Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Every Day Feels Like Christmas!

I am sitting here feeling so blessed again. I receive a note saying that I have a package or pick up a letter at the mailbox and somebody has blessed our ministry and our kids again. It is just so exciting to be a part of a ministry where people understand the vision, the need and want to play a role in helping out.  

Today I received three shipping cartons of hats, gloves, scarves and socks from a little church in Pennsylvania. This is a church that I know has trouble just keeping its own doors open yet has the generosity and love for what we’re doing with Native American teenagers to collect cozy items so that we have warm students during cold South Dakota winters.

This isn’t an isolated incident either. We have received coats and gloves and scarves and hats. Quilts have been delivered in mass quantities and also shipped through the mail to cover dorm beds at night. People have collected clothing for us like pants, shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. I have gotten countless packs of ramen noodles and hot cocoa and candy and tea and cappuccino mix. There have been Wal-Mart gift cards and Subway cards and checks and cash to help out with feeding kids when I take them to church on the weekends. The family of God has been astounding in their generosity with our students.

The monetary outpouring has been amazing to watch as well. My Chaplain position is not supported financially by the school but through the generosity of partners at the individual, church and denominational levels who believe in what we’re doing at the Flandreau Indian School. As we come to year end and analyze numbers we are thrilled at how God’s people have poured resources into the ministry. We added over 40 first time giving partners last year which is just incredible in today’s economy. We came within $175.00 of making our budget, an exciting result for any non-profit to achieve.

Thank you to all who have given in the past. We are so thrilled to be partnering with all of you in reaching and serving American Indian youth with the love of Christ.  

Friday, February 3, 2012


This fall I decided to put a hot drink area in to be able to attract students down to my office. It’s really taken off with up to 60 students a day coming in after school to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. Believe me when I tell you that in my 8’ x 8’ office there is standing room only. Being a boarding school, I like to think of it as kids coming in for their after school snack.

It’s had some added benefits as well. We started a new semester last week so I’ve had the opportunity to meet loads of new kids as they’ve come in with other students.  I’ve made a valiant effort to connect names with faces although I’m still working through it. It takes the new students a day or two to figure out that I’m the chaplain on campus but hey, they’re all about a cup of free cocoa!

After the crowds clear out I generally have two or three stay behind to check Facebook or find a video on Youtube and it inevitably leads to spiritual discussions. It’s been a challenge for me to keep up on my Bible drill skills to be able to find a passage in answer to a question on a certain topic. We have had conversations on the devil, end times, relationships and we even got running around some pre-destination questions this week.

What my greatest thrill has been though is listening to some of the kids who have been coming out for Chapel services and weekend church services teach other kids what they’ve been learning.  It’s really gratifying to know that God has been planting His word in their hearts and that they see opportunities to share what they’re learning with others.  I’ve heard boldness in proclaiming Christ to others also. My office is becoming a place for students to share their faith with their friends over a cup of cocoa.

WE CAN ALWAYS USE DONATIONS of hot cocoa to help keep the conversation flowing.  Get in touch with me at fischaplain@gmail.com if you’re interested in sending some hot cocoa our way.