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Summer Mission Trip 2015

posted Jul 7, 2015, 10:36 AM by First Baptist


I’m so thankful to be part of that church dedicated to PROCLAIMING CHRIST – locally, nationally and internationally.


On July 26, a group of 10 of us from First Baptist are going to a place called Dakota Sonshine in Sisseton, SD.


Dakota Sonshine is a camp for Native American children. Our team will be assisting the camp staff and doing whatever else the camp director wants us to do.


I visited the camp last week to meet the director and get a better handle on what the camp is like & what we’ll be doing.


About Dakota Sonshine


The camp was founded in 2001 by Don & Teena Lykins. Don was an airline mechanic in South Carolina. While on a mission trip to a South Dakota reservation in 1999, Don & Teena sensed God calling their family (they have 6 children) to sell their home and move to South Dakota permanently in order to serve the Native American population.


Soon after their arrival in Sisseton, they purchased 30 acres of land and began re-modeling an old barn. The lower level is their chapel & dining area, while the upper level is where Don & his family lives.


Over the years, they’ve built 3 cabins on the land, plus a gymnasium. The camp can accommodate 30 campers at a time. They have horses, “the longest zip line in South Dakota,” a water slide and a ropes course. The camp isn’t fancy or necessarily all that attractive, but God is using it in a powerful way. Each year, 40-60 Native Americans come to Christ and are baptized. Getting baptized is HUGE in Native American culture and may result in the person being ostracized.


About the Reservation


Poverty is severe on the reservation near Sisseton, with significant drug & alcohol abuse. Suicides are very common (at least one a week).


With respect to religion, only 3% are Christian. In general, Native Americans are suspicious of “the white man” and Christianity is the “white man’s religion.” Decades ago, Christian groups (mostly Catholic, but some Protestant) came on the reservation and established boarding schools for children. The children were often physically abused and forced to convert to Christianity. Stories from the boarding schools are passed from generation-to-generation, making the work of evangelism incredibly difficult.


Please pray for the team as we serve at Dakota Sonshine.


Pastor Dan