Walla Walla Valley Academy: Mission 101
Witnessing by word or by deed is the reason for the Mission 101 class taught by Gayle Norton, considered a guiding mentor, not a teacher, by his students. Students comment that the class has changed their lives and challenged them to be better Christians. “This class helped me to be more honest with myself. I have to look at my life before I can help others,” said one student. These students have held two weeks of prayer at local grade schools (speaking, providing special music and leading singing), plus helping many in the community.
Students became personally aware of Native American cultures when they took a special mission trip to the Yakima Nation. As they learned about the spiritual, political, social, economic and historical situation of the Yakima Nation, the students gained a real interest in the people and enjoyed sharing the gospel with them.
While at Wapato, the Mission 101 students installed an underground water system, held two Vacation Bible Schools and provided the church program. This experience fired their enthusiasm. Their comments show the effect of this class trip, including, “I don’t have to go a long way to be a missionary. I can find it here,” and, “Now this is real hands-on homework.”
“I don’t have to travel; there is a need here. Wapato is only four hours from WWVA,” observed one student. Another echoed, “It was awesome to be able to help someone rather than just do assignments.”
Dean Kravig, All Nations Center program director, noted, “It was such a blessing to have the WWVA students here! Their attitudes were always positive, selfless and persevering. Because of their time here, the All Nations Center now has the entire irrigation system installed in the ball field, worship/fire bowl and RV park. The Missions Institute approach to their trip was also a new element this year.
“Without their help on the irrigation system, we would not have been ready for grass until June or later, but now we are ready for grass by the first of May—praise the Lord! The VBS-type of outreach that the WWVA kids were involved in at Adams View Housing Park was a great boost to our connection with the families there. We are acquainted with or have worked with about 80 percent of the families at Adams View in one way or another, so this did a lot to further the growth of those friendships.”
Missions are not always in other countries. Who are my brothers? Those in need!