Spreading the gospel

Math teacher goes to Arizona to a Native American Reservation


Contributed by Jack Williams

Jack Williams is adds a circuit to a service panel for a new exit sign he installed in the kitchen storage facility on Oct.. It took about an hour.

Math teacher Jack Williams decided to spend his fall break by reaching out to a Native American reservation to help youth who are less fortunate. 

“You go there to be a blessing but you end up getting blessed as a result,’’ Williams said.

During fall break, Williams and his wife, Holly Williams, flew to Phoenix, Arizona and then drove to Sun Valley to reach out to a group of Native American students that live on a reservation. They work as witness coordinators for the Indianapolis district of the Church of Nazarene. 

Williams hangs a new sign with a scripture verse from Romans in Navajo that was painted for the campus gymnasium. He also rewired and mounted an exit sign as requested by the fire marshal. (Contributed by Jack Williams)

The school they attended was a boarding school named Native American Christian Academy, with a total of 24 students and 21 who live on campus. The students living on campus are allowed to visit their family every ten days, and they stay on campus for ten months. Students have housing and food provided to them, but are self sufficient for the most part. 

Much of the staff is living below the poverty line. Many of them do not have a social life due to their sacrifice to spend time  with the children. The staff is a diverse group of people that come from different areas of the school, country or life. Some of the staff are Indigenous Americans. Other staff are of different races from other states, while some are previous alumni of the academy. 

“They do a wonderful job of just creating a safe space for them,” Hollie said.” Safe place for them to learn and grow and just be themselves.’’ 

Along with giving children lessons, the Church of Nazarene also helped with the maintenance of the school such as upholstering furniture, fixing the drywall and remodeling. Williams ended up hanging a lot of exit signs because the fire marshal of the local area performed an inspection, deeming the building not fit according to safety regulations.

His wife helped with painting signs and bible verses that were in the native language spoken, Navajo. In the evenings, the couple would play games such as basketball and volleyball with the youth. 

“We just wanted to show them that they are loved and important and that they matter,” Hollie said.