First Day of Work on the Reservation in Montana

The team met at the Blackfeet Community College with representatives of organizations from the local community. Representatives from the college, Care Center, Boys and Girls Club, and the Browning Community Development Center expressed their needs from us. After discussing assignments, the team split up to begin their first day of work.  I was assigned to serve at Head Start with Alexander and we traveled to Seville, where I mowed lawns and Alexander worked on the floors inside the building.

In the evening, five members of the group traveled to Tom Crawford’s sweat lodge in Heart Butte for an evening of prayer. Together with about 20 Indians we participated in the offering of prayer for various individuals proposed by the participants, including us. By bringing along tobacco and presenting it to the leader we submitted our prayer requests. The entire evening lasted from 6:30 until 11 o’clock, with periods of sweating and offering of prayers and songs with short breaks outside the lodge to cool off and to share fellowship with other guests. The basic concept is that by sweating “we are suffering for whom we are praying.”

When you submit a request, the individual sits in front of one of the leaders who offers the prayer and purpose of certain rituals on your back and head. After our last session we went into our host’s home for a healthy meal by our new found friends.

by John

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