Lest you think that travel is all we do…it’s not. It’s not even most of what we do. But here again we bring you details of another trip because God brings us places and orchestrates stories that we could never write ourselves.
This trip was supposed to be a family trip, starting with a concert at a church on a South Dakota reservation (Lake Traverse) and then taking us to the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota for church and outreach meetings. It started out as a family trip. Mom was not feeling well at all when it was time to head out…she had a terrible cough and some back pain. But she was a real trooper and made the trip to South Dakota with us and made it through the concert. It turned out to be a fun evening, seeing some people we had met at the Native family camp at Cooperstown Camp earlier this summer in North Dakota.
We drove back to Fargo to spend the night before heading to Spirit Lake. In the morning, Mom was doing worse and so we decided to head home and see how she was the next day. We dreaded the thought of having to make the rest of the trip with out her. But that is what we had to do. So the rest of us left very early Sunday to make the four hour drive to Spirit Lake where Dad was scheduled to preach that morning. Our destination was Dakota Baptist church where the Young family is serving God. The brothers and sisters there welcomed us warmly and treated us better than we deserve. It was a real blessing to be part of their fellowship. After the Sunday morning meeting, they served Buffalo roast. It was amazing! Did we mention that eating is an important (and enjoyable) part of the culture?
That evening we did our first concert, without Mom. It was a challenge, not just missing an instrument on some of the songs, but when a family member isn’t there it really leaves a hole. Hard as it was, God gave us grace. We had three (or so we thought) more times yet to sing. Dad preached on John 3. We were encouraged to hear from Paul that more people came out than he expected.
The gatherings on Monday and Tuesday evenings were held at the community college. We sang both nights, and the first night Dad preached a powerful gospel message, while the second night he addressed the church: are we living as evidence that God has saved us?
The turnout was not high in numbers but God knows His plan for each person who was there. We were blessed to see how God was working, including this amazing story: On Sunday afternoon Mr. Young took us driving around the area, and he and Dad started talking about what the best way would be to try to get The Storyteller on air at the local radio station, which Dad has wanted to do for several years. Monday evening after the meeting at the college a man came up to Dad and introduced himself, and asked if we had a CD to play our music on the radio. This was the “radio man”! He ended up inviting us to come the next day and sing on the radio and do an interview. So the next day we squeezed six extra people and five instruments into the tiny radio booth and sang about Jesus. Dad was able to introduce him to The Storyteller…and to the glory of God it is now airing in Spirit Lake and beyond!
Tuesday morning before lunch we were able to go to the elders’ care home and sing for the people there. We were served menudo and hominy soup for lunch afterwards… with frybread.
On Monday the Youngs took us to the game preserve, where we saw elk and lots of gophers. Then we climbed to the scenic lookout…maybe more like scenic workout?!
The Youngs and another couple we met (Mr. Jerry and his wife, Nancy) kept us well-fed while we were there. It was a blessing and we had good conversations over meals together.
And…one morning Mr. Jerry offered to take us duck hunting. Although we would have to get up super early, we all decided to go (the waking time made some people more reluctant). After all, we had done trap shooting before, so it shouldn’t be too hard, right?
We used Mr. Jerry’s outfit supply…all meant for people taller than us. The results were rather hilarious. We saw many ducks and geese. We took many shots. And it turns out that shooting a flying bird is harder than shooting a clay pigeon. We did not bring one bird home.
But it sure was a lot of fun. We talked and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. We were quiet when it was necessary.
And, of course, no trip is complete without making new friends and seeing old ones.
Just when we were about as blessed as we could feel, our new friends Jerry and Nancy who fed us so well gave us ladies each a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
We were grateful for this whole trip, and being able to see God work. He opened up the door at the radio station, He allowed unsaved to hear the gospel, and He gave us lots of grace and strength to take this trip and sing without Mom. We were glad to see her when we got home! And, she’s feeling better these days.
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1