The following is a brief report of the activities in recent months. A more detailed report may be downloaded by clicking on the file at the bottom of the page.
Wanityetu Project 2015
At the request of the Wounded Knee School we decided to start our clothing drive earlier. Our contact at Wounded Knee School, Cindy Giago, started a special room to store goods and had taken a key interest in getting coats for the children. So, we sent an early shipment of 26 children’s and youth coats to Manderson, SD. The next shipment was as we had done in previous years. In addition to the cold weather items, a scroll saw and drill press were donated to the wood-working class at Takini School. All items were well received by the students and put to use. During our April visit we learned of some of the impact on the community at large. Our host in Cherry Creek, SD, who helps to provide coats for that community during the winter months, shared that one person didn’t need a coat this year because she already received one at Takini
April Flute-Making Trip
In this trip, our fifth year running, we were joined by our friends, Joe and Marilyn Marsh from our home church, Lamb’s Chapel. Joe and Marilyn are children’s pastors with multiple years of teaching experience. Theresa and I really appreciate their hearts for children and service.
In addition to our fourth flute-making workshop at Takini, Theresa teamed-up with Clea Brott to organize an after-school flute playing workshop for all ages in Cherry Creek, SD, a small community about 18 miles from Takini School. Clea and her husband coordinate a food bank in this village.
We prepared several flutes beforehand for the workshop participants to take home, which were well received. We also, along with Clea, served an aftershool snack to the children. This event was a great opportunity to encourage flute playing and minister to the needs of the community. On several occasions we were able to pray for people with special requests.
Wounded Knee (Pine Ridge)
The past several years were difficult for the people in Manderson, SD. During our 2015 visit we discovered that several children had been lost to suicide in a year in which the Pine Ridge reservation saw 103 suicide attempts. Others were lost in the previous year. After some discussion and prayer with Mr. Charging Cloud, he asked us to spend some special time with the 5th and 6th graders -- the ages hardest hit with suicide.
Upon our return this year we were very glad to hear that there were no suicides since our last visit. The school is engaged in a new program of suicide intervention which appears to be effective. Cindy Giago, the counselor for Wounded Knee school is also a social worker and strives to identify the needs of the community at-large. As we prepared for this year’s trip we asked her what items we could bring. She expressed a need for flip-flops for the students. So we appealed to our friends at Lamb’s Chapel who generously donated well over 180 pairs.
This year is one of recovery and healing for the kids in Manderson, SD. It’s clear that these children are still seeing the pressures of everyday life and are emotionally cautious. But they are still eager to make flutes. There is a glimmer of hope that peaks through their eyes at the experience of making a stick sing or when the perception of failure is replaced by the reality of success.
A more detailed version of this report can be viewed by downloading the following file: