Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Making New Friends

The Flandreau Indian School Chaplaincy exists through the efforts of many.  We deliberately and intentionally take the time to develop relationships with denominations, congregations and individuals in order to raise awareness of the Program and Native American culture.

We had the honor and privilege to make some new friends and share the Program on Sunday in George, Iowa at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. They were putting on their annual “Mission Sunday” event which raises awareness of mission opportunities to their congregation. We were given time to share during their worship service and enjoyed a catered meal with them afterwards. 

Special thanks to Bernie Weier for setting up this event for us and to Pastor Paul Soderquist for being such a gracious and welcoming host. We look forward to the partnership being established with Ebenezer Presbyterian in representing Christ to the students and staff at Flandreau Indian School. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gently Used Running Shoes?

We have a need that I hope some of you can help out with. We have kids here at our school coming from the Indian reservations across the country who are just amazing cross country runners yet lack the proper equipment to really excel at their sport. We have many kids who arrive in the fall with basketball shoes to run in instead of running shoes. It makes all the difference in attitude and ability to have proper shoes to run a race. 

If you have last season's running shoes that you could pass on to them to or running shoes that are gently used sitting in the back of the closet, we could use them! Generally, I'm usually most in need of boys running shoes in the 10, 10-1/2, 11 or 12 range but we'll gladly accept anything you might have, boys or girls sizes. Shoes can shipped to Flandreau Indian School Chaplain, 802 W Pipestone, Flandreau SD 57028.

Thanks for considering...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


About Broken Walls...

Based on Native American/First Nations Heritage of North America, Broken Walls is a band that travels extensively around the world communicating a message of restoration, dignity, self respect, and Creator's Love to all cultures. 

This message is communicated uniquely through music, songs, dance and storytelling. 
Often starting with the Mohawk water drum, Broken Walls will perform on a variety of Indigenous instruments such as the Mohawk windflute, or the large buffalo hide pow wow drum, eventually graduating to a full-on contemporary band. Even while performing as a full band, you hear the ancient vocals, beats and sounds of their native heritage.

Please join the FIS Chaplaincy Program 
in a celebration of community.

For more about Broken Walls: www.BrokenWalls.com   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For I Know the Plans

We are a little different than most high schools in that we hold mid-year graduations at the end of the first semester which falls around this time in mid-January. There are students who just have a few credits to make up at the beginning of the year and it doesn't make sense for them to have to endure the whole year of school if they've completed all of the requirements.

It’s usually a very emotional time for everyone involved, students and staff alike. As we’re a boarding school for Native American teenagers, many of the students come to live with us during their freshman year and remain throughout their four years. We become a community of folks who laugh, cry, love and discover life together. For many of the kids, the staff and other students at the school are the closest thing they've ever known to being a part of a functional family. A lot of their backgrounds include legacies of drug and alcohol abuse. Often kids are raised by aunts and uncles or grandparents because parents are not able to. The American Indian community in general experiences a great deal of loss due to suicide, substance abuse and accidental deaths.  

It’s with mixed emotions then that we see these kids head out to their future. We know they need to go find their way in the world as adults and to go on to discover life and their purpose. I need to cling to the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” As much as I love these students as I do my own children, I have trust that God cares for them even more and He has amazing plans for each of their lives. I must trust that He will continue to make Himself known to each one of them. And I need to trust that in following God, their lives will be protected and not end in disaster which is so often the case for this segment of society.

It’s been as much a test of my own faith as it has been for the students I serve. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Taste and See That the Lord is Good

We began our third year on campus at the Flandreau Indian School with a bang. With many returning students knowing the Chaplain and the program, more parents than ever (almost half of the 250 students!) have given written permission to the school for their kids to attend worship services in town. Trust with students and parents has increased dramatically this year.

Numbers in attendance have been up all over. With weekly outreach programs aimed at reaching all students, Sunday afternoon chapel on campus, Bible studies and local worship services, there are lots of opportunities for students to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) Many are experiencing church for the first time and realizing that church is really not a scary place. 

The exciting part of this year has been seeing lives in the process of transformation… encouraging Facebook statuses, positive music choices, students caring for students and challenging each other to live a more positive lifestyle, being able to pray with students before bedtime and as their day begins, inviting each other to go to church, and so much more. We have started small group Bible studies on campus midweek to explore the weekend messages a little deeper and apply the truths revealed in Scripture. Students have begun to take ownership of their faith. How exciting to see God at work!