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I helped the Rinkers on two different occasions. The first experience was with my church; our team stayed one week to run a VBS and help build an air plane hanger. The second time, my friend and I came up for a little over a month. He and I helped with a variety tasks, from preaching and teaching to building and excavating. Both experiences were very different. Rodger and Karen Rinker are very accommodating. They make you feel like a part of their family, and there is never a dull moment at the dinner table with Rodger's stories and jokes.
There is no shortage of work on the mission field. Rodger has many hands-on projects for which he could sorely use helpers, and there is also an intense need for people willing to help with interpersonal ministry. Whether you are considering interning with the Rinkers or just independently serving God alongside them, there are some important things to keep in mind. Ministry on the reservation is hard. While the sins and struggles people carry on the reservation aren't very different from what we're used to, they are out in the open. Where I am from, we struggle with similar things, but we become pretty good at hiding it and acting like everything is okay. On the reservation, everything seems to be public, and while at first this is startling and can be overwhelming, knowing the issues around you can make it easier to provide help. The majority of the children have been abused in some manner, so they carry huge emotional, mental, and physical burdens every day. As a result of these burdens, many of them are hard to work with or can be very different from the children we are used to interacting with. Have patience with them, but don't be afraid to be lovingly stern. They need someone to be a consistent display of love, even when they are hard to love.
There are three things I strongly encourage you to do as you pursue your interest to help: Have a strong prayer chain to whom you can relay needs, worries, and praises. Secondly, be flexible; there are many times when days don't go according to the plan. Lastly, don't waste any time getting closer to God. While you will indeed grow closer to God during your stay, the closer you are to Him beforehand will greatly help. Today is the day to begin good habits and spend time with God.
God has huge plans for this ministry, He is already working and moving through the Rinker's and their mission. I hope you will consider taking part in the work God has blessed the Rinker's with. If you have any questions about my stay, you may ask Rodger for my contact info.
Blessings, Logan Zehrung from Pennsylvania
Logan is on the right, Colby is on the left and I'm in the middle on the next picture.