Why are you doing this is the question often asked of members of the Calvary Baptist Church South Dakota mission team. While the answers might vary from the 70-plus volunteers who have served in the mission since 2014, the central theme would be the same—Say Yes to God. Jesus was not crucified between two candles on a church altar. He was crucified in the world, and that is where we need to take the message.
This July 4, 16 volunteers, pre-teens to mid-seventies, will depart Orlando for the Lake Traverse Reservation/Sisseton in South Dakota, the purpose to find a common ground with individuals so that Christ may be shared. To do this, the mission group has held firm to a commitment to meet, know, serve and share Jesus by returning annually to the same geographic area, and when returning to Arcadia, leaving a local source of support and love through Eagle’s Nest Baptist Church, which is on the reservation.
“I feel it in my heart that we need to serve these communities with the love of Christ so His work can be continued well after our visit,” team leader Denise Harn said at a recent planning meeting.
Activities during the time on the reservation will include community events with food, music, games and a spiritual based skit, nursing home visits and a special visit to Wacinyan Tipi (House of Hope), a homeless shelter whose mission it is to restore the basic integrity and dignity of each individual who passes through its doors.
Relationship building activities will also include participation in the 152nd Annual Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Wacipi (SWO Powwow) in Agency Village, South Dakota. The word Wacipi is “a gathering of the people to celebrate with traditional songs and dances.” The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Wacipi is the oldest powwow in South Dakota and the second oldest in the nation (started in 1867). Today, powwows are still very much a part of the lives of members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.
Before this team leaves for South Dakota, Calvary Baptist will be conducting additional mission activities here in Arcadia. This Saturday (April 20), 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., a Spring Festival will be held on Calvary Baptist grounds, 1509 E. Oak St. The event includes Easter cookie decorating, bounce houses, games, egg hunt and an Easter based presentation. Admission is free and includes hot dogs and popcorn. The community is invited. www.cbcarcadia.org.