Ellen Mustoe has returned from a mission trip to Eagle Butte, S.D., among the Lakota Indians. She worked with the people of First Baptist Church of Eagle Butte in conducting a Vacation Bible School program and other outreach activities from June 16-25. She said the weather was cool.
The Washington resident traveled with 30 others to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. The mission has been going on for about 20 years, and Ellen has participated for 16 years.
At least five different churches from Virginia and Maryland participated on the trip, although the project is now based at the Hamilton Baptist Church in Hamilton, Va.
The Cheyenne River Sioux are one of the currently recognized five tribes of the Great Sioux Nation. Based at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in north-central South Dakota, the tribe suffers from extreme poverty, Ellen explained. Ziebach County, one of two counties where the reservation is located, ranked as the country’s second poorest county in 2010. Data gathered through various sources suggest an undeniable connection between alcohol abuse and a higher-than-average mortality rate on the reservation.
“It has a high rate of depression and suicide,” said Ellen.
According to the 2010 census, the reservation’s population of some 1,300,has a median income of less than $18,000, and an unemployment rate said to be as high as 87 percent. Less than one quarter of the children who start school at age 5 will graduate from high school, and most who do graduate go to college, trade school or into the military and do not return to the reservation.
“Although Eagle Butte is only two times zones away from us,” Ellen said, “it has been likened to a third-world country.”
In Eagle Butte, Ellen served on a team that conducted a Vacation Bible School for 85 children and 12 adults. Supper was provided each evening before study time, and a basketball camp brought in some 25 teenagers in Eagle Butte and another 15 in nearby Cherry Creek. Another activity, Ellen said, was the “Off the Wall,” program, a time of fellowship and Bible study that she said attracted many of the young people who used to hang out in front of an abandoned building across the street from the church.
Also assisting the team were Pastor Ben and Tiffany Farrar of First Baptist Church, and Amy and Clint Holly, local Baptist missionaries serving at the Windswept Academy Christian School, where Clint is headmaster.
Ellen said many positive results have occurred from the missionary work. One of the young people who attended at an earlier time said he wanted “what the people who came from the Virginia churches had,” because they were so joyful and loving. His name is Ivan Uses the Knife, and he has put into print several Christian comic books that he designed and wrote.
If you would like more information about the mission project, call Ellen at 540-675-3233.
Kevin Adams, who as you might have read was selected as the 2017 Artist in Residence for Shenandoah National Park — ensconced with his paints and brushes for two weeks recently in the park wilderness — will present one of his resulting 40 paintings to the park for its permanent collection.
As for the remaining 39 canvases?
Kevin will be showing this new body of work later this year or early next year: location and dates TBA. Until then, he will be posting the new paintings on his website: www.kevinhadams.com and he will also have the works of art in his studio at 337 Gay Street in Washington.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual Rappahannock 4-H Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on Tuesday August 1, at the Rappahannock County Park from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. They will provide hot dogs, chips, watermelon and water. The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office will be providing snow cones. There will also be a moon bounce for the kids. Please bring a covered dish to share. RSVP by July 24.
Birthday wishes go out to Ginger Miller of Washington. She will celebrate her special day on July 13. Also wishes go out to her husband, Roger Miller, who will celebrate his day on July 20. Best wishes to you both.
Good Old Days
Rosie Wharton from Sperryville has been writing poems for more than 50 plus years. This is just one of many, titted Good Old Days:
I went back to the old home place
Where I was born and raised,
I opened the door and walked inside,
And remembered the Good Old Days.
I smelled momma’s homemade biscuits,
Saw my dad in his favorite chair,
Oh how it really took me back
The little time I spent in there,
I could see my brothers goofing off
Just like they always did,
My sisters talking about some boy
With love going through their head.
I could look out in the field and see two horses pulling a plow,
Turning over a field of ground to put in a crop somehow,
Mom planting her vegetables garden
with tomatoes, beans and corn,
I can’t remember going hungry
since the day that I was born,
Family coming by on Sundays
for dinner and spend the day,
Children laughing and playing
these memories never go away,
Livestock grazing in the fields,
Birds chirping in the trees,
I felt I was home again
As i got down on my knees.
I said, Lord thank you for this day
And for bringing me back here,
And the memories of my childhood
And the people I hold so dear.
Stay cool and have a wonderful week!