Mart to purchase the things I would need for the week. I had preplanned the menu for each night, having spaghetti/meatballs on Sunday, grilled hamburgers/hot dogs on Monday, chicken casserole and veggies on Tuesday, taco bar on Wednesday, and lasagna on Thursday. I cooked breakfast for those who did not stay in the hotel. For lunch we had a the fixings for a salad, sandwiches, and the occasional leftovers. I was so thankful that the Wal-Mart was only 2-3 miles away because I have never cooked meals for a group this size and new I would need to run out for more items on a few occasions.
Dinky begs while I prepare the hamburgers.
Morning service at Oahe Mission Church.
Singing with friends.
Bull leads us in worship.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I took my TDI certified therapy dog, Dinky, to visit with the residents at the local nursing homes. Dinky has the most loving spirit and is constantly amazing me how he loves all those he comes in contact with. It wears me out though. His legs are so short that I pick him up for to keep people from bending over and falling out of their chair. He's not a light dog, weighing in at 18 lbs. Two of our team members are blessed with musical talent and brought their instruments to play and sing for the residents.
Visiting at the nursing home.
Dinky always makes them smile.
Sharing with music.
Sharing with kisses.
My other job was sharing God's message through song. I was able to sing several times during the week. Click on the links and hear these wonder songs by the original artist. We had an 8 am service at a beautiful old chapel sitting on the river, where I sang the "Blessings" by Laura Story. At the ten o'clock service, I sang with two others ladies "Blessed Redeemer" by Casting Crowns. That night Terry, Aaron, and I sang together the song "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real. It was a great song to get us started for the sermon series our pastor had lined up for the next three nights. I had the chance to give my testimony with which I have a song I like to sing called "His Life For Mine" by the Talley Trio . I have many songs that minister and move me, and when I can, I like to share those blessings.
Oahe Mission Chapel.
Our youth entertain the kids of the families attending the Love Language series.
The pastor for CHBC had spoken of a need to reunite or strengthen married couples at their church and community. Our pastor, led them in a three night series of 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (follow this link to learn your love language), which started on Sunday night. He also gave us an wonderful sermon on Sunday morning that was followed by a wedding and potluck meal afterwards. What a wonderful way to start off the Love Language series.
Let's start off with a wedding.
Then a potluck meal.
Girls hard at work.
The state capitol building.
Other members of our team worked on several projects around the church and at the parsonage. The church had several cracks in the sheet rock that needed repair. My hubby and a few of the girls worked there applying putting, sanding, and painting the walls. At the parsonage there was a large beautiful pond that leaked and the pastor wanted removed. It took several guys working a few days to remove all the heavy rocks, reseeding, and creating a nice flower bed in its place. They also have a very steep bank that was in need of some serious weed control. Our crew also painted the deck and did a little painting inside the house. God always amazes me how he provides the right people with the right skills to get the job done.
A little ( no! a lot!) weed eating.
Boys hard at work.
And they all salute.
On our way home, my family took a few extra days to see some sites on our way in. We spent a couple of days in Sioux Falls, SD, visiting parks such as Sioux Falls and the Palisades. We also went to Devil's Gulch and a butterfly house.
Silly boys again.
Enjoying the museum.
The Corn Palace.
I feel blessed beyond measure to be able to be used by God. Some things I feel comfortable doing and other things not so much. But just knowing that God is using me and requiring me to trust Him, causes our relationship to get closer is awesome. I don't deserve His love or grace, but that He willing gives it to me.
Time for a wienie walk.
Palisades State Park.
We're sitting in front of the King and Queen in the Palisades State Park.
I love this picture. Notice the climber on the rock.
Here's a few extra pictures of beautiful things we seen:
Sioux Falls Park
Hatching butterflies and moths.