2011-Sisseton SD

Youth Mission Trip Graphic

Picture albums & Collages




2011 Memories Video


Testimonies From Participants

Tornado watch, flattening winds, and sheets of rain may have not have been the best start on my first mission trip to Sisseton, SD. The trip began at an uneasy start, and we were all beginning to  question our decision to go on this trip. The first day was painting, during which our rule-breaking ‘paint war’ took place. With luck, the  worksite was located on a lake, and we were  able to wash the paint off our fully coated arms and legs. The next day we scraped lead paint off of an old building, and got to try out our new lead protection suits. We spent a few hours doing this  during which we sang some of our favorite country songs, all of this being on camera. The next  two days were the most heartbreaking for me. We spent these at West Side Elementary. Here we met many exciting children, my favorite of which was Pete. Pete, when only asked for his name, gave me an entire  background of his life and family. On the last day, saying goodbye to Pete and the other children was very difficult.  Knowing that I had just become friends with them, and having to leave them left me with a feeling of guilt. This trip was truly an eye opener for me. Seeing an area with such a broken down society helped me to understand how great we have  it back here. At the end of the trip, I came to the decision that, if I could wash my clothes, I would have gladly stayed  another week. ~Ethan Klein, Sophomore

Our trip to Sisseton, South Dakota was a great experience. There were so many memories that I will never forget. The car ride was long but we all made it fun by writing fun phrases on the car windows and listening to some awesome music. The days there were spent scraping and painting  houses/buildings and playing with kids at summer school. The kids were very sweet and friendly. My favorite part was seeing the kids’ faces when we would play their favorite game like chase the  jump rope or the hula hoop competitions. There was one kid I met at summer school that could tell me everything about the Packers. What Aaron Rodgers exact height was and some of the plays they did in the Superbowl. The youth from the other churches that we worked with were really cool. It was neat seeing what they were like and where they were from. I’m really glad I went, it really makes me appreciate what I have here at home. ~Samantha Oliva, Sophomore

The 2011 mission trip to South Dakota was eye opening for everyone. When we arrived in Sisseton, the natives welcomed us with open arms. We felt comfortable right away. Seeing the impoverished people was difficult. We take ourselves and our comfortable lives for granted sometimes. We don’t realize how lucky and spoiled we are here. The natives in Sisseton appreciate everything they have, unlike some of us. Helping the community made us feel proud because we knew how much it meant to everyone there. For the first two days of the week, some of us spent time at a local elementary school by playing with the younger children. The children became so attached to us when we got there. It made us realize that they might not have the love and kindness like we do at home. The look on their faces when we told them that we wouldn’t be coming back was devastating. We all wish we had more time to spend with them. For the last two days of the week we spent time repairing the outside of a house. We scraped and painted the entire home. The owners of the home were very grateful for the work we did and it felt good. The finished product looked amazing. It felt good to help somebody else out other than ourselves. Thank you to all of the members of St. Anne’s, friends, and family for helping us raise money so we were able to go on this memorable trip. We hope that we are fortunate enough to continue our mission of service to others through upcoming events and future trips. ~Abby Gerlach, Sophomore

My experience in Sisseton, South Dakota opened my eyes to what needs to be done in poverty stricken communities as well as communities like Wausau. It challenged me to go out of my comfort zone and help people out with other volunteers I had not known previously. Knowing how fortunate I am now, it will be easier for me to make the less fortunate’s lives better. While on this mission trip I discovered things that need to be done here at home as well. I will use my skills that I learned at the Lake Traverse Reservation and bring them back to our families in need. The challenges I faced there will change the way I volunteer here in Wausau in a positive way. My patience and hard working skills improved as the week went on, making me an overall better volunteer. ~John Feemster, Junior