Pine Ridge, SD – Weekly Report – Sept 9-13, 2019

September 16, 2019

September 8th was the day of new arrivals for Pine Ridge, they brought in much enthusiasm and a bit of an international flair. Three repeat MDS volunteers, Joshua Neufeld from Manitoba, Lynn Bontrager from Ohio, and Dennis Lehmann from right here in South Dakota, all returned for another round of service. Logan Cook from Michigan, new to MDS, spent all last summer serving Pine Ridge with other organizations. Other first timers with MDS are Cal Epps from Ontario, and winning the prize for most miles traveled to arrive at a single MDS site is Julian Battye from Manchester UK. All the different accents and terms of language amongst the group made for a few entertaining dinner conversations.

Dan Wiebe our Project Director from Manitoba, kept things running smoothly and well organized . His family; Pamela our wonderful cook, Brianna, Brenten, Caleb, Corey, not only worked hard, kept things organized and befriended the new arrivals, but also delighted us with another sing along for devotions Wednesday morning. It was fun to sing “This Is The Day” with full instrumentation.

Henry and Jane Dyck from Manitoba, grandpa and grandma to the Wiebe crew, served another week in Pine Ridge also, continuing to work on the crew and as assistant cook respectively.

David Norris, crew leader from New York, and Mitch Kingsley, crew leader from Ohio, had bigger crews to manage this week and they accomplished a lot with the extra man (and woman) power.

At Merle’s house Mitch’s crew finished the drywall work, primed and painted the entire interior, painted trim, set the kitchen cabinets, built window boxes, installed half the flooring, and began the ramp off the back porch.

At the Volunteer Center Dave’s crew sheet rocked two closets, put OSB on the ceiling so the three garage bay doors could be installed, furred out walls, completed the catwalk, installed 15 doors, put on 11 door locks, installed proper vents, framed garage wall and cleaned that 15,000 sq foot building with several trips to the transfer station. Dan prepared the order for 300 sheets of sheetrock.

Wednesday Steve from Emergency Management joined us for dinner and shared his perspective of life on the reservation and his hopes for the future and for Emergency Management. 

Mitch lead his choir in the special song they prepared. Wanting to surprise those working on the job site, Michele WhiteEagle, office manager from Idaho, and Pamela performed a special song for them in return. Several in the group attended a Lakota language class on Thursday night at the Gospel Fellowship.

It has been a great week in Pine Ridge. Thanks to Julian, Dennis, Henry, Jane, and Michele who are all leaving us this weekend.