Thursday in Montana 2011

“It’s the res.”
When the truck runs out of gas …”it’s the res.”
When the horses race through the park …” it’s the res.”
When people arrive hours after the expected time …”it’s the res.”
Dogs, cats, cows, and horses roam everywhere…”it’s the res.”

Much is forgiven on “the res” … actually “the reservation”. You shrug and say “it’s the res” to explain away many actions. While not the prompt, efficient, analyzed, and meticulously planned life of northern Virginia, it is definitely a healthier pace of life. We are finding contentment embodied here. The Crow people have mastered the relationship side of life. My resting heartrate has dropped. My mind does not run it’s nightly to-do-list marathon when I lay my head on the pillow. My listening ears have fine-tuned as I sit in the shade and talk about life with students.

Yesterday on the worksites: the siding is complete on the bath house. Interior walls started going up. We started on the structure around the pumphouse at the camp. Several guys became ranch hands reinforcing barbed wire fences and others gathered hay bales. We continued work at Kim’s place clearing high grasses and debris. Several girls and leaders served at the nursing home. They gave manicures, played bingo, and enjoyed long conversations with the residents.

Leslie Pretty On Top began making flat bread about 2pm for our Indian taco dinner. The dinner bell (banging metal pot and spoon) could not ring soon enough! Our team has many big boys who like to eat. To insure we have enough food, the girl’s go through the dinner line first!!

Our ice cream social served a couple dozen people! Thank you for praying! We then went to the town park to serve the reminder of the ice cream. We invited the little children over to our tables. The local teens quickly trusted our team members and invited us into their activities. We played some intense basketball games with very skilled Crow boys, rode bareback on their horses, threw frisbees with the younger children, prayer walked the park perimeter, and even learned a few Crow dances. Our evening small groups started late last night … we didn’t leave the park until well after sunset. We laughed, we loved, we played joyfully!

One of the Crow men talked with our Forward Edge facilitator, Scott Ballard. He told Scott that we are different. Our presence last night drew many to the park. He and others were deeply touched by how much our team interacted with the Crow children and adults. The team modelled spotsmanship, compassion, and the pure joy of play!

It was a long day of ministry for our short-term mission team. I haven’t even told you about God’s incredible answer to prayer after one of our vehicles broke down. More on that later! I will just testify now that truly God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine, according to his power that is at work within us! Amen and amen!

(July 2011)

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About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
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