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Delivering News From The Source

“We are All Related”

By Erisha Menon

There are individuals and communities out there who seem almost forgotten. Imagine a spring that awakens you; an opportunity to not only make a difference but to change someone’s life.

Waldorf University Campus Ministry who is involved in the annual March mission trip once again is on a quest. This time, they are headed towards Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a Oglala Lakota Native American reservation located in South Dakota. There are 18 students and 6 chaperons involved in this trip. The volunteers will be leaving on Friday, March 2 and will get back on Sunday, March 11.

“We are actually using the ELCA Peace not Walls approach to advocacy and accompaniment.” Said Antoine Cummins, Waldorf University Campus Ministry Coordinator. “The theory pretty much model after Jesus’ ministry and come aside those willing to serve and to try to understand the world to their eyes.” Cummins also said that Pine Ridge was the first place where his faith journey begun.

Through this journey, Cummins was able to learn a lot about his identity and the whole idea of coexisting truths. “It shows how complex culture is, the history of land and religion.”

In order to make this trip happen, students and staff/faculty involved has done several fundraisers throughout campus and also the community. Peer Minister, Megan Haugen has coordinated two bake sales with the help of other volunteers and already planning other fundraisers to make this trip a success. Their goal for fundraising is $4000. Their next big fundraiser is the famous Krispy Kreme selling, an idea created by students in previous mission trips.

A lot of students are really excited about this because their love for donuts and also because Krispy Kremes are something that students normally cannot get in Forest City.

Megan Haugen is also doing a mile for mile fundraiser to cover the cost of transportation in pocket change; one mile at a time. “With every mile, it costs $1.30 to move our vehicles, a mile closer to our destination.” said Haugen. Cummins wanted this trip to be student led and also for team bonding and active programing.

Antoine Cummins later added that the biggest take away for students would be perspective. “Especially with how dominant it is with social media in our everyday life, I fell that people are confined with seeing the world through certain filters, whether it be cultural and inherited believes. And when you get to experience and see a culture, you tend to realize there is so many people so suppressed. It just raises your awareness and sensitivity.”\

To sum of the trip, Cummins expressed that he is really excited and cannot wait for volunteers to experience something so powerful just being present, connected, listening and letting people share their stories. This all conveys with the mission trip’s theme this year- WE ARE ALL RELATED.