Navajo Nation Update (Feb – June)

Somehow four months have come and gone, and we have now left the reservation for the camp season. No matter where we are we always feel like the days are long, our time is short, and we did the best we could. Lots of great things happened this season on the reservation,and also some big disappointments.

Praises

  • Ian got his chaplaincy.
  • Ian was able to teach “speak up, be safe” in Hilltop christian school, to grades k-6.
  • Ian created a presentation against human trafficking, and was able to teach it to high schoolers in Rehoboth christian school.
  • Ian subbed for the third grade class at Hilltop christian school, the high school bible class at Rehoboth christian school, and a phycological first-aid class at Rehoboth christian school.
  • Ian and Leah were able to lead a team from the Bridge Gospel Academy for a week, as they worked at the mission, and in the community.
  • Leah was able to do two Bible studies with some of the women staff at the mission.
  • Ian, Leah, and the Kids were able to do some work projects for a family in the community.

To say this past season has been boring would be the biggest lie. But that being said, I don’t know anyone who is in ministry that would say that life is boring. Personally I think that’s part of the fun in following Christ, you just never know what will happen next.

When we arrived at the Navajo Nation we got right to work getting everything ready for the Bridge Gospel Academy ( the school that Ian taught at in the fall ), who came out and served with us for one week. It was an amazing time of seeing them do manual labor, deep conversations, and gain a deeper understanding of the hardship in full time ministry.

After the team left it was time for Ian and I to get to work with our normal work on the reservation. Ian was so blessed to get a chance to work in the Rehoboth Christian school, and Hilltop Christian school. The children are so lacking a present male figure in their lives, that having Ian spend time in the class with them was amazing. It also helped the teachers, as the teacher at Rehoboth being a chaplain and father had times where he needed to do some other things. And at Hilltop the teachers are so burned out with being short on teachers, and not having any subs, that having Ian come in and help was a huge blessing.

It was also amazing to be able to get anti-trafficing/ abuse training into two schools this year. Two schools might not seem like a big deal to so many, as we love everything in mega form, but things work very differently on the Rez. There it is all small, all personal relationships, all a struggle.

Ian was also able to help with tasks around the mission’s radio station, one on one discipleship, and both of us got to be involved in a young adults bible study, and helping a sweet sister in Christ who is stuck at home caring for her mother. The joy was also in having the kids help with tasks at our friends house too.

I (Leah) got the chance to have another Bible study for some of the women at the mission. These women are the true heroes in the faith, as they are there doing battle all year long. I wanted them to feel loved, appreciated, and built up.

But our time was not all roses. There was a great police training that Ian was able to get for the tribe, but he was not able to have anyone get back with Ian. So Ian was required to call and cancel the training. Simon was attacked by a dog, and had to go to the ER. Because the dog needed to be put down, this put our relationship with one of the teachers whom the dog belonged to in a bad place. Benjamin got shocked by some electric issues, and we needed to spend our last two weeks in a trailer on campus. And Leah was a guest speaker at a women’s breakfast at a local church, and got yelled at and told to leave the Rez and go back to where she comes from because she was not welcome on the reservation.

But God was with us, and other relationships grew in deep ways.

The Reservation is a hard and depressing place, where time moves slower, and people trust less. We hope in a future where the Lord calls these young Navajo to Him, and they can stop the cycles of abuse, and bring the Navajo Nation to a saving faith in Jesus our Savior.

Next steps and prayer points

  • During our drive from New Mexico to Idaho our van died. So now we are in need of a vehicle for our family.
  • For the full-time workers on the Reservation. They are tired, and few.
  • We need wisdom and discernment here at Alacca Bible Camp. Half of our team is new, and the other half are students that we have had for one or two summers. Our goal is to have all of them grow in their walk, but with them being in very different places in their walk this might prove a bit difficult during discussions.
  • For our children, and marriage. Nothing is wrong, but that means satan will probably try to make some issues.
    We can’t thank you enough for partnering with us in the ministry that God has called us to be in.
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