Glorify God through our ministry and life together
Spread the Good News of God’s love for all in Christ
Teach, nurture, prepare, and equip Christians for the growth of faith
Be good neighbors to our community, and beyond, in word and deed
Posted on May 28th, 2015
Dear Friends and Family,
Day by Day and with each passing moment
Strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Domestic problems tend to materialize when my handyman husband is away. Like the time the roof blew off (one of the times, that is) and my neighbor lady and I chased down sheets of insulation that were blowing across the desert. But that is another story.
This week it was a clogged kitchen drain and Greg was in Boulder, Co helping our brother in law. The bottle read, “Instant Power Heavy-Duty Drain Opener—guaranteed to work on even the toughest clogs.” Sounded good to me and gave me hope I could get this fixed without burdening a soon-to-arrive-home-tired husband. Just another example of the empty promises the world offers.
What began as a simple clogged drain morphed into a huge plumbing problem and three days later I am washing dishes in the bathtub.
Another graduation from IM school has come and gone with people we view as family moving and leaving holes in the school program and in our hearts. Constant hurting people with messed up lives. Rain and mud and wind that can drag down one’s spirits.
June will find us babysitting grandkids in Phoenix while Jeremy and Denise get away. Then up to Colorado Springs to move Matt and Jen down to Farmington. God gave him the youth pastor job and we are so excited, both for a much needed job in his area of gift, and also that they will be so much nearer to us. In July they will present us with our seventh grandchild, another little girl. We are so blessed.
Each event, be it pleasure or pain, GIFTS accompanied by God’s Fatherly wisdom, kindness beyond measure, strength, peace and rest.
Jerry Bridges said, “Confidence in God’s Sovereignty in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting Him. If there is a single event in all the universe that can occur outside of God’s control, then we cannot trust Him. His power, love and purpose cannot be thwarted.” What joy to be His.
God bless you as you bless us. We love you,
Greg and Kathy
God With Us-Spring 2015 Newsletter
Posted on April 7th, 2015
We want you to pray with us about staff needed for next school year. (2015-2016) It is always fun to see God supply but we know that it is in answer to many prayers. Would you pray that God would supply in His time and way?
# First Grade teacher
# School cook
# Upper level science teacher or computer tech person
We have had a great school year with much positive impact on students and the community. Thanks for your support and prayers.
Submitted by John Bloom
In Jr. High I recently shared my testimony. I then gave the students a piece of paper and asked them to write out where they were with the Lord. One boy’s testimony was very sweet. For different reasons he was asked to leave last year and be homeschooled. Then we would re-evaluate in the fall to see if he would be allowed to return. We always agonize and prayerfully seek the Lord before asking someone to leave. It is an encouragement to see that the right decision was made and it ultimately was a big part of God’s plan for his life. I want to share with you his testimony (slightly edited for grammar).
…Before I first became a Christian, I was kicked out of school and being home schooled. I had no point in life and my grandfather had just passed away from cancer. When I came back to Immanuel Mission I was in 7th grade. John Bloom let me come back and then I went to EPIC (youth group). When Jim talked about Jesus, I realized that if John could accept me back into the school, Jesus could do the same. And if John could forgive all that I did, Jesus could too. So I asked Alena, “How do you know you’re a Christian?” and she told me how. I said I believe Jesus has died on the cross so we can live with him and that’s how I became a Christian.
Submitted by Kelli Wilson
Back by popular demand, summer reading! Last summer’s reading program, Buzz into the Library, was such a success that we are going for round two! This year’s program will kick off the week of May 18th. I will be starting this summer’s program and then handing it off to Sheree Wedel when I move to Minnesota in June. Please pray for Sheree and I as we organize the program, and for the community members that this program will minister to.
Submitted by Michele Lawman
Hello, this is Julie Snyder with an update about the new Illuminate program. This program was designed to assist struggling learners and give them extra teaching in areas where they need help, particularly reading and math. I currently work with a total of 16 students, either one-on-one or in small groups. It is exciting to see the progress these students are making throughout the school year. We are celebrating many achievements and setting goals to continue improving.
I love seeing these students improve academically, but what is even more incredible is to see the way God is at work in the lives of these students. Although I am not specifically teaching Bible this year, my goal is to help students see the love of Jesus Christ. I have been able to build awesome relationships with my students and as they become more comfortable with me, it opens many opportunities for me to share Jesus with them. I have been able to pray with students about things that are going on at home and share Bible verses to encourage and challenge them. I had one student tell me that he prayed and asked Jesus to forgive his sins earlier this year! That’s why we’re here.
Please continue to pray for the Illuminate program. Pray for my students to continue working hard and improving academically. More importantly, pray that my students will have a desire to know more about Jesus Christ and ultimately see their need for salvation.
Submitted by Julie Snyder
From the Tailgate of Scott Valentine
I just returned to Immanuel Mission after Spring Break. So I had a vacation from a vacation. At the Mission we are gearing up for a summer of Mission trips coming here . John Bloom will prioritize building and maintenance projects around our neighborhood and here at the school. This year’s project house is walking distance from the Mission. That will make a pleasant commute for those of you who plan to spend your vacation serving in this ministry.
Last Summer we had available souvenir dirt-shirts (dyed in our native soil). There are still some available for $15. The money will go to fund the biannual Junior/Senior Trip. We are also working on a new design and hope to have those ready.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has certainly blessed the work at Immanuel Mission. Thank God for work that we enjoy doing. Psalm 126: 5-6, “Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of Joy. He who goes out weeping as he carries his sack of seed will come home with cries of joy as he carries his sheaves of grain.” Those who know me here at the mission will laugh because even though on vacation, they hear me cry. Praise God we are seeing fruit and hoping for cries of joy.
Thanks for your continued prayer joining with us shoulder to shoulder. From your good friend in Christ.
Submitted by Scott Valentine
A Favorite Teaching Memory
I really enjoy being an English teacher to these kids from their Jr. High years all the way through their senior year. They may not know it, but their attitudes and actions reveal a lot to me about their likes and dislikes, struggles and victories, and needs and goals. One particular 10th grade girl is very emphatic when it comes to English class. She normally hates reading. (However, this year I found a book that she “likes, kinda a lot!”) In fact, she felt quite free to write in response to a prompt that she didn’t like this book and she didn’t learn anything and it was boring. Yet, even in the midst of her overwhelming dislike of the book, she still managed to put effort into her work and earn an “A”.
However, the next assignment was writing a 5 paragraph essay. The assignment was designed to be a guided essay with heavy teacher involvement. I required them to write their main idea sentence and come to me to get it checked. Then I would send them back to their desk to write the rest of the paragraph. At that point they would have to come to me to get it checked again. Then the process would repeat for each of the five paragraphs. My girl apparently really enjoys writing. After she had written her main idea sentence and shown it to me, she would run—literally run—back to her desk because she was so excited to write the rest of the paragraph! It is such a joy, to this English teacher, to see that level of excitement in a high school student over writing a 5 paragraph essay.
I know that in any class with any assignment, I can’t please everyone. Some like reading, some hate it. For some, it just depends on the type of book we are reading. Some like grammar (yes, I’ve even found a couple who like diagramming sentences!), and some would like to throw it out. Some like writing, and some avoid it at all costs. But even though I know I can’t please everyone, I know two things: some will enjoy it and they all need it whether they like it or not!
Submitted by Kelli Wilson
As Portrayed by a Child
Recently Alena Beeman had her 2nd grade boys help to tell the story of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac for school chapel. They acted out the characters of Abraham, Isaac and God. It brought tears to my eyes when I heard Levar (as Isaac) whimper when his father told him to get on the altar. Something about acting out a familiar Bible story often opens my eyes in a new way to what was really going on. It was so sweet to see the boys really enter into the story and grasp the sacrifice that God was asking. And the tears come when I know Jesus acted out the story and allowed His Father to sacrifice Him for me.
Submitted by Anne Denny
Jen’s Getting Married!!!
April has arrived seemingly overnight, along with the sunshine of spring. It’s hard to believe we are down to the last few weeks of the school year! There are so many changes coming up! Over Christmas break I got engaged to my best friend and Tim and I will be getting married this summer! I will be following him to Pennsylvania, ending my time here at the Mission in May (for now). I will always love the Navajo people and a piece of my heart will continue to be with the mesas and the students at Immanuel Mission. I’ve loved being a part of the ministry here and I’m just as excited for my next journey as a wife. It’s hard leaving, but how blessed I am to have both a job and a fiancé that I love so much that I hate to say goodbye! Please pray for me as I give these last few weeks all I’ve got and as God prepares me to be a wife. Thank you all for your prayers and support over the last two years. It has truly been a pleasure serving here. Our God does make dreams come true!
Submitted by Jen Boden
God With Us –Fall 2014 Newsletter
Posted on January 26th, 2015
2014-15 School Year
We are well into the 2014 – 2015 school year. As of Oct 1st we have 86 enrolled. We have 4 seniors ( one who has attended IM for all 13 years) and 11 new kindergarteners. Many of the kindergarteners are children of former students. One is the grandchild of a former student. God has provided wonderful teachers and staff so that we could even begin to offer a tutorial program (see article by Julie Snyder). God has also provided funds so we could purchase 45 new computers and software. We produce our own yearbook and this year our Juniors and Seniors are writing their own novel. God is also continuing to bless the decision to divorce ourselves from the Federal lunch program. We can offer nutritious food but students are not forced to take food they do not want, so there is very little waste. Thank you for supporting this decision and for praying for our school. The school is a very effective tool for reaching families in the Sweetwater community with the gospel.
John Bloom, Principal
5th/6th Grade Journal Entries
Here are some journal entries from my class this year. I have them write immediately after Bible Class and we have been reading the book of Acts:
“Dear Miss Becky, I was thinking about this story. Peter and John weren’t scared and I think about Peter and John and I will say no.”
“Dear Miss Becky, I don’t know if I trust Jesus or money.”
“Dear Miss Becky, When I was thinking about the story it was so scarey when Paul got stoned but when they took him out and right when he jumped up I got excited.”
“How did Paul’s nafew know thay were going to kill Paul?”
“Why come girls can’t go into the tempole?”
“I liked the part when Jesus talked out of the clouds.”
“When Ananias healed Paul, that was cool. I wish I could heal people too.”
Sometimes they ‘understand’ and sometimes they almost get it. Sometimes they are struggling with deep truths and other times nothing is getting into their hearts or heads. However, the Holy Spirit is always busy in my room drawing the ones who are His; convicting us of sin, righteousness and judgment. (John 16:8)
All glory to Him,
A Great Vacation Continues!
A great vacation continues. Year two began for me in July, 2014. Never did I ever in my wildest imagination think missionary life was the life for me. Only on vacation had I been at the Mission in the past, so now as the vacation continues, let me tell you how I’ve been blessed.
First of all, I am allowed to serve the Creator of the universe, primarily as a bus driver and I help with building and maintenance projects.
Second, I am teamed with a group of all-stars. Intellectually, spiritually, and professionally each of my fellow workers (partners in this ministry) continue to amaze everyday. They are a seriously gifted group of people. Our Creator is Master of human resources.
Third. Since 2013 over 300 Brothers and Sisters have stayed in the guest house where I live, each bringing their talent and enthusiasm to work here. Every one of you are a constant encouragement. Some of the visitors come just to visit. Former teacher Alice Huff Watt stands out. Many alumni from around the neighborhood and outlying area came to the guest house during Mrs. Watt’s stay here. They were fun to meet and we heard some great stories. Although I don’t remember everyone’s name, I do know that I am meeting and working alongside Gods elect. What an honor to work with and laugh and study and eat… you get the picture. I mean it great people, thank you all.
Fourth. Everyday should be a holiday. I know only God could have put me here. Each day I get up in the morning and actually enjoy what is to be done. Like on vacation. The weather is great; some rain, mostly dry and clear. Vacation.
Fifth, Many of you have shared your labor and resources. Your continued prayer for the effort here is huge. Thank you. We are all working together and for the Kingdom. With your help this year we built a house (almost finished), remodeled the Holcomb building to accommodate two teachers, sided and painted a house, painted and resurfaced the gym floor, painted classrooms, built two decks for our neighbors, installed a floor and painted the interior of a house. There is more too… We have accomplished much.
Sixth, did I mention vacation?, I still ‘happy cry’ a little when think of your prayer and the fact so many have joined us in our effort, I’ll sign off now, thank you all.
Thank you, thank you thank you.
Love, Scott Valentine
Summer Reading Program
The summer reading program was a huge success! Over 30 people “Buzzed into the Library for a Good Book” on a regular basis this summer and spent hours reading at home. The participants ranged in age from one to a grandma in her seventies. The adults and children found reward in reading, and not just because they got prizes. It was such a joy to hear children excited to go home and read their books and adults who commented they didn’t know reading was so much fun, even better than a movie! I am hopeful that the reading portion of the summer reading program will continue throughout the lives of those who participated!
My name is Julie Snyder and this is my third year at Immanuel Mission, but my job description is different this year as I am starting a new program to assist struggling learners. I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do through this new ministry. This new program has drawn in new students to Immanuel Mission School and is helping us better serve all of our students. I am working with students either one-on-one or in small groups to help them in areas where they are struggling, specifically reading and math. Currently, I work with about 15 students at different times throughout the day. Some students come to me every day and some students come a few times each week.
This new program is called Illuminate. I want to shine light on the areas where students are struggling so that those things become clearer. My goal is to provide them with a quality education that meets their specific needs, but more importantly I want them to see Jesus. My aim is to make sure that not only my students but also their families see the love of Jesus Christ through this new ministry. Please pray for my new ministry—pray that the Illuminate program will be an effective tool for helping struggling learners and will prove to add to the ministries of Immanuel Mission.
This past month I had the opportunity to provide music for two funerals. One was for a World War II Vet, a Code-talker, who had trusted the Lord Jesus for salvation toward the end of his life. The other was for a former student, a twenty-five year old mother of a Kindergartner, who although she had heard the Gospel over and over again had never responded to God’s call as far as I know. The contrast was remarkable. The first funeral was a celebration of a life well-lived and with a future hope of glory. The second funeral was unbelievably sad with wailing and a little girl’s haunting voice saying, “Mommy, wake up! Mommy wake up!”
There’s tragedy in a life cut short at an early age, but primarily because she never said yes to Jesus. We all know of other young people who died gloriously. Please pray for all who were at either funeral to see the example and live their own life accordingly. Jesus offers an abundant life to all. Pray that our community will want that abundant life and set their “affections on things above not on the things of the earth.”
Posted on November 20th, 2014
The angels threw a party the other day. And what was the cause of their celebration? Luke 15 tells us that the angels party when a sinner comes to repentance. Our friend and neighbor was the one being honored that day. This is how it happened:
We have had a slew of funerals lately, some older folks. Even though it is still hard, still, we expect their tired bodies to give out. But one particular funeral was not an old tired gentleman but rather a 45 year old man too defeated to want to live any longer. Truly a tragedy that need not have happened. Greg was asked to do the funeral and many were praying for him. What do you say at a funeral such as this? Greg chose Isaiah 55.
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, And you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; Listen, that you may live.
Many in the audience needed to hear the message; young people choosing substance abuse to fill the empty places in their souls. The woman sitting beside me was one such person. I couldn’t help but notice she cried through the whole service. Of course, this was a very sad funeral and tears to be expected, but her tears were more the work of God stirring her heart. She said afterwards that she felt Greg was talking directly to her and that she was desperate to be saved. She accepted Jesus, and we were ecstatic…………………and that’s when the angels got out the streamers and balloons, and threw a party.
We live in a place similar to the inner cities of America where there is much violence and darkness. Satan reigns here, and yet the Holy Spirit is here dispelling the darkness and shedding the love of God abroad in people’s hearts. What a wonderful life is ours. What a privilege that He gifts us with–being his instruments. Thank you for making our stay here possible.
Our local fellowship is another area where Jesus is gaining the victory. Many young couples and families are coming out on Sundays, eager to hear the Word and grow. A husband told us recently that he had been having dreams that God wanted him to quit his job and give himself more fully to serving the Lord, perhaps here at the mission in some capacity. We are praying for a sponsor who would take him on and help support his family of six.
Praise be to God who fills our empty places with Himself, satisfying us with the richest of fares.
Love, Greg and Kathy
God With Us–Summer Newsletter
Posted on July 11th, 2014
What a Year
Immanuel Mission is feeling the joys of making it through another spring and the completion of another school year. The prayer support and gifts believers send shows the resources of God in action and how faith in the truth equals much success. Thank you for all that you provide through your generosity and hearts for others. Christ and His kingdom rejoice to see the changed hearts of Immanuel Mission kids as they come to know Him more fully. Your involvement is all part of God’s plan.
Students have completed all their final tests and graduation was held for 3 seniors leaving Immanuel. We all pray for the best of blessings to them in their future endeavors.
It was very special to give out awards to my class on the last day of school. The thirteen students in my class all were given an award that best represented them and their hard work. I look forward to the new third graders, welcome the fourth grade class, and say “see ya” to the new fifth graders. I care about them all and love the time spent together. As for the basketball team, I plan to see most of the boy’s back again this coming season. Our March tournament was hard fought. The team took 4th place this tournament and the winners of the Christian Character Award. Although no matter what a first place finish is what we want to end the season with. So we look forward to going for 1st next season. Our boys are incredibly capable and disciplined to play hard and are ready to start again in the fall. There are no graduating seniors to leave the team and we all have next year’s tournament in the back of our minds. Both groups of kids, my classroom and basketball team have me very busy and blessed. I am thankful for having competitive kids in both the classroom and court. I enjoy seeing the Navajo families getting involved in their kid’s school work and basketball. Academics and sports have always been a great way to reach out and bring Navajo families together.
God’s strength is immeasurable and is part of our lives every second. Please continue to pray for the success of my students in the classroom and basketball players on and off the court. Pray for what they are learning. Help them to find true love in all the right things. Help us to show the truth of spiritual things to them in the way Jesus would.
Thank you for providing for the work. The harvest is plentiful. There are many examples of God’s answer to prayer and need. When people come from all over the country to visit and teach that is amazing. Thank you for giving and demonstrating Christ’s love for all His children.
3rd/4th teacher and Basketball Coach
Immanuel Mission Jr/Sr Trip Update
Praise the Lord for all of you who prayed for us and helped pay for our trip to New Zealand. Like the Israelites who were led through the wilderness by a cloud, we felt the Lord’s sunshine on our whole trip.
John and Ruth Bloom, two boys, six girls, and I were hosted in California and then in Rotorua, New Zealand by kind Christians who opened their homes and welcomed us like family. They had many meals for us inviting all our host families to attend as well. When we first arrived in New Zealand we were greeted with a traditional welcome by about 30 Maoris that was solemn and honoring to us. There was an affinity between the Navajo and the Maori people that was so special and familiar. This ceremony then happened again when we visited a college (elementary school) and at a tourist evening where some of our host families worked.
Other highlights were the raft trip that included going over a 20 foot waterfall and swimming in the South Pacific Ocean.
Although they spoke English, we almost needed a thesaurus to understand them. Rubbish, boot sale, toilet, togs, are just a few examples of words we don’t regularly use here in America. When we first arrived, I kept getting nervous that John wasn’t paying attention when he was driving but he was just the passenger on the left side. Brandale and Terence and I risked our lives jaywalking when we all looked the wrong way to cross a street. Shania sent a graduation announcement to her fake mom (hostess) there. The 12 hour plane ride wasn’t nearly as scary as our students thought and not as long as I thought it would be. Parents here were so thankful when we brought their children home safely and had a nice dinner to thank us. So again, I pass that thankfulness to all of you who helped make it possible. God is good all the time.
PS…You can still purchase a dirt shirt made by our students. They use local dirt to dye them. They are for sale for $15 plus postage. If you prefer we could send a pristine white one. They all have Immanuel Mission and the mountain east of the Mission embroidered on the left.
Mission neighbor’s trailer burns to the ground!!
In mid April Lorraine Yazzie’s small trailer caught on fire. Probably an electrical short caused the fire. By the time we at the mission found out about it, it was too far gone to be saved even though she lives only ¼ mile from the mission. Lorraine was saved as a child through the ministry of Immanuel Mission and has been coming to the mission chapel for the last six years. In the last few years three of her grandchildren have come to Christ through the school ministry. Last year her daughter also trusted Christ (Tonya’s testimony was in last fall’s newsletter.)
Lorraine had been praying for a bigger place and that God would help her be able to put her past behind her. Little did she know that God would answer both of those prayers by allowing her trailer to burn. She was able to save only a few things from the trailer. The mission and church were immediately able to help with money, clothes and a used trailer that is twice as big as the one that burned down. Despite her loss, she has been able to see God’s hand in this and is so thankful for the help of her Christian family.
This is just one example of how God uses the school and Mission church to minister to our community. Thank you for partnering with us in reaching Navajo people for Christ.
Buzz into the Library for a Good Book!
This summer I am running a Summer Reading Program to encourage Immanuel Mission’s students and neighbors to read. I am opening the school library two days a week. So far 16 people have turned in reading logs (some have turned in two, five hour logs!). Please pray that this program would be an encouragement to our students and neighbors, and that I would be able to develop more relationships within the community throughout the summer! The possibilities are limitless!
Here is a wish list of staff for the 2014/2015 school year
*Computer specialist/ IT person
*High School science teacher
*Auto shop teacher
You do not have to have a teaching license to teach at Immanuel Mission. However, a bachelors degree is preferred.
The lady spent most of a day here and was quite impressed with the mission. She is not a believer but by the end of the day she was asking for prayer for her migraines. The youth group witnessed to her.
Dirt Shirts For Sale
Posted on March 13th, 2014
Below is a link to the website where our Jr./Sr. Class is selling Immanuel Mission Dirt Shirts to help raise money for their class trip to New Zealand. Check it out!!!
A dear friend of Immanuel Mission is Brad Keating and his family. While visiting in October, he took the boys P.E. class to Cortez, Colorado for a real golfing experience with a profession golf instructor. Read about it at the link above.