last night and today were very moving for our group. we ended our time at youth works with a foot washing ceremony that was very emotional. it is a time when we commit ourselves to service to one another as a symbol of our service to all of God’s people. this morning we backed up our raft trip launch time a bit so we could visit the Sundance lodge one more time and be prayed for by the Blackfeet people. this is an absolutely amazing experience for those who can attend. I have had several young people, and perhaps myself included, that think this may have been the best youth trip we have ever taken. the leaders were great, the service was very meaningful, & the spiritual connection was beyond. as we were smudged for purification and the eagle feathers of the elders created a wind for the smoke and sweet smells, it felt as if the Holy Spirit was washing over us. part of the power of this experience had to do with the fact that we were encouraged to pray in our own way and not to pretend that we were something we are not. Our Christianity was welcome in all of its fullness in that place.
of course, rafting day was amazing as well, with great beauty and great joy and laughter along the way. we are staying at a church that has continued the amazing hospitality back here in what seems like unusual civilization. it seems almost foreign to see stores and neighborhoods and all the comforts of home. perhaps it is just the change of perspective and appreciation of the other that we all need from time to time. I wish I could give you all the mental pictures I have from this day, but we couldn’t take cameras on the raft trip, and there were no pictures or videos or even watches allowed at the ceremony in the lodge.
we will see you tomorrow night, hopefully changed for good, and for the good.