We were able to get into the little church that was previously used for the Chaplaincy services on Sundays. Several people had told me I should get in and get some of the items that had been left behind when the building was abandoned including some electronics and things. I got a key last week and was able to get in while the weather was still somewhat warm.
The building has fallen into disrepair in recent years and its use discontinued several years ago. Maintaining the building was costing too much with funds that could go towards ministry being diverted to building upkeep instead.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be going in. We had been told there was mold, which there was, but the building itself is largely intact from when the final services were held there. The raccoons have had their way a bit with the place, leaving footprints scattered about in the dust.
I get a bit nostalgic going into a place like that. It’s almost like stepping into a time capsule; even though it has been unused for only a couple of years it remains largely as it always has been. There is a large stained glass window near the front that records a date of 1885. I’ve heard from different ones that this was the church where they were baptized or married. It housed the Chaplain’s service for many years. I’m sure it took a little more convincing to get students to attend since it is just off of campus and requires a little bit of a walk to get to.
It also makes me feel grateful. I’m grateful for those who served this school and community prior to me arriving here. The Chaplaincy program goes back over 75 years through several different chaplains and has served the Native American community through the Flandreau Indian School for many years. I am grateful for all of those who had the vision to minister to this group of people and to work tirelessly to bring the message of Christ to this school campus for many years. It is humbling and inspiring to be a part of this legacy and the ongoing story of what God is still accomplishing.