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Mysterious Ways: A Rope of Hope

There was something in our church craft cabinet…something I’d never seen in there before.

By Sandi Sebak Bean, Bottineau, North Dakota

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I walked over to our church’s craft cabinet, hoping to find some project ideas for kids. In just a few days my husband, Daniel, and I would be taking a mission trip to help the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota build a new church and we’d need some fun things to do with the families.

I’d barely opened the door when a long piece of thick rope flew out, landing at my feet. The rest of it was tangled up inside the cabinet—it had to be at least 10 or 12 feet long!

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“Where did this come from?” I wondered aloud. I often used the crafts in there for my Sunday school class, but I’d never seen a rope! I wound it up and threw it back inside, pulling out markers, glue and some puppets. A few minutes later the rope fell out again. I flung it in the far corner of the cabinet, continuing to fill my plastic travel container with supplies. Flop! A piece of the rope fell out once more. Aggravated, I shoved it under a jar of paint on the top shelf.

Finally, I finished up and shut the cabinet door. Or at least I tried to shut the door. It wouldn’t close! You guessed it…the rope was in the way. Might as well take this with me too, I thought, throwing it in the container. Maybe the kids can use it as a jump rope.

The trip went even better than we’d hoped. On our last day, I was teaching some children how to make Popsicle stick picture frames while other volunteers helped the tribe erect a teepee near the church to represent the Crow Creek culture. That’s when one of our team members walked over looking frustrated.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him.

“Well, it’s important that we get this teepee finished for the tribe before we leave tomorrow,” he said. “But we can’t get the frame up. I’ve asked everyone around here for help, but no one has what we need.”

“Maybe I can help,” I said.

“I doubt it,” he said. “Unless you’ve got about 12 feet of sturdy rope.”