Together we danced around to the beat of a Native Lakota drum. It was the first of many dances to be had within the bounds of a new arbor. We spent all week building this massive circle structure that will connect all of God’s children in the area. It will cross generations, gender, and race.

The Lakota people are used to the “white man” tearing their culture apart. They are skeptics to say the least. They are never sure what to say when we show up to meet their needs with no strings attached. They have been marginalized and even terrorized for centuries. They just don’t trust us. There has to be a catch somewhere.

But there isn’t.

Our dear friend Marlita shares the story of how she got involved with Mission Discovery, and she is still moved to tears by the phrase we use as part of our mission: To Love is To Serve. We love Christ, we love you, so we will serve.

Pastor Phil stopped by one night and invited us into a new perspective of Native American ministry. His words were powerful because they rang true for all of us in the room. We all need to feel valuable. So our job in serving in the Lakota Homes was not just to string a few boards together, but to value the kids that came to the center each day. The arbor project was the perfect example of placing value in the Lakota culture and I believe that one structure will be the catalyst for a deep healing in that neighborhood between multiple cultures.

I am thankful to have had this week with friends, old and new. The people on this team were perfect for the project.