The Student American Indian Fellowship is setting out on a mission trip to Wyoming this summer to evangelize the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes of the reservation they are visiting.
On the Reservation
SAIF will travel to Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming from July 8-29, said co-leader Kyle Quiroz, senior intercultural studies major. Having visited before for mission work, Quiroz recognized a need for SAIF to travel there this summer. The students going on the trip will work at service projects and sports camps with the children on the reservation.
“Our main vision is to empower the local church, to get people plugged into a local church, but then also to bring reconciliation,” Quiroz said.
Through bonding with Native American children, Quiroz hopes to return to the reservation in the future. SAIF will be doing a lot of outreach while at the reservation, along with giving out food, clothes and praying to different people, Quiroz said.
The six students participating in the trip are confident about the ministry. However, Sarah Chu, freshman intercultural studies major, does not want to put a confinement on all the team can accomplish while they are there.
“I don’t really want to hold expectations, I don’t want to limit what I think God will be able to do through the trip,” Chu said.
Spreading the Word in America
SAIF has been an active ministry on campus since 2012 when Quiroz recognized the opportunity to kickstart the ministry.
“God just opened this door and SMU took us under their wing because they were starting ministries for the first year and so they started it up,” Quiroz said.
Since then, SAIF ministry has recognized a need for spreading the word in America, not solely in other countries, Quiroz said. SAIF meets every Tuesday at Sherman Indian High School to meet with a Bible study that gathers there. Biola students are there for the whole night, worshipping with them and listening to their speaker for the night before having some free time to bond with the high schoolers and share what they have to tell them.
Co-leader Caroline Gladstone, sophomore intercultural studies major, prefers to use Acts 17 to portray the imagery of God as our creator and Jesus as the son of our creator.
“Afterwards, as they’re eating their snack, we talk to them, get to know them, share the gospel sometimes,” Gladstone said.
Other students attending the trip are excited to bond with the children there and grow closer to them and, in turn, grow closer to God.
“I’m excited to hang out with the kids honestly and the people there, whether it’s playing sports, learning from them. Just kind of feeling like I could share life experience with them in some ways with them-relate, and doing whatever they want to do,” said Clayton Carter, sophomore communications major.