A YOUNG MISSIONARY’S JOURNEY
” I always play Easter music — loud — on Easter morning ! ” wrote our friend, a young woman who works for the Kingdom of GOD in South Dakota. “ So, I played the HALLELUJAH Chorus ! ”
” Our Sunrise Service was beautiful out here … and I imagine it was the ONLY Sunrise service in the country attended by drunks! But thankfully, they did not cause a problem.”
Our friend, Shanna, teaches in a small Christian School in South Dakota under the auspices of Olive Branch Mennonite Missions.
Her REAL work, however, is evangelizing the young and old she meets in this bleak, out-of-the-way place, among the Native Peoples of the Lakota-Sioux tribes on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.
Here is her recent report about her experiences.
” GOD is faithful! That is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the months I have lived in South Dakota. I do love it here, the rugged, wild hills… the town with its dear but hurting people… and the many opportunities we have to share CHRIST Who+ is Life.
I can’t say it has all been easy. I have had struggles along the way. But those are what The LORD is using to stretch me and show me that I can’t do it on my own.
Since being here, I have seen greater than ever
my need of depending completely on HIM+
for wisdom, for strength,
for even enthusiasm and love.
I recall one day when I was feeling weary of ministering to people and was frustrated with myself. I was struggling to even have a love for the girls that I work with in the evening. Going for a walk, I was headed out of town, but somehow my steps found me turning to climb a hill where some children were sledding.
Soon, I was enjoying being with these youngsters who were doing the best they could with the sledding material they had. Some were using cardboard and broken sled pieces.
Suddenly… one of the girls couldn’t find her glasses. She had put them in her pocket and went for a slide down the hill and now they were gone. Lost. Probably covered over with the white snow.
I could tell she was distressed, so I started helping her look for them. As we went up and down the hill, I was feeling less and less confident that we would find the glasses. I prayed quietly to myself, but a persistent thought told me I should stop and PRAY OUT LOUD with the girl.
I found my faith wavering under fear.
GOD didn’t answer with a “Yes ” ?
Then what ?
Finally, I told the sad girl we should pray about it, so I stopped and prayed out loud as I was led to do, asking The LORD to help us find the glasses.
The search continued. Then I heard a glad cry near the bottom of the hill. The lost was found !
I prayed ALOUD to thank The LORD for answering this prayer!
As I left the hill that afternoon, my heart rejoiced !
HE+ had showed Himself+ mighty once again,
even in the small things.
As a teacher, I spend a lot of my time with just a small group of children. This has its own challenges, but it’s also a great opportunity for impact. I was reminded of this when I found a note scribbled to me in a student’s text / workbook: ” I am watching you, Shanna.”
Though this student likely did not intend the note to mean what it did to me, I was sobered by it.
I am being watched by many pairs of eyes.
What I say, how I respond,
what I laugh at —
— all my choices are being observed.
Oh, I long for CHRIST and His+ Kingdom to be exalted here!
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Shanna teaches grades 2-8 through the day in the Mission’s Christian school and in the evening, works with the neighbors she meets in this small town… all for the love of JESUS CHRIST . She has left the comfort of her family home to minister JESUS to these “dear but hurting” people in far away South Dakota. May The LORD reward her faithfulness to Our LORD JESUS CHRIST, as she shares HIM+, in season and out , by both Word and by example.
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Matthew 9: 35-38
And JESUS went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
But when HE+ saw the multitudes, HE+ was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Then saith HE+ unto His+ disciples,
The harvest truly is plenteous,
but the laborers are few;
Pray ye therefore the LORD of the harvest,that HE will send forth laborers into his harvest.
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