June 14 – Enter here to learn – Montana

The words in Brother Paul’s office window: “Enter here to learn, leave here to serve,” I believe says it all. I have to say, my knowledge of the Blackfeet Indians was very little, but what insight I have been given by words and vision from our team leader Michele and her assistant, Joe. Because of them, I’m prepared to meet and serve my Indian brothers and sisters.

My first work day found me and my teamates first unloading boxes full of donated clothing and bedding items for the local veterans’ office to be used for the “Stand Down” ceremony and Give Away at Government Square on Wednesday and Thursday. Working side-by-side and seeing their smiles to me speaks volumes.

From unloading the semi-truck, we went to the Blackfeet Community College greenhouse where Shirley, a 7-year cancer survivor, works. She’s a very sweet local lady, and we look forward to coming back to help her plant trees. I then was assigned to work at the Blackfeet Care Center, and had the privilege of meeting and playing checkers with one of the residents, Lester Smith. He really got a kick out of “skunking” me, but oh, the fun I had – and I so enjoyed his warm smile. (Yes, he beat me three times, but I beat him two!)

Following the checkers match, I joined an exercise class for the residents. When we finished, we enjoyed an ice cream sandwich….it was yum, yum good!

Shaunelle, the activities director, two other local volunteers, and I then went outside to clean out a storage shed. Working alongside the local women, with the touching and laughing, I realized yes, we’re all alike in so many ways, but yet different, which is A-OK. Shaunelle had many things from the shed to donate to the Boys and Girls club, so we packed it up into the Global Volunteers van.
Time went by fast…and it’s been a BLAST! I truly am having fun! I went back “home” to the school, had supper with the team, did dishes and then went out sightseeing and photo taking with my daughter for a while. What beautiful sights. And, of course she got to see some horses, and if you knew my daughter, you’d know she was in “Seventh Heaven.”

After we showered and were settling in for the night, a young man opened our door and waved…I waved back. He closed the door, and my inquiring mind got to working, so I got up to see him standing by the front door. He said he was looking for a preacher here at the church school to pray for him. Both Brothers Paul and Ray were long gone for the day, so after a short prayer with him, Michele took him to the community shelter for the night. We never know how we can serve! May we all go into the world with love for our Brothers and Sisters. Love IS the answer!

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