Category Archives: Religion

Selfie Project – October

Now is as a good of a time as any to check in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I’m sure I did a bunch of interesting things in the month of October, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not I capture that while taking my daily THE SELFIE PROJECT photo or not.

Here are a few of my favorites from October:


October 2, 2019
October 2

October 4, 2019
October 4

October 5, 2019
October 5

October 6, 2019
October 6

October 9, 2019
October 9

October 11, 2019
October 11

October 12, 2019
October 12

October 13, 2019
October 13

October 15, 2019
October 15

October 16, 2019
October 16

October 18, 2019
October 18

October 19, 2019
October 19

October 20, 2019
October 20

October 21, 2019
October 21

October 23, 2019
October 23

October 24, 2019
October 24

October 25, 2019
October 25

October 26, 2019
October 26

October 27, 2019
October 27

October 29, 2019
October 29

October 30, 2019
October 30

October 31, 2019
October 31

Phew… 2 months to go!

WPC – WEEK 216 – FORMAL PORTRAIT

I was a little worried that our 5 week double digit submission streak wouldn’t his 6 weeks with FORMAL PORTRAIT. I hadn’t received some of the normal early submissions, and I translated that into a lack of enthusiasm for the theme. However, there was a deep late arriving enthusiasm. In fact, we almost hit 20 submissions. Which might be a record, but I don’t keep those kind of stats. Maybe when I get some free time, I can comb the archives and see what the record is for most submissions is for a week. If it isn’t 19, it can’t be much higher than that.

In fact, after I wrote this, I got a semi-late submission for 20 total submission!

Add to the excitement of the FORMAL PORTRAIT theme, we have a first ever submission from Evie Gorshe. I’m not sure if she is the youngest to ever submit, but she has to be pretty close. I know a couple of the Augustin girls have submitted before. I think Scott Krause submitted at a pretty young age as well. We’ll just say that Evie is a Top 5 youngest to ever submit!

Almost as exciting as Evie’s submission is Dawn’s return to the fold. Dawn has been wandering the wilderness for the last couple of years. But she has a different job now and says she is back in the game. It is good to have her home. Somebody bring me a fatted calf!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me make weak links to parables and talk tommyrot about participation rates, you came to see the submissions:


WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - EVIE GORSHE
Evie Gorshe

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 217 - ORANGE
ORANGE

ORANGE! What a great theme! But what is an ORANGE photo? An ORANGE photo is any photo where the color ORANGE plays an important part in the image. Luckily, this time of year, there is a lot of ORANGE in nature.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very orange Monday!

2009-07-02

There are two sets of pictures from the folder called 2009-07-02. One is from a trip to see the Boone City Band play and ran in to Josh and his progeny Wesley.

The other is a collection of pictures of Frank. I’m not entirely sure why we took the pictures of Frank, but we did.


City Band

City Band

City Band

City Band

City Band

Frank

Frank

It seems that this is the first time I’ve published any of these photos.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve the 4th of July.

Eastern Star Christmas Service – 2018

More from the 2018 backlog. After knocking out pictures from the Eastern Star Trick-or-Treat night, put me in the mood to also knock out the pictures from the Christmas service that my church did at the Eastern Star Home last year.

These pictures include at least one person that has since passed away and people that have passed on from our church to a next phase of their life.


Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

Eastern Star Christmas Service - 2018

I’m starting to get to the end of the 2018 backlog, but some of the collections I have left to tackle are BIG!

Eastern Star Home Trick-Or-Treat – 2018

Once again, knocking out the 2018 backlog. On Monday night I sat through my favorite monthly meeting, the Outreach Committee Meeting. It was while I was sitting at that meeting, trying not to tinker with my phone, that it occurred to me that the Eastern Star Home’s annual trick-or-treat night was coming up soon.

It also occurred to me that I never published pictures from last year’s event. I usually go to the event to photograph people from the church that are there to volunteer and help out.

While I was perusing the pictures, it really hit home how drastically our church has changed in a few short months. But even when things change, things don’t change. If that makes sense.

Here are pictures from last year’s event:


Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

Eastern Star Home Trick-or-Treat Night - 2018

This year’s trick-or-treat night will be October 22. It lasts from 6-7 PM. If you have a kid that likes candy, they will get lots of candy. If you would just like to volunteer to help out, I can hook you up with that opportunity as well.

An Artist’s Notebook Post #3,500

Welcome to the 3,500th entry in “An Artist’s Notebook”. The blog portion of my Photography 139 website. It has been along time since I first took keyboard hand sitting in the old Computer Mine setup or possibly in my Mom’s basement, because that is where my life was at that time.

In fact, the first time I posted anything on “An Artist’s Notebook” was August 9, 2006. The very first word I wrote, “So”. Maybe not the best word. Maybe not the most forceful word. It is a word that almost feels like an apology.

I clearly didn’t know where this was going to take me and I’m not sure I even know where I’m at now. So.

I would go on in the first post to state that I had a few goals for this blog.

#1. To write in it.

I think I can say safely that 3,499 posts later, I have written in it. I often wonder if I were to print out every page of “An Artist’s Notebook”, how many pages it would be. While I know that most of those pages would just be pictures at not necessarily words, I’m still pretty sure that the entire thing would run several thousands of pages. While the things I write and the nature of what I write and post has changed over time and I’m sure it will continue to change, I will say for now, I’m still on track for Goal #1.

#2. To be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings.

On this goal I’m going to give myself an incomplete. I feel that I am truthful to my loyal readers, but I don’t know that I necessarily share my feelings a lot. For example, I don’t know how many of you know how much I despise the open-faced sandwich. It is a pox upon mankind. Kind of like anti-vaxxers. When I think about it, I suppose I don’t hold back much. However, I’ll have to double down on my efforts to let you know about my true feelings. A 5,000 word piece on the worthlessness of the open-faced sandwich is coming your way on Sunday!

#3. Producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

The question here, is this: Is the blog any darn good? It would be arrogant of me to claim that it is. I have garnered a small amount of loyal subscribers. But I’m sure a better blog would garner more. My entries do occasionally gather comments. But I’m sure a better blog would gather more comments. I guess I’ll have to keep plugging away and let the sands of time figure out if this thing is any good.

On these mile marker posts, I like to look at what things and what people have most influenced this post.

On my 750th post, these were the Top 16 post categories and I’ll assume, the only categories I had for posts back then:

1. Photography – 295
2. Friends – 269
3. Life – 238
4. Family – 98
5. Religion – 63
6. ISU Football – 41
7. Jaycees – 40
8. Movies – 39
9. Blogging 33
10. Sports – 25
11. Work – 25
12. House – 24
13. Writing – 23
14. Comedy – 20
15. Politics – 17
16. History – 12

On post 1,000, these were the 10 people that I had tagged the most in posts:

1. Jay (144)
2. Jesse (143)
3. Shannon (140)
4. Derrick (117)
5. Jen (101)
6. Teresa (96)
7. Willy (93)
8. Sara (88)
9. Baier (65)
10. Dawn (64)

By post 1,447 these were the 10 most tagged people:

10. Dad – 117
9. Carla – 118
8. Sara – 122
7. Willy – 124
6. Jen – 143
5. Teresa – 144
4. Derrick – 157
3. Shannon – 160
2. Jay – 180
1. Jesse – 195

This picture of Evie was the most popular picture on my website:



By post 2500, these were the 5 most tagged people:

1. Jesse – 283 Posts
2. Teresa – 244 Posts
3. Shannon – 231 Posts
3. Jay – 231 Posts
5. Derrick – 220 Posts

By post 3,000 these were the most popular categories:

#10 – Jay – 262 Posts
#9 – Life – 274 Posts
#8 – Teresa – 282 Posts
#7 – Shannon – 289 Posts
#6 – Animals – 301 Posts
#5 – Portrait – 313 Posts
#4 – Jesse – 328 Posts
#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts
#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts
#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

And these were the most tagged people:

#10 – Vest 204 Posts
#9 – Jen – 205 Posts
#8 – Willy – 209 Posts
#7 – Derrick – 241 Posts
#6 – Mom – 247 Posts
#5 – Carla – 261 Posts
#4 – Jay – 262 Posts
#3 – Teresa – 282 Posts
#2 – Shannon – 289 Posts
#1 – Jesse – 328 Posts

Here we are, post 3,5000. I should point out before I reveal the current most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”, I should point out that while I’ve been going back and fixing old broken entries via our Saturday night trips down memory lane, I have also been re-categorizing and breaking some categories into multiple categories. That is why some categories have actually lost posts. Hopefully some of those generic categories like “Photography” and “Life” will be down to zero some day.

Here are the most popular categories:

10. Photography – 311 Posts
9. Teresa – 312 Posts
8. Carla – 314 Posts
7. Shannon -351 Posts
6. Black & White – 390 Posts
5. Weekly Photo Challenge – 394 Posts
4. Jesse – 404 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories:

10. Art – 243 Posts
9. Nature – 260 Posts
8. Personal Photo Project – 261 Posts
7. Road Trip – 288 Posts
6. Photography – 311 Posts
5. Black & White – 390 Posts
4. Weekly Photo Challenge – 390 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

10 Most Tagged Humans

10. Jen – 222 Posts
9. Vest – 234 Posts
8. Willy – 238 Posts
7. Derrick – 267 Posts
6. Jay – 294 Posts
5. Mom – 300 Posts
4. Teresa – 312 Posts
3. Carla – 314 Posts
2. Shannon – 351 Posts
1. Jesse – 403 Posts

You may be wondering, what does it take to improve my Photography 139 Score? How do I get on the big board by the time Post 3750 comes around next August-ish?

1. Submit pictures for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
2. Assist or pose for photo projects.
3. Be related to me.

If you are wondering who is just outside of the top ten? The 3 people just outside of the Top Ten are Kim, Sara, and Logan.

Here are the current most popular pictures in the Photography 139 Gallery, by views in the last 365 days:


Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
10. Iowa State Cyclones Football Varsity Marching Band – 514 Views

Howard Family Photo Shoot - 2017
9. Howards 2017 – 571 Views

Ortho 2 Holiday Card Portrait
8. Michelle – Computer Mine Holiday Card – 2018 – 690 Views

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005
7. Cy beating down Herky – 746 Views

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
6. Rapid City Mission Trip – 776 Views


5. Autumn Sharp – 935 Views

January 1, 2019
4. Selfie Project – January 1, 2019 – 1251 Views

July 15, 2017
3. Selfie Project – July 15, 2017 – 1511 Views

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
2. Metropolis, Illinois – 2724 Views

January 14, 2019
1. Selfie Project – January 14, 2019 – 3215 Views

And these are the Ten Most Popular Albums in the Photography 139 Gallery by views in the last 365 Days (You can go to the album by clicking on the picture):



10. Autumn Sharp – 2020 -11,036 Views

SELF-PORTRAIT
9. Misc. Portraits – 11,198 Views

Ortho 2 Holiday Card Portrait
8. 2018 Computer Mine Holiday Card Portrait – 11,409 Views

Iowa State vs. Nebraska
7. Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2008 – 12,024 Views

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma = 2018
6. Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2018 – 12,715 Views

Naima at Dickcissel
5. Naima – 14,770 Views

Page 49 - Reject
4. Photo Journal Rejects – 14,872 Views

June 25, 2019
3. Selfie Project – 2019 – 37,416 Views

WEEK 180 - TRANSPORTATION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 6 – 43,174 Views

9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad
1. 9 Emotions Project – 58,863 Views

Whew! Well, I’m spent. Thanks to everybody that subscribes to this here blog. You are a big part of whatever success that is does have!

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This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FRAMED:


WEEK 212 - FRAMED
FRAMED!

Reminder that a FRAMED photo is a photo where your subjected is FRAMED by objects that aren’t the subject of the photo. Like a window. Or a door. Or literally anything that creates negative space.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – September

Seems like as good of a time as any to check in with the Selfie Project. My September was incredibly busy. I had several photo shoots, youth group was back in session, Pufferbilly Days, Iowa State football season is ramping up, and Elainie was back in town.

But I confess that my selfies might not reflect that, it feels like.

Here are my favorite September Selfies:


September 2, 2019
September 2

September 3, 2019
September 3

September 4, 2019
September 4

September 6, 2019
September 6

September 7, 2019
September 7

September 8, 2019
September 8

September 9, 2019
September 9

September 13, 2019
September 13

September 14, 2019
September 14

September 17, 2019
September 17

September 19, 2019
September 19

September 20, 2019
September 20

September 21, 2019
September 21

September 22, 2019
September 22

September 24, 2019
September 24

September 25, 2019
September 25

September 27, 2019
September 27

September 29, 2019
September 29

3 months to go in the Selfie Project. I’m slated to actually leave the state in October. So that is something at least.

Pizza Ranch Mission Trip Fundraiser!

Hey! Guess what! It is fundraiser season! The first fundraiser for the 2020 Mission Trip is tomorrow night at Pizza Ranch! You’ll get a chance to support some of these amazing kids:



You’ll notice something is a little different about the promo card this year. This is no longer the Boone First United Methodist Youth Group. I know it had some name that involved, what I’m sure was super clever, an acronym. But I never used it. I never cared about it.

We are now the Heart of Boone Youth Fellowship. Our Youth Group merged with the First Baptist Church and Central Christian Church to form one youth group. We had plenty of kids in our youth group, but we just couldn’t get enough adult volunteers to run the youth group any longer. Enter a relationship with a couple of other downtown churches and boom, something beautiful was born.

But you don’t need all that information, you just want to know how to support our 2020 Mission Trip.

Well, it is simple. Print off one of the vouchers below:



Bring it to Pizza Ranch tomorrow night. Have supper there. Give that voucher to the cashier. Boom! You get supper. We get $2.

If you think $2 isn’t enough, there will be tip jars all over the place and everything you put in the tip jars will go to the mission trip.

You might be wondering where we are going on our mission trip. Well, I know, but I’m not ready to reveal the information. However, you can rest assured that wherever we go, we will do awesome things like in the pictures below:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Mission Trip  - Day 0

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 1

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 2

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 4

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

I hope to see many of you there!

Selfie Project – June

Seems like a good to share my favorite pictures from THE SELFIE PROJECT from June.

I don’t know that my June was super active, but at least I actually left the state for the first time since early April.


June 1, 2019
June 1

June 2, 2019
June 2

June 6, 2019
June 6

June 7, 2019
June 7

June 8, 2019
June 8

June 9, 2019
June 9

June 11, 2019
June 11

June 14, 2019
June 14

June 15, 2019
June 15

June 17, 2019
June 17

June 19, 2019
June 19

June 21, 2019
June 21

June 22, 2019
June 22

June 23, 2019
June 23

June 24, 2019
June 24

June 25, 2019
June 25

June 26, 2019
June 26

June 27, 2019
June 27

June 28, 2019
June 28

June 29, 2019
June 29

We are 1/3 of the way through July and I realize, I don’t know if I have done anything this month. I need to get on it!

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 4

We are approaching the Boone County Fair, which means that I need to select pictures for the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. I am picking those pictures in the same way that I did last year. I’m letting other people pick them for me.

The first five people that text me that they are interested in picking one of my entries will get to pick my five entries for the Boone County Fair. Once you have been selected as a selector, I will send you instructions on how to make your selection.

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For some reason, on Thursday of the mission trip they let everybody sleep in an extra hour. This is something that has never happened on any of our other mission trips. To be honest, I wasn’t that big of a fan of it.

There are parts of being on a mission trip that are like FIGHT CLUB.

JACK (V.O.)
A guy came to fight club (mission trip) for the
first time, his ass was a wad of
cookie dough. After a few weeks (days), he
was carved out of wood.

By Thursday you don’t even miss sleep. By Thursday you don’t miss hot water in the showers. Thursday was the worst day to sleep in. If you could move the schedule on any day on any direction, I would move it an hour earlier on Friday. Wake up at 6:30, nah, 5:30.

The normal walk time with Andy was 6 AM. It didn’t get moved to 7 AM just because wake up time was 8 AM. We were carved out of wood by now.

However, there was a change with the 6 AM walk. This time we were loading up into vans and heading to Dinosaur Park. Dinosaur Park is a sculpture garden built on top of a hill in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. There are many socialists that produce brilliant and prophetic art, like George Orwell, but not going to lie, Dinosaur Park is does not have a masterwork in its collection. This is coming from a guy that is a big fan of dinosaur related art.

But this isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy every second of Dinosaur Park. In fact, I loved every second of Dinosaur Park.

After Dinosaur Park we went to a coffee ship called Alternative Fuel Coffee House. I got a smoothie so I could load up on the protein for the morning. Then we headed back to the church for breakfast.

Because of the weird late start to the day, we only had 5 hours at Black Hills Works. It was a day of mixed emotions. There is the sense of accomplishment as you finish off work week, but there is the sadness when you realize that you are probably never going to see any of the people you worked with all week. It has been only 4 days, but the bonds with some of the clients feel really deep.

I was going to miss Shad and Chuckie and John and Cammy and both Mikes and Daniel and Amy and Joe and the twins and Bronco. I was going to miss some of the staff that we connected with like Chris and Abby and Andy and Joey.

In fact, on Thursday I had a long conversation with Joey about beards and beard products. He insisted that I take some of his beard products home. He opened up his work locker and he had a ton of beard products there. I took home some beard butter, beard oil, and beard balm.

We were supposed to leave for our mountain stream shower, but we hung out there until almost 3:30 before heading out.

When we had our orientation on Monday the lady giving us our orientation told us flat out, “Some of the staff don’t like having kids here. They think they just get in the way.”

While that might be the case, I think we really only experienced that with one staff member. Possibly two. The staff really loved our kids and they even told us that we had the best kids that have ever volunteered there. Most kids show up and let the situation overwhelm them. They shutdown and don’t interact with the clients. Our kids interacted with everybody and engaged the clients without waiting for them to engage with them.

I know what you are thinking, you cynic. They tell that to every group. I might be inclined to agree with you only this is the 8th mission trip I’ve been on with the youth group from our church. It has happened every single time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

For example, in Milwaukee my group was working at a nursing home. They sent us up to a room and wanted us to organize it and clear it out. 3 hours later we came down and asked what they wanted us to do next. Their jaw dropped open and they said, “That was supposed to take you all week.”

They later explained that the previous week that they had not one but two youth groups work on that room and they had barely made a dent. I assured them that those youth groups probably weren’t from Iowa. Built a little different here.

This was a different style of mission than we usually go on. This wasn’t painting or drywall or staining or cooking. This was just being in the moment with people that often get kicked to our society’s curb. I wasn’t sure if our group would excel in it like they did with manual labor.

I am pleased to report that they knocked it out of the park, yet again.

We rushed back to the church after the showers. Our cultural activity that night is the same for every YouthWorks group in the country. Thursday they hold a community cookout. Rapid City hosts the largest YouthWorks cookout west of the Mississippi. To be honest, this is part of the reason that I picked Rapid City. Last year our cookout in Vidor, Texas drew 2 people. One of them was an ice cream truck that I flagged down, just so we would have something to do.

A few adults grill burgers and dogs. The youth serve the food and interact with the community. The size of the cookout did not disappoint. I’m guessing we served over 300 people.

I met and talked with several people. One was a Navy veteran. I told him about how my niece’s fiance was about to be stationed and he cut me off and said, “It better not be to Iran by that mother(beep)(beep)(beep)(beep)piece of (beep)(beep)(beep) Trump.” Then he apologized and I assured him that if I were not a leader at a youth function, I could add several expletives to his description of the worthless draft dodging coward that is Cadet Bone Spurs.

I also had a long conversation with a guy that had just moved to Rapid City to take care of his mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I talked to another guy that was there with his children. He had recently got out of prison and was glad to be back with them.

Rapid City has a large population of homeless. The majority of the homeless are Lakota. The demographics of the cookout backed that up.

One of the interesting things about the Lakota is they reveal their elders. So when an elderly person would show up, they would be allowed to go to the head of the line.

The cookout finished up about 8 PM. I actually had to pull some of our youth away from the community members that they were talking to. I regret having to do that, but we needed to get ready for our Thursday worship service.

Thursday night at YouthWorks is always a powerful night. It is the last night of the mission trip and the emotions of the experience start crashing down on you. The worship service ends with a foot washing service. Now I’m not going to go all Baptist on you, but the foot washing experience is definitely a powerful experience.

It is derived from this story in THE BIBLE:

John 13:1-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Lord’s Supper
13 Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come [and it was time] for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having [greatly] loved His own who were in the world, He loved them [and continuously loves them with His perfect love] to the end (eternally). 2 It was during supper, when the devil had already put [the thought of] betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, 3 that Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, 4 got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
5 Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist. 6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. 16 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].

After the worship service we had our final church time. It was also an emotional experience as it was the last mission trip with Anna and Megan. Our two seniors. If you have daughters, these are the type of you women you want them to grow up to be.

I hope this is not their last mission trip with our church. I can’t even speak confidently on the future of the mission trip. We have a new Pastor and it is hard to tell what direction he will want any of this to go. Plus, Megan and Anna will be leaving for college and it is hard to tell what direction their lives will even pull them in.

I hope that one or both of them are leaders on this mission trip at some point in the future. Megan has already inquired about being a leader next year. I know there are some hoops that will have to be jumped through, but we will get there.

Autumn lead us in a couple of worship songs. After some stuff that I will keep to myself was shared, we ended in a group hug, as has become strangely traditional.

The next morning we packed up and heading back to Boone. Everybody strangely changed.

Here are some pictures:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

The 5 posts on my mission trip are from my perspective of the Mission Trip. It was hardly comprehensive. For example, it didn’t include the story about the homeless people I prayed with on a Hardee’s picnic table. Or when Andy stole my phone… on accident?

There were 24 other souls on this mission trip and every single one of them experienced it in a completely different way than I did.