It's been a month since our mission trip to southwest Minnesota. A couple thoughts since then:
Jeff Reed, a fellow blogger from outstate, responded this way to my last post:
"I must be honest though that I was a bit disappointed with your last entry. You mentioned the wind, something that has driven those of us that live on the prairie crazy since the beginning of time. You also mentioned that it was a reminder that there isn't much between us and the Rocky Mountains. I realize that you're speaking about the wind, but unfortunately that's also the prevailing attitude with regard to the land and the people that live here. Statements like that perpetuate the myth that there isn't anything here of value, that the land and the people don't really matter. I believe it is precisely because of that myth that our agricultural system is what it is today; we can do anything we want to the land and the people of the plains because after all it is "fly over" territory. Ironically I think that's what your trip was to demonstrate that it isn't just "fly over" terrritory, that the people here and the land do indeed matter."
To which I can only say, "yes!" I in no way intended to say that there's not much of value between the prairie and the Rockies -- only that the wind's strength points out how flat the landscape is. Is it valuable? Absolutely! You don't see the Rocky Mountains providing lots of food, do you? So, my apologies for any unintended slight to the wonderful inhabitants of these wide open spaces.
Secondly, I've heard back from a number of parents about the impact of this mission trip, which was the closest and cheapest that our congregation has conducted for some time. I'm hearing reports of label-reading at the grocery store and lots of thought going into where our food comes from. You don't have to go far to learn a lot. Thanks again to everyone at Shalom Hill!