2014 Intern Overviews
I spent a great deal of time working landscaping at the Sicangu Nation Employment and Training Program with a few individuals close to my age. That was a great experience as far as putting forth effort to accomplish difficult tasks with a group of people, and I was able to get to know my coworkers quite a bit, do a lot of fun stuff, and have some good conversations. In addition to landscaping, I spent a lot of time in the town of St. Francis with a family that I have known for a number of years. Spending time with them is great. Going into this past summer’s internship, I no longer saw my time on the rez as part of an internship; rather, I saw it more as being a part of my everyday, normal life. The families and the individuals I know out there are my real life friends, not just people that I am associated with simply because I’m interning there. This summer on the rez was great overall, and God is certainly ever-present and at work there.
I started coming to the Rosebud Reservation with Lakota Journey in 2010. I instantly fell in love with the reservation and the people here. I came back in 2011, 2012, and in 2013 God really spoke to me. I felt that I had a calling to come to the reservation to coach. So, in 2014 I decided to do the internship. I did a few different things over the summer. I worked with the Cub Scouts, I worked on a grant called Circle of Life, and I also volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. In July I felt another calling from God.... to move to the reservation. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. I went home for 2 weeks and then officially moved. I am now a Paraprofessional in the Exceptional Education Department at the preschool in Mission, Rosebud, and He Dog. Along with that I received the coaching position for 7th grade girls volleyball. It has been an amazing journey and something I would recommend for anyone who feels called to come!!
My summer experience as a Lakota Journey Intern was a personal one filled with learning moments and unexpected blessings. Having not worked with Lakota Journey before, I knew little of what to expect. Needless to say, God is the master planner and with just this little leap of faith (at the time it felt like a big uncomfortable leap), He blessed me with more than I could have imagined.
As a college student majoring in education, I was very grateful to work with teachers, staff, and students through the summer school program in Rosebud. This also helped in establishing relationships within the community. The rest of my time was spent instructing a small dance class in Okreek, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, and just being active around the community. The impactful internship allowed me to further grasp the meaning of living out a mission-mindset through daily living and trusting in His faithfulness.
2013 Intern Overviews
This summer (2013) I was an intern for Lakota Journey. As an intern, you help prepare for Lakota Journey week, a week when several churches throughout the midwest come to their specific community to do VBS, play with the kids, provide food, etc. The majority of the summer you have a professional volunteer site–I chose to volunteer my time at the Boys and Girls Club in Mission. I mostly helped with looking after the kids and other various things; if you have a passion for kids, this is the place for you. Overall, this internship was a meaningful experience for me because I got to explore contextualization of the Gospel in a real-life setting. I am studying global and urban missions and this internship really made me think about how to integrate the Gospel and culture.
This was my fourth summer to the Rez. However, this time I was going to stay for two months. Let me tell you, it was so awesome. Not only was I there to serve others, but I learned so much about my myself and my spiritual life. By keeping a blog (http://this-place-of-mine.blogspot.com/) I am still able to look back on the summer and see how far I have come in my walk with Christ.
Other than that, I volunteered/interned for about a month at the Juvenile Detention Center in Rosebud, Wanbli Wiconi Tipi. I served as a gardener for some of the time, but also stood in for other workers and was able to interact with the inmates quite frequently. It was awesome to be able to relate to kids and hear their stories (even if they weren't necessarily true). More than just the kids, I was embraced by the staff at the JDC and have fostered some great relationships. From my friends I have been able to discover a ton more about the culture, beliefs, bitterness, life on the Rez, etc. Beyond my volunteering at the JDC, I also just hung out with kids from St. Francis, where I have been for the past three years. It's so awesome to just be able to chill and love on the kids. It can be difficult watching them grow up and change, but I'm very blessed to be in a position to show them the love of Christ.
The whole experience was certainly wonderful. It was challenging, but character building and life changing. I will never forget my summer on the Rez and I feel honored to have had the chance to go and live with the Lakota of the Rosebud Indian Reservation for a short time.
I volunteered at White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (abuse and sexual assault shelter) and Boys and Girls Club Mission.
God did many mighty things over the 2013 summer. I really enjoyed working at White Buffalo Calf Woman Society. The women there taught me many valuable things to help me. It was really special when a woman confided in me. I also loved getting to know kids at Boys and Girls Club. I often encouraged the kids to have goals and dreams, and then pursue them. I will never forget the relationships I built, skills I gained, things I learned, and what God did.
2012 Intern Overviews
This summer was my second time interning for LJ and so I continued volunteering at
the place where I had made connections before, the Boys and Girls Club in Parmelee.
Stephen (another intern) and I would go to Parm each day and just meet the kids at lunch and take them swimming at the dam, hiking/exploring, play on the playground, or check out the rodeo grounds. Mostly it was time for us to just hang out with them and get to know them
more, which led to awesome conversations about life and Jesus. Through Lisa, the
director of BGC in Parmelee, Stephen and I had the chance to serve as counselors for a
week of camp at Camp of the Good Shepherd in Nebraska with kids from Parm. That
was a fantastic time to be with the kids 24/7 and get to know them better. Being in
Parmelee also opened up the opportunity for me to connect with Melany, one of the
teachers out there. Through her, I had the chance to help with a girls camp she puts on
and host smaller groups of girls at her house to make crafts, watch movies, and just
spend time together. She also became a great friend and we ended up talking a lot about
Christ and ministry! I was able to grow so much this summer through all of these
opportunities and continue to deepen the friendships I had already made in previous
summers. Most of all I learned to trust God for everything, because on the rez, you need
to expect the unexpected!
Discovering the hope of God's vision in the heart of Native America
Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations