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January 14, 2013

A Guiding Light

by carrollministry

Our week in Browning has concluded and we have all safely returned to Carroll. This week has been full of blessings and graces, and every one of us was able to see Christ in action. In order to put into words what this week has meant to me, I want to talk about a few things that have impacted me the most. They are: stereotypes, prayer and compassion, and the impact of the school.

During one of our group reflections, we were asked to talk about stereotypes involving Native Americans. The common ones came out: distrust of white people, gambling and alcohol problems, and the idea that these kids “hate” school or “can’t do it.” Our experiences would prove otherwise.

The children we worked with were eager to work with us and showed great respect to our group and their teachers. The kids I had the privilege to work with were bright and attentive, and possessed great compassion to learn. One of the most impactful moments came when a mother welcomed us and said: “If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.” It was incredible to see a mother offer to give us whatever she could, even if she had little herself.

Prayer is a major part of De La Salle. Before school, every class, lunch, and the end of the day involves prayer. The children ask for St. John De La Salle—patron saint of education and St. Catherine Tekakwitha—the first Native American saint—to pray for them. I saw these prayers in action on the playground during recess.
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Jace, a 4th grade girl was walking in crying, after being hurt on the playground. Before any of us could attend to her, Benny, a compassionate classmate of hers put his arm around her and tried to comfort her. I truly saw the face of Christ in Benny. He followed Christ’s commandment He instructed to us in John 13:34- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” It was so inspiring to see their prayers being answered and seeing Christ living through Benny and all of the students.

Last, I want to talk about the impact that De La Salle has on the Browning community. I heard a startling statistic, 40 percent of high school students drop out of Browning High School. However, 99 percent of De La Salle graduates go on to graduate high school. Currently, they have a junior at Stanford University. The first batch of De La Salle Alums just graduated from college and it will be exciting to see their future success.

With great zeal, we should pray for the city of Browning, the students, their families, faculty, and administrators of De La Salle. De La Salle is a guiding light to Browning and Montana, and through this school, hope and a better tomorrow is a reality.

Peace,

Colin Gunstream

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