CHURCH LIFE

Native American Ministries Serves Unreached Communities in the Pacific Southwest

Newsdesk 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

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