Meet Luisa, new houseparent

It’s hard to believe we have been in Chamberlain, South Dakota, for almost six months.  The memories of being welcomed by the bright green rolling plains are quite vivid—it truly feels like yesterday!

Of course, it doesn’t take much for me to snap back to rationality and know it was in fact, not yesterday. One look down at my boots (encrusted with snow) or the sound of my husband yelling out in frustration from the shower “Luisa our pipes are frozen!” and I think to myself:  Nope.  It is definitely not August anymore.

As newcomers to the state and new houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School, the people we come in contact with often ask us where we come from.  When we say Florida people’s eyes get wide and the next question is “WHY are you here?”

Not only that, but when we called banks and other places in Florida to verify they had our new address, most of the strangers on the other line would outright chuckle and say something like “South Dakota? Wow, interesting…”

Ironically, what Jachin (my husband) and I both still wonder is why we never thought about coming here before.

We have both traveled to experience and study various cultures. We are both passionate about intercultural studies, helping the marginalized, and how God works through different people groups. Being a part of the work here at St. Joseph’s captures that and so much more.

In August we did more than just make an impulsive move across the country.

We committed to improving the lives and influencing the future of 12 Lakota boys and 12 Lakota girls.

Through these blog entries, I hope to share with you our adventures, their development, our laughter, our quest to help them reclaim their culture, and the lessons these incredible little ones have taught me.

Finally, I hope to give you a sneak peak of what life is really like at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Oh and I will definitely be sharing lots and lots of photos and videos! You may be far away but it will be nearly impossible for you not to feel the joy these kiddos bring to our life.

Let’s get started with some of my recent favorites.

Luisa and the Native American girls in the Afra Home.
The girls and me being silly.

The girls in the Afra Home have fun with Luisa.
Fun with Photoshop!

Jachin and the boys in the Ambrose Home take on the sledding hill.
All my boys sledding.

And the one that makes me laugh so hard it hurts, a video of the boys and I playing our animal game:


Psalm 127:3-5
 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

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 “Meet Luisa, new houseparent”

  1. I look forward to hearing more about your adventures. Keep influencing lives and making a positive change in the world. Through your writing, I’m very happy to be a part of the journey with you guys. Best wishes and you guys are in my thoughts always.

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