Some people wonder if taking a short-term Mission trip to Pine Ridge to build a Little Dream House is worth the effort. Take a look at the top 5 reasons this trip is a worthwhile investment and decide for yourself.
1. Huge Need - Small Distance
Technically the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, like all reservations, is a “domestic dependent nation.” It’s complicated, but, basically Pine Ridge is its own Nation. What is not complicated is that it’s the second poorest nation on earth behind only Hattie! 97% of the people live below the poverty level. The unemployment rate fluctuates between 85-95%. The average income is $2,600 – $3,500 a year! The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent - 300% above the national average! And it’s all with in a day’s drive of the Twin Cities, one of the most economically prosperous cities on the planet and home to the shopping MECCA of the country – the Mall of America!
2. An Opportunity to Right Some Wrongs
What was done to the native people many years ago was wrong. Our country didn’t just herd them up and force them to live on land no one else wanted – they weren’t allowed to move off the reservation even if they wanted to. Teaching children their native language in public school was not allowed until 1990 and Native Americans did not receive the right to vote until after African Americans for some that was well after World War II. Of course you didn’t personally create these problems and you can’t erase the years of resulting damage. But you can, as Jesus encouraged us to do, be a peacemaker. Your presence is more important then the presents you bring. Practical love in the name of Jesus is the best way to start the reconciliation process.
3. Practical Love in Action
It really can’t be put any better than James put it almost 2000 years ago: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” People in The Pine Ridge Reservation need housing! In Jesus, name and with His help we have developed a plan to help alleviate the greatest physical need for people at Pine Ridge. You can help them receive and build a house! It doesn’t get more practical or personal than that!
4. Relationships are the Building Blocks
When planning for a Little Dream House Building trip you better plan to pack your heart and bring it along with your hammer. Working together with a family to build a Little Dream House addition is an integral part of the architecture. Living generation after generation in poverty creates a desperate, almost impossible to break, cycle. A healing relationship and the resulting benefits can do much more to break the chains of poverty than walls, nails or shingles ever could. Kind words, heartfelt prayers, and healthy models are what turn a little Dream House into a Big Dream Home. Your relational investment is part of the infrastructure that helps hold it all together.
5. The Results will Follow You Home
Providing help to the people of Pine Ridge is only half of the equation! Helping you to live a life of significance is the other half. It may be possible to take a Little Dream House construction trip and come back unaffected. Possible… but highly unlikely! This experience is designed to stick to your spiritual ribs. You’ll be given the opportunity to continue to communicate with, pray for and offer assistance to your Little Dream House family. ServingChurch will provide onsite guides along with follow up materials to ensure that the effects of this trip will have the power to positively affect you for the rest of your life - and beyond!