A group of 13 children, ages 11 to 17, from SCC’s International church of La Verne and Loma Linda Filipino Socio-economic Uplift, Literacy, Anthropological, and Developmental Services (SULADS) in SECC, went for their annual VBS outreach to the Navajo Nation in Page, Ariz., in July. “These children have been doing this program for three years and have established friendships with the Navajo kids,” said Romeo Canales, pastor of the International church. “The purpose of this outreach is to befriend the American Indians and at the same time fulfill the great commission as fishers of men.”
Every day, the team took the VBS van and visited the homes of Navajo children. They were transported to and from the daily activities, and the schedule was divided into segments of learning. The Navajo children learned stories from the Bible during the story hour. At workshop time, they were taught to do crafts and write Bible texts. There was plenty of fun outdoor time playing games with the VBS team. During prayer time, the Navajo children were taught to pray— by themselves and by leading the congregation in prayer. The week included time spent gazing into the night sky to count the stars and by the bonfire singing and giving testimonies.
“The yearly outreach in the Navajo nation has been making a difference in the lives of our children,” Canales said. “When they come home to their mother church, they also make a difference in the lives of the congregation with their testimonies.” Some of the children have preached at the child-preaching Sabbath services at the International church of La Verne.
The children’s experience in the Navajo Nation has challenged the International church children’s ministry to encourage more children to go and share the joy of service to the Navajo kids every year.