Abandoned homes and decreasing home values are a sign of the Northern Great Plains losing population to urban areas.
Jay Diede, principal of Watford City (North Dakota) High School.
Churches are cultural anchors on the Plains. They were among the first structures erected when each area was settled and the last ones abandoned when a community died.
"These are good people. Hopeful people," said Jan Zook, lay minister at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Bowbells. "This is home to us. We are comfortable here. We have a simple life. We aren't rushed. I feel safe here."