Thursday July 4th..Mark, Tami, John and mark head out by plane today to the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico to get ready for the rest of the mission trip. Eddie will be leaving that day as well carrying the trailer for the long 1600 plus mile journey each way. Pray for travel mercies.
Friday July 5th We will spend much of the day readying our accommodations and organizing the food and other logistical issues readying for the rest of the team to arrive on July 6th/Saturday. Anticipate the Elli’s family will join us on the reservation either today or on the 4th to assist with the preparations.
Saturday July 6th. We will drive back to the airport in ALBQ, New Mexico to meet that rest of the mission team at noon. Pray that all arrive safely, well and rested to be the very hands and feet of Christ. After a stop to eat and at Wal-Mart the team will leave for the Navajo Reservation where they will arrive some two plus hours later for their home there for the next seven nights/eight days. We know that God is already there on the reservation waiting for us to do HIS bidding. Pray that we not speak one word that is not from HIM alone.
Sunday July 7th. We will get up early in anticipation in joining the SUMC service by Skype as we are two hours behind. Pray that the teams finds itself well rested from their travels and ready to hit the ground running. Sunday after church the Pueblo Pintado High School where we are staying we will take the five vans and go out into the community to let everyone know we are there and that we will be having VBS, Two Community Nights, Construction Projects, Sports Camp, Men’s and Ladies Bible Study Groups, Senior Center. Sunday evening we will have the first of the two community nights with a cookout at the Chapter House (their downtown Pueblo Pintado) with three buildings total. Jeff, Andrew and John will be sharing that night with the Navajo during the evening messages from their hearts. Pray that lives will be forever changed and that the community will be intrigued as are we about what God is going to do to and through us.
Monday July 8th. Everything Starts at Once! Fun! Thrilling! Exhilarating! Pray that every team member is willing at any moment for as long as any Navajo would like to stop, drop everything and come alongside our Navajo Brothers & Sisters in Christ, Pray that we will listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Navajo in many ways are much more spiritual that we as they do take time to stop and listen but many do not know or embrace the Salvation that comes only through faith in Christ. Pray that we will be a Light of His Love.
Tuesday July 9th. Every Trip. Something that appears to be magical happens but it is not magic at all. It is Christ Working in Us as we begin to move and to function as one. Pray with us as we Pray with you that the place we call Sugarloaf United Methodist Church embrace Christ is new and exciting ways and that even as we are serving God out west that our congregation is serving Christ back home in Duluth/Suwanee/Lawrenceville and beyond. Pray that lives both here in New Mexico and at SUMC are forever forged anew as the mercies and grace of Christ fill our hearts with love.
Wednesday July 10th. This is one of those days that walls of exhaustion hit the team. Pray that our mission team of 40 is able to accomplish the work of hundreds as we seek to serve in HIS name and HIS Way. This is the night of the second community night where hundreds of Navajo will join us for food and fellowship. For twenty years this night has been a night of Bingo and Bands but this night will be different. MUCH different! For this evening we will be having a Prayer Walk. Like many Prayer Walks we have here there will be much to touch and physically feel including the nails like those that pierced our Savior. However we will be assisting and guiding those going through the Prayer Walk. Pray that we give comfort to those afflicted, mercy to those in pain and most of ALL Love to ALL who will listen.
Thursday July 11th. Pray that Lives Are Changed! People are Moved to Closer Relationships with Christ. This is the night we invite the community to join us up on the Mesa where you can see for miles and miles. For us all of the reservation is Holy Ground as we join Christ in what He is already doing in the lives of the Navajo. However the mountain top of the Mesa is especially Holy as decisions have been made for Christ, Music is Shared both in English and in Navajo and Messages of Christ Love are shared. Pray that this evening God ALONE will be glorified and magnified!!!!
Friday July 12th. A Long but rewarding week will come to an end but in so doing a celebration will begin that lasts until we return the following year. A tradition that Dr. Matthew Mitchell started years ago will continue as the local Fire Chief Arnold Billie will spray water in the air several stories high as we call embrace the rain as falling from the Heavens. How cool is it that I finally got to meet this year, Matthew who started the tradition is now with us as our Pastor! As a part of closing each year T-shirts will be given out to all and signed with permanent markers so those returning can wear them back the following year.
Saturday July 13th. We leave the reservation. Tears are shed. We are sad as are our Navajo Brothers in Christ. For a week we gained new friends, shared stories of life. Some difficult and some easy but ALL with a New friend and relationships that will last a lifetime and throughout eternity. About 10 a.m. we head out back to what we call civilization in ALBQ, New Mexico when in reality we are leaving civilization behind. For a week we stopped everything that did not matter and focused on things that did matter. The reservation is the ONLY place the I know I am truly Safe. Not safe in a physical sense but safe tucked neatly away in the arms, wings and will or our Savior. Saturday night at the hotel we will have a closing where we ALL take turns sharing what we experienced, what we saw and what God ALONE did. We also get to discover who our secret Encouragement Partner is who has been giving us notes of encouragement and goodies all week. :0))
Sunday July 13th. After a night of sleep on a most comfortable pillow top bed (something we have not enjoyed in a week) we come home. Pray that all traveling will arrive safely and comfortably. Pray we will use this Sunday to rest, consider and to reflect on what we have seen and experienced.
Day 4. For those who have been on the Walk to Emmaus or Tres Dias you know what Day 4 is. Day 4 is the rest of your life. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to better love your Wife, Husband, Brothers, Sisters and Kids? How are you going to respond to life back in a world where cells phone and technology and our hurriedness get in the way of truly Being Christ in the workplace, at school, you neighborhoods and everywhere you go? Who are you going to pray for this year? What will be different about your Life? What will be different about Your Heart? What Will Be Different About Your Faith Walk. For all have answered the call to serve on Missions and for all who have answered the call to tell all the Good News of Jesus Christ, I pray that your Emmaus (the road where Jesus appeared to his disciples after His resurrection) is filled with the grace and love of Christ. I pray that Lives are FOREVER different and that we all remember. “You may be the Only Jesus Someone Sees Today. Be a Light for Christ!”