Looking back over the years.
The Midwest Indian Mission Was Born In My Heart
By Ora Hollingshead Brinkman
I alway found great pleasure when I found an Indian to whom I could witness while an American Sunday School Union Missionary’s wife in the sandhills of Nebraska. Indians were few and far between on our six county mission feild so when my husband decided to pick up our loaned tent at an Indian camp at Red Scaffold, near Dutree, South Dakota I was filled with anticipation. Do you suppose George will let me stay overnight with the Indians… I was afraid to ask. When I finally did he said “No”. When I insisted he said, “well, I’ll just sleep in the car and you can sleep where you want to”. I loved it. My bed on the floor of the school house together with the other Indians was my great pleasure. Yes somewhere back, from way back I do carry a little Indian blood.
My call to Indian work came one afternoon while taking a little afternoon rest in our new Nebraska home. George and I had worked hard to build our dream cottage adjacent to the camp we had founded near Long Pine, Nebraska. I couldn’t sleep this afternoon. I became terribly burdened for the Indian people. I had to get on my knees and I prayed, “Lord, if it pleases You could we please become missionaries to the Indian some day.” It seemed as though the Lord said, “what about your lovely home… oh yes, Lord I’ll gladly give it up.”
And give it up we did. The American Sunday School Union transferred my George to Central Wisconsin where he was to become the financial missionary. George did his work well, but really he never enjoyed asking for finances even tho they are necessary for the Lord’s work to be done. I was left at home night after night and day after day with my dream. When Rev. Roma Twist asked George and I to hold a Daily Vacation Bible School at Mole Lake I was thrilled. This was the summer of 1961. Chuck Ackley set up a tent in his back yard. We held classes in the daytime and church services at night. WE LOVED IT. Now George is getting the burden.
Although he continued his financial work throughout Wisconsin he made use of every opportunity to provide for our new love… missionary work amoung the Indians. He would bring home used clothing which I carefully mended and at the first opportunity delivered it, Sunday School papers and whatever else we could find to Mole Lake. I loved to wander through the Indian Homes. I talked to everyone I bumped into about my Lord. It was so much fun to share not only what I was carrying on the outside, but what I had on the inside with each person. I loved each one just as he was.
It became apparent that our hearts were no longer in the financial work, but with the Indian work. Since the American Sunday School Union did not see fit to sponsor us in this capacity we began the Midwest Indian Mission on faith. George named the mission and did the correspondence and preaching. I did the visitation, cooking, and kept up two homes. We both loved camps, Oak Lake, Lac du Flambeau, and Lake Lucerne. Our joy was to be of service.
I hesitate to begin to mention those whom God used to help us begin this ministry, but since He knows each one and will give them their reward I feel compelled to mention just a few here. Harriett Davis who drew the logo of a lone Indian knocking at a tepee door. John and Flossie Schallock who furnished us with abandoned homes on the reservations. Merle Long who gave constant encouragement and help along the way. Mr. and Mrs. Patz of the Patz Barn Cleaners Company who gave, gave, and gave, not only of their finances but of their friendship and prayers. Avery and Bertha Wetzig who sent Bible School teachers from their church in Iowa, our bus kitchen, and “Old Yeller” which we used to pick up church “goers”. John and Carol Rempel who seemed to always be available as camp workers. Our dear freinds at Mole Lake, Stone Lake and Praise Chapel who encouraged and accepted George and Ora Hollingshead in their midst as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. George has gone to his reward and I was rewarded in 1991 as I visited our friends and attended with pleasure the Bible Camp held on the Mission property. I am looking forward to meeting our wonderful Lord and the rest of my freinds who have gone on before.