The short-term mission trips to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation grew out of The Matt. 25 Project. After the first year of TM25P I wanted to plan something bigger for the second year. I have had the pleasure of going on other mission trips to Romania and Haiti and had always wanted to go to a reservation to work with children. At that time I had no idea which reservation to take a trip to. I had never led such a group either and was scared spitless at the prospect of doing so now. For some reason, Pine Ridge kept coming to mind. I had no doubt heard of the Pine Ridge reservation before but had never been there and had no real reason for having an interest there. I am part Cherokee and the Pine Ridge reservation is home to the Oglala Lakota so I'm not sure what the interest was except to say I think God was leading me in that direction.
Then one day my mother called and told me that the church I had attended when I was a kid went to Pine Ridge every year and were going that year. Another piece of the puzzle - a way for me to go and make some contacts before taking a group there. I did the unthinkable and called their pastor and invited myself along. That is SO out of character for me because I am really very shy and unassuming. I ended up going along with their church to the Reservation that year - another huge step for me since I didn't know anyone on the trip.
I went and because of that, met the missionaries there and made some contacts. I also learned a great deal about Lakota culture and about mission trips in general. When I came home I held a meeting for anyone in our church who was interested in going on a mission trip to Pine Ridge. I shared about my experience there and set a deadline for people to sign up to go. Again, on this trip we were not using church money or property so it was not necessary to take it to the board to get approval or permission. We just did it. We had 17 people sign up and somehow we planned a trip and learned as we went. I can't begin to tell you how OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE I was. Everything involved in a trip like this goes against my nature but it has always worked out. It has never been easy. Never. Not remotely. The second year was actually harder than the first, but we continue on.
- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.