In July GBC will send a Vision Team to the Navajo Nation. The team of 16 teens and adults will practice servant leadership as they live together in one house and partner with the Good News Church in Houck, AZ. They will help with construction projects and conduct a VBS for local children.
Prayerfully our teens will develop a deeper understanding of a culture that is not like their own. Their experience will be based on the hugs and smiles of the Navajo children. But, beyond the warmth of these relationships, pray they will come to understand the many challenges this community faces.
The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American territory, covering over 27,000 square miles. It occupies portions of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico and identifies a population of over 250,000.
--The unemployment rate is 42%, many times that of the rest of the United States.
--The poverty rate is 38%. Extreme poverty, those earning less than half the poverty threshold, is 15%.
--Median family income is around $28,000 whereas the United States average is over $50,000.
--The high school graduation rate is about 25%. The U.S. rate is justnorth of 80%.
--Partners in Health estimates that 1 in 3 are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
--Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, indicators of despair, cause significant social and health problems.
Strongly held traditional religious beliefs make sharing Christ’s love a greater challenge. However, several organizations like Native InterVarsity and Ron Hutchcraft Ministries’ On Eagles Wings are making inroads into the native community. The current president of the Navajo Nation is a former Southern Baptist church planter.
Let’s pray for God’s blessing as our team prepares to support the Good News Church and share the good news of Jesus with their hands, voices, and hearts.