Alpha Gamma Omega serves Apache in Arizona

by Andres Martinez

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Two years ago, Alpha Gamma Omega went to Globe, Arizona to serve the Apache people with Arizona Reservation Ministries. Those who went were eager to return–to build more houses, teach with Vacation Bible School, play sports with the kids, and build relationships with our friends there. In June of 2014, we made our second trip to Globe to serve with ARM. We were joined by AGO actives, alumni, family and friends.

At the beginning of the trip, Donatello, Speedy, Bayer, Sparks, and I hiked up the prayer trail to watch the sunset together. We talked about our hopes for the week. God certainly answered our prayers.

It’s impossible to capture experiences on a piece of paper, particularly these kinds of experiences. But I will share my story: June 28th through July 4th will forever be etched in my memory as one of greatest weeks of my life.

I had been eagerly awaiting this week since two years prior when AGO and company had to say our tearful goodbyes to a group of Apache people who had welcomed us into their community. But “community” doesn’t begin to describe the unity we saw on that Arizona reservation. These people were bonded together with the chords of hope in the midst of poverty, death, and perpetual strongholds that many of us aren’t often exposed to.

We quickly saw that though we were building houses, playing sports, and teaching VBS, we were the ones that would be receiving and learning the most. We would learn what it means to truly cry out to God for protection after hearing prayer requests from children about family members who had been stabbed or shot the night before. We would see true generosity as the woman we were building a house for cooked what little food she had for the building crew to show her profound appreciation. And we would remember that joy is found in simple things, like kids and water balloons on a really hot day.

The kids at sports camp loved playing Three Flags Up with water balloons. If they were able to catch a water balloon, they got to throw it at any leader they wanted to (everyone was drenched by the end).

We made new friendships and rekindled old ones from our trip two years ago. They welcomed us into their churches and their homes. And all of us came back changed–the kind of change that you don’t ever want to forget. The kind of change you want to tell everyone about. So join us in 2016! But only if you’re planning on being changed forever.

Andres “Rev” Martinez is a member of Alpha Gamma Omega, Eta chapter, at Fresno State University.