It’s been a good week. Many of you ask me what my days are like and if I know what God is calling me to here. I can tell you what my days are like, but as far as where I am being led…? I can only tell you that I am trying my best to follow God each day and be open to opportunities He places in front of me. I’m still not sure exactly where He is leading.
Today was spent hiking in Canyon de Chelly and discovering how incredibly out of shape I am! It was a great time of just “hanging out” with new friends, followed by a late lunch at Burger King, and a long car ride home with some great discussion about trust and forgiveness and the future of the Navajo Nation. Tonight I had 9 kids and one very tired mom over for a movie night. The kids loved the videos some of you sent this week, and mom fell asleep on the couch. The kids were encouraged to share with me about how they came to have Jesus in their heart, and one sweet 11 year old explained that his family members all do very bad things and he wants to be different and have a different life than that- but that he realizes only Jesus can help him be a different person. Then he asked us to pray for his dad who is an alcoholic. Oh my. After the kids shared, the older ones wanted to sing a worship song for us before the movie. I posted it for you to listen to if you want. Just click here.
That’s today. Yesterday I took a woman from Rough Rock who doesn’t have a car into Kayenta (about 45 miles away) so she could do some banking and get some groceries. We had lunch at Subway and she took me to look at yarn at the hardware store and to a cute little Navajo crafts store. I had so much fun getting to know her better. She’s in her 60’s and told me so much about how the reservation “used” to be.
Every day is something new. On Sundays we have church, of course- which I love. Sunday afternoons I hike with friends. Mondays I help in the mornings at the Senior Center here. I will tell you more about that later- it deserves an entire post! I’ve become friends with the cook there and this week we are making 100 cupcakes for a big Valentines Day party. Tuesdays I eat lunch at the trading post (they have nachos and slushies) and just hang out with the girls there- it’s a good place to connect with the town and meet people because they all come to get mail. Wednesday nights we have a Bible study at the church, Thursday nights the ladies want to start up a craft night, and Fridays the church is discussing a possible movie night as an outreach to the community (I’m really excited they are planning something like this!!!! Cheering them on!!!!)
It’s busy here- but not an Indiana busy. I actually have time in the morning to read, study, pray and enjoy coffee. It’s nice to have that and not be rushing off to things as soon as I wake up.
I was riding in the car today with one of my friends here, Rod, and he decided to give me a quiz about what I have learned about the Navajo Nation so far. I think I did fairly well- I thought I’d ask you the same questions and see how you do:
1. The Navajo Nation is comparable to what US state in size?
2. What is the population of the Navajo Nation?
3. What are 3 things that the Navajo Nation is known for (there are lots, but he asked for 3)
4. How were the Navajo key in helping the US in WWII?
5. Who was responsible for bringing this to the attention of the US government?
6. What does Tai chi’ zih mean?
1. The Navajo Nation is 27, 413 square miles, about the same size at West Virginia.
2. The population is right around 180,000 people, making the Navajo the largest Indian tribe in North America.
3. Beautiful hand woven rugs, turquoise jewelry, natural resources (like coal, oil and natural gas), rodeos, wildlife, Monument Valley….lots of things!
4. They were specifically chosen and trained to speak Navajo as a means to transmit coded communications in the Pacific theater of the war. Because Navajo is such a difficult language to learn, the code was an unbreakable means of communication. (And there’s a museum all about it at a Burger King near here!)
5. The missionaries who worked with the Navajo- because they tried so hard to learn the language and knew of its difficulty!
6. It means Rough Rock, the name of our town. No, I cannot pronounce it- or even think of anything it sounds like in English. I tried for awhile and Rod laughed so hard at me. There are sounds in those words that my mouth does not make at all….! Maybe by the time I leave…?
If you want to really learn about the Navajo, I’m finding a little book called “The book of the Navajo” is SO interesting. It was recommended by my friend Sherry, who has work with the Navajo for years, and it tells a little about their culture, history, traditions and beliefs. I’m about half way through it and I’m really enjoying it. You might be able to find it at your library. I got mine on Amazon. Click here for a link. I’ve also found some helpful articles online. Click here for one on PBS.org that gives a good overview.
I hope you enjoyed the quiz, and a little snapshot of my days here so far. I’m just following along…and trusting that the One who is leading me has a reason for taking this path.
Thank you for your prayers and notes (I’m finally getting mail!) and videos and cookies… I feel so incredibly loved and supported by all of you back home- it feels like we are all in this together (which we are!), and I’m so thankful for all of you!!!
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25