By Dorie Panganiban – Farmington, New Mexico … On a cold, frosty morning in December, the staff of La Vida Mission embarked on their twelfth and final COVID-relief operation of 2020.

Outside the mission gym, the staff was ready to distribute 150 Christmas bags filled with goodies for families in need.  Along with the bags filled with surprises for the families, the mission handed out free propane refills, almost a ton of potatoes, nonperishable food, and much-needed diapers for families. This was made possible by the many organizations who donated toward this need.

The staff is thankful the Lord has sustained them. “The Lord has strengthened our faith during this pandemic. Whenever we think that we’re out [of things to give] and done [with being able to help], He sends us more. Truly His coffers are full and will never run out [of things with which] to bless His people,” Dorie Panganiban, outreach director at La Vida Mission, said.

Later in the day, students and families from the La Vida Mission school arrived on campus to receive Christmas gifts from “Toys for Tots” and from student sponsors and mission donors.

La Vida Mission received a holiday gift of its own when, through the cooperation of Cathy Kissner and the Rocky Mountain Conference Adventist Community Services, the mission was awarded a ten-thousand-dollar grant from the North American Division to help improve infrastructure to better serve the needs of the reservation. The mission hopes to build a bigger Community Outreach and Service Center at the end of the gym with a bigger storage area and a larger packing area with better access.

The mission hopes to continue to serve the many needs of the reservation in 2021 and asks for prayers from RMC members for several staff who recently contracted COVID. The mission remains on lockdown because of Covid affecting the mission workers.

“We do not know what is ahead, but we trust that God is in control and we will come out stronger and even more ready to continue serving Him and our Native American community. We have nothing to fear for what tomorrow will bring as we look back on what God has done for us, to us, and through us in the past days and months of this pandemic and this Mission’s existence,” Panganiban stated.

Dorie Panganiban is La Vida Mission office manager and outreach director; photos supplied