August 14-23, 2013 my son Douglas and I went on a mission trip to the Crow Indian Pow Wow in Montana. We stayed in TeePees on the Reservation just below the Little Big Horn battle ground. As a service to the Indians, we picked up trash, gave out free water and coffee, and shared the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ through evangecubes and the witness of our service. The American Indians are considered an unreached people group, with an estimation of only about 3% evangelical Christian. This yearly Pow Wow typically has about 30,000 attendees, and I believe that was about correct for last year also.
AS my intentions of this trip were to bring a greater knowledge of God to the people of the Crow Nation, God’s intention was to rattle my cage and challenge and my faith to grow it.
My husband and I have 4 children. The youngest, our daughter, Kirsten, was engaged to a young man, Johnathan, who is in the US Navy, and was on Tour Operation Enduring Freedom 2013, on the aircraft carrier, USS NIMITZ. Before we left for the mission trip, my daughter had told me that the Nimitz was headed home, to be in Everett, Washington by October, and Johnathan was on schedule for a January 3rd wedding. I was very relieved that the Nimitz was headed home, because I had been concerned about the growing tension in the middle east.
On the last morning of the Pow Wow, Sunday August 18th, I woke up with this young man heavy on my heart. I didn’t know why, but I felt called to pray for him, and that he was facing an enemy of some kind. When I came out of my Tee Pee, there were only a couple ladies in camp.(It was the last day of the Pow wow, and the most eventful day. The Sunday morning parade starting at 10:00 was told to be the best one, and all the finals of the various competitions were Sunday evening.) I was scheduled to work the coffee & water tent from 4-6 that evening, and pick up trash from 6-8PM.
As I had no plans for the morning until the parade, and I had this heavy feeling about the safety of my future son-in-law, I sought the prayers, comfort, and wisdom of one of the other ladies in camp. I shared with her the history of my relationship with this young man, and that he had worked for me on our farm in Hempstead, TX. I shared the strange experience of hundreds of sea gulls flying over our farm there, getting in a thermal, and riding the air currents up in a most incredible column of shimmering light. There was something spiritual about it, but I am to this day not sure of what the meaning was. I was called to my knees by God, and did not obey because I was afraid of what the other people around me would think. This happened right before I met Johnathan in 2010. Other small miracles started happening with him over the next 2 ½ months before he joined the Navy in October. I shared those with her that morning, and she prayed with me for Johnathan’s protection from whatever enemy he may be facing. We prayed for him, and for the safety of all the men and women on the USS Nimitz. We finished our prayer, and I looked at my watch, and it was well after 10:00 am!! I jumped up, grabbed my camera, and ran across the road to where the parade was starting. I had missed all the beautiful horses and Indians in their regalia!! All that was left were a few BORING floats! I was going to have to find another place to intersect the parade. As I was waiting for the floats to pass, I noticed a banner on one of them that read, “Jonathan Takes Enemy – MVP”. WOW!!!!
That afternoon while I was working our water, coffee, and prayer tent, I found a book on the counter that I hadn’t seen before. It was one of the Psalms, military edition. I asked one of the other volunteers if we were giving that book out, and if so, where were the other copies. I was told that no one knew where it came from, and I could have it if I wanted it. I tucked it away in my belongings to take home.
After finishing my shift in the tent, I grabbed my garbage bucket and headed off to the dance arena to pick up trash. Near the main entrance to the arena, I saw an older white man in full dance regalia waiting to go in and compete. I said, “Hi”. In turn he said hi, and asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Houston, and was here on a mission trip to bring Christ to the Indians. He wheeled toward me and said, “Well I’m a retired college professor from Illinois, and I taught evolution for years in my classroom. My dad told me as a kid that my blood runs the same color as the Indians, so I am just another one of them. I am a medicine man now, and my gods are from here! I have a Christian friend with a brain tumor. Tomorrow when I leave here, I am going to the mountains to build an altar to my gods and lift up my friend to them.” He then turned his body away from me, and began talking to someone else. I stood quietly right where I was for some time, until he finished talking to the other man. When he turned back toward me, I wished him luck in his competition, and walked off subdued.
I went back to the water tent for the end of my garbage pick- up shift to rest and get my things. In the chair just outside the tent was a schizophrenic homeless man…In MY chair!! I poured him a cup of coffee…and he poured it out. So I gave him a bottle of water…and he handed it back. I turned around to put the water back in the ice chest, and thought to myself, ‘WHAT DOES THIS MAN WANT?!’ . I was very tired, irritated, and not wanting to deal with him; then I looked up and saw our banner, “FREE water, FREE coffee, FREE prayer.” Oh no!!! Lord, you aren’t really asking me to do that, are you? I went back over to him and put my hand gently on his shoulder. He lurched away from me as if I had hit him with a hot iron. I kept my hand on his shoulder as he writhed in fear…but didn’t get up from the chair. I began to pray. At this point, I could no longer look at him, and I do not even remember all I said. I know I prayed that the Holy Spirit would heal him, and that Satan would be expelled. I finished my prayer and just about ran back to my Tee Pee. I got there and paced back and forth in front of my cot, fretting at what had happened. I then got on my knees and prayed that God would use my presence in these two men’s life to bring Him glory. I also prayed that the spiritual battles I had just witnessed would be won by God, and that these men’s lives would be changed. I crawled in my cot and went to sleep.
Early the next morning, we broke camp. When I pulled back the tarp floor of my Tee Pee, There was a dead snake (small one albeit, but a snake nonetheless!) under the area in front of my cot where I had been pacing the night before! One of the men behind me saw it and commented as he walked by, “And the serpent will be crushed by His heel.” I stood there in awe at what had just happened.
The Saturday after we got back, President Obama turned the USS NIMITZ back to the Red Sea to face off with the Russian Navy, threatening US military action in Syria. Two weeks later, I spoke with Mary Ellen in the bookstore in Houston First Baptist Church, and asked her if our church had a prayer program or anything for the military. She said there was a book, Psalm 91 for the military, that she would find for me in the library. I realized then, that that was the very book that I had picked up from the tent in Montana, set on my cot while I was pacing, and that had been sitting on my nightstand, unopened for two weeks. Psalm 91 gives us God’s promises of protection. Psalm 91:13 reads, “You will tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.”
To outline briefly the course of events:
1). 8/18 – 10:00am – I asked for God’s protection for my future son-in-law. Within 10 minutes of that prayer, God confirmed His promise of protection through a banner at the parade.
2.)8/18 – 4:00pm – God provided the Psalm 91 book for me to LATER fully understand what He had done that morning, and what He was about to do that evening!!!
3.) 8/18 – 6:00-8:00pm – God placed two men in my path to heighten my awareness of the spiritual battle going on around each of us. This brought me to my knees in prayer that night.
4.) 8/19 – 8:30am – God confirmed that He heard my prayer, that His Word is never failing, AND THAT HE HAS ALREADY WON THAT BATTLE THROUGH HIS SON JESUS CHRIST!!!!

My lessons from this mission trip were many. The most profound for me was that of protection, physical and spiritual, that our Lord offers us through His Word , and through the power of our prayer. We are told through scripture that God has given to believers authority in His name over the enemy. Psalm 91 is old testament promises, but God shows us that He is unchanging in that our authority is restated in the new testament, Luke 10:19, “Behold, I[Jesus] have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.”