History of Arizona Reservation Ministries
During the mid-to-late 1990’s a group of missionaries working with Navajo and Apaches in the White Mountains of Arizona began praying for a door to open, allowing them to work with another Tribe of Apache People, just south of the White Mountain Apaches, to whom they were currently ministering. At various times during the year, the tribes would meet together for revivals, powwows, etc. Apache pastors from one reservation would travel to the other sharing their gifts. In May of 2000, this group of missionaries became united in that prayer. Within a week, an 82-year-old church became available just 20 minutes from this new reservation—for a lease price of just $1.00 per year! That summer, a renovated bus to be used as a mobile youth center arrived from Indiana painted (unbeknownst to the donors) in the San Carlos Apache School colors! Apache pastors from this reservation became acquainted with our staff, a tribal foster home, and Boys and Girls Club all asked for our assistance as well. God had indeed opened the door!
Our History Continued...
Shortly after, the White Mountain mission began some internal restructuring, deciding to focus on one area of its ministries for a period, and setting aside others. With this Board of Director’s blessing, Dale Lawrence began Arizona Reservation Ministries, taking the donated bus and utilizing the church facilities donated earlier.
On March 29, 2002, after less than a month in operation, ARM obtained its incorporation papers establishing it as a non-profit corporation in the State of Arizona. The focus of this ministry is not to start a new church or school, but to aid Apache Christians who are already serving on this reservation. ARM’s focus is taken from Exodus 17:8-16. This tells of the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites. The Israelites were winning as long as Moses held up his arms. After a long period, it became a difficult task to do alone. Aaron and Hur found a place for Moses to sit, and shared their friend’s burden…holding up Moses’ arms. With this partnership, the battle was won. It is the desire of ARM to represent the work of Aaron. By providing leadership training, children’s programs (including the mobile youth ministry), benevolence work, and emotional/physical support for our Native pastors, Tribal leaders and others, ARM can provide practical and much-needed aid. As you provide physical, financial and prayer assistance, you then become the representative of Hur; equally as important in assisting our Native Christians/Pastors/Tribal leaders in fighting the very real spiritual battle on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. It is clear from this word picture (and the experiences of those associated with ARM) that “Moses” (our Native Christian leaders) is weary and in need of assistance.
Since our beginnings, the Lord continues to provide opportunities for ministry as only He can! We are now building homes for the homeless of this reservation. (our 27th House Blessing was held, providing the keys to a family in June of 2016.) Home renovation and repairs are also occurring in ever-increasing frequency. Relationships are strengthened on many levels with those from all ages and situations. A weekly Bible Study is provided at the Tribal-run Shelter Care facility for adults. We have been blessed to participate with Apache churches at the Tribal Wellness Center’s annual Halloween-alternative Carnival where well over 1,600 Apache Tribal Members gather to simply have an evening of fun. Children’s and Teen programming continue. Relationships with Apache churches continue, taking innumerable forms, including Vacation Bible Schools, Pastor Appreciation Banquets, confidential counseling and prayer time, building a prayer room at one church, helping with repair work at others, a larger sanctuary at a growing congregation and a ramada for revivals! In the winter of 2006, the Lord provided a 45-acre site for half the appraised value that had never been on the market for ARM’s new base of operations. Nearly 100 have been baptized just since 2012 through our ARMs and Christ’s leading! To find out what’s recently occurred, please click on our latest news, found on the right-hand side of our home page.
Our staff is growing! God is leading! Your prayers are coveted!