Tag: choctaw


I am genuinely interested in many, many things.  I can go from gardening, to marketing concepts, to photography, to home coffee roasting, to playing the harmonica, to card tricks — all in a few minutes.  When I begin to have an interest in something, I usually learn enough about whatever it is to converse intelligently or to even do it.  The one area of interest that comes to mind where I haven’t done this is languages.

Though I took Spanish in high school and college, and I can understand a little of it, I would neither consider that a language I know, nor is it one I am particularly interested in.  In fact, the first language that interested me was a modern created language: Esperanto.  I taught myself some Esperanto, though I have long since forgotten all of that.  In fact, it was at that time I decided I just don’t have a mind to learn languages.

The desire to learn languages has only grown since then though, but for different reasons.  For example, I really want to learn Hebrew, the original language of most of the Old Testament.  I also really want to learn Aramaic, which I believe is the original language of much of the New Testament (yes, I know many of you will disagree — that is a post for later).  Because of the heart I have for the Choctaw people, I want to learn Choctaw.  Did you know that English is a second language to most Choctaw adults?  I think it would be nice to converse with them in their language.  Finally, I want to learn Chickasaw because it is the tongue of my ancestors.

I am not sure what order I would like to learn these in, but part of my thinking is this:  Choctaw and Chickasaw are closely related, and if I learn one, the other should be easy to pick up.  I can probably kill two birds with one stone.  Hebrew would probably be the most useful.  Aramaic is a real interest, but honestly, it doesn’t really compare in importance to me as the other three.

I have found free courses for Choctaw online, and I already have some Hebrew learning resources, so what I am thinking of doing is attempting to learn two languages at once: Choctaw and Hebrew.  That may sound like total craziness, but we learn two things at once throughout our lives, don’t we?


Mission Complete

The title to this post is a bit misleading. Perhaps it would be said better if I just said, “WE ARE HOME!!!” That is a victory in itself, but that doesn’t mean that a huge part of me is not still in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi with my friends, both Choctaw and the mission team for the week.

I thought this might be a good post to give everyone an overview of the entire week. Some of the things we did included:

  • A four-day VBS program orchestrated by our new friend, Rachel.


  • A five-day adult Bible study mostly led by our friend Jeanne, from Wellington, New Zealand (yes, our team is international!)
  • A evening at the Choctaw Fair, where we watched the first half of the stickball game where Bok Cito (Bogue Chitto) won against Pearl River. Go Bok Cito!


  • A local Choctaw taught many on our team how to weave stickballs. Totally cool!


  • Lots of impromptu stickball games in the front of the church where we stayed between locals and some kids on the mission team.
  • A gigantic slip and slide – what fun!


  • Several visits to a local retirement home from which lots of great stories were told.
  • We helped a local pastor and his wife move.
  • Eyeball Pictures.  😀


  • Prayer walks, where we pray for communities, services, leadership, etc. This was a great experience.
  • Covering prayer, where we covered the rest of our group in prayer as they went about their tasks.
  • An obstacle course.


  • We spend most of a day cleaning a local church.
  • Fantastic Indian Tacos


  • Old friends and new friendships


  • And much, much more.

When we left this morning, and even last night before bed, hugs were exchanged, laughter happened, tears fell, and hearts were bonded. I love the folks in Bogue Chitto, and honestly, I miss them already. I would name names, but there are so many that touched me, so many relationships that were built, so many that I feel bonded to, I worry I would miss one. Each and every one is important to me.

Have you ever been on a mission trip? Have you ever devoted a significant amount of time making the difference in the life of another? If not, you really shouldn’t put it off any more. Consider partnering with a mission group, perhaps even a Native American mission group, and use what you have been blessed with to make the difference in the lives of others.

VBS in Bogue Chitto

I am waking for the last full day here in Bogue Chitto this year.  It’s hard to believe it is almost over, and it is hard to believe how God has orchestrated this differently than last year.

We were supposed to end VBS one night earlier, but we decided to go on one more night with a fun activity – a giant slip and slide!

Though I took pictures of the slip and slide, it was only with my proper camera, so I have no way to share that here yet.  I do have a picture from Wednesday though:


VBS is now over, and today we will spend the day connecting with folks one last time. Our team is going to use that time to give a local church a major cleaning.

If you would like to donate to help pay for our trip, it’s not too late.  Just head over to GoFundMe and see our page on Choctaw Mission 2014.

More to come later.


I had a great experience last night working with a young man at our vacation Bible school. Obviously something was wrong, and none of us had been able to get the young man to talk. Finally, he began talking to me last night. After he did we really began to connect and it was the first time I have seen him smile. Tonight he’s going to come back and were going to play a little bit with my camera which really interested him. I’m not sure what’s going on in his life, but I really hope that this makes a difference for him.

We have just finished visiting the Choctaw Residential Center. This is a nursing home in the Philadelphia area. No one on my team feels particularly called to this ministry, but we all had a good time. I worked a puzzle with a nice lady name Shirley and a young man named John was there visiting his grandmother. The rest of the team played ball with several of the residents. It sounded like they were having a good time.


If you would like to donate to help pay for our trip, it’s not too late.  Just head over to GoFundMe and see our page on Choctaw Mission 2014.

Today is the Day!

Today is the day!!! We leave this afternoon for the first leg of our journey to Bogue Chitto, Mississippi for our annual mission trip to the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Indians. We’re staying over tonight in Tupelo, Mississippi (praise God for hotel points!), and then tomorrow we will drive a few more hours to Bogue Chitto.

Would you please go check out our Choctaw 2014 GoFundMe page?  While you are at it, please don’t skip over the video slide show from last year.  I know that sounds boring.  Seriously, go check it out.

There were several new donations yesterday, and we are getting close to our goal. I will continue to ask though – won’t you consider a small donation to help pay for the transporation on this trip? Any amount helps.

During the week I hope to post updates here, and I will leave the fundraiser open until we get home. Once again, thank you to all who have given and all who are praying for us. May you be blessed by God.