The Value of Visitors
6.29.2014 | by Heidi Rice, Missionary to Kayenta, AZ & Host Parter
It is so important for us to have short-term mission trips visit the Navajo community in Arizona and work with the Kayenta church of Christ. It is so valuable for a group like Lipscomb to come and work with us. The benefits are received by the church, the community, and Nick and I, personally. Here are a few of the areas in which we have been blessed by Lipscomb Missions:
The most obvious benefit is the actual physical work that gets accomplished. In this case, we are able to maintain a very large community garden, which benefits many people when the crops come in. The group worked for an entire week preparing the garden. We would not be able to do this on our own because of limited time and resources. Also, the clothing drive and “Kids’ Carnival” that the group hosts is a huge success. It really puts a positive face on our church and draws in a lot of people from the community.
Mission trips like Lipscomb’s benefit the members of the congregation greatly because of the encouragement they receive. When members of the Lipscomb mission team talk to our members and show the warmth and love of Christ, the whole church can feel it. Lipscomb’s group brought a source of energy and rejuvenation to the congregation, as well as a new set of ears to listen to the members.
Nick and I also personally benefit from short-term mission trips. For the second year now, we have really enjoyed fellowship with the Lipscomb group. It is a time of encouragement to be with Christians that have a heart to serve. Also, in such a rural community, our social life is limited so it is a source of rejuvenation for us to have groups come and spend time with us, personally.
Mission Exposure & Education
The other value in hosting mission teams is the exposure a team like Lipscomb’s brings to our mission work on the reservation. Many people are not aware of the great need to reach out to the Navajo people. There is a vast need for resources and Christian servants on the Navajo Reservation. The churches on the reservation are very small with limited resources. The more people that are exposed and touched by God’s work here, the more the word is spread. This leads to potential workers and resources for the Kingdom of God, here on the reservation.
For these reasons and more, we are so grateful for the connection that has been made between the Kayenta church of Christ and Lipscomb University, and look forward to even deeper partnership in the future.