No matter our age, we’re never too young or old to learn from other cultures. Ten teens from St. Joseph parish in Milford, Iowa, discovered this lesson when they took a service trip to the Lakota Reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota. The annual mission trip was founded by parishioner Teresa Goehring and led by Father Tom Flanagan.
“Our primary work [at the reservation] was to paint the inside walls of a small building that functioned as a church for the small resident community,” Father Flanagan explained.
But the young people’s experience at the Lakota Reservation extended far beyond physical labor. “I liked getting to know everyone on the trip better,” volunteer Gabe Goehring pointed out. “I liked working with the Lakota children. Kids have a simple faith that I admire…I feel closer to God when the world is less busy.”
“It is in the giving that the participants also receive,” Father Flanagan confirmed, “perhaps in a new awareness of themselves as part of the larger body of Christ.”
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul. (Acts 4:32)
Jesus, may we always be generous to those in need.