NOTE: Anne Lehan, a member of a short-term missions team that reached out to two local Indian Reservations this summer, tells her story and shares her thoughts, below.
In July 2014, Pastor Karl Thompson and Pastor Gordon Oliver led a Vacation Bible School on the Indian Reservations at Menominee and Stockbridge, Wisconsin. It was my privilege to spend my 5th year in Zoar with about 25 of my brothers and sisters in Christ from several Illinois and Wisconsin OP churches as we shared the Gospel with the children on the reservations.
The team lodged in the Zoar church for the week and was quickly knit together as a family, something that is vital to our spirit. That family spirit carried over when we went out to spend time with the children each day. Not only did we feel connected with each other, we were quickly connected with the children of the reservation. Some of us would initiate intense rounds of piggy-back rides, others would take up the dutiful call of coloring in the dugout, and others built sand castles – all while attempting to share with these kids the truth we hold so dear.
In addition to the crucial one-on-one time we spent with the kids (and while we had a captive audience – free lunch, hooray!) we put on a skit with a complimentary Bible lesson, along with a clear presentation of the Gospel from one of the pastors. The skit was another great moment when our cohesiveness as a team proved a great blessing. The children this year were very responsive to and receptive of the message we were sharing through the means of drama. Many children even remembered lessons learned from previous years’ skits and lessons. Praise the Lord!
What a blessing it is to see these children growing from year to year – remembering those of us with whom they’d had conversations in the past and being eager to re-start that conversation (while piggy-backing). A few members of the team who have been blessed with many years of Zoar experience have watched children grow up – a reality that is sometimes hard to take as a short-term missionary. Yet we trust that the seeds planted in that small time window will be nourished by the Spirit, and that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. It’s my prayer that the work that the Lord began on that reservation will continue to flourish.