Thirty-five years as a missionary: Packard has a learning center named after her

The day begins with a flag ceremony in front of the Florabel Packard Learning Center. The center was named for the former Bertha resident as she reached 25 years as a missionary at the American Indian Christian Mission in Show Low, Arizona. Packard is in her 35th year as a missionary.

by Trinity Gruenberg

Pastor Jason Knoll from the New Life Church of God in Bertha recently traveled to Arizona to visit his parents. He took a little detour to visit the American Indian Christian Mission (AICM) and visited with local missionary Florabel Packard on April 14 and 15.

The detour to the mission was a last-minute decision. Two days before Knoll and his family left for vacation, he received a call from Jeff Cline, director of the AICM, who inquired about the Minnesota church that has been sending them funds for the past 25 years. The connection to the Arizona mission was Packard.

Right; The Knolls were able to visit Florabel Packard at the library and catch up on events back in Bertha and her life as a missionary. Pictured are Ryan, Karen and Pastor Jason Knoll and Florabel Packard, Elisa and Gabrielle Knoll. The New Life Church of God has supported the American Indian Christian Mission the past 25 years.

Knoll looked up the address for the mission, discovering it was just under a three-hour drive from where his parents were residing. Knoll decided to visit the mission to speak with Cline in person and factored the overnight visit into his vacation plans.

The New Life Church of God sends 10 percent of their income to the ministries they support.

The AICM, located in Show Low, Arizona serves several different Native American tribes. South of them is the White Mountain Apache tribe, and 60 miles north of them is the Navajo Nation, the largest reservation in the U.S., encompassing areas of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Towards the middle of the Navajo Nation is the Hopi tribe. These are just a few of the recognized tribes.

Knoll chatted with Packard about the ministry, and she inquired how her hometown of Bertha had been. . .

Subscribe and learn more about this woman's work in the mission field . . .

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