Adult Mission Trip

Cannonball, ND: August 1-6

by Chris Hardman

Bill Pearce along with my wife Libby and I just got back from an exploratory trip to Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. It is was an eye-opening and wonderful experience. We knew we were in for something special when we came out of our plane into the Bismarck airport with the ancient bones of Pterodactyls flying over our heads.

Jessica Campbell, a member of the diocesan staff, met us and showed us around. We went by the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck with its Adaptation Gallery that takes you back 600 million years to the Age of the Dinosaurs and its Innovation Gallery filled with 13,000 years of Native American history.

In Mandan, just across the Missouri River from Bismarck, we visited Five Nations Gallery and Gifts where we learned about the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people and their arts and crafts. A few miles away we took a tour of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park where General George Armstrong Custer was stationed before his "Last Stand" and where there is a wonderful native village of the Mandan tribe which preceded the Lakota. We also saw many of the sights on Standing Rock Reservation including a number old forts, towns and a very modern Prairie Knights Casino. The Episcopal Church has a big presence on the Reservation with a number of churches as well as a retreat center that is used for summer camps and gatherings.

THERE IS MUCH THAT WE CAN DO THERE. BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, THERE IS MUCH THAT THEY CAN DO FOR US!

Mission trips are not about people who have it all together going to help poor people who don't. No, mission trips are about getting out of your "usual environment" so that the Spirit of God can raise you to a new consciousness of your connectedness to other people and the world around you.

While we are there we will learn about the history of the native people, their culture, and the unique landscape that enfolds them. We will also learn about and experience Native American Spirituality. In fact, our trip will conclude with a POW WOW on August 6-but our "new life" and "new relationships" will continue.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE


Pray for this mission trip-for the people who go and the people that we will meet.

Contribute financially-We will be building wooden decks for some of the small homes there, as well as painting and fixing up some of the buildings at the Episcopal Retreat Center. We will need money to buy lumber, paint, and other supplies.

Join us. If you are up for a "transformation" we would love for you to go with us. We now know what we will be doing, where we will be staying, and what the costs will be. If you are interested and for more information contact me at jchardman@holycomforter.org or 847-251-6120 ext. 121.