Years before the World Fair in Belgium, a white promoter had enticed a group of Sioux Christian brothers to travel half way around the world. They showed off native craft, customs and dances to the curious French and Dutch visitors. He had rashly promised, "I'll provide for every one of your needs!" Somehow the arrangements broke down and it was many weeks and much heartache before the disheartened Sioux brothers arrived home. Despite their own initial caution, our candidates eventually agreed to begin our training course for them on the Reservation.
From the very beginning of training, there was some sort of blockage in our fellowship. Somehow the Sioux couldn't seem to accept their white colleagues. Ill at ease, we suffered each other like this for the first few days. Then, quite by chance, I happened to mention a little "skit" from "Green Pastures" someone had once shown me. It was based upon the life of Moses. In a very southern drawl I began, "Look at dem Egyptians, hittin' dat pur Hebrew mamma!" My Sioux listener was so amused by this that he hurried upstairs to tell his friends. Soon peals of raucous laughter bellowed out. Then, so that we could all enjoy the joke, the Sioux came down to perform it in their own comical accents to everyone's amusement. "I'd like ta take your shovel and pat it over his head!" one exclaimed. Then, with his eyes wide open and full of astonishment he blurted, "Da bush was burn in' an burning', an' never burned up!" Having found a real brotherhood at "Da' burnin' bush" we soon began to work together as a team.