About Me

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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.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Not in Vain

Sometimes I am tempted to wonder if our work at Pine Ridge makes any difference, if it matters at all. It's a tough trip and never an easy one. I wonder sometimes if it's worth it all or if we're just another bunch of well intentioned people who trample over the sacredness of the Lakota people.

But the past two years have led me to believe that maybe there is something to this effort. Maybe, just maybe, there is hope that things will change. There is a lot on the reservation that will never change. Poverty will always be a plague to these people. There will always be drunkeness and abuse and a general lack of the things we in middle-class society take for granted. But I believe there is reason to believe that the Lakota people have a hope. I believe they will retain the most valuabe things of all, Faith, Hope and Love.

This year our trip seemed to have a theme that was only in part planned. We wanted to have fun with the kids - to have a Safari Party and a Water Gun Fight. Along with the Safari theme, we talked about Africa and the need for clean, safe water. We took up an offering to be sent to Blood:Water Mission to help build wells in Africa. We also had a lot of fun with the water fight.

Water seemed to take on a special significance this week. I'm not yet sure just what the significance is, but it's there. I think it's been happening for a few years now. Here are some of my observations that I am trying to put together and figure out what God is saying.

2004 - Rich Mullin's song "Crying Out Your Name" struck me as a theme song for our work at Pine Ridge. I particularly was drawn to the lines, "Run wild with the hope. The hope that this thirst will not last long, that it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain. I feel the thunder in the sky, I see the sky about to rain, and I hear the prairie calling out Your name".

2006 - Brian put together a video Let it Rain, as a prayer for the children of Pine Ridge. Part of that was inspired by the words of Black Elk, a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux who wrote, "The chief of all the heavens was riding … I saw the slant hail falling and the long sharp rain and the earth was bright again" I don't believe it was just a physical rain that Black Elk was speaking of.

2007 - We decide upon the theme for the trip - an African Safari with emphasis on water

Sunday we arrived and almost immediately the missionary grabbed 3 of us to come with him to deliver water to a family who did not have running water in their home. We began the trip with - water.

Friday we ended the week with a water fight - and it rained. There was a downpour like the village has not seen in a long, long time. We gave out backpacks and said goodbye to the children amidst a drenching rain.

Then there's the words of a little four year old girl who had been at the mission during part of the week. Her mother had been arrested and sent to the drunk tank leaving the little girl in the care of the missionaries. On Saturday evening she sang a song she had learned in Bible school. The words were not exactly correct, but they couldn't have been more right. She sang, "Our God is an awesome God, He rains on everyone".

He does indeed. I'm not sure what this all means. Maybe it doesn't mean anything at all. I'm too exhausted and beat up to think about it too much right now ... it just strikes me as ... odd... in a good way.




Well the moon moved past Nebraska
And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
And angels danced on Jacob's stairs
Yeah, they danced on Jacob's stairs

There is this silence in the Badlands
And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
By the whisper of a prayer
The whisper of a prayer

And the single hawk bursts into flight
And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

I can feel the earth tremble
Beneath the rumbling of the buffalo hooves
And the fury in the pheasant's wings
And there's fury in a pheasant's wings
It tells me the Lord is in His temple
And there is still a faith that can make the mountains move
And a love that can make the heavens ring
And I've seen love make heaven ring

Where the sacred rivers meet
Beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the plains
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever 'til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope
To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

And I know this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song not sung in vain
I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

~ Rich Mullins, Calling Out Your Name

1 comment:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

I know you make a difference, there is no doubt about it.

I think you know I love Rich Mullins (of course you know that we have the same taste is almost all music!). This is the perfect song for your theme.

Glad you are home. Rest up.