What is hardest obstacle for Native Americans there?
Poverty and a lack of choices fro the future. It is hard for us to comprehend their dismal prospects because choices and opportunities are expectations that we grow up with.
What is the missions biggest obstacle?
Staffing, staffing and staffing. We need people who can raise their own support and are mature, established Christians.
Describe your missions work.
During the summer (2001) we have approximately 3000 kids in VBS in 42 locations. VBS is a main outreach. Most often we start with youth programs and end up working with the adults as well. We also have a boarding school, K-8. Summer Camp program that works with about 400 kids. Our bus ministry for teens serves 8 different communities on the reservation. It runs 4 nights a week and visits each community once every 2 weeks.
Describe an occasion where God’s power was overwhelmingly evident.
The San Carlos Reservation. We (the staff) had been fervently praying for several months for God to lead and direct us. Then we got a phone call from the San Carlos inviting us to start an after school program. This was such a blessing and really demonstrated God’s perfect timing. Not only were we being invited but it was the local adults who were inviting us. We usually don’t reach the adults until much later than the children, but the people there knew that there was a need for God. A donated building and bus soon followed.
Where is God leading you in the next 5 years?
We are hoping to add a new grade to the boarding school each year until we can offer K- 12. We also hope to add another teen mission bus.
What do we as a congregation fail to understand about your work there?
It’s very cross-cultural. We deal with a lot of third world conditions.
|Population of the Navajo reservation||200,000+|
Population of the Apache reservation;
both the White Mountain and the San Carlos reservations.
|Rate of unemployment||25%|
|Rate of alcoholism||55-60%|
|Rate of teen suicide||6 times national average|
AICM (American Indian Christian Missions) began in 1969 by a group of men from California and Arizona who saw a need to take Christ to the Native American people in Arizona. The first work was taking VBS programs to various locations on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. Land was purchased near Show Low and a summer camp program was started.
The boarding school began in 1985, adding a grade each year. In 1995 AICM began the Apache Christian Connection on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
The Lord has been opening many doors and providing additional ministry opportunities on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. The Native American people have the highest teen suicide rate of any ethnic group in the United States. The Apache tribe has the highest suicide rate among the Indian people. Neither tribal programs nor Native traditions can change this tragedy - only Christ will make a difference.
We have been giving the opportunity to minister to people in several communities on the Apache reservation through VBS programs, youth rallies, and the construction of a new church building. Please keep this area of our ministry in your prayers as exciting things are happening for the Lord. Hundreds of children will hear the Gospel message through this part of AICM's ministry.
The American Indian Christian Missions operates a boarding school for grades K - 10 near Show Low, AZ. The children reside at the mission, returning home every other weekend. The first high school graduation took place in May 1995 with 6 seniors in the class.
The children in our school are taught with Christian based curriculum. A well rounded education is provided, including daily Bible classes and prayer time, along with their other subjects. It is a joy to watch these children grow and mature throughout the year.
The American Indian Christian Missions runs all year long. When school is over in May, our summer programs begin. These programs include camps for children Kindergarten through high school, with wilderness camps as well. Numerous work groups from across the country will be at the mission during the summer helping on various projects. These include remodeling work, construction of sidewalks, completion of staff housing, and general maintenance work.
As part of American Indian Christian Missions' commitment to "evangelize and equip Native Americans for Christ", student ministry teams were formed in the spring of 1994 to provide opportunities for them to server others. They have been to Mexico, New Mexico, and various locations on both the Navajo and Apache reservations. Their work has included clearing brush, general cleaning, maintenance, and construction projects. We also have a choir, praise band, and video ministry during the school year. Beginning in 1996, a group of students have visited Native American residents at the local nursing home on a regular basis.
In order to keep up with the growth the Lord has blessed AICM with, we continue to work on various building projects. In the summer of 1998, the completion of 4 more staff housing units will take place.
Remodel work will be completed on Dorm #1 and School Building #1. Another 2,000 ft. of sidewalk will be poured. In addition, improvements to the grounds will also take place. Hundreds of people from all over the U.S. will be here to volunteer with these projects. Please keep them in your prayers.
The American Indian Christian Missions continues to grow and we are thankful for the blessings the Lord has given us. We need the help of you, His people, to assist in this continued growth. Please prayerfully consider how you or your church could help.
Call our office at 520.537.5912 for more details.
Please send contributions / correspondence to:
American Indian Christian Missions
PO BOX 1840
Show Low, AZ 85902-1840
Please make checks payable to American Indian Christian Missions
Mailing Address for direct correspondence:
(and include Scott Williams name in Subject )