Monthly Archives: June 2012

South Dakota – Cheyenne River

Hello from SD!

A couple of weeks earlier, we were headed south to Missouri.  Now it’s “westward ho” to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.   The occasion: to do some video-recording for Without Reservation’s “First Steps” video series and sing.  We left on May 30, stopping to visit Grandma and Grandpa Krause near Aberdeen.  We enjoyed spending some time with them and visiting Storybook Land.

Driving go-karts around the farm yard is always a highlight for the younger ones

Paul and Babe at Storybook Land… rather small compared to Bemidji!

Enjoying a cold treat with Grandpa

On June 1, we headed across the Missouri River into the beautiful rolling prairies and buttes of the Cheyenne River Reservation.  This place is so different than what we see in northern Minnesota.  We passed through the towns of LaPlant, and Eagle Butte on our way to Dupree, SD where we met up with our good friends Chug and Karen Garreau.  They’ve been very helpful in the ministry of Without Reservation.  Along with sharing their testimonies for The Storyteller radio program, they also are the main voices for “I’m Not Ready!“, the powerful drama included in the evangelistic audio production, “Are You Ready?

The Garreaus arranged for us all to stay at the Moreau River Sanctuary, a Christian retreat center, in the middle of the rolling prairie hills, overlooking the beautiful Moreau river valley (visit the Sanctuary’s website to see more pictures of the building and scenery).  It was our home, recording studio, and concert venue for the next few days.

Our first glimpse of the Sanctuary off in the distance

Inside the Sanctuary

Moving in… did all of that really come out of the van?!!

On Saturday, we spent the day preparing for the Sunday outreach at the church in Dupree.  We cleaned, set up a tent, made a sign, and went around town handing out invitations.  A word of caution when approaching homes… keep an eye on those rez dogs.  One of them went after Chug and bit his leg… which resulted in an unexpected trip to the hospital in Eagle Butte.  The Garreaus returned just in time for the advertised concert in the great room of the Sanctuary.  Chug told us that he was going to have to decide whether to be treated for rabies or not.  The big question… had the dog been vaccinated?

Sorting Sunday School supplies

Setting up the tent

The sign (in Karen’s beautiful handwriting)

Driving around Dupree to pass out invitations

Giving a concert at the Sanctuary

On Sunday, we had a church meeting under the tent where the community was invited to attend.  We sang and Dad preached.  Afterward, there was a cookout for all to enjoy.  It was a good time.  Chug and Dad went back to the home where the dog had bitten Chug to investigate whether the dog had been vaccinated for rabies.  Thankfully, for both the dog and Chug, the owners produced the paperwork saying the dog had his shots!

Singing on Sunday morning

Monday and Tuesday, Dad recorded the Garreaus for the First Steps video series for new believers.  Deb has an interest in film-making, so she was learning and helping along the way.  Despite noise issues from some strong prairie winds and a generator that kept going off, we were able to successfully record several video segments.

Recording is a big job!

On Tuesday while they were recording, Mom took us kids to Mobridge to visit some museums and monuments.  We had a good time exploring some of South Dakota’s history together.  We were especially interested in learning more about Sitting Bull, as Karen is a direct descendant of this famous chief.

At the museum (notice the dino has bunny ears!)

At the Sitting Bull monument

This trip was rich in a number of ways, but a real highlight for us all was the fellowship we shared with Chug and Karen.  It was inevitable living in the Sanctuary together.  We laughed a lot, learned a lot, and ate a lot (they kept us well fed!).  We are thankful to the Lord for a profitable time together.  We have wonderful pictures and memories to remind us of God’s blessing.

Eating breakfast together in the kitchen at the Sanctuary

Deborah – Class of 2012

The happy graduate

2012 is a special year for our family as it is the year of Deborah’s graduation from high school, having been home schooled all the way through.  She graduated with the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) commencement ceremony in Plymouth, MN on May 19.

Singing “Tis So Sweet” for the ceremony

The MACHE 2012 graduating class

“Kent and Kimberly Fraser graduating their daughter Deborah…”

We hosted a celebration open house in her honor on June 10.  We were all so blessed by the encouragement and support of all of those who came out to help us celebrate.

The table laden with food

And what does the happy graduate have to say?  Below is what she wrote for the MACHE ceremony booklet:

“Oh give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.” -Psalm 107:1

My heart is full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for bring me this far.  It is only by His unfailing mercy, grace, and love.  Mommy and Daddy, I love you so much, and I thank you for being obedient to God in choosing to home school us kids.  Thank you for sticking with me even when things were hard and for loving me through everything.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  You have taught me so many invaluable things.  To my siblings: thank you for your love and encouragement.  Dad, Mom, Sara, Abigail, Daniel, Jonathan – you are the greatest blessings in my life, and I love you all so much!  This has been an incredible journey – one that I would never trade.  To God be the glory!

Congratulations Deborah Joy!  We are so very proud of you!

Deborah with her graduation cake