Rev. Dr. Leo Thorne, Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development, was recently invited by ABMen-USA President Lucky Ray to visit and take part in work being done in Arizona by American Baptist Men. Thorne visited to do some mission work with ABMen, and to share in the ministry that the American Baptist Home Mission Societies is doing with the group in the area.
Thorne said, “In my role as Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development, it is helpful to be exposed to all facets of American Baptist life to experience what God is doing in the ABC family, so that MRD can tell the story with greater authenticity. ABC is at its best when we all work together to serve as the hands and feet of Christ.”
While in Arizona, he visited the Hopi Mission School in Kykotsmovi Village, AZ, the Sunlight Community Church in Second Mesa, AZ, and took a tour of a few Hopi Villages in the surrounding area. The Hopi Mission School, a private Christian elementary school founded in 1951, is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA and the American Baptist Churches USA.
ABMen is organizing a number of mission trips this summer to work on the Hopi Project. The first team of about 20 people arrived from West Virginia and New York State in mid-June.
“It was good to see and talk with the excited volunteers who were having a summer vacation with a difference. In the group, there were young and old, male and female, first timers and veterans of mission trips. Together with the ABMen work crew, they will be involved with several projects, including repair work on the school and parsonage, painting and cleaning at the school and church, improving the water supply system, and learning more about the Hopi Nation and God’s work among them,” said Thorne.
While in Arizona, Thorne heard stories from some of the Hopi Christians about their conversion to Christianity and the many problems they face when they make this decision, including abandonment by family and facing the daily challenges of living among their own people. “God is at work, and it is wonderful to see what God is doing among the Hopi people, who need our prayers. ABMen-USA President Lucky Ray is doing excellent work with his work crews and expects people to continue volunteering to work on this project throughout the summer,” said Thorne.
In the spring of 2013, a new multi-purpose building will be constructed, which will include public showers, housing for visiting missionaries and facilities for youth activities. People can go to www.abmen.org to get information on supporting this project.
Please pray for ABHMS staff as they continue their work with the Hopi ministry and for the current missionaries, Scott and Melinda Wight, as they have the day-to-day responsibilities of serving in this very challenging part of the country. “Your United Mission contributions help us all, and with your support we continue to define ourselves as a family with a missional heart.”
The stories of God’s work in our ABC family are varied and rich, and God’s transforming power is at work among us.