Mission to Sun Valley, Arizona - 2010


     This is a compilation of the experiences of some of the students and staff members who had the privilege of attending the mission trip this year. We hope their stories warm your heart just as they did ours. We want to thank you so much for your support of our team. These opportunities will shape our students’ lives forever. Several of our students have made decisions on this trip to recommit their lives to Christ, several to work on and deal with difficult things that are in their lives in a biblical way, and all or nearly all came home with a new resolve to work and see God in new ways in all of our lives, our school and community!

The CCS Arizona Mission Team

The Bus Ride
     The 2010 Champion Christian School Mission Trip to Sun Valley, Arizona began at 7:30 A.M. Wednesday morning, on April 7th. It was the beginning of a 37-hour bus ride to Sun Valley Indian School. That's 36 people together for 37 hours. There were moments of great happiness, aggravation, bonding, and in some cases, insomnia. It was the first stage of really getting to know each other. Friendships were formed, strengthened, and forged in the heat of the desert sun.

     The ride to and from Arizona was a very interesting part of our mission trip. When I found out we were going to go on a coach bus instead of flying, I was disappointed. It turned out that the almost 40 hour bus ride through PA and nine other states was really interesting. We saw many sights through all of the places we went like the Arch in St. Louis, the cow fields of Texas, and the open flatness of New Mexico and Arizona. We didn't stop very often, slept on the bus, and sometimes even ate on it. Also, riding on a bus that long meant spending a lot of time together in cramped quarters. I think we all got to know each other a lot better. We sang worship songs, and at one point, even formed a circle and prayed together. Despite my doubts before the trip, I very much enjoyed the bus ride.

Meeting the Kids
     The students from Sun Valley gave us a big surprise. When we first got there, they looked at us as strangers. However, on our first day we sat with them and talked to them during breakfast. They began to see us as friends as we told them jokes and made them laugh. After that they were very friendly. As an Asian international student, I did not expect them to warm up to me very quickly because not many Asian students had visited Sun Valley before. However, they waved and played with all the international students. Sun Valley students told us that our mission group was different from all the others, because we came and interacted with the students themselves, not just doing physical labor. One student from Sun Valley told us that when he first saw us, he thought it was going to be another boring weekend, but after spending time with us, he really enjoyed it and appreciated our help. I am very glad that I went, and it was a great experience that I am not going to forget.

Work Group: Teaching the Children
     During our trip to Sun Valley Indian School in Arizona, we had the chance to experience the love of God in a very special and touching way. We were blessed with the opportunity to work with and teach the children of the school. Through the week some of the students on our mission team were invited into their classes to work one on one with the children. We split our team into two groups. The first group worked with the elementary students, and the second worked with the junior high kids. In the classes we helped assist the teachers by giving spelling tests, helping tutor in math, and even reading to the children. Altogether it was a very rewarding experience and we wouldn't trade it for anything. On one of the last days of our trip we had a chance to spend an entire day with the elementary students. We based our entire day around the theme of Johnny Appleseed. During the day we read the story of Johnny Appleseed, made apple tree hand paintings, sang songs, and played games centered around the theme of Johnny Appleseed. The whole day was a wonderful experience for the whole team.

Work Group: Painting
     One of our work groups worked on painting a dorm building. This made me feel that I was helping these people, and it was a lot of fun. I laughed more during this time than at any other point on the trip. We painted the whole building which had a very high point, and one of the sophomores at Champion climbed up onto a ladder to paint it. This was also a moment of suspense, because if he had fallen, he would have landed on a cactus!

Worshiping Together
     My experience worshiping on the mission trip was amazing. At first I thought it was going to be a normal worship service with me playing the drums, but during this time I could feel God's presence the whole time. The most wonderful thing was when I looked around, I could see many different people: some with a group from California (who just so happened to be great guitar players), the mission team from Champion, and the people from the Sun Valley Indian School. All of us came together worshiping and singing to the same God, and that is what truly touched me. I couldn't help but think that this was what it would be like in Heaven, coming together with people that you have never met before, all coming together to worship God.

God Sightings
     While on our mission trip, every night our group would come together and have a debriefing. During this time we would share our experiences with the group. We would also share our "God sightings.” These are moments when we saw God at work, showing Himself in our lives in both little and big ways. One particular God sighting was shared by a group of five Champion students, who shared a breakfast at McDonald's with an underprivileged Navajo man and his sister. Together this group bonded with these Navajo people sharing life experiences, stories, and a little bit of courage too. At the conclusion of this life-changing meal, the five Champion students and two Navajo people formed a circle and together they prayed. They asked for peace, courage, good fortune, and the strength to carry on God's work. This is just one God sighting shared by the mission trip team, and it is not one to be easily forgotten.

     On our 2010 Navajo Mission trip we were able to have a group devotion activity. Going into this activity I was not expecting much, because of how shy the children were. Unexpectedly, the power of God proved me wrong. Out of nowhere Navajo children were pouring out their hearts and telling us about the damages in their lives. That opened the opportunity to express God's love, and how God can carry those burdens for them. Each child in the group allowed us to pray with them and hug them. It was the first time they had opened up to us and trusted us enough to tell us their stories. I believe God sent us to Arizona so those children would realize that they are not alone, and that Jesus died on the cross to carry their burdens.

     On Friday evening we had our first chapel with the Navajo school. My two friends and I gave our testimonies for the first time. We all experienced a nervous feeling before stepping up to the microphone. I was very nervous because I don't speak well in front of crowds, and especially never told my testimony to a group. I walked over to my friend, who was also giving her testimony, and told her that I didn't know what to say. Seeking comfort from her, she said "I don't know what to say, but I'm just going to get up there and let God give me the words." I was very proud of her response, and it lifted me up with encouragement.

After we all told our stories, we felt God touch our hearts and those of the children as well. We could tell that they felt the bonding between us, when they realized we had similar pasts. It opened up a door to share the love of Christ. We prayed that our testimonies not only touched our individual lives, but impacted the Sun Valley school children as well. I was very proud of the attitudes and visible changes in all the Champion students. I saw a lot of unexpected changes in their words and actions. I've been on three other mission trips, and out of all of them, this was the one that showed me the most change, and saw the Holy Spirit moving the most. God really worked through this mission trip, and I know we all left a lasting effect there at the Sun Valley Indian School.

Navajo Church Service
     On Sunday morning we attended a church service with the Navajo people. This service demonstrated what a real Navajo service was like. In the beginning we listened as the congregation sang beautiful worship songs in the Navajo language. Even though there was a language barrier, we still felt the presence of the Lord. After the songs the pastor started to speak, and he was extremely enthusiastic, and helped us relate to the Navajo people, and brought us all together in the house of the Lord.

Navajo Tacos
     After the Navajo church service on Sunday we had the pleasure of enjoying a meal with the congregation. We were served Navajo tacos. It is a lot like a Mexican taco, except the shell is fried bread dough topped with beans instead if beef, along with the usual taco toppings (and some of the hottest salsa I have ever eaten). It was the first time I ever had the pleasure of trying a Navajo taco, but it was definitely one of the best tacos I have ever had.

A Day with the Kids
     We especially enjoyed playing basketball with the students at the school. We were amazed at the skills that even the youngest Navajo students possessed. Students from both CCS and SVIS comprised two teams and were rotated in 15 minute intervals. It was both entertaining and encouraging to watch both schools enjoying one another. We were very impressed with the Navajo's athleticism. At half time two CCS students performed a jump rope routine for those in attendance. They are both nationally competitive rope jumpers, and what they displayed that day was an incredible set of skills that brought the house down with claps and cheers.

A Day of Sightseeing
     One of the most unique places that our mission trip to Arizona took us was the Grand Canyon. The view was most spectacular as we gazed at the wide crimson gorge before us that had been carved out sometime around the Flood several thousand years ago! I myself viewed the vast formation with a great feeling of awe and wonder as I stood on the viewing balcony overlooking the canyon. When I first walked down to the railing that runs alongside the edge of the Grand Canyon, I thought I was going to fall into it, since the edge of the far horizon was higher than I thought! Nevertheless, the pictures that I took of the canyon will always serve as a fantastic memory of a wonderful place that I visited.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer