Pine Ridge, SD – Weekly Report – Sept 2-6, 2019

September 13, 2019

September started with an entirely new crew in Pine Ridge, including first time Project Director, Dan Wiebe from Manitoba, first time office manager, Michele WhiteEagle from Idaho, and first time crew leader, Mitch Kingsley from Ohio. The project is still standing at the end of our first week!  All have served MDS in other capacities and are stretching their leadership abilities.

Pamela Wiebe, Dan’s wife, has sufficiently fed the crew and popping buttons prove it. Pamela’s assistant Jane Dyck, is also from Manitoba. They are a fantastic team…..like they have worked together for years……oh wait, they have! Jane is Pamela’s mother.

Dan and Pam’s four children, Brianna, Brenten, Caleb, and Corey are also on site, they are hardworking, engaging, and talented kids. Brianna created a sort of Banjo taping machine to assist the work of mudding and taping in Merle Locke’s new build, making the job easier and more efficient. Corey has helped everyone on the crew doing various tasks around camp. On Sunday evening the Wiebe’s set up their instruments and treated the volunteers to a concert.

The Wiebe’s are serving a year long term with MDS so Pamela’s parents came to Pine Ridge as volunteers and to catch up with their family. While Grandma works in the kitchen Grandpa Henry has been at Merle’s working with grandkids on drywall finishing. Mitch is leading the crew and reported on Tuesday that the crew was “Still weeping with the seed, singing will come when we get done with the drywall compound.” Mitch is doing great, and doing double duty….during breaks the crew is practicing a song to share, so singing really will come. In recognition of their fantastic work the group shall be named the “Fine Mudders Quarter”. Mitch reported later in the week “the sunflowers (field across from Merle’s) are bowing lower”….so the Quartet must be really good! The trim has been ordered for Merle’s so painting of all sorts shall commence next week.

Returning volunteer, David Norris from New York, is leading the crew at the Volunteer Center. The crew is handling this big job….all two of them! Brenten is using his brains and the brawn to make some modifications to the building, including moving a wall so the plumber can get showers installed. David and Brenten shimmed out walls, put in blocking for sheetrock, furred out walls, installed framing on walls and windows, installed door vents, and built an access hole into the attic. This crew has constant visitors to the site, including Homeland Security, they are hospitable and yet productive. On Friday the twosome were joined by two local workers who helped install OSB on the garage ceiling to prepare for roll up door installation.

On Wednesday the project had a visit from Jeff Koller along with guest Brenda Fox, from Colorado. Brenda is establishing Prayerstream, a ministry combining her passion for vintage Airstream trailers and disaster ministry by creating a long term, temporary safe and nurturing place for those affected by or serving in disaster recovery to come for prayer and respite.

Jeff shared his first person perspective on disaster as he and his wife personally navigate disaster recovery. Our condolences and prayers are with Mr and Mrs Koller.

On Saturday the crew awoke to discover new additions on campus searching for breakfast outside the dining hall. The skills of these new and sizable additions are in question as they have only made messes that volunteers have to clean up…. with shovels! These steeds need to go back to the pasture they came from.

Dan, Pamela, Mitch, David, and Michele