Navajo Mission Trips: It is so beautiful to see what a little bit of love and compassion can do in the lives of children. As the children from the community of Toko’i got off the large white van at the church on the first day of Kid’s Club, nothing but silence filled the air. It was apparent to see how uncomfortable and reclusive all the children had become in their current situation. We began individually introducing ourselves and one-on-one inviting the kids to join in on a little game called duck-duck-goose. Before we knew it all the children were in the circle and smiles were sneaking across their faces when they thought no one was looking.
After the warm up game, we moved on to a more intense game known as Red Rover. It was amazing what this game did for the kids. All of a sudden all thirty of the kids were lined up, cheering one another on. I could just see God, as I looked at the kids jumping up and down against the yellow sand. Red Rover seemed to be the key ingredient to letting everyone’s guard down and opening them up. From then on things only got better. Everyday the kids got closer and closer with us and with each other. By the end of the week, you could hear the laughter from the van before it reached the dirt road to the church.
The short term mission trip team that came for the week really enjoyed watching the kids bond and open up. On the last night they discussed how that impacted their trip and their lives. The next week began completely opposite to the previous. The children pretty much leaped out of the big white van into my arms, yelling my name. It was so precious to see the lasting effect of the past week with the kids. They didn’t begin the week quiet again, but over the duration of that week they had formed even stronger relationships. The week flew by, and with every passing day the kids become more and more like the one big family they are.
It is interesting because most of the kids are related, somewhere down the line. Yet due to the distance between them they had not gotten to know one another. By the end of the second week of Kids Club the youth mission trips teams that had come were discussing how they loved seeing how close and trusting the kids were. They talked about how it really impacted them to see how easily the kids opened up to them. It is just so awesome to see the complete contrast in the two weeks, with what started as a simple game of Red Rover, ended up forming a strong and loving family.
Note: Experience Mission is offering Navajo mission trips on the Navajo Reservation. If you’d like to join one of our short term Youth mission trips with EM, visit us at our website www.experiencemission.org
When I stop to think about it, I simply cannot believe how fast this summer has gone. Far too fast. Every week has had its unique people, unique challenges, unique work projects, unique victories and unique stories of God’s grace. With five weeks behind me and only three ahead, I am sad to be on the tail end of the most wonderful summer I’ve ever had. I’ve worked HARD and sweated a LOT, but it has been so enjoyable. I am so blessed to have been given this opportunity to be working for the Kingdom and seeing God’s work up close and personal in so many others’ lives.
Out here on the Navajo reservation I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned about a slow paced life, one that treasures each conversation and is in a hurry for no thing. I’ve seen families care for each other, brothers and sisters tend to each other’s needs with such love. I’ve learned the significance of saying “thank you,” and meaning it. I’ve learned the importance of getting my plans out of the way and letting the Lord work his miraculous plan. I’ve seen first-hand how much more meaningful it is to work with someone instead of for them. I’ve learned a whole lot about self-less-ness. I always have to break that word down as I say it, because honestly, it’s more than I can chew.
Only by God’s help have I been able and willing to give up my “rights” and expectations for the good of those around me. Sometimes with my teammates I have to pull 60 percent while they are pulling 40, and the next day they pull 75. In life, most relationships are not even or fair, they are a beautiful push and pull, give and take, and if each is selflessly giving their all- it always comes out even in the end. Mostly God has taught me how to love others, not for what they do or even necessarily for who they are, but because they are my brother, sharing One Father, Creator of the Universe- each one created as a special miracle with the Lord dwelling in them, making them absolutely priceless.
Much love in Christ,
Note: Want to see first-hand the remarkable ways of the Navajo people? Experience Mission offers short term mission trips to the reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Find out more information on our Summer 2010 trips at www.ExperienceMission.org
Youth Mission Trips: I can’t imagine a better week. We had two short term mission trip teams this week- Voyagers Bible Church from Irvine, CA and First Presbyterian Church from Ashland, OR. They worked so incredibly hard and from the minute they stepped off the busses they were serving everyone they met.
All of the girls from the CA group had determined before-hand not to wear or bring any makeup at all. What beauties they were too! They also wrote PHIL. 4:12 on their arms (“Do everything without complaining or arguing.”) And that’s just what they did! Even at meals, each person would ask someone “May I serve you?”, and they would go down the line together, each making the other’s plate, just as an act of service and a good way to get a chance to talk together. The Lord taught each student so much and I was amazed at the growth that happened as each of them shared with me what God had taught them through a new culture, new people, hard work, and lots of laughs.
The Lord displayed His divine pursuit this week as well. On Wednesday night as we sat in on the Navajo service, the Lord impressed on my heart to share my testimony with the group this week. So Friday night, while we were out having worship at the base of Shiprock, looking out across the plains, I shared my story, hoping it would be used by the Lord. That night, one of the girls came to me in tears, telling me that she shares a very similar story and she didn’t know how to escape from a bad upbringing and the traps of the world. I was able to encourage her in the Word and share with her more about the freedom in Christ. She experienced such a breakthrough and relief!! Praise the Lord for divine appointments and relationships!
-Navajo Nation staff
*Note: Experience Mission offers Christian mission trips to groups of youth, college, and adult. Interested in finding out more about the Navajo Nation? Check out our website at www.ExperienceMission.org for more information and to sign up for Summer 2010 trips.
Navajo Mission Trips: The youth mission trip team from Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona has been here for three days now, and the 30 middle schoolers are some of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen! Yesterday, we were able to split into four groups and work on John Watson’s house, a home in Kayenta, a graffitied water tower, and some odd jobs at the church. My team went to Mr. John’s house and we had a blast. We painted the entire exterior of the house and got to spend some good time with John and even made friends with a few of his cows! He invited us to eat our lunch inside with him, and the kids really enjoyed it. At the water tower, the group was able to cover the graffiti and worked on painting a beautiful mural of a sunset with some Navajo artwork. The group in Kayenta painted some rooms in a family’s home and got to share some time with the family as well. At the church, a hardworking group built some new picnic tables and then dug a trench to lay a water line close to the outdoor kitchen where we cook! No more hauling water! Praise the Lord! Today, the entire group is in Tuba City de-tagging many of the city buildings and spending time with some of the Navajo that have come out to work with us. We had lunch in the gorgeous park and everyone was running around playing games as well. It has been an incredible couple of days and I can’t wait to see what else will happen this weekend! The rumor is that we are going out to the canyon tonight- what an adventure!
Blessings and love,
Laura Marie and the Navajo Experience Mission Team
Note: Experience Mission will soon be offering Summer 2010 mission trips on the Navajo Reservation. If you’d like to join a short term mission trip with EM, visit us at our website www.experiencemission.org
Christian Missions Work
The last week of teams is finally here. The two teams here this week were from California and Michigan. The Michigan team was a sight for sore eyes because they new how to play a Midwestern card game by the name of Euchre. Anyways due to this being our last week we wanted to accomplish as much as possible to finish up the projects that had already been started throughout the summer.
This meant a lot of day trips back to familiar faces which I felt was a great way to finish up the summer. We went back to Suzy’s place and painted her bathroom, went to Stella’s to paint the inside and work on her ramp, went back to Eli’s to finish up the paint work, and went back to a few others just to fix up some odds and ends. We even started a few new projects at the Bitter’s house, which involved a lot of drywalling and painting. The team also got to pour concrete for another church’s floor. This was a fantastic week where so much was accomplished. God really did an amazing work through these teams and I was really impressed by them.
This week really gave me the opportunity to look back on this summer and reflect on what God had done. It is truly amazing to see how much God will do if you simply allow Him to work through you. These teams this summer have all said yes to God, and He sent them to do amazing things in the Navajo Nation. His work is truly evident, and it seems that everywhere I go people are talking about it.
A lot of the people here have taken notice to what God is doing and have been asking me why people are doing this, and I think it is great that so many people are noticing what is happening. I feel this summer we have given Pastor James a lot of work to do with the people in his area, and that is a good thing for a Pastor to have. A lot of seeds have been planted this summer, and I can’t wait to see the end result.
You can come to the Navajo Reservation and be part of a Christian mission trip. Visit Experience Mission’s website at www.ExperienceMission.org - Native American Mission Trips are lifechanging.