Jacob is 6. Jacob and his three brothers ate with us everyday. Jacob’s mother was escaping an abusive relationship caused by alcohol and drugs. After hearing their story we couldn’t complain at all about the heat we were experiencing while sleeping in a non-air conditioned school. Jacob and his brothers slept down by the dry creek bed in an old van with a broken window. It was a tent before that. The temperatures got as high as 111 degrees.
Betty was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1974 and told by her doctors she had a year to live and to go home and get her things in order. She left Estes Park, Colorado with $36,000 in savings and dedicated her life to helping the Lakota people. For over 30 years, each Christmas she delivers a semi load of gifts to the children on the reservation. She has provided over 25 homes through donations from others. She even gave her own home away and now lives in a small trailer on a friend’s property. Betty was so appreciative when we helped repair her home. She talked non-stop the whole time. Betty has outlived both of the doctors that gave her a year to live.
Among the extreme poverty of the reservation, there was a lot of love, both given and received.