By Jordan West

13254467_1365183463496859_7440178805971110710_nCLEVELAND, Ga., TMNews – In May 2016, a team of 14 Student Life Staff set out to serve the Lakota people for a week in South Dakota. The team stayed at the Wings as Eagles Ministries’ Dream Center at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, located in the southwestern part of the state.

Senior Madison Clay said, “Before the trip, I had read about some of the statistics of the Native American reservation. Before I had arrived, my heart was already broken.”

Fellow senior Meredith Mellard explained, “The mission of the Dream Center is to reach out to kids and transform them to walk in the way of the Lord.”

“Sharing the love of Christ with them through the Wings as Eagles ministry was an experience like I have never witnessed before,” Clay continued. “When the kids of community would see our group with the Wings as Eagles t-shirt on, they became attached to us.”

Mellard agreed, “I was happy to hear how many kids came each day over the summer to play, eat, and also hear the Gospel.”

The team spent much of their time outreaching in the community. Junior Jeremy Fain said, “One of my favorite experiences was getting to go to the local villages and play basketball with the kids and host a BBQ for the all the people.”

Clay said, “I really enjoyed the experience of loving on the kids and families of the community by playing basketball, having a cookout, and walking door to door passing out flyers for the summer camp.”

Their intent was also to serve those working at the Dream Center. Mellard stated, “We got to serve the Dream13254160_1365183616830177_1268977716803232676_n Center by doing a few chores for them, and although it was hot, the end product looked amazing!”

Fain summarized that, overall, “The opportunity to go and live at the Dream Center for a week among the Lakota people was spectacular.”

Hopeful to return to South Dakota one day, Clay said, “The ministry that has been started in South Dakota is one that I am thankful I was able to be a part of and I am hoping to one day return and see how the children grow over the years.”

Mellard concluded, “My prayer for the Dream Center is that they remain grounded in the Word and guided by the Truth to love and provide care for the children and families of Pine Ridge.”


Jordan is a TMU alum and works in the school’s Marketing and Communications Department.

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