White Mountain Apache reservation will never be the same! Why? Because 26 people from 4 different churches and 3 states converged in Phoenix to serve the people in and around Whiteriver. The goal was simple; reach the people with the love of Jesus. This goal was three-fold; Mega Sports Camp for the children, a work project to benefit a resident of the reservation and community outreach events to reach children in the outlying areas.
This team consisted of 13 adults and 13 children between the ages of 8 and 16. After spending 8 days with this group of people, I’m convinced that not only was it God led but the team was also hand picked by God. Everyone was focused and driven to complete whatever task was before them. From sunrise to sunset the team gave all they had to impact this community.
Children built relationships with the team as they played together and shared their lives with each other through sports camp and huddle groups. Friendships were forged and at the end of the week many children gave their lives to Jesus.
In the afternoon the team personalized the work project as they took the vision of the children’s minister and applied it to the children’s building. From one end of the building to the other they organized, labeled, constructed a puppet stage and puppet rack, painted ceilings, floors and murals on the wall, scrubbed floors, replaced a toilet, tore out the rotting kitchen sink and counter, replacing it with a utility sink, hung new window treatments and by the end of the 3 days of renovation the building had been transformed.
Evenings took us to the street where we were able to share the message of Jesus in fun and relevant ways and then distributed the Book of Hope to each and every one there.
Lives were changed that week. Children like Tatiyana who received hope as she prayed with the team on Sunday evening. Or Titus that stood on the side lines and wouldn’t join the fun until different people on the team became friends with him. He was accepted and loved unconditionally. There were at least 35 children that made decisions to follow Jesus that week.
An organized and refreshed children’s building provided the encouragement needed for an overwhelmed and tired children’s ministry leader to regain her passion for teaching the children.
And the team members themselves were changed as their flames were turned up a notch and they found a renewed desire to push forward in their own ministries at home.
I stand amazed at how much God can do in the lives of people in such a short period of time. Removed from cell phone signal, Facebook, twitter, and emails the team was able to connect with God and with other people in very special ways.
If you would like to be part of a team in the future, send me a message and I’ll inform you of upcoming trips. But, only send me a message if you are ready for a life changing experience!!