Spend a few minutes getting to know KW's Field Manager for all Apache projects.
Interview: Anna Sherod
How does your day typically start?
20 minute hike to Redrock
The most important tool in my toolkit is?
my Bible, the support of the KW team
What is a misconception many people have about your life?
Apache people used to ask me "Aren't you lonely?" since I'm not living in a multi-generational household. Once I got to know extended families on both reservations, they were always so welcoming to me that I rarely had a day without the feeling of "family."
What were you obsessed with as a child?
Traditions, Udon (Japanese noodles), dressing up, art, and the idea of being a missionary
What piece of the culture you’re living in do you admire the most?
Commitment to family. Also a sense of humor with no topics off-limit; a genuine belly laugh at the worst of times is good for the soul.
How do you travel to work?
I work from home or walk over to the ACTS (Apache Christian Training School) where I have an office with my printer/KW T-shirts/files. Many days, I drive to meet with people in a huge radius of two large reservations.
What is the big dream for your ministry?
The big dream is that the Apache congregation members are empowered to show love to the hurt and share the gospel with the lost, that they are matched with resources as they determine what gifts they will employ for God's Kingdom. God has a plan for His people in this place - how will they choose to glorify Him and how can we support them?
What do you do for recreation?
Hiking or farming with the John Hopkins programs are great outlets in Whiteriver. I had so much fun coaching girls' volleyball and basketball at East Fork Lutheran High School. Some of my favorite fellowship memories involve fishing for trout, making fry bread at CR, teaching a little improv class for middle schoolers, playing settlers of Catan (with the Pagels) and Euchre (with BFC volunteers). In the winter, there's a tribally run ski resort only an hour away. Dancing the social dance at a powwow in San Carlos with some lovely young ladies was also surprisingly fun! The nearest off-reservation town is Pinetop, so sometimes even a Walmart trip is exciting.
Is there a stereotype many Americans have about the country you’re working in that you find yourself explaining a lot?
The history of the United States is often a tragic account of dehumanization. Negative stereotypes about "Indians" are in no short supply. Visiting volunteers must respect the people living here as their co-workers in the Kingdom and co-heirs to eternal life. One thing that surprises some people is...the Apache people live in the same stunning area of Arizona that their ancestors inhabited. Also, the Apache language (related to Navajo) is still a vital part of many families.
What is one skill that would make your job easier?
If I could instantly speak fluent Apache, that would be amazing. It's a beautiful language.
What roll does technology play in your ministry?
There is an Apache Kingdom Workers Facebook page, intended to help mobilize local church members to get involved... I use my phone to snap shots during projects and upload them to colleagues at Kingdom Workers for publication. Without Skype-type meetings, I would never be able to connect with my coworkers in Wisconsin, Grenada, or Malawi to plan or learn. Tech doesn't play a huge role in local/daily ministry because much of the reservation has shaky internet connectivity, and people trust face to face interactions above a phone or email interaction.