Monday, May 25, 2015

Clean-up days at Porcupine

 May 18th and 19th was designated as the SD District LWML Servant work even.  We would clean and repair a Cemetery on the PineRidge Reservation.  This Cemetery is on the same land as the church that our mission has put in papers to rent for 25 years.  We would hope that this is in God's plan and we would also be responsible for up keep of the Cemetery.      We started the work event in the hotel with cultural instructions and prayer.   We then finished our paking of equipment and tools. 

The mission vans that were purchased for us by LWML and LLL are still in use and came in very handy to haul the tools, food and most important, volunteer workers. 

Pastor Albert Sutton of the Mission Church on the Reservation led us in prayer just before we left for the 2 hr drive. 

Before the work we could hardly find the graves but as you can see below, after the work things looked much better.  

 It did not take 5 minutes and everyone was busy as could be.  God provided a sunny day of 55 - 60 degrees,  just right for a lot of hard work. 

 I would bet this blue pickup with the lift made at least a dozen trips to the dump.  

 How much can these women pile on this pickup?
Busy as bees!

Please let us rest a few minutes,  this is very hard work!


This cemetery is much bigger then it first looked.

After just 3 hours of work, It is starting to look much better. 

 Ron with the post hole digger so the badly broken down fence can be repaired.   You can tell he had done this many times before.  We are so very thankful for so many helping hands and that so many strong talented men volunteered their time. 

OK GANG!  Lets break for lunch. 

 We set up the lunch just to the West of the Cemetery at the site of the church we hope to rent.  That way everyone could have a sneak peek at the building and the work that needs to be done one the lease is signed. We used the Mission vans once again as a nice wind break for our dinning area. 

 Sub sandwiches, chips were provided by the Thrivent Financial and some of us from the mission team brought drinks, salads and dessert.  

Working on the fence.

Hard work, thankful that it was not a 90 degree day.

A job well done!

Bobbie B kept up with her husband with attaching
the barbed wire to the steel posts. 

This picture is to give an idea of the size of the cemetery. 

Monday evening about 8 PM Divine Shepherd LWML provided the group of about 25 workers with a delicious Lasagna supper.  We didn't even feel guilty since we had worked up a big appetite. 

Tuesday morning we were back on the road to the reservation by 8 AM.  Some got a latter start as they went to pick up more fence posts and a nice gate for the cemetery. 

 This gate was partially paid for by Thrivent Financial and part by a LCMS mens group.  We certainly thank everyone who helped and donated funds for the materials needed.  Part of the group finished fence work and attached the green gate while another group went to work cleaning the church.

 This was the original church from many years ago and when we were using this area, this building was used for cooking the noon meal, eating and Sunday school.   
The top of the church we hope to lease.  It sat empty for 12 years,
then we used it for 5 years and now it has been empty for 5 years. 

The volunteers.

 This is most of the crew who worked so hard to clean and repair the cemetery.  This is out of love for our Native American people and respect for the dead.   We are all wearing the Thrivent work project t-shirts.    

 Like the Cemetery, this church building was in bad shape.  We had used it for a period of 5 years but now it has been setting empty and unused for 5 years.  A lot of vandalism takes place with empty buildings.  

It was a dirty dusty job but these LWML women got it done. 

 The benches are not in too bad shape especially after we washed them.

Below you will see the before and after picture.  Two hours and we had it clean enough to eat lunch inside away from the wind.  If only there would be glass in the windows.   

Before we ate lunch we all joined hands and sand the doxology as the LWML often does.  It was a great time to reflect on Gods great blessings and all the work He had helped us accomplish.  

Praise God from whom all Blessings flow,  Praise him all creatures here below,  praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise  Father, Son and Holy Ghost.