Native American Ministries Serves Unreached Communities in the Pacific Southwest

Nancy Crosby

The Pacific Union Conference is home to over 1.2 million Native Americans, the largest population of Native Americans residing within any of the unions in the North American Division. Yet this population is the least reached by our church. We are called to witness to all nations, but Native Americans have been neglected. Native American Ministries is currently working to reverse this problem.

The Nevada-Utah Conference decided early in the year to focus on supporting the Kayenta Mission in Arizona as it reaches out to share the gospel with the Navajo people. The fruits of these efforts are now being harvested. Kayenta Mission has begun a women’s brunch ministry and has held two successful events so far. The ladies enjoy fellowshipping together at these brunches. Also, the mission received needed repairs thanks to missionary supporters from Daystar Academy, who helped with landscaping work, painting, and fence building.

Southeast of Kayenta, Chinle Mission is sharing the gospel with many whose lives are filled with addiction, abuse, and pain. Walla Walla student Rebekah Fink is currently leading the children’s ministry for the mission. Don Krimmer, an Adventist Alcoholics Anonymous volunteer abuse counselor at Chinle Mission, is another integral worker in witnessing about Christ’s love and forgiveness. At least one precious soul is currently receiving Bible studies as a part of a journey to become an Adventist as a direct result of the help, love, and acceptance felt from the church.

In Page, Arizona, volunteer Bible worker Milika Saafi is doing door-to-door work and giving Bibles studies. Moreover, the Page Mission community garden, Seeds for Life, added several new plots thanks to Pacific Union funding. Interest from the community is growing, and with the largest coal-powered plant west of the Mississippi closing in December, the hope is that the garden will help provide for those in need.

Preliminary planning stages for an Adventist World Radio station in the Navajo Nation are in motion. All conferences involved are very supportive of this project. We hope that the station will reach the majority of the Navajo Nation. Through this, we pray that many Native Americans will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and that as the work moves forward many souls can be harvested for the kingdom.

Together with North American Division Community Services, the Nevada-Utah Conference is exploring other opportunities to connect with Native Americans. They have begun using American Indian Living Magazine—an Adventist lifestyle publication that encourages healthy living. Over the next few years, the Pacific Union will supply churches with this magazine to distribute to tribal offices and clinics in their area.

There is still a need for short- and long-term missionaries. If you, your church, or your school would like to experience the life-changing and gratifying experience of serving on a mission, please contact Nancy Crosby at 217-322-2516 or pucnativeministries@gmail.com.

 

Community members gather for a women’s brunch hosted at the Kayenta Mission.

Photo by Nancy Crosby

2019-06-18T15:18:13-07:00June 27th, 2019|News|

Blythe Church Aids in Riverside County Humanitarian Crisis

Faith Hoyt

Responding to the need created by the sudden influx of homeless migrant families in Riverside County, Adventist believers from the Blythe Spanish church are providing help in the form of food, lodging, and clean clothing.

According to an article published by the Desert Sun in April, “On March 28, Yuma sector Border Patrol officials started releasing migrant families from their custody, because their three processing centers—including one in Blythe—were overflowing with recently apprehended migrant families.”

Jesus Jacquez, pastor of the Blythe church, reported that his congregation first got involved in providing help to local homeless in the spring of 2018 when the church was approached by Riverside University Health System’s “HHOPE” program about providing aid.

The church responded by inviting homeless people to their facility to take showers, to get clean clothes during the weekdays, and to eat a hot meal. This year, the church expanded their outreach ministry to include providing a place for homeless migrants to stay overnight, access to on-site social workers, and free Bibles and copies of Steps to Christ (Camino a Cristo).

The church’s outreach efforts are made possible solely through donations from church members and the local community, which have included funding, clothes, food, and volunteers. Jacquez shared that his small congregation has stepped up to help even though the church struggles to cover their growing outreach expenses.

For now, the congregation provides various services for an average of 70 people each day.

“The primary reason the church became involved was because we wanted to become active in the community,” Jacquez said. “The migrant crisis is an opportunity to help. We have the facility, so we went forward by faith.”

For the Blythe church, now is the time to apply the words of Leviticus 19:34: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself” (NIV).

Learn more about the Riverside County humanitarian crisis at: http://www.desertsun.com.

To learn more about how you can support the Blythe church outreach efforts, call 760-922-0644.

 

Church members tend a booth with free books and magazines in Spanish for migrants.

2019-06-18T15:07:30-07:00June 25th, 2019|News|

Pacific Union Hosts NAD Asian-Pacific Pastors’ Convention

Faith Hoyt

Pastors from across North America, Canada, Guam-Micronesia, and Bermuda gathered in Ontario, Calif., from May 13-16 for the North American Division Asian-Pacific Pastors’ Convention.

About 400 pastors and spouses registered for the convention, which was hosted at the Ontario Airport Hotel & Conference Center.

“The convention brought our pastors a renewed passion for study of the Bible and helped them embrace the relevance of planting and growing healthy churches,” said VicLouis Arreola, director of Asian-Pacific Ministries for both the Pacific Union Conference and the North American Division. “This gathering was an upper room experience that prepared them to meet the challenges of these end times and finishing the work.”

According to Arreola, this is the third NAD-wide Asian-Pacific pastors’ convention to be hosted. As the host of conventions in years past, the Pacific Union extended invitations to other unions. Now, NAD Asian-Pacific conventions bring Asian-Pacific pastors together once every three years, and Pacific Union conventions continue to be hosted yearly.

For Arreola and his team, who work to provide this opportunity for those in ministry, the NAD convention is a time to celebrate the diversity of and ministry to 33 different cultural language groups. The convention is also an opportunity for the Asian-language advisories to meet, plan, and renew their mission and vision for reaching the communities in this division.

“One of the goals of having this convention is to gather the pastors in the North American Division and fellowship together,” said Bernard Castillo, administrative assistant for Asian-Pacific Ministries in the Pacific Union, “as well as continuing education for all the pastors.”

Pastors who attend the convention earn five continuing education units through attendance at various sessions hosted by professors from Andrews University Theological Seminary and the HMS Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University, as well as other guest presenters. Pastors attended courses on New Testament theology, Old Testament theology, archaeology, pastoral care and counseling, systematic theology, and church growth and evangelism. Course curriculum included SDA foundational studies, interpersonal ministry, outreach in the community, applied pastoral skills, and concepts of church growth.

Sessions were also offered for the spouses of pastors and were coordinated by Imelda Arreola. Topics by guest presenters included “How to Thrive in the Journey of Ministry,” “Serving with my Spiritual Gifts,” and “The Pastor’s Wife and Healthy Self-Worth.”

This year’s convention was themed “Redeeming the Time.” Guest speakers included Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division; Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference; and Randy Roberts, senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church.

The pastors in attendance represented many of the 820 Asian-Pacific churches across the U. S., Canada, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia. For these pastors, the fellowship, continuing education, and time for spiritual renewal make these conventions both a professionally and spiritually significant event.

2019-06-18T14:58:30-07:00June 20th, 2019|News|

Pacific Union Launches Quarterly Recorder en español

Faith Hoyt

At the beginning of the year, the Pacific Union Recorder launched the first ever quarterly edition of the magazine in Spanish.

The Recorder en español features editorials, news from Hispanic ministries in the seven conferences, and information about events of interest to Spanish-speaking members. In January of this year, the Union launched the winter (inverno) edition of the magazine, followed by a spring (primavera) edition in April. The summer (verano) edition is expected to go to press in late June.

“The membership of the Pacific Union includes Spanish-speakers, and we want to acknowledge them as part of our fellowship,” said Alberto Valenzuela, editor of the magazine and associate communication director for the Pacific Union. “A Recorder in Spanish provides a good way to share the news that is coming from a large part of our community here in the Pacific Southwest.”

Prior to producing the Recorder en español, the Pacific Union Hispanic Ministries department produced En Contacto. Following departmental changes, production of En Contacto paused, and ultimately the goals and vision of the publication transitioned into the production of the Recorder en español.

“Since we stopped the old magazine, En Contacto, it is a good time to send this!” shared Jorge P. Soria, vice president of the Pacific Union. “The new magazine includes great articles that can be shared with those who are studying the Bible. It is good for churches to have it on hand to share with visitors.”

The Pacific Union Department of Communication and Community Engagement works with Pacific Press to deliver batches of the magazine directly to the Hispanic members living in the Pacific Southwest. Currently, Recorder en español reaches an estimated 20, 000 Adventist homes in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

According to Alberto Ingleton, director of Hispanic Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference, a regularly produced magazine in Spanish shows care and meets an important need in the Pacific Union Conference territory. “We have a large community of first generation Hispanics,” Ingleton explained. “Their native language is Spanish, and a magazine in Spanish will allow for greater understanding and more effective communication. These members hold leadership positions such as elders and departmental directors, and a Spanish magazine helps us connect to the leaders in our Hispanic churches.” Ingleton shared that part of the connection includes being able to share events, news, and projects with members that, through their involvement, help to fulfill the mission of the church.

With an estimated 15 million Spanish and Portuguese-speaking people living in the five states in the Pacific Union region, the Pacific Union recognizes the need to offer more multi-lingual resources.

Read the latest edition of the Recorder en español by visiting: adventistfaith.com/recorder

 

Alberto Valenzuela, editor of the magazine and associate communication director for the Pacific Union, presents the second quarterly edition of Recorder en español.

Photo by Connie Jeffery

 

2019-06-18T14:52:02-07:00June 18th, 2019|News|

La Sierra University Board of Trustees selects new university president