If I had to describe the 2017 Wind River Trip in one word it would be WOW; what the children did in saving and raising money for the van is truly awesome. I was fortunate to be part of a three person group to drive the van from St John's to Wind River Wyoming.
Here we are with part of the mission team:
The van itself is fun to drive. It handles well, has great air conditioning and has good power with a heavy load.
What I found totally surprising is how beautiful the ride here is. We had a chance to go through Owl Canyon in Colorado and through some truly impressive vistas in Wyoming. Here is a picture that I know won't do justice to the beauty of the trip.
We stay in the town of Lander Wyoming which is just outside the Wind River reservation. This town and the accommodations far exceeded my expectations. It's a quaint place with many :small boutique stores, inviting restaurants, coffee shops and ice cream stands. You can even see the pronghorn antelope cut through the hotel grounds.
The mission work taken on at the Lutheran Wind River Mission Church is an incredibly great cause. They are trying to bring The church and it's teaching and especially the ethics and morale responsibility of Christianity to the Shoshone and Arapaho Indians.
What seemed clear is that the combination of drugs, lack of employment opportunity, gangs and the general apathy of today's society has led to the erosion of the traditional support network. The Lutheran Mission is a ray of hope for a people confused about religion, God and spirituality.
My final thought of the day deals with Lefty. Lefty is a stray 5 month old puppy that the Pastor here found in the Reservation dump. Normally stray dogs are put down to control the dog population because packs of wild dogs have attacked humans. Lefty has become the Sonnenschein's family pet. The mission did run a spay and neuter event to help control the dog population and may run one in the future.
Mission Team Member