Later that summer, our teamwork was put to the test on a mission with our Sioux colleagues in Rapid City. In the wooded back hills surrounding the city, the Sioux natives of ages past had set up many sacred shrines and sanctuaries to their Great Spirit god. Nearby, more recent white settlers had carved in stone the faces of four presidents, who were also guiding spirits in the life of their own new nation. Astonishingly, nature had chiseled out a fifth of an old Red Indian Chief long before the rest! The inhabitants of Rapid City, many of them Sioux from the Reservations, were thus surrounded by reminders of their past. Their rough tin shacks and plywood shelters contrasted sharply with their former open pastures and green woodland homes.
Our tall handsome and friendly Sioux colleague called Gilford Noisy Hawk knocked on a door and introduced himself with a broad smile as being from the Pine Ridge Reservation. This invariably brought a spontaneous and equally warm reaction.
Our colleagues were renowned for their friendliness. Dakotans, means "the friendly people." The quiet shy side of the native nature captured the French word "Sioux" meaning "snake." They could slide silently through the grass without disturbing a single blade!
Many shy Sioux families we visited were once members of the Episcopal Church in their homelands. Land speculators and greedy prospectors forced them out when gold was discovered in the streams crossing their land. Our Sioux colleagues, spoke in the flowing and descriptive language of their fathers. Soon they broke the ice and showed that Christians really care. They were deeply moved to realize that a fellow native had come hundreds of miles to Rapid City to share his faith in Jesus.