August 6, 2012 – Fort Yates, North Dakota

Day 2 of our Standing Rock adventure is now complete with much to show for it. As we had yesterday, we assembled in the lobby of our hotel and travelled in a caravan of vehicles to Tipi Wikan for breakfast together and a devotional before beginning our work day.

We were called from our breakfast tables to the chapel by the rhythmic drum and haunting chant of Native American song. “Yaweh is with you. You are a mighty warrior. You are a chosen warrior for I have made you strong. Go in this might of yours for I have made you strong. Yahweh is with you so do not be afraid.” Bonnie George and Betsy Young led our devotion service with scripture selections from Philippians as well as the Gospels of Matthew and John. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Ph 4:19)

The question posed was whether Jesus needs us, too. Yes, he does. Just as Jesus needed the loaves and fish to feed the multitude (Jn 6:9), the boat in which to preach to the gathered crowd (Mt 13:2), the young donkey on which to ride into Jerusalem (Mt 11:13), and his disciples to spread the good news (Mt 10:7), Jesus needs us to carry on the work he began with the eleven commissioned on the Gallilean mountain. (Mt 28:16-20).

And without further ceremony, we broke into work groups and began the tasks of the day as if we 26 from different churches and faith backgrounds had spent as many weeks together already. The construction group had siding peeled back within minutes and had validated and adjusted the original plan to fit the need. Our organizing team got to work on converting storage space into a pastor’s study. Our ladies spa night group began organizing supplies, and with the help of our professional cosmetologist, Bonnie George, had learned new skills to make the ladies of Cannon Ball feel beautiful and special. Our VBS team began to organize their space and prepare for the lessons soon to come.

A special blessing experienced today was the surprise our lumber and supplies purchasing team discovered as it checked out at Lowes’s with $1,200 in building supplies needed for the covered walkway project. Among the many unmarked gift cards of $25 or less accumulated by members of our respective congregations was an anonymously given card with $500 value on it. What a fantastic moment to go from barely covering the cost of supplies to bringing back over $600 in reserve gift cards for other projects desperated needed by Pastor Boots and Jackie. Praise God indeed!

Yes, Jesus needs us; and, we move forward into the remainder of this week knowing that God will provide us our needs as we serve in his Son’s name. Amen.