Much is said and many try to make American’s feel guilty here in this country because we have more. God is the one that choices what country we are born in and to what parents.
In August of 2010, we went on a mission trip with our church to an Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota Indians’, people of Crazy Horse, the Sioux Nation, a proud and strong people. They are the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. We were at Pass Creek, one of the districts of the Pine Ridge.
I saw poverty that went way beyond what I grew up in. We at least had electricity in our home. We had cold running water inside the house. We had no bathroom. We used an outhouse, hot and smelly in the summer and cold and freezing in the winter. We had enough land to grow some food and raised chickens for eggs to sell.
At the reservation, I saw poverty way beyond what I or my parents of the depression area new. I meet one family that drank their water from a creek. Clothing was washed by hand and hung over a fence.
At the mission church, they have a 24/7 open bath facility. One for the females and one for the males, two each of showers stall, stools and sinks. People brought their own towels and wash rages. And toilet paper was not furnished as it always disappeared.
It is near the town of Allen SD. Google it and you will learn some amazing facts about poverty in this country.
We need to take care of Americans, Foreign missions are important. However, should we also have an equal concern for the poverty in our own country?
We visited a cemetery for what is called the Wounded Knee Massacre.
In this cemetery there was a section where no white person was allowed. The ground was very hilly and ruff so I stayed in the car. My husband respected this rule and did not go into the section where the mass grave was for those massacred that day. His ancestor’s were not even in this country at the time this happened, but he respected that wish of the Lakota people. He did not enter that area of the cemetery, only took photos for me.
Many do suffer from depression and many from hunger. Obesity is a big problem. Many churches and groups send clothing. However, even though some of the clothing was brand new, the sizes where small, at least for the people there. Large, extra large and 1, 2 and 3x sizes are needed for both male and female, in good condition. I helped sort some clothing. There were even several 3-piece men’s suits.
There no big shopping centers, no Wal-mart, Target and other large stores. The population has to be above 2,000 before they consider building in places like this. The medical clinic was open two days a week and the hospital was 200 miles away. There were no fast food places, no McDonald’s, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell’s. The obesity does not come from fast food.
It does come from the kind of foods they eat, like Indian fried bread. Deep fat fried flat bread, fill with taco stuff. That fried bread is oh so good and oh so fattening.
We did enjoy the mission trip. My husband fixed three vehicles, the toilet in the trailer in which we were staying and rescued a calico cat. I sewed and repaired things and sorted and set up first aid kits and helped sort though clothing donations.
We spent one day as tourists’. We went to Mount Rushmore and through the bad Lands. We drove through what is called the needle highway. The road at points is a single lane cut through the side of a mountain. On the flat land we were privileged to see a real live bison, just eating away at the side of the road. We did not get out of our car. I rolled down the window and took a photo.
There was a large PowPow gathering that year. Every year they have smaller local ones, but every year one location as one where tribes from all over come. This was one of those. We had worked all day and it was getting late. I was too tired to attend.
When we arrived home, we found a couple local PowPow’s in are area. I encourage all of you to attend different once as tribal customs very so from one tribe to another. There is another large one to be held in Dowagiac Michigan this year.
We were going to go back this year but the trip was canceled because the husband of the couple doing the planning was seriously ill this past winter. Maybe next year we can go again.
Poverty in this country needs to be addressed. I may be selfish here but I do believe our charity should begin here at home.