Mission Trips

2014 Mission Trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

In July 2014 a group of 7 high school students and 4 adults traveled to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for a youth mission trip.  The intent was to learn about the life, past and present, of the native Lakota Indians, and to perform service work as well.  A large part of a mission to an Indian reservation was to learn about the injustices and suffering, and then to return and educate others.  This was our second youth trip to Pine Ridge.

Three Years Ago

Mini Round HouseOur 2011 trip was a week long experience where your high school youth and accompanying adults learned about the Lakota Indians and perform service projects in this, the poorest county in the United States.  The trips are run by an organization called Lutheran’s Outdoors. Participants stayed in a house that was refurbished for visiting groups by a Lutheran Church group from Ames Iowa, lead by a former member of First Lutheran, David Krumm.

Some of the activities included visiting the Ogalala Lakota College, listening to an elder and eating a meal  cooked by his daughters, visiting the radio station an learning the story of the station manager.  We visited Red Cloud School (a Girls Playing in MandersonCatholic private school for native children), and visited the burial place for Red Cloud. We learned about wounded knee, visited the ONLY grocery store on the reservation, and cleaned a woman’s yard as a service project, as well as giving cloths donated by Skiff Medical Center in Newton.  Every day we had play time and snack time with the town children, and listened to many stories about experiences of various natives living there.   Daily morning devotions and evening Bible study were an important part of the trip.  One evening Bible study was done butte in the bad lands at dusk, which was very moving.

 Other Mission Trips in Recent Years

In 2008 a group of 21 traveled to Mwanza, Tanzania, to work on the hospital being built by the medical mission organization International Health Partners.  We worked on the birthing ward.  Tanzania has among the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.  It is for this reason that the birthing ward was among the early phases of hospital expansion.  First Lutheran has tentative plans for another mission trip to Tanzania, to IHPs current project, a children’s hospital in Zinga.

In 2012 a group of First Lutheran youth traveled to New Orleans, to the Lutheran Youth Gathering.  This is an annual national convention.  First Lutheran chose to participate in 2012 because of the location in New Orleans, and its focus on recovery for hurricane Katrina.