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HVA Students Minister to Native Youth in Arizona

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Part one of our two-part report on Highland View Academy’s recent week of service. 

Students from Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Md., recently traveled to Arizona for a week of ministry and service during the academy’s “Ministry Challenge Week” from March 7-11.  

Twenty-six students and four faculty chaperones visited the Pacific Union Conference’s Holbrook Indian School, which recently celebrated 75 years of serving Native American youth. 

Students worked on various campus improvement projects during daylight hours, such as repairing fences and cleaning, sanding, and painting the barn housing Holbrook’s horse program. In the evenings, students conducted school-wide worship by leading music and sharing testimonies and devotional thoughts with the Holbrook students, most of whom don’t come from Christian homes.

“After leading out singing for worship, I was initially annoyed that not many people participated…which discouraged me from wanting to lead the sermon the next night,” says student Aidan Sammon. “But afterward, I realized that not many of [the Holbrook students] were religious, and I was judging them based on what they didn’t know. So with that realization, I changed my sermon completely…When I finished, some of the kids hugged me and told me they wanted me to stay, which was so humbling and made me realize that what I say can really make a difference.”

Many students enjoyed making friends with the Holbrook students after evening worships while participating in social activities such as pick-up basketball. Several students exchanged contact information and planned to keep in touch with their new friends. 

“It was exciting to see my students doing an amazing job of being helpful,” says Elijah Ramjattan, HVA campus chaplain. “They were extremely willing to serve and share their passions with the Holbrook students…It was nice to see them mingling together.” 

The academy group ended their Arizona mission trip with a sightseeing visit to the Grand Canyon. 

Check back next week for part two of our report on Highland View Academy’s week of service to learn about student projects in the Hagerstown area. 

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