DeFord May 2023

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Dear Prayer Partners and Ministry Supporters,

Thank you for your continued interest in getting the gospel to America’s native population. Your help is enabling us to expand the ministry of Hualapai Baptist Church and the Independent Baptist Indian Mission further than ever before. While many aspects of the ministry have already returned to normal since COVID, we were glad to see some other ministries start up again. Over the course of the last two months, the Lord has also given us some “firsts.”

We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday back in April with a good number of guests. One of the grandmas that came every now and again was present and has been bringing several of her grandchildren much more regularly on Sunday mornings ever since. The children’s church workers have definitely noticed the increase in attendance.

The last Sunday of April was our first “Fifth Sunday” in quite some time. On Fifth Sunday, our youth group takes on much of the responsibilities of the Sunday School and Morning Worship service. The teens teach the younger aged classes, open in prayer, give announcements, take up the offering, and provide special music. Then our youth leader preaches the morning message. They all did a great job. And we are encouraged to see the next generation being trained to continue on the ministry!

A native evangelist friend, Gerry Locklear, came by so I could accompany him to the neighboring Supai Reservation. We helicoptered in and made some good contacts with the tribal officials. We are praying all the details come together for an outreach through the church in the little village down in the Grand Canyon among the Supai people.

The Carrolls, members of a supporting church in the Atlanta area, were out as April rolled over into May. Ron Carroll is a retired pilot. His wife Peggy has been teaching and developing curriculum for many years. They are both seeking how the Lord may use their special skills in ministry. Brother Ron flew their single engine plane all the from Georgia so we could visit some of the other missionaries in IBIMI. We flew to distant parts of the state to see the works and hopefully be an encouragement to the missionaries. We also flew to a remote reservation north of the Canyon on the Arizona/Utah line. There is no church currently on the Kiabab Reservation. The Carrolls continue to pray for God’s direction including the possible purchase of a two engine plane in order to assist in evangelizing the American Indians. Please, pray with us for this possible expansion into aviation and curriculum development. I personally saw the incredible benefit to IBIMI that it would be to much more effectively reach our existing missionaries as well as reach out to remote areas of the Western U.S.

The coming of May and the graduation season caused us to turn our attention to summer ministry, in particular, VBS and camp! Plans for both are nearly complete. We also hosted a teen afterglow for the first time in recent years. The current youth group really enjoy this “new” activity!

And finally, we celebrated police appreciation week with our local department again this year. Our homeschool co-op was asked to sing the National Anthem for a community flag raising, and we put together some gift bags for all the officers. We are grateful for the protection our police provide our community.

Thank you again for your part in the ministry among our Native American population! For God’s Glory, the Steve De Ford family