Thursday, June 26, 2008

Zion Youth Mission Trip

On our mission trip we went with a group called Youth Works (http://www.youthworks.com/). Very well organized and nicely run. The group is there for the whole summer working in the community with new teams coming in every week. Where our group went was Martin, SD. It's a town which is situated in between two Indian Reservations. It was a life changing experience and really opened the eyes of the students who went on the mission trip. I know John is looking forward to the next mission trip that we will take next year. When they arrived at Martin there were 4 church groups that were there and they wanted to split up each of the groups so that there would be interaction in between the groups. John had the boys so all the pictures we have are of the guys and none of the girls from our group. They were able to scrap and paint two houses (all the groups) and I think that's pretty amazing. The house that the guys worked was owned by a woman who had just lost her husband and she was running the farm so this was just a way for them to check one thing of her to do list. The funny thing was that some birds had made her house there house and she liked them there so the kids had to work around scrapping and painting around the birds nests. Here's some more information taken from the Youth Works website:


American Indian
There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about American Indians. On a YouthWorks' mission trip, those stereotypes will be broken down as you learn from a reservation's rich heritage and culture. Your group will have the opportunity to lead a YouthWorks Kids Club and take part in house painting, and if possible, minor home improvement projects.


Surrounded by the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Indian reservations, the town of Martin, South Dakota offers unique access to the Lakota culture. There also are plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors by hunting and fishing, or taking advantage of local golf courses, bike paths and athletic fields. Just like the reservations it borders, however, the town struggles with poverty and the sometimes-tense relations between ethnic groups. Your group will shine the light of Christ in this community through home improvement projects and by serving the local children and elderly residents.


Demographics
The town of Martin, South Dakota is the county seat of Bennett County. Bordered by the rugged Dakota Badlands to the north and the Sandhills of Nebraska to the south, Martin’s terrain is relatively flat. It is a wheat-growing and cattle-producing area with a population of about 1,500. The racial makeup of the city is primarily white (54 percent) and Native American (38 percent). While the Native Americans in Martin live off the reservation, they still retain important connections with the reservation community. The city’s position between two reservations has produced racial tensions between Martin residents and the Indian tribes, but the people of these communities are now making efforts to be more sensitive to one another. The area also is home to many low-income families. Nearly 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. You will be blessed as you work alongside the residents of this community to reach out to those most in need of your ministry.


About the Ministry
We focus on two primary areas of ministry: children and home improvement. Our work with children consists of a hands-on afternoon program led by your youth, known as Kids Club. Kids Club offers high-energy games, crafts, skits, songs and interactive lessons all designed to help kids learn about Jesus. Work projects include minor home repair and painting projects. Your group’s willingness to refresh a worn out exterior of a house with a new coat of paint brings real hope and an opportunity to share the love of Christ. Adult leaders will separate youth into ministry groups, and the youth in your group will be mixed with the youth from other groups for their week of service. Due to multiple church groups and varying needs of the community, we cannot confirm until all groups arrive on site exactly what service your youth will be involved with. We ask that you come to serve with a willing and flexible spirit.

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