19 Jun Why I’m returning to Pine Ridge Reservation
‘I want to see God in action’
This summer will be the second time on the Pine Ridge Trip as a high schooler. My first pilgrimage was two years ago, and I bonded with a girl named Heaven. I still remember the rush of joy I felt when she flung her arms around my back, making me feel truly loved. I poured out my love into Heaven in the form of friendship bracelets, piggy back rides, swing pushes, crafts, and hugs. I also spent time with other sweet kids, like Ally, who was happy from simply being able to hold my hand. Knowing what most of these kids have experienced, (inadequate housing, limited education, abuse/assault, drugs and alcohol) it was hard to believe how full of joy they were. My motive for returning is to have another experience of pouring out my heart to the most lovely kids in the entire world, and to hopefully see Heaven again and form new friendships. I want to see God in action.
Additionally, the history of Native Americans being oppressed and cheated by the U.S. hit me as just appalling, and I want to learn more about the history and continuation of injustice and maltreatment by the U.S. Government. Going to the Reservation is totally different than reading about it. Through the firsthand experience and creation of relationships with real people, it becomes a firm part of your life… your journey… your pilgrimage.