I go often to this place because it has changed me as much as I can think that I have tried to change it. soon I will be going back to one of my favorite places in the world, a little community in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It became such an important place to me through a process, it didn’t happen over night, but grew through consistent exposure. This will be about my sixth time up to the Rez over the last five years. I was introduced to this community through one of my dearest mentors and friends, Jake Jones. A man who has dedicated the last several years to serving and pouring his life into ORU Students and Alumni.
There are a million things I could say about the Rez, however the story of three little girls lives is the truest reason for going and continuing to go. It is not who they are alone, but what they represent. They represent a younger generation who have not yet decided what will become of their futures. I strongly believe that the consistent attention and generosity goes a longer way in sharing the truth of the gospel than a one time message of salvation and repentance, which is often times left as the closing word of a short one time visit.
Evangelizing and sharing the message of the Cross and the Resurrection are essential in this life, however the consistent giving of time, energy, affirmation, and care go so much further in developing followers of Christ in my opinion. When challenges and difficulties come, those who are weak are not alone because of the consistent relationship with those who have become not just evangelist but friends to the lost and broken and hurting generations.
The projects and things that our teams work on are wonderful, but the community that is built through the work is even more important to me than whatever work is being done. I am able to accomplish a lot on my own because of the gifts and talents that I have been given, however I am able to make a greater impact through the relationships I build with those who have been called alongside to help.
I have not been a leader through title on any of the trips to the Rez, and it is not something that I seek to ever be, I would rather go and serve in whatever way I can, and at the end of the day to know that I made the difference I was called to make that day.