Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mixing it up in Menomonie

Yah, it's a bit fuzzy, famously, this is how my indoor pic's turn out. But, this is me with some of the other tour guides at the 1856 historical Wilson Place Mansion. For Christmas, we dress up in somewhat period costumes and lead tours all week and longer on the weekends. I've had such a good time leading these tours. I have had a chance to get to know Menomonie history a bit better (did you know that our own Capt.Wilson owned the largest fleet of steamships in America at his time? and the Wilson and Stout money came from the largest Lumber Co. in the Midwest!). Yes, and Senator Stout (the second generation to live at Wilson Place) build Menomonie into a bustling, active social center, not only by building beautiful by-ways and buildings, but also founding the first Manual Training school in the US- Stout Manual Training School, which is today the U of W Stout). There is lots more to tell, but suffice it to say, I think this is a 'trip'!
In the midst of this experience I've had a chance to get to know some members of the Menomonie community, and have even had a chance to share my testimony!
As for ministry life, I'll be leaving my youth group for the next 3 weeks, and that is actually part relief and mostly sad. There is so much to make me worry, and so much I want them to know! The number of divided families is amazing! I think of the 20+ that come every week, 3 of them have their original parents! But those three are the children of the other youth leaders! Last night, one of my more troubled girls, told me that her father had died, just like that... hardly any emotion, hardly any noticeable reaction besides a desire for attention in regards to the news. Now, this "sperm donor" was no real dad, and yet, so very sad. Is it not? When does Jesus return????
We had the Chief of Police for Boyceville speak, and he shared his stories and ended with the gospel!! :-) the Chief of Police!! such a great guy and so well liked by the kids. He invited me to a prayer meeting that member of the community hold every Friday 6am. They pray for the kids, for the families etc, and they actually meet at the police station! So, although it's so "stinkin" early, who could pass up a chance to effect these kids lives, by praying in unison!? He also told me that Wisconsin has the highest rate of alcohol and "other" drug related incidents in America! and that Dunn county , which is my county, apart from being the poorest in Wisconsin, has the highest alcohol and other drug related incidents in Wisconsin. That makes my county, Dunn county the worst for alcohol and other drugs in the USA! THAT is hard to believe, rural/rurban Dunn county? Explains alot about these kids.
So, pray for them. Pray for me, that I might be creative in finding ways to meet with a few of these girls, and that God would then give me wisdom beyond myself to know how to handle the messiness that I'm bound to discover as I get to know them better. I will just have to simply "GO" if He is in it. He'll do the rest. Oh, these kids need Him! They need the freedom that knowing Jesus can bring!
I'll be seeing some of you soon in Connecticut! to the rest, Merry Christmas!