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Kayla Rinker/The Pathway

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COVID-19 shifts, doesn’t stop Navajo Nation mission

OZARK, Mo. (BP) -- With the Navajo Nation on strict lockdown due to an extremely high per-capita coronavirus infection rate and resulting cases, Scott Watson, lead pastor of River Bluff Fellowship in Ozark, knew the decision to modify the church's annual mission trip to Kayenta, Ariz., was the right one. "We've been going there for 13 years and bringing 30-50 people each time we go and we love it," Watson said. "But we decided to change our plans for two reasons: First, we did not want to go there and increase their anxiety and make a terrible situation even more difficult for them, and second, healthcare on the reservation is limited under normal circumstances so we wouldn't want to put our people at risk and add to the medical strain."

9 roofs & counting for church’s home repair outreach

VIBURNUM, Mo. (BP) -- She had a 6-foot-wide hole in her roof and a 55-gallon drum catching rainwater in her living room. Retired after 35 years in the local school district, she and her son, who is battling cancer, now have a new roof provided by the Love Thy Neighbor home repair outreach of First Baptist Church in Viburnum, Mo. "I was on that crew and every person except me had her as a teacher," said Justin Perry, First Baptist's pastor. "While the crew worked, she cried tears ...

2 Joplin churches intent on rebuilding

JOPLIN, Mo. (BP) -- When an EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., one year ago, Harmony Heights Baptist Church and Empire Baptist Church were completely destroyed. That is, their buildings were demolished. "One of the things we have to recognize is that the church is not a building, it's the people in the building," said Charlie Burnett, pastor at Harmony Heights.