Things That Happen on a Family Mission Trip to the Navajo Indian Reservation
Today I was asked to give a letter to the principal at the high school were we have been staying on the Navajo Indian Reservation who has been principal in our efforts to share the love of Christ. Read and consider what you can do to help serve others today for you may be the only Jesus someone sees today!!!
I pray great happiness for both you and your bride as you begin your new lives together in full retirement. I pray that your latter years in wealth and health and most of all in Him are greater than you ever imagined.
From the first year when we were so much like Jesus with no place for us to rest for the night, you have worked hard with and for us to bring Jesus Christ and a bunch of Georgians to the Dine, the Navajo people in Pueblo Pintado, White Horse, Ojo Encino, Torreon and beyond.
Sometimes we have to wonder if what we did was good, but that is not the case for you and great things and love you have shown for the Navajo people. You have changed hundreds of lives there as well as hundreds of lives here. You have made a great difference in the lives of many. You have helped hundreds of Navajo students sometimes with tough love but always with great love.
We live in a world that is often without hope. But you have given us all a great reason for hope and even more for us all to enjoy the extended family of our Navajo Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
Tami stays in great contact most every day with Melarie who has become our God Daughter. Arnold like at all of us at times struggles with his faith and man’s role in this world as leaders in the home. Even this past week he picked up the phone and called seeking a welcoming hand and encouragement from me, his Navajo Brother in Christ.
We have enjoyed water days with your help watching the pure joy of children as they not only danced in the joy of moment but also with the joy of knowing who Christ is just a little bit better.
We have watched as Navajo people who were previously quiet and reserved now seek us out, on Face Book, by e-mail and most of all with their hearts. Each one of us has fallen in love with the Navajo and many many of our team stay in contact with our beloved Navajo brothers and sisters throughout the year and indeed count down the days until we can return again.
We have had mission team members from as old as 3 and as young as 69 serve God boldly. As a family mission team…it is now just a word with us…it is a lifestyle for those we have served with will always be ours!!!
We have watched courageous mission team members have served even after having a biopsy knowing all the while they would receive the results with us while on the trip. Soon learning the results were positive and they return home and soon after-wards be facing intense rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries. Upon hearing the news she could have turn and ran but she and her family regrouped and stayed and served even still adding a family vacation before returning home.
We have served with those who have lost loved ones to suicide, who have lost jobs, we have suffered great hardships just to be One of Christ there on the reservation laying down all other life’s conveniences to a trip that is hard work but one that is worth more than Gold or Rubies can buy.
We have loved Nelson who has been in wheel chair some 23 years since he was 19 years old. At his home we have installed windows to keep him warm, a covered deck to keep him cool and painted his home with the star and colors of the Dallas Cowboys.
We have found God on top of the Mesa, we have watched the night clouds part as the beauty of a full moon appeared as we were sang to in Navajo “Jesus Loves Me.” We have built bridges of love, shared tears of sorrow but in all things and at all times found the grace of a Savior calling us all out the the reservation one more time.
We have watched as our Navajo Brother and Sisters in Christ have lost loved ones. We have watched as our Navajo Sister in Christ has given birth to a beautiful child. We have watched as one in my Bible Study group this past year was killed in a fight just days after we left.
We have watched as some have fought to stop the trip both there and here. We have watched as I could not drive a truck and hit one of the High School poles. We have watched as Tom Griffin drove there time and again (and even buying a van the “Navao Express” to do it) so that we might let the Navajo how much they are loved each and every day and not just for a week in July. We have watched as old and young alike have united in the joy of great service. We have watched as one of our team members was airlifted off of the football field. We have watched ice makers being provided and even football equipment for a team that I understand is soon to take the field.
Community nights a staple on Wednesday nights has been broadened to also on Sunday night. We have watched as bands that we used to pay to play now eagerly volunteer their time. We have watched as Sports Camp, VBS, Bible Studies and activities at the Senior Center have grown and flourished as leaders have done miraculous things in the name of Jesus Christ. We have watched as those on our team time and again dropped everything they were doing to share a smile, to witness and to just with someone.
From one of the smallest mission teams of 40 to a high of a 100 we have come. We have come because of great men like you, Arnold and Mike who rallied with no expectations of self but only what you can do for the community. There is no greater love than one who will lay down his life for a friend.
Ben, to whom the VW was given away once said “the GA Mission Team is different from other teams that go out on the reservation in that you did not tell me what to do or believe that you just wanted to be my friend.” Chris, you have opened doors in the name of our great God that can and never will be closed. You have make a great difference in the lives of hundreds and hundreds.
From rebuilding VW’s, to community nights, to VBS, Sports Camp, Bible Studies, Construction Projects and work at the Senior Center we have been able to do much through your support and to let an entire community they are greatly loved not only by us but also by their Father in Heaven!
I have watched as mission team members have saved sacrificially so they might go on the trip. I have watched as mission team members have forgone needed operations and have served too soon after a surgery to answer the call on their heart. I have watched as mission team members have grown, have excelled and we continue to step our in great Faith. I have watched mission team members who cannot afford to go step out in faith saying they will…knowing God will provide a way.
I have watched as leaders from the Navajo to our Mission Team have stepped up and served boldly. I have watched Navajo parades during Navajo Culture week while picking up candy they threw giving to an angelic Navajo girl as she sat on her daddy’s car.
I have learned much about many and have most of all learned that when we stop to serve others we are most like Christ. Most like Jesus Christ as we seek to be his very hands and feet. Over the years I have served with many great warriors for Christ of which you and a few others have made all of that possible.
What you have done is indeed written in the Book of Life in the Heavens. Many have to wonder if what they did was for good. But you do not. You have given and done much!
You will be greatly missed.
Please know you can go to Ramada Inn when you are in GA but no one will love you like we do when you need a place for the night.
I pray great things for you and yours!
In the Matchless Name of Jesus Christ….the ONLY one who can truly save!!!
john/tami (aka…the Church Lady)