Keep Gail in your prayers, as she is facing a personal medical situation.
Report From Mark & Gail:
Here are some highlights from April to end of year 2021 at Broken Arrow Chapel:
We were able to take seven of our youth to the National Native Youth Convention (NNYC) in Phoenix from April 23-24. At this Christian gathering of teens from several reservations, the ministry was excellent. It was good to be able to get together with the teens for fellowship for the first time since the pandemic began.
On May 22, we celebrated junior high promotions and high school graduations with 10 of our youth at a pizza & arcade. We are very proud of the two young people graduating high school this year, who are both going on to college. High school and college graduation rates are low on the Navajo Nation—much lower than for the entire U.S., so it is a really big deal when a young person reaches these milestones. One of the graduates, Aubrianna (Pastor Stanley’s granddaughter, below), is attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University – American Indian College (SAGU-AIC). When she was a high school freshman at NNYC, she first told us she felt called to missions. We are very pleased that she is being faithful to continue to prepare for her calling. We are currently helping her and another young woman with scholarships. With two high school seniors this year, we are in need of contributions to our scholarship fund to be able to continue to help our college students.
Young Adults Retreat
We held our fourth annual Young Adults Retreat for 20-to-30-year-olds from June 3-5. Our theme was Be a Disciple—Make Disciples, with Matthew 28:19-20 as the theme verses. Visiting pastors provided excellent preaching in the morning and evening services, along with great teaching in the two workshops on Evangelism and Using your Spiritual Gifts to Serve. We had 15 young people who registered for the 3-day program and a several others who just attended the evening services. Those who attended said they were blessed by the event. Three rededicated their lives to Christ, and five reported that they felt God called them into ministry during the program. The retreat ended with a reflective time of Bible study and prayer, concluding with the pastors praying for each participant.
We held Youth Camp for 12 to 19-year-olds from July 12-16. A team of nine came from Allentown, PA, to help as counselors and with various camp activities. We had local Arizona speakers and worship leaders. We limited the number of campers to comply with Navajo Nation guidelines and had 43 in attendance. We also had to shuttle most of the campers to and from their homes each day. In spite of these restrictions, camp went very well, and many campers were touched by God’s presence. Eight received Christ for the first time, 26 rededicated their lives to the Lord, and 13 felt that God called them into ministry during the week.
In-Person Youth Meetings. With the Navajo Nation allowing youth programs to resume the week before Youth Camp, we began in-person Friday Night Youth meetings on July 23. We had been meeting virtually online. However, the young people were really excited to be meeting in person again, and larger numbers have been attending since.
Youth and Young Adult Church. On September 5, we restarted our weekly in-person Sunday School and church services for youth and young adults (youth ages 12 to 19 and young adults in their 20s and 30s). We have covered new topics, such as making wise entertainment choices and distinguishing between the world’s values and biblical values. The youth who attend our Friday night and Sunday ministry do not for the most part have parents who attend the church and are not from Christian homes. We pick these young people up in the church vans from the Indian Wells and White Cone communities.
Food and Bed Distributions
Fourteen hundred twenty-nine people received food boxes, water, and freshly made chicken salads. Dozens of beds, which had been assembled on site, were distributed.
We launched Celebrate Recovery here at our church on October 13. The first CR meeting was attended by 6 women and 2 men. Mark spoke on the background of and introduction to the program. More people from the community and surrounding areas have been attending since, as we present CR Lessons and testimonies on alternating weeks. This kind of Christ-centered recovery program is greatly needed here as alcohol and drug addiction has increased during the pandemic from rates that were already high.
Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support.
Please remember to keep Mark and Gail, Theresa, and the ministry in your prayers!