Chicago-area faithful minister at Native American Indian Reservations
PALOS HILLS, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — From July 10 through 17, 2015, Archpriest Andrew Harrison accompanied adult and youth parishioners from Saint Luke Church here Navajo Reservations in Gallup and Thoreau, NM, where they offered a variety of social support services and engaged in building projects.
The mission trip was facilitated by the “Young Orthodox Christian American Missions Adventures” by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh.
“Each year over 100 missionaries travel to these two reservations ready and able to assist families in need of our help,” Father Andrew said. “Our mission team was part of a 45-member team made up of members from four Greek Orthodox Parishes. Participants from Saint Luke’s included Steven and Emma Hansen, Robert and Dan Zubenko, Jonathan Tatooles, and Joe, Nichol, and Conrad Szpakowicz.”
Among the ministries they pursued were providing health screenings for some 700 preschool children in Head Start programs in three locations; sorting and distributing food at the Gallup Community Food Bank, where they also cleaned the grounds and raked weeds; replacing the shingle roof on one of the school buildings at Saint Bonaventure Indian school, Thoreau, NM; building a new floor in a hogan — a Navajo Traditional House; and visiting and distributing food to the elderly in their hogans.
“This was the sixth team we sent on these mission trips with YOCAMA,” Father Andrew added. “All who have gone have had a profound experience helping those in need and truly believe they have met Christ in the least of these people that were ministered to. They ministered to us.”
A photo gallery of the event can be viewed here.
Additional information on YOCAMA may be accessed here.