July 28 - August 5 | $475/person

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Why Take A Mission Trip?

Mission trips are incubators for life change. We get out of our routine and our normal surroundings which makes us more open to new experiences. Northwood Church’s philosophy of missions is that a change of place plus a change of pace equals a change of perspective.

By going into a new community, interacting with another culture, and experiencing poverty and need not present in Maple Grove, Northwooders develop a new eye for social justice back home. In other words, going there teaches Northwooders how to live back here.

Additionally, mission trips create shared memories and stronger bonds among church members. The combined experience weaves the fabric of the Northwood congregation more tightly. Trips like this create lasting bonds, lifelong memories, and spiritual growth, all while providing material service to people in need.

Churches that serve together are stronger. The hope is that by providing opportunity for adult mission trip experiences at Northwood, this core piece of Northwood’s identity will grow a stronger church community.

Those who have been part of our Pine Ridge Mission Trip in the past have experienced a challenging, life-changing and tangible sense of accomplishment.


One meeting a month for heart-preparation and team-building; it is important to make these meetings a priority.

Drive to Pine Ridge Reservation (approx. 9 hrs); lodge at Lakota Prairie Ranch Resort, Kyle, SD

Worship and have lunch with Pine Ridge Baptist Church; visit Wounded Knee; travel to the worksite.

Work on the house during the day; experience the culture and debrief our experiences during the evenings; worship and devotionals daily.

A day of Sabbath-rest; process the Pine Ridge experience as we re-create together in nature affording us extra time with God to pray and seek His will for next steps in our walk with Him; lodge at Storm Mountain Camp, Rapid City, SD.

Return home…changed.

Why Go To Pine Ridge?

There are many reasons Northwood has selected Pine Ridge for its adult mission program. The three most compelling are the proximity, the felt need, and the cross-cultural experience.


If you consider Pine Ridge it’s own nation (which it technically is), it is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere (behind only Haiti).

97% of the people live below the poverty level. The unemployment rate fluctuates between 85-95%.  The average income is $2,600 – $3,500 a year! The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent – 300% above the national average.

Northwooders will encounter extreme poverty, just a day’s drive from home.


Cross-cultural experiences broaden our view of the world. We can have the experience of visiting another nation/culture by just traveling one state over.

Traveling to Pine Ridge provides a chance to experience Native American culture and grow in our understanding of a vulnerable and poverty-stricken people group in the United States.


Pine Ridge requires only one day of travel. It is “close enough” to make travel simple and relatively inexpensive, while being “far enough” to feel like we’ve left our normal experiences. 

What Are We Doing There?

One of the greatest needs in the area is housing, with multiple generations often living under one roof. By building a tiny home we can add living space for families in need.

We are partnering with Serve Ventures, a Minneapolis based missions organization with a decades-long relationship on the reservation. Serve Ventures (SV) arranges the construction materials, lodging, food, construction foreman, and cultural experiences while at the worksite. By partnering with SV, we are the guests of a well-respected organization on the reservation which allows us to “borrow” credibility.

SV’s “Little Dream House” initiative is in its second year and we are excited at the opportunity to once again help them provide a wonderful way to bless the Pine Ridge community.

Who Can Go?


This trip is for adults, 18 years and older, as well as families including children who are at least 14 years old. Any adult who wishes to participate is invited whether single or married.

Focusing this trips on adults ensures the maturity/experience necessary for home construction, and meets the goal of invigorating outreaching hearts in our congregation.

Youth who wish to participate must meet a minimum age requirement of 14 and be a part of a family. There is a hope that students will go on this trip with their parents. If their parents are unable, another family can “adopt” them for the week.


The cost of this trip is $475.

This includes $395 to Serve Ventures covering all food, lodging, and materials at the work site. The additional money covers gas (we will carpool) and lodging en route.

Additional costs include meals en route, any cultural activities, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

A $100 deposit is required. It is non-refundable, but is transferable.


If you have more questions about this experience, please don’t hesitate to contact Cyndi Deneson or Celeste Forsell-Christensen, who are coordinating the trip.

You can contact Cyndi or Celeste here.

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