During the school day, the student’s laptops sometimes cut out totally, or are muted at one end or the other, or a well-meaning teacher bumps the laptop UNINTENTIONALLY and suddenly EVERYBODY DISAPEARS!! There is a delay in sound between my student and me according to how far away they live and some of the time a teacher from down the hall or at Red Mesa high school is over heard during the class. Little brothers and sisters are much more entertaining than a teacher and so are cats, puppies, grammas and older siblings. One of my students, today, was suddenly outside (the lovely blue of the sky gave that away) and then I saw the interior of a vehicle over his head. He found a quiet place and was able to hear me from then on. When all 9 students are present on Zoom, it is a thrill! (It still isn’t easy — because they often ask questions at the same time, BUT IT IS still thrilling.) Thank you for praying for us; each prayer helps and knowing that you are praying for us lightens the load. Becky Knopf
This year has been the year of firsts. First-year of teaching (for me), 1st day in the classroom, two weeks later we had our 1stday of school outside and a week later we switched, and had our 1st-day of house visits. All of these changes due to following the covid regulations. This year has had a sense of “who knows what will happen next,” but through all of the changes, God has constantly provided the right resources and right ideas at just the right time.
Has it been a challenging year? It has not been without its challenges. For example, we as teachers have to pick what is the most important for the students to learn, because distance learning just takes longer than usual learning. But there is so much good that is coming out of it too. School wide we have Bible lessons being sent into the home; we have Chapels being sent into the home each week, and if you were wondering what you could pray for… yes pray that teaching will be effective and the students will learn life skills, but also pray that the word of the Lord would not return void, but it would reach not only the students but the families that are hearing the messages in their own homes. God is doing great things THIS year. 2020 is not a mistake. As Psalm 139:16b says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Hi, my given name is Sami Davies and my Navajo name is Dághá?gai which means ’White Beard’. God’s blessed me with the opportunity to lead a men’s study for the past 2 years with 2 or 3 men participating, We started with Romans, then 1st John. When we finished 1 John, around the middle of May, all three said they wanted to study Revelation. We’ve been studying it weekly and just finished Chapter 15 today. Revelation really proves itself to be a blessing and almost necessitates these final words every week….’But wait, there’s more!’…..
Currently, God has opened possible opportunity for 3 more men’s studies. The first 2 or 3 meetings we will go through a short booklet called, “Who’s the Greatest Man Alive”. I describe it like this, “If you know Christ, it is a wonderful refreshing tryst with Him. If you don’t know Christ, it is a wonderful opportunity to come to know Who He is, What He has done and What we must do.” And in studying the booklet, we go to the scriptures and they get the opportunity to read them for themselves.
Please pray I will be faithful to the Bible in leading the studies and that the eyes of each one of us participating are opened to the wonderful things in God’s law.
Thank you, Brother in Christ, Dághá?gai, Sami Davies
“Hello? Are you there?” “Can you hear me? Can you see me?”
“Ok everybody, let’s put the kittens away so we can do math.”
“Hi grandma! Everyone say ‘Hi’ to grandma. Okay, back to History”
These are just a few of the things you might hear (repeatedly) if you walk by our classroom while teaching on zoom. It definitely has its challenges, but it makes life interesting. One student joined our class in the car for the first hour and sitting in Home Depot for the next hour (don’t ask me why?)
Instead of walking to the sharpener to show off your new shoes, you can now make us all jealous by what snack you get to eat while on camera. Learning new concepts takes 3x as long (at least that was true with learning to add fractions with un-like denominators). Some days, the teacher goes home and screams or cries or both in frustration. But we get to see each other, we get to talk to and/or tease friends. We recognize we are not alone. We are learning and growing (slowly). We pray together and for one another. The Word of the Lord is being read, preached, studied, and quoted in each home. We are learning to be thankful for what we have, had, and will have. We are hopeful for the future. This is just a season. The Lord is always good, always faithful, and always with us. We are Immanuel Mission School—God with us.
The Bible says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto
your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.
Since the pandemic began, our whole teaching technique has changed here at Immanuel Mission. So what does a school bus driver do all day? I get the cake jobs… Delivering lunch, shuttling homework and bringing assignments back to school. Generally having a good time driving around the desert. Mornings before lunch, might find me helping John Bloom on a capital improvement project, or helping with maintenance. Speaking for myself only, I will admit the yoke is easy.
Like being on vacation.
We are thankful to the Lord for His continued direction in hosting the Open Shop for our community! This is our second year of running Open Shop every Thursday from 9-3 in the VoTech (Auto Shop) building at the Mission. We have a wonderful group of dedicated men that come to work together on each other’s vehicles and projects and also serving the elderly and single women around Sweetwater. Young men come to learn and work alongside more experienced men in the areas of mechanics, welding, and general repair. We share a message from the Word and a time of prayer together while Brie and another wife make lunch for the men. This ministry has been such a blessing to each of those involved. It is a place of friendship, learning, growing together,and serving one another. Please continue to pray for those who come, that their hearts would be soft towards the Gospel. We are blessed by God’s faithfulness in the Open Shop ministry and are thankful for your continued prayer support!
We plan. We prepare packets. Zoom meetings with 5 year olds, even one at a time, is outrageously crazy. Home visits, now this works great when: family is home, adult is supervising (but not prompting their child with the answers), and some work got done ahead of time. Videos for Bible lessons? Check! What? You didn’t get them?
Susan Price, Kindergarten teacher
One of the first things I noticed using Zoom was that the children struggled with paying attention to a little image of me on a small screen. I had been praying for the Lord to give me a clever idea and He did! One day after a scheduled break the hand puppet “Darryl the Donkey” showed up to teach math instead of me. I had to position myself off-screen, but I could still see their faces, and every one of them was totally engaged. They all were eager to answer any and all questions Darryl asked them. The 30-minute time slot flew by, and the kids actually seemed sorry that the worksheet was completed and Darry had to leave…before Mr. Jim showed up. Isn’t it comforting to know that the Almighty God of the universe has the time to give an idea to a teacher in order to help a handful of students have a better school day!
Jim Price 2nd and 3rd grades
It was a blessing to be able to help out our elders and families in our community with packages of food every other week all summer. The workers were, Lees, Bielekies, Begayes, Curleys, Maddee Dee, Lorena Herbert, and us, the Hosteens.
It was a special experience during this pandemic. Each family and elder really looked forward to our visits and enjoyed our testimonies that we included in with our care packages of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and cleaning supplies. Some just wanted to sit and talk with us because at that time they were very lonely. One time we just had to take pictures of the elders, the ones on our list (the Hosteen’s). Some were very shy and some wanted to make sure that they looked good which was sweet. The grandmas were very adorable.
News from Navajo Immanuel Chapel
News from NIC is not often included in the Mission newsletter but such great things are happening in the local fellowship that it’s time to share some of it. For many years we tried to get the local Navajo believers to take more part in the church (i.e. teach Sunday School) but often the response was ” No, you missionaries can do it better.” However, recently we have seen tremendous growth in both numbers and desire to be involved in the local church. Now young Navajo believers (many who graduated from our school) are taking responsibility. Sunday School teachers, song leader, youth leaders and Mom’s group planners are all Navajos. People are inviting their friends and relatives to church. We recently bought 20 more chairs anticipating even more growth. Please pray that souls will be saved and we will continue to grow both in numbers and in spirit led worship to our Savior.
John Bloom Pastor/Elder