Day 3 Browning 2020
Time has flown by and it is already past the halfway point of our time here in Browning. Today was our first full day in the classroom, so we all were able to experience every subject with the students we are working with. Each of us continue to learn more and more about the young people God has placed in our lives this week. We are all beginning to understand the humor and joy that the Blackfeet people carry with them in all situations.
Today after school, we had the opportunity to go to daily Mass at Little Flower parish with Father Ed Kohler. Daily Mass was celebrated in a small side chapel, providing and intimate space for our Headlights crew and about ten elders from the community. The chairs were oriented in a circle around the altar, and we remained sitting through most of the Mass. This was a beautiful union between the Catholic tradition and traditional Blackfeet spirituality. The sign of peace was a profound moment (more like many moments) as we felt that we were truly welcomed as family. In contrast to our familiar 30 second sign of peace, at this daily Mass, every person hugged every other person in the room. Many people also thanked us for being there and added “God Bless You’s” to their “Peace Be With You’s.” We are all humbled and blessed by our encounter with Christ and Christ’s people in such a simple yet amazing Mass.
Today is John’s birthday!!! A few of us went on a secret mission to the grocery store where we last-minute picked up a cake for him. He was further surprised and blessed by a wonderful guest (and cook) Martha Padgett. Martha is a alumni of De La Salle and graduated High School two years ago. She is currently the Youth Minister for Little Flower Parish, and she answered all of our questions about her experience as both a De La Salle student, and as a Blackfeet woman. Out of her great generosity, she always provided an amazing meal for us. She patiently taught us to make frybread, and as we stood in the kitchen we talked about everything from what books we should read, to relationships with students, to the hope of the Blackfeet people. Meanwhile, Dan crafted a piece of frybread that looked exactly like John. We feasted on Indian Tacos, and when we were full, we ate more frybread with peanut butter and honey. It was life changing. We ended our night as always around the giant table, laughing and talking, and sharing our memorable moments big and small. Browning has welcomed us to learn and to change, to love and to grow. With exhaustion has come abundant graces.
Jess and Saki