He Dog is a small community on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This year was our second Spring trip and our third Summer trip. Both trips focus on intentionally investing our time and loving the people of He Dog. Our focus also remains on how we can best support Bethany Mann, a second grade teacher at He Dog School, and help her continue to establish and build up a sustainable ministry and Gospel presence within the community.

During our week in He Dog this past June we were able to see kids and families we have already established relationships with as well as meet some new faces! Laughs, creativity, and sweat were shared by all during several games of basketball, volleyball, tie-dye shirt making, and a carnival to finish up the week.

The open hang out time during the first couple of hours each day created the space for fun and conversation. It was such a welcome sight seeing so many families and adults join us for our evening community meal and then stick around for the short drama about the story of Esther.

Everyone we talk to knows Bethany and only has great things to say about the positive impact she is having in He Dog. She is known as someone who genuinely cares and is always willing to help.

Though the week is over, the rest of the year awaits! God has the door open for us - more opportunities to love, deeper relationships, and continued support for Bethany and her efforts in He Dog.

What We Do

The week is centered around time with the people of He Dog which takes on different forms:

-Kids Club: lesson, crafts, games
-Hangout time: open gym, games
-Basketball tournament
-Serving dinner in the community center each night
-Conversations and relationship building with the kids, teens, and adults
-Activities for all ages: movie night, water balloon fight, launching rockets
-Prayer and worship time

Why We Do It

The missions strategy here at City On A Hill centers around the idea that missions is not just a trip. To be missional is to have an outward focus - to have the focus off of ourselves and on the Gospel, on a daily basis. It is not about us, but about the ultimate sacrifice Christ made out of love for us. Our lives are a testimony to His grace and for His glory.

We have adopted Acts 1:8 as a model for our strategy.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -Acts 1:8

We all have our own Jerusalem, Judea/Samaria, and our own ends of the earth where God has placed us. We need to be relational and intentional with those around us in these places and be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s direction. Missions is not necessarily a trip to some other city or far off place - it is a response to the redemptive power of Christ’s love - a desire to share this good news with everyone around us so they too may know Jesus personally.

Our ongoing relationship with Bethany Mann and the people of He Dog is the Judea/Samaria for our church.

How You can Join the Journey


Continue to pray for Bethany and the people of He Dog. Pray we remain open to however the Spirit wants to move – maybe a couple more weekend trips throughout the year, work projects, or other new opportunities.

Attend a Weekend Trip

Stay tuned! We hope to make a couple of trips out to the Rez before next June – maybe a fall/winter and spring trip. Maybe a weekend trip is an easier commitment than a whole week in June.Questions

Contact Emily Werness at emily.werness@gmail.com