Taking part in this crusade was a costly business for both cadets and their wives. The men received no payment at all for three hard weeks' work and their wives had their share of problems too! During the mission we had originally planned to camp out together in one great tent, but the native women soon showed us they were not too keen. Like other American housewives, they insisted on all the "modern conveniences." As a result, the Sioux native Church finally ended in the big basement of St. Matthew's Mission Church, where Sister Daisy Kitchens was on the staff. Before we ate our meals together, Daisy would shout "Dinner's ready!" adding, "remember we're in America - women first!" Despite this, the women inevitably hung back and the men were served first!
One of our native evangelists, Clyde Estes, had a bright idea to help heal a tragic consequence of disunity in the Sioux native church. It all came about because the members of different denominations frowned upon intermarriage and strictly forbade Holy Communion to these couples. Clyde invited all to come and kneel at the altar rail, not for the sacrament, but for a blessing. In our tiny brick church with its red carpet down the central aisle many took part in worship with their marriage partner for the first time.
The Sioux quickly endeared themselves to us as we came to know them and we soon struck up many warm friendships. There were however two certain well-intentioned ladies in the city. They started a radio program to the Sioux Reservation every morning because they felt so concerned about the natives. The natives themselves didn't even bother listening. One told me, "they begin "O, how we love the First Nations peoples," but they have never even been to see us! I wish they didn't love us so much!" It was meaningful relationships, not simply words, which the natives wanted most. Many in the Sioux native Church had already experienced the most significant kind of relationship with God himself.