Talan (7) hopped around in the mud, grinning as he heaved small boulders and constructed a dam. That evening he returned to his mother, Faith, covered in dirt. The next day, she said, “He just can’t stop talking about garden club!”
Our prayer is that Talan and his friends will remember the Bible stories and nutritional lessons they heard at the first East Fork Lutheran Gardening Club event! Each of the precious Apache kids will be fighting battles for their spiritual, mental, and physical health as they grow up on the reservation. They need wholesome nourishment from their Christian community.
The new church gardens on the White Mountain Apache reservation are intended to be a place for members work together on a positive project. The produce from these gardens will be donated to the local Celebrate Recovery program.
Why is reaching kids vital? Consider a few numbers:
The median age of a tribal member is 24 years old.
The local premature mortality rate is high: 84%.
There is only one grocery store within 35 minutes driving distance.
A few more pictures from the gardens
Health issues throw wrenches into training and retaining Lutheran church leaders, and creates an environment of stress in many families. Prayer requests for the sick and grieving families are continual.
This summer, the Whiteriver church launched a gardening program as a beacon of hope, help, and health. Kingdom Workers is partnering with the East Fork Lutheran School’s garden, to ensure that the food grown there is used to bless the kids and their families.
In Whiteriver, KW volunteers Mark (an agronomist from Wisconsin) and Cheryl (an Apache hydrologist) lead the gardening camp. Workshop participants ate a meal full of vegetables, dug up weeds and even jumped in the mud.
Keep young Talan and the rest of the Whiteriver kids in your prayers as they grow alongside the gardens.
Field Manager: Anna Sherod
Reflections on the Sunday School training program [Sunday School]
Read more on the ministry of Kingdom Workers with the Apache people [ #LongRead ]
Read how KW engages the Apache people in actively identifying important issues in their church [HERE]
Meet an Apache EMT who is working hard to spread the Gospel [Meet Manda]
The Lutheran Apache Mission Band is becoming an influence on the Res [LAMB]