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Jun 20, 2012 | EDOT Staff

St. Andrew's, Bryan, Takes Mission Trip to Arizona

Vet Clinic
Texas A&M veterinary students volunteer at clinic

St. Andrew's, Bryan, is currently on a mission trip in Arizona, facilitating a Vacation Bible School in Navajoland. The mission team includes Texas A&M veterinary students who are volunteering at a clinic. The team is also helping with repairs to Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Ariz.  


To follow along with the efforts of St. Andrew's, Bryan, visit this website for photos, updated by mission team member, Ben Smith. Or follow the hashtag #missionwithmeaning on Twitter. The Rev. Sean Cox has also compiled some thoughts over the first few days of the trip, which can be read below.


Day 1, Sunday, June 17, 2012
A warm sunny day greeted the first day of our mission team. The “dry heat”, as it’s known in
Arizona, is harsh and unrelenting, but a welcome change from the humidity of Central Texas.
High wispy clouds dotted a high desert sky on the first day our team of 32 participants gathered
at Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance for church services.


An exuberant adult acolyte greeting parishioners and visitors to the “Power House”, the
temporary meeting space for Good Shepherd during a major structural remodel of the church
building. As the sun’s rays shone through the only open door and one oscillating fan provided
circulation for the room, we gathered for worship in a beautiful make-shift sanctuary. The Rev.
Chan Anaya, the Vicar of Good Shepherd Mission, invited me to preach both the 8 and 10:15am


“Going about the Father’s business” was the title and theme of my homily in honor of Father’s
Day and the parable of the mustard seed. I told the story of David Pace experimenting with
jalapeno seeds to concoct his famous Picante Sauce, the compared the sizes of seeds with
individual Christians engaged in mission. Jalapeno seeds make peppers hot; Christians must
decide how “hot” we’ll get about doing our mission. I presented a jar of Pace Picante Sauce at
both the 8 and 10:15 services. We gathered for a community-sponsored lunch after services
and had a team meeting afterwards.


The afternoon was free time. Some hiked despite the heat; others returned to the hotel for
Sabbath time. In the late afternoon, we met again at the church for Vacation Bible School set
up and supper prepared by the mission team. Veterinary students helped set up the back drop
for VBS theatre—a true team effort made setting up an enjoyable experience.


Day 2, Monday June 18, 2012


Work began for the Veterinary Team at 8am. The Hospitality Team had the canopy tent up and
began serving cold water—a much welcome addition to the parking lot full of people with dogs,
cats, horses and sheep.


By 9 a.m., Good Shepherd Mission began its transformation into a first class Vacation Bible School
site. A living room next to the Parish Hall became the Bible Theatre. The Parish Hall hosted
music and meals. Other components of VBS took place inside and outside: games, arts and
crafts, and science projects filled Good Shepherd. member of Good Shepherd Mission volunteered to help transport children to the church.


With me as her driver in the Good Shepherd Church van, we scoured communities near and far
from the church. A sixteen year old girl and her two year old daughter enjoyed their day with
our community.


The Construction Team successfully removed all of the old bathroom fixtures to make way for a
new kitchen.


Day 3, Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The second full day of work began on the last official day of spring. Three volunteers set up the
canopy tent in front of the Vet Clinic in 10 minutes and soon after had cold water and cookies
flowing to customers. Horse trailers lined the parking lot: word of the “Horse Doc from Texas”
spread quickly around the community. A one year old St. Bernard dog kept part of the team
occupied—her spaying was complicated. Unanimous adulation goes to the valiant receptionist,
who calmly manages two and four legged occupants of her waiting room.


Good Shepherd Mission continues major repairs of the foundation of the church building.
Although this work is performed by a contractor from the Phoenix area, our team was asked to
help remove the large cross hanging in the sanctuary since 1955. Great care was taken as a
scaffold was built up and around the wooden beams. It took six men to remove the hanging
cross, which was completed without a nick or scratch. Before the cross is replaced in the
sanctuary, it will be completely cleaned and restored.


Vacation Bible School added ten children to yesterday’s number. More Junior and Senior High
students joined their younger siblings. Our growing transportation needs were met by
members of Good Shepherd and our mission volunteers.


Upstairs, the construction team finished demolishing a dilapidated floor and installed a new
floor. VBS volunteers routinely went upstairs to carry trash or bring supplies. New fixtures for
the kitchen are prepared for installation. The crew’s tireless efforts are clearly visible.


After supper, the Mission Team was treated to a live demonstration of Navajo weaving by a
member of Good Shepherd Mission. Our two Veterinarians joined the Vicar of Good Shepherd
as she engaged tenants of the mobile home park owned by the church. Some tenants feed
stray dogs, creating issues about ownership and public health. By the end of the meeting, the
tenants agreed to have the stray dogs captured for spaying and neutering.


Our work days conclude outdoors on picnic benches. We share anecdotes of trusting God,
followed by prayer, a blessing and dismissal. We have two more days.