Cheyenne River Youth Project
Eagle Butte, South Dakota
After a long (did I mention long?) bus ride from Kansas City to Eagle Butte our team of 28 youth and adults arrived in the beautiful community of Eagle Butte, South Dakota. The scenery on the way in was something to behold; it was like an ocean of grass, one that seemed to be greeting us with gentle waves of welcome. We were met by Kaitlin, a college student working here for the summer as a site assistant. She gave us a brief tour of our meeting area but we were most interested in getting to sleep. Our quarters are very cramped (did I mention they are cramped?) but sleep came easy for most after an exhausting day.
This morning, following a healthy and tasty breakfast, we went through an orientation with Tami, one of the staff members here. We learned a little of the history of the project–its been going now for 20 years–and we spent some time listening as she explained how to work with the children here on site and in the community. The afternoon was filled with crafts, games, relationship building and more.
The most exciting part of our day came during the tornado warning. You’ve not experienced life to its fullest until you and 31 of your closest friends (some of the local youth were with us) are all crammed into a boy’s bathroom. Following a soulful rendition of Kum Ba Yah we were finally released and got back to our normal routine.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to work in the center’s organic garden, begin to organize for a shoe drive that will happen later this week and participate in general clean up around the project buildings. Our young people are a wonder to behold. Many of these kids did not know each other prior to leaving Kansas City but they have already bonded (that is what can happen when you are stuck in a bathroom during a tornado). Many new friendships are forming and beginning again. They have also done a great job of integrating into the life of the center. You would be very proud of the way they are building relationships with our new partners in ministry here. They are wonderful representatives of Country Club Christian Church.
We will update as we are able. Right now the dinner bell is ringing and I’m hungry!
Grace and Peace to you all,