Pine Ridge, SD – Weekly Report – July 15-19, 2019

August 8, 2019

This week (July 15-19) began a three week stretch of SYP volunteers.  This week’s group of 15 came from Altona, MB, Canada.  They represented the Summerfeld Mennonite Church.

A number of volunteers worked on Jhacee’s house and Tammy’s house.  Most of it was caulking, painting, concreting a landing area for the main entrance/exit steps.  Medicine cabinets installed medicine cabinets at Jhacies.  Others worked at Susan’s house removing and replacing shingles.  The balance of the work this week was at the Volunteer Center.  With regards to the Volunteer Center the Storm Aid group from Indiana started placing short trusses, completed placed the center trusses, and partially covered them with OSB.  Later in the week they did form work for the command center pour.  On Thursday the pour was done for the sides of the command center.  OSB installation for the roof with the short and center trusses completed.  Finally some fascia work done and forms removed from command center concrete pour.  A couple of groups of SYP volunteers assisted in installing hurricane hangers and some sheeting. 

Roland Stutzman arrived Monday to relieve Gary from Office Manager duty for a couple weeks.  Noah and Jesse wrapped up their 10 month LT volunteer stint.  We had a thank you party one evening for them.

We plan to continue working on Jhacie and Tammy’s houses and hopefully have them ready for dedication by next week.  We will also continue working on the Volunteer Center minus the Storm Aid group. 

Volunteer Reflection from Jesse Yoder, MDS long term volunteer:

Pennsylvania, I’m back (for now?). When I left you I was tired, bitter, and burnt out. I had many questions, and very few answers. I wanted to get away, do something tangible, and see America. Over the past 10 months I had the opportunity to learn many new things, meet tons of new people, and see countless places I never would have seen had I remained at home. I learned that while living in community is tiring at times because of people, it is also worthwhile because of people. I learned how to speak up about things that matter while remaining silent about things that don’t really matter. I learned that we are all crooked souls in need of God’s grace as we try to stand up straight, and that’s okay. I learned that people care a whole lot more about what you do, rather than what you think or say. I witnessed firsthand radical generosity from people who were impoverished and radical outpourings of love from people who were hurting from disasters. I return to you a little older and perhaps a little wiser. I still have lots of questions, but I have a few more answers as well. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know that God is good and that’s all that matters.