Lift them up in prayer

I met the newest member of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s staff  Emily, who will be our photographer and creative technician. You’ll soon see the fruits of her labor in the pictures that help chronicle the day-to-day activities and living history of St. Joseph’s Indian School. She will also help with all the brochures and newsletters we send out, so she will have plenty to do in the office. While our elementary students are away for spring break, it’s a good time to settle in and get to know other staff. Once the kids return, I’m sure Emily will enjoy testing her photographic skills.

While the school is quiet, the business office is running at full speed. In the last few weeks we’ve mailed out many dreamcatchers for our Spring Acquisition mail. Every year we have tried to interest new donors in our cause. There are tremendous needs all around the country and all around the world. As the donations, that keep us going, come in I am so grateful for people’s generosity to St. Joseph’s Indian School. Our director of finance also met with me to go over the budgets that we will present to our Board of Directors next month.

Besides the mail, we get lots of phone calls. Some are pleasant ones – people wanting to donate, folks with questions about the school, some wanting another dreamcatcher or prayer-book or item we’ve sent out. Some people don’t want to receive any more mail, and we’re happy to take their name off our mailing list. A few folks are angry that we’ve mailed them an appeal, and take it out on staff answering the phones. I stopped by to visit Tina and Melissa who shared about a few people who were just mean to them over the phone. Sometimes sharing the burden helps. When I field angry phone calls, I remind myself that the person may be having pressures and struggles that I know nothing about, and I try to be kind and understanding and maybe even lift them up in prayer.

The maintenance crew was working in the Dining Hall, taking advantage of the empty lunch room to install new energy-efficient lights in the kitchen. We’ve been doing that for several years now. On a good-sized campus, you have to plan that out over many years and we still have plenty of older light fixtures around.

I practiced with William and Kuwa, two of our freshmen boys who will represent St. Joseph’s Indian School at the April donor luncheons in Kansas City. They’re both somewhat nervous, but that’s why practice is so important – to help them overcome their fear of public speaking and realize that people are very interested in their perceptions and experiences, hopes and dreams.

I stopped for supper at the Hogebach Home (high school girls). Our two seniors there both have an acute case of senioritis, and are counting down the days until their May 22nd graduation. Both are making plans for attending the colleges where they’ve been accepted. We didn’t have enough grade school students who needed to stay on campus to warrant a separate Spring Break Home this year, but two junior high girls are staying in Hogebach this week until their own home reopens on Sunday.  They’ve interacted well with the other girls, but their older sister did give them a warning about going into her room and using her stuff without asking first. We face most of the same issues here that any family with kids faces!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

2 thoughts on “Lift them up in prayer”

  1. And facing these issues is what makes you SUCH A PAPA GRANDE.! What a job you HAVE..and what a great job you do..!
    May God keep your children out of harm’s way..
    Mia and Bob

  2. Just as is true of our biological parents, the houseparents at St. Joseph’s have probably the single most important and influential jobs on campus. The parents in a home shape and effect EVERY aspect of a child’s life, not simply in the present but into the distant future. How wonderful and how challenging their roles are!

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