Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chapter 11 - Back to the Rez

11. As he prepared his church group to go to the Rez, he tried to answer as many questions as he could. But each time he answered, he felt like a five year old being quizzed on physics. He knew a very little, but also knew he had so very much to learn.

He asked for permission to start a funding drive for shingles at his church.  After it was OK’d he gave a short presentation to the congregation asking for funds for the Remember Shingles Drive. He also sent out a plea online and to family and friends for support. In the weeks between the trips, he was able to raise almost $3000. He was astounded at the generosity of the Social Mission team at his church, the support from the congregation, and the very generous amount that his parents donated.

How on earth would he get $3000 worth of shingles out to the Rez, though?  They were heavy, and they would already be hauling eight people and all of their luggage. Jack talked with Ted, the director out at Re-Member. He suggested just putting the money into a Menards gift card. Then they would use it when they went up to Rapid City for supplies.  This idea appealed to Jack and so he built a little trailer (skirted, of course) and used gift cards as shingles on the top.

He was kept so busy by the preparations for the next trip that he didn’t have much time to ruminate on his first experience.  Although he had been in contact with some of those he had met, he was still nervous as he headed back to the Rez with a church group. But his dad would be along for the trip this time, and Jack was thankful that he could share the experience with him.  It would be a strange and wonderful week for him, though not for the reasons he expected.

Jack was excited to be back on the Rez. He felt like he was heading home as he drove the last few miles to the Re-Member camp.  He was shocked to drive up to the buildings and be greeted by a whole bunch of staff that he didn’t recognize. He would later learn that staff members are there for four to six weeks at a time.  The amount of work they do leads to burn out pretty fast, so they have short stints to avoid that.

He did see some familiar faces, and as Saturday passed he felt right at home again.  The groups from other places were fun to mingle with, and Jack was soon in the rack for the night, reflecting on the fact that he had not put his watch back on since the first trip out.  He fell asleep hoping for a stress free, fun week.


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