Monday, November 28, 2011


I don’t claim to be the greatest communicator or even teacher in the world but it warms my heart when kids latch on and get what it is I’m trying to get across.

I logged onto Facebook last night and one of the students who attended chapel yesterday afternoon had put all of the main points of my talk as her status for the day. Sometimes I have to wonder if I’m getting through at all or if I’m being heard in my attempts to speak and bring about life change. God uses these moments to encourage me when I begin to wonder if I’m making any impact at all.

It also happened a couple of weeks ago.  I have been able to check students out to attend church with me locally and one of the young men I have taken with me has really enjoyed being able to go. A week or two ago I asked him if he’d like to go with me again. He started telling me all of the main points word for word of a lesson on forgiveness that he had learned when he went several weeks before. He had literally taken the teaching to heart and memorized it, hopefully being able to apply it as the needed as well.

Lord, remind me daily of my responsibility to speak truth and never take my role lightly in teaching impressionable minds. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

WHAT?!? South Dakota?!?

Many don’t know exactly what I’m doing here in South Dakota.
About a year ago I was called to Flandreau to serve as the Chaplain at the Flandreau Indian School. FIS is the oldest continuously operating federally run American Indian Boarding School in the United States. We have nearly 300 high school students on campus from 35 tribes and 25 states. Students come to us for a variety of reasons: some are here for better educational opportunities, some because family members attended, some prefer to be with other Indians and some are here by court order—either they attend our school or they go to jail or JDC.
The goal of the Chaplaincy program is to:
  • serve the students and staff of Flandreau Indian School, providing spiritual guidance for those who seek it;
  • relate as a Christian friend to students and staff;
  • share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with students who, in turn, take their faith back to families and tribes;
  • counsel and help students in dealing with critical needs on and off campus;
  • be a liaison between the school and local community.

The Chaplaincy is financially independent from the school operation and is fully funded through donations from churches and individuals. Thanks to that support, the Chaplaincy has continued an ongoing partnership with the Flandreau Indian School for almost a century offering weekly, large group activities, hosting special events for students and staff, and providing ecumenical worship services each Sunday.
Consider making a financial gift so that we can continue to reach Native American teenagers with the love of Christ.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


“I'm convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.”
-Philippians 1:6

Talking about this subject in Chapel this week with the students: how God uses all of our experiences, even when we can’t see or understand, to accomplish His will and to bring meaning to all of our gifts.

Since I began my professional life (since I’ve started working) I’ve worked as a cashier in a pharmacy, as a loading dock assistant at a feed store, I’ve gone door to door following up on people who didn’t renew their dog licenses, I’ve even had a paper route. I’ve done telephone sales, customer service, management and marketing. I’ve worked retail, worked in an office and I’ve worked in a church. I’ve even had a booth at a flea market. I’ve been full-time, part-time and volunteer.

None of these jobs would have been my first choice for how I would spend the rest of my life. At times, it was really difficult to see God in some of the day to day living.  Getting up every morning for a job that isn’t inspiring or a passion can be really difficult and downright depressing. God knew my heart and passions and yet it seemed at times that somewhere along the way I got off track, that God had forgotten.

In retrospect, I can see how God has been preparing me for years for the place I am today. I have learned perseverance and patience. I have definitely learned to market my program and myself which assists in promoting events on campus and fundraising. I have learned to listen to the customer and hear and respond to needs which translates well to ministry. It helps me appreciate all that I’ve gone through and that He has been gently preparing me for what’s to come.

Most of all, I’ve learned patience and that all things happen in God’s timing. And not a second sooner.