Old Fashioned Navajo Christmas 2023


We are celebrating our 100th year of God’s faithfulness to Immanuel Mission this year.  We welcome former staff and students to visit if you can and we can try to coordinate visitors that remember each other.  We are also planning to have an old-fashioned Navajo Christmas on December 16, 2023.  Many in our community remember travelling by wagon to the mission to hear the Gospel and receive a meal and a gift.  We plan to serve beans and hotdogs, have a Navajo preacher, listen to groups sing about our Lord Jesus Christ, and give out small gift bags to our community. 

We would love for you to be a part of this through prayer, coming to help that day, or giving items to go in the gift bags. Some of you may remember making rollups (a wrapped toilet paper tube with candy, toys, and a Gospel tract) or knitting hats or gathering items to send to Immanuel Mission back in the day.  We hope by giving enough notice, you can deliver items with youth groups that are coming in the summer or with current staff who may be visiting in your area during the year, rather than spend the exorbitant shipping prices.  If you do wish to ship, boxes should be here by December 1st and labelled for Kelli Wilson.  If you have any other questions you can email Anne Denny at dennyanne@gmail.com.

Below is a list of items that we hope to put in reusable grocery bags (we could use those too):

For Adults

·         Flour

·         Spam

·         Washcloth/soap

·         Toothbrush/toothpaste

·         Calendar

·         Hat/gloves/scarf

·         Rollups

·         Tract written by Navajo believers

For Children

·         Small toys

·         Stuffed animal

·         Washcloth/soap

·         Toothbrush/toothpaste

·         Fruit cup or fresh fruit

·         Hat/gloves/scarf

·         Rollups

·         Christian coloring book

As I am sure you all know, John Bloom passed away August 15 after a lifetime of serving the Lord. This is an update from his wife Ruth.

Dear Friends,

I am so grateful for your support of me. As I adjust to my new single life I am having to do many things that I was happy to let John do. I want to be careful to let you know how much I value your support in prayer and gifts for my living expenses.

I have resumed my work as bookkeeper. I have always felt that God gave me this job even though I did not seek it…at all. I have learned so much about the Lord during my time handling the funds for the Mission. Some of the lessons were very exhausting emotionally. But God is faithful and I am much more in love with Him thru the things I have suffered.

So thankful,


Immanuel Navajo Chapel

Navajo Immanuel Chapel is growing! Since the Covid restrictions were lifted, we’ve seen more and more people attending meetings. In this last year we have recognized two men as elders, and six men were recognized as deacons. The Lord has provided four men with the gift of teaching to minister to the saints on Sunday mornings, as well as other men and women who also are capable teachers and lead Bible studies in homes. The elders asked one of our sisters to start up a discipleship program among the women and girls in our church, and that is going strong!

At the end of our summer, we had a church picnic under our pavilion. There was plenty of food, conversation, special music, and a presentation by our Sunday School class. We plan to make this an annual event. It was encouraging to see how long the saints lingered around to visit with each other.

On Tuesday evenings, just before prayer meeting, a group gets together to practice reading the Scriptures in the Navajo language. This has been a real encouragement, and we pray that others will also become interested in participating in this.

We have been burdened for quite some time that we don’t have someone fluent in Navajo to preach and teach to our saints who don’t communicate much in English. After much prayer, and considering different options, we believe the Lord is leading us to implement a plan soon that we think has great potential.

Improvements have been made both inside and outside the chapel, courtesy of summer teams, our deacons, other staff members, and a few skilled welders who are generously donating their time. We now have a concrete ramp and steps with handrails; a foyer entrance on the north side; a fresh coat of paint; new furniture for the computer, storing supplies, and the PA system. Soon new shelving will be installed for our hymnbooks and Navajo Bibles.

The Lord took our brother John Bloom home to heaven on the first day of school. He is greatly missed both at the school and at our church. But he was faithful to prepare others to take the baton and keep running the race…and that’s just what we are doing!

Women’s Discipleship Program

Hi friends! I want to let you know about a new ministry we have started in our church here at Immanuel Mission. In the spring the elders requested that we start up a women’s discipleship program to help the young women in the church be fed specifically and intentionally. 

We currently have 7 pairs of women and young girls who have chosen to take part in a mentoring relationship. It’s such a joy and privilege to be a part of this and to witness how the Lord is causing growth in our church and in the individuals. I have watched these women with trembling knees choose to be obedient to the call to invest in the lives of other, younger believers. I saw the eagerness in these young girls as they thought about some woman reaching out to them specifically. In all things, growing often causes pain and this is no different, but it has been so worth it!

Please pray with us as this ministry blossoms and grows in the next few months. 

Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide each pairing. We have purposely not arranged what the mentoring consists of, choosing instead to let the Lord help each pair to decide where He wants the growth to occur. 

Pray for more interest in discipleship in the church. I feel like this is a pilot program and as more people see what is going on there will be more hunger for discipleship. (BTW…I praise the Lord that He sent me the exact numbers so that everything came out evenly!)

Thank you so much for your prayers!             Kelli Wilson

Life with Lorena

Years at Immanuel Mission; many have come and gone; some are rooted here; I will be rooted as I’m growing in Lord; nothing will push me out with the help of the Holy Spirit. Not discouragement, disappointment or any opposition. In the scripture it says,

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 

Over the years at the Mission I’ve been taught by some good believers and I am thankful for them. I’ve grown to love my people and they love me too (I think). I’m doing a few things here at Mission; my most enjoyable doing is a weekly Bible Study. This is a group Bible study; all in Navajo. We read the Navajo Bible, sing Navajo hymns, and we encourage each other in Navajo. 

My next enjoyable doing is during Christmas time I go out to the community with some gifts, sing Christmas carols and share the gospel. l love doing that each year. Immanuel Mission is different without John Bloom. In the community, everyone misses John.       

                                         Love and prayer, Lorena Herbert

Bielecki Family of 6,7,8 …9!

We are the Bielecki Family, Kevin & Brie, with our 7 sons and baby Andrew due any day now! Our family is in our 8th year sharing life here in Sweetwater, the Lord has given us many different opportunities to serve Him in such a variety of ways! As a family, we really enjoy and have seen our boys grow exponentially through the Open Shop mechanic ministry.

Tim (16) is a senior this year and grew much this summer through attending an intensive discipleship program, and is looking forward to possibly going to the Gap Year Program at Camp Elim next year. Zeke (15) is a sophomore, and very excited about learning drums and guitar. Micah (12) inspires many with his detailed drawings and also loves playing guitar and singing! Josiah (11) is an avid reader and has such a servant’s heart, he can’t wait to get better at guitar as well to play for church. Daniel (8) is enjoying learning piano from Ms. Susan this year and learning the blessings of serving others. Caleb (7) loves making people laugh and has bundles of energy to play with friends of all ages anytime!

As a family, we are excitedly anticipating the home birth of baby Andrew Nehemiah this month, he is already very loved by his many Navajo grandmas! Thank you for your support and encouragement of our family, we are daily amazed at God’s provision and how He works in our lives and the lives of our neighbors here as we see His hand at work!

New 4th & 5th Teacher

Hello! My name is Rachel Faust, and this is my first year teaching 4th & 5th grade here at Immanuel Mission. I moved here from Western Washington State in August and have been gradually adjusting to the very different weather and climate, being far away from my family, and country life. Teaching has been exhausting (and overwhelming at times), but also very rewarding! I love watching my students learn new things and grow in their skills and capabilities. God has been teaching me to rely more on Him and less on other people, which has been such a blessing because drawing nearer to God in close relationship is truly the best thing in life!

From the Tailgate–Scott Valentine

News from the mission is easy because there is always something going on. My bus is full with 22 students. Some ride intermittently, but for the most part they look forward to school.

For the first eight weeks of classes the ‘Big Wash’ had a ‘wash out’ on average, every other week. Now there is a culvert! That may not sound very newsy, but it’s such a relief not having to back up the bus next to a muddy cliff. The students on the bus are great and we have lots of friendly fun during the ride.

Four teams worked this summer and one during fall classes. So we are still getting work done in the neighborhood. Kevin Bielecki is heading up the work projects, and many on the mission staff join in leadership roles making improvements on our campus and around the area. 

Please continue praying because in between all the work the good news gets squeezed in there. Pray the efforts bring results.                                                                            Scott Valentine

Spotlight on the Hosteen Family

Hello everyone, my name is Roger Hosteen Jr, my wife is Tiffany Hosteen, and our only boy is Ephraim Hosteen (EJ). We have been serving the Lord here at Immanuel Mission since 2017.

My wife and I are alumni of Immanuel Mission School. My father and father-in-law went here back in the 50’s and 60’s. Even my wife’s grandfather was here in the 20’s and 30’s. Now our boy, a 3rd grader is going here as well. As you can see generations have gone through here, and God has been faithful in keeping this school going! We wanted to come back and give, not only our support but our gifts that God has given us.

In 2021 I came on full time to teach in the school, auto shop last year and guitar class this year. I am also one of the elders of the church for the community. Both my wife and I are EPIC leaders (youth leaders) and Sunday school teachers. My wife has a heart to serve where the school needs her. This year she has taken on being the pre-K teacher. She feels this is where the Lord has led her.

We are happy to be serving here on the mission and pray to continue to be here (Lord willing). 1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

From the Principal’s Office

We are thrilled to be having in-person school this year.  We currently have 47 students in pre-K through 8th grade. The echoes of laughter and shrieks on the playground and greetings and footsteps in the halls harmonize with the voices of teachers sharing Truth and students quoting Scripture. We daily participate in singing songs to the Lord. Please pray for our new teachers that bring a young energy but are also learning as they go. If you want to see short videos and pictures of our students, go to Immanuel Mission School Facebook page. Oh, I am also enjoying chasing the kids during recess with my new hip.  Thanks for your prayers. Anne Denny