Hello all! It has been a long few days, so we apologize for the delay in posts. Let me begin by saying that VBS was an absolute success. It was so fun to see our students in character and interacting with the children over the weekend. We even saw at least one family (mom with 5 of her own children and 2 friends of the family) show up for the VBS program that we had met and invited while in downtown Rapid City! We pray that the seed of the Gospel was planted and that God will use Bible Fellowship Church to minister to all those families who may still be curious about Jesus and his message.
Both Monday and Tuesday consisted of work projects in and around the Northern part of Rapid City. On Monday, we sent 10 of our team to work with Habitat for Humanity's local chapter doing some landscaping. The other team worked with Neighborhood Works (local humanitarian organization) to begin a two day project painting the exterior of a local home. Both teams worked hard and after Tuesday evening we saw the completed home. It was encouraging for all to see the fruit of our labor. On Tuesday I (Dan) took a small team consisting of Bill, Jordan K., Jonah (from RC), and Justin down a few blocks from the home we were painting to build a fence around a community garden. We labored with the hot sun and an Auger that had a mind of its own at times, but we got one whole side of the garden fenced. It didn't look pretty in the end- but it was built with love and plenty sturdy!
The highlight for me, after building the fence was talking with John, a man who lived in the neighborhood and had been offering his professional advice and tools to help us get the job done. John was 66 years old and had seen it all. He served in Vietnam and had 2 purple hearts to show for it. He had such a servant's heart and a welcome sense of humor. To see a 66 year old man come alongside some students (and two amateur leaders) and want to help them learn some building skills was fun. He'd make a great JH leader! As we sat for a few minutes and listened to him, it was apparent that he cared for people in need and did what he could to serve. It was a blessing for that neighborhood to have him there! Bill and I initiated and asked if we could pray for him before we left. Only after we asked to do so, did he reveal that he had Leukemia. We each prayed for him and for God's work in his life. As we finished praying and shook his hand we saw tears in the mans eyes. Please pray for John as you read this- that the Holy Spirit would churn in him a desire to turn to Jesus! We bid him adieu and shared about Bible Fellowship Church. Hopefully he will pop in one Sunday soon and find a community that will lead him to God!
This morning we will be heading out to Pine Ridge Reservation. We have a 2 hour drive and two long work days ahead of us. The weather is supposed to be nice, but warm so we will be working extra hard to keep the team hydrated and upbeat. I trust that the next two days will be powerful for our students as they see and hear life that is drastically different than what they see and know on a daily basis. This can be a life changing experience and we pray that God will use it in a rich way. Please join us in prayer for our travels and for the work ahead of us.
Most of the recent pictures I have are on my iPhone and so I cannot load them into blogger, but will post on Facebook. Feel free to take a look and see some picture updates there!
Signing off for now...