HSMT 2016 – Day 6 (Friday)

I can’t believe that it is already Friday evening. It is amazing how quickly this week flew by. It was has been a wonderful week of serving and learning about God’s heart for the broken, lost, and forgotten. I am so proud of our students for their hard work and positive attitudes. Never once this week did we have to correct a student for poor behavior. Rarely did we have to get on students for being sluggish and unmotivated to do the work. All in all God has blessed us with a great week of service.

This morning we were able to knockout the trail build for Dakota Sonshine. Our students jumped right in with shovels, pick axes and rakes to get it done. I wish you could see just how they encouraged one another as they worked together. It is a wonderful thing to be in the presence of fellow believers, working together for a common purpose and lifting one another up throughout it. After finishing we took a moment to pray and dedicate the trail to God.

Afterward the students went out in groups of 4 to prayer walk the campgrounds of Dakota Sonshine. Without hesitation they began going out. It was great getting to hear their prayers; prayers for God to move and for the devil to have no hold over the children that would come to the weekly camps. We know that spiritual warfare is a real thing and that Satan is very active in this area. Prayer walking and asking for God’s presence in this place is so important for the life of the children that come. We pray that God will continue to be magnified in this place as the children see God’s power over the demonic.

After lunch we received news that 4 campers at Dakota Sonshine this week put their faith and trust in Christ! How awesome is that? A few of them got baptized this afternoon as well. Please pray for them as they have gone home. We know that in this culture there is a lot of shaming for those that walk away from the traditional beliefs. For many of these children their faith will be tested right away as they get home and their families shames them for their decision. They will have to make a decision to lose their family and follow Christ or lose Christ to please their family. Pray they will have the boldness to continue in their faith in God.

During the afternoon we took our last trip out to the villages. Throughout the week 4 of our students helped with the staff at Dakota Sonshine, since their jobs were done they were able to join in with the rest of the group. There were tons of great discussions out in the villages and that is because of your prayers. I know that one of our students had some wonderful conversations with a girl on her site and was able to give her her own Bible so that she would be able to continue learning about God. Another student was blessed to hear a kid ask him to read a Bible story after speaking to him about God all week. These are just a few of the many conversations that happened today. We know that God is alive and moving. It is so hard to leave these kids as we go, we have to trust that God will raise up workers to care for them, water the truth in their lives and see it come to fruition of genuine faith.

As we retuned to camp we took the night to go in town. We had a fun time visiting the Nicollet Tower, which gives views of three states. We also spent a moment driving up to the Minnesota border and hanging out by Lake Traverse. It was great getting to see our students let their hair down and be silly for a night (its one of the best things they do). We finished up our time out by getting ice cream at Dairy Queen. While at DQ we ran into two children that we had been ministering to all week. It was a joy to see them and they had a fun time getting to see us outside of the normal element.

This trip has been special. God has had his thumbprint all over it. I know that He will continue to make His name known here even while we are gone. We are thankful that He was willing to use us during this week even though He doesn’t need to. Thank you for your prayer. Thank you for your notes of encouragement, they mean so much! Please continue to pray for the children that we have been with. Their lives will go back to normal and that is not an easy life. Please pray for us as we travel. Pray that we will not stop sharing the Good News just because we are leaving South Dakota. Pray that we will continue the attitude we had here as we go home and get back into our weekly routines.

-Ben

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