Impact of a Mission School
By Diana Fish
What kind of impact can a mission school have on a family?
Shima, which means “mother” in the Navajo language, heard about Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School about 40 years ago.
An elderly friend spoke very highly of Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School, located on the Navajo Reservation in the U.S. state of Arizona. “The school provides an excellent education to our Navajo children,” he said.
Shima enrolled five of her seven children at Holbrook Indian School.
Her eldest son learned how to weld and do other metal work at Holbrook Indian School. He loved working with metal and became a metalworker.
Shima’s second-eldest child, a girl, decided to go to an Adventist college after graduating from Holbrook. She studied nursing at Pacific Union College in California and works today as a nurse on the Navajo Reservation.
Shima did not send her two youngest children to Holbrook. She decided against it because she became unhappy with the school. One of her daughters, Nabaa, had some difficulties at the school, and the school ended up asking her to leave. Shima felt hurt that her daughter was not allowed to stay.
Nabaa not only had difficulties at Holbrook but also at every school she attended. She eventually graduated, went to college, and became a teacher. Nabaa is still teaching and a member of the Adventist Church today.
Nabaa must have forgiven Holbrook for dismissing her because she enrolled all three of her children at the school. Nabaa’s children, who are now young adults, have graduated from Holbrook and are doing well. One is a teacher and another is about to become a teacher. The third child is the wife of an Adventist pastor and is studying to become a teacher, too.
What happened to Shima’s two youngest children who never attended Holbrook? The Adventist influence of Holbrook still permeated their family, and both became Adventists. One teaches at an Adventist school today.
What kind of impact can a mission school have on a family? Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School has had a major impact on Shima’s family and many others on the Navajo Reservation and beyond.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago that kickstarted plans on a new gym and health center called New Life Center at Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School. Your offering this quarter will help finish the second phase of the center, where the school will address high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and suicide among Native American children and youth.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org