Here I am on the ‘past tense’ side of our class restaurant, praising God for how it turned out. I always fight worrying about it, and at the last moment, I fling myself on God and let Him do it His own way. [Wisdom in action, huh?]
This year, we tried something that worked well: People paid for what they wanted when they first came in and were given tokens. The tokens were then redeemed at various places around the edge of the gym. We had tablecloths and flowers (and salt) on all the tables, which were in the central area of the gym, so it still had the feel of a restaurant, but the kitchen itself was not a ZOO!
The sweetly superb Sarah Sun sang ‘saintly’ songs, serenading ‘supping’ spectators throughout the evening. Anne Denny was our cashier, Miss Kelly was at the dessert table, Mr. V was at the Mutton Stew & Frybread table, Melissa baked Pizza, Mrs V. grilled burgers, Miss MEgan started the Navajo Tacos/Burgers on their way, Kathy served 120 drinks, the staff baked cherry pies, helped with set-up and tear-down, and Flash made a short DVD of it all. Everyone here helped. God brought in $700! You can look at a video about it on the Mission website: www.immanuelmission.org
None of it was ready to go at 6 P.M. when we opened our doors [!!!!!], but one great thing about Navajos is that the same character trait in them that brings frozen hamburger patties and frybread dough into the kitchen at 5:50 P.M. [!!!!!] is also willing to patiently wait around for the food to be cooked – with out so much as a single complaint. When will I ever remember that?
At 7 o’clock, the frybread crew in the kitchen, having served their time, merrily waved good-bye. At first, I panicked. Then I began scrambling through the busy restaurant, approaching every Navajo woman I knew, begging her to come to the kitchen and pat out frybread. Three of them gazed up at me, mouths full, and nodded “OK”, and the restaurant continued. Thank you for your support in prayer!
We have 1 month left of school. It amazes me how God brings us through year after year. It’s a delight to Him, but it ‘floors’ me. The Valdois’ and MEgan are leaving I.M., that’s 3/5 of the Jr. High/High school faculty AND 2/4 of the bus drivers! Help! Come! Drive! Teach! Pray on, if nothing else! [I’m talking to you]
THANK YOU for being a part of the work out here where “God is with us”
Because HE is, Miss Becky Knopf
The first week of March, a group of Emmaus Bible College students came down. They were a great group to have. They did various things around the mission. Two students helped out in the school and one, Alyssa, was in my classroom. I remember being in college and rearing to start teaching, so the week Alyssa was here, I let her teach and do all my work!!! It was great! It actually turned out to be a blessing because I had to leave Wednesday afternoon to go as a chaperone on the state basketball trip. Alyssa was able to take over my classroom as the sub while I was gone. It is so neat to see the Lord supply a solution even before the problem arises.
By the way, our basketball teams did great. The girls got 5th place and the boys got 4th. There were a couple of really, really close games that were heart-wrenching. But overall it was a great trip.
On Saint Patrick’s day, Ruth Bloom, our bookkeeper and close friend was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. They thought it was appendicitis, but when they went in they found something totally different. Even though I’ve had it explained to me, I don’t think I can tell you exactly what they found, but they patched her up. Later that night around 3am, they had to go back in for another emergency surgery. There was internal bleeding and they took out a quart and a half of blood from her abdomen. Praise the Lord that she is back home and doing wonderfully. She is still mending and getting her strength back. Ruth is such a testament to the Lord’s power.
Over spring break, I accompanied Megan Thurston and her four dogs to their home in Ocean Shores, Washington. It was my first time to see the Pacific Ocean (although I didn’t really see it until Thursday because of the clouds and rain.) It was a great trip, even though it was wet, and cold, and rainy the entire time (expect an hour or two!)
A major prayer request: We are losing three teachers and two bus drivers this year. We need a Jr. High teacher, and two high school teachers. It will be neat to see how the Lord provides for this need. Please partner with us in prayer as we ask that he will send the right people at just the right time. Let us know if you are interested of filling some need out here or know of anybody who would be interested. Thanks again for your prayers.
In first grade we have been learning about Jesus. He came to earth as a baby, grew up to be a man, died on the cross. But he isn’t still dead: he arose and now is in heaven. Today we learned about how one day Jesus will be coming back to take all of his friends and followers back to heaven with him. Lord—how I am looking forward to that day! But I am also reminded to pray that my students and their families will understand their need for a savior before He returns.
I trust you are more faithful in praying than I am in writing. I think this is the longest time in 35 years of ministry that I have gone without communicating with our friends. Please forgive me. I could use busy as an excuse but really it was just procrastination. There is lots to update you on so here goes.
Of course the BIG news is that on Mar 23 on our way back from San Francisco Ruth began having severe pain in the abdomen. We arrived home at 2AM and at noon on Monday the pain was worse so we went to Farmington to the emergency room. They took a CT scan and thought it was appendicitis so scheduled surgery for 8PM Mon night. During the surgery they found a healthy appendix but also found some twisted tissue around the colon that had cut off the blood supply and was causing the pain. It is called a torsion of the omentum and is fairly rare but can be serious. The operation seemed successful and we were sent to a regular room in the hospital. At 3AM on Tuesday the nurse noticed that Ruth’s blood pressure had dropped to 45/35 which is very serious. The room was immediately full of doctors, nurses and who knows who else. They rushed her into surgery again to stop internal bleeding. This time there were no problems and we came home Thurs. She has been steadily improving each day but it will take about 6 weeks before she is back to normal. Thanks to all who are praying for us and forgive us if you are just now hearing of this. God is so good and we are thankful that God is healing her. Through it we strongly felt God’s protection and care.
We are already planning and looking toward next years staff. Megan has decided to go back to school so we will need a 7/8 grade teacher. We have a young lady, Hannah Barr from Colorado, interested in teaching 2nd grade. We still need a maintenance man. Two families are praying about that position but still no firm leading of the Lord for them to come. Dave and Margie Meinzinger have been here for a month helping out with maintenance and a host of other things.
Several other needs to be aware of. One of our Christian young ladies is planning to go to college in Kansas and needs a small car. If you have one you could donate or sell cheap let me know. We also need mechanics tools for the new shop program or funds to purchase them I try to buy many things at auctions to stretch the dollars. We are hoping to begin operation in fall of 2008.
Please remember to pray for and support our Navajo workers. There are eight on staff now which really eases our burden.
The most exciting news is that a young high school student, Uriah Haskie, professed salvation a month ago. Pray he will want to grow and continue in the faith. He is not from a Christian home and has a lot of issues to deal with. It is very rare for a high school student to come to Christ.
Thanks again for your love and friendship. We are rejoicing in God’s goodness and care.
John & Ruth Bloom
February started off with a running start. We’ve had three birthdays in my class this month, not to mention a Valentine’s party. The first weekend of the month we had a carnival here at the school as one of the big fund raisers for the junior/senior trip. They won’t take one this year but are saving up for one next year. It was a huge success. I think one of the biggest attractions was The Jail. For one ticket you could put anyone you wanted to in jail. In order to get out they had to say a memory verse. I was put in jail twice! Good thing that I have had many people over the years encourage me to memorize verses! We had several home basketball games this month, despite the fact that one or two were canceled. Both teams did really well this season. The boys had a 7 and 6 season; the girls were 8 and 5. This weekend is the State Tournament.
For February 10th-12th I went to Emmaus Bible College in Iowa as a representative of Immanuel Mission. Every year the college has a Christian Ministry Seminar. In it several ministries send representatives to tell the students about the opportunities to serve the Lord at their particular camp or mission. I went to represent Immanuel Mission. Last year when I was still just looking at coming down here, I was able to talk to John and Ruth Bloom at CMS. It was great to go this year and talk to other people about the mission. Many of those I talked to this year were still just freshmen or weren’t interested in coming to work here, but still interested in the work that goes on here. We are still looking for several people to fill in gaps in our staff. I also got to participate in a Women’s Ministry panel. There were about 10-11 women on the panel. That was a new experience for me, but I enjoyed it. It was neat to be back in the halls of my old college, but not have the pressure of homework and papers and all that college stuff. I was surprised at how many people I still knew. I was able to have some great conversations with some great people. I stayed the week with my old roommate and her husband. A couple of friends even made the trip to Dubuque to see me. It was great to catch up and hang out with good friends. The travel to and from Iowa was less than ideal, but the time I had there made it more than worth it!
The last weekend this month, several of the women from the mission went on a retreat to Durango. There is a retreat center there that is just for people involved in full-time ministry—and it is free to stay there! It was a wonderful facility. There were 5-6 bedrooms and almost everyone had their own personal bathroom and shower. We had a great time that included shopping (of course!), games, sharing times, prayer, worship, and fellowship. It was a great weekend. I was challenged and encouraged in ways that only the Lord can do. I also enjoyed getting to know the ladies on a more personal level. All in all it was a huge success!
Please continue to pray for me:
Pray for my new student Kenneth as he learns how to listen and obey.
Pray for continual spiritual growth.
Pray for the business of life to not derail me from the more important things.
Pray for my students (and all ages) to be saved and to come closer to the Lord
Hello friends and family. I have a small piece of news—I have a new student! He arrived on the 100th day of school. It was quite a surprise. We are still adjusting to having another student and he is still adjusting to a new school. I can definitely use your prayers in this area as he is still learning how to listen and obey. His addition brings my class to four girls and three boys. It is nice to have another boy to even out the numbers a little bit.
A couple weekends ago I went with the basketball teams on an overnight trip to Albuquerque as a chaperone. It was both a fun and slightly boring trip—which I expected. I am now a teacher and it is not cool for teens to hang out with teachers! But I felt that it was a good trip. I got to see the games and the kids at least know my name by now—an improvement. Around here it takes a while for people to warm up to you—so I was excited to go on this trip. We left school on Friday at 11:00 and then we drove to Albuquerque to play a Christian School down there. John Bloom has gotten to know their coach over the years and they wanted us to play basketball, but also to hang out with them over pizza after the game and let the players from each team get to know one another. They have a great group of Christian kids and it was a neat opportunity to get to know them. We then spent the night in their school, got up real early and left for Taos where our guys played another team. On the trip back home, we had to take a huge detour because of blowing snow on the road. Every time the kids asked how much longer the answer was “Oh about 2 ½ more hours”. I thought there was going to be a mutiny! But we got to Farmington and ate dinner at the mall and had a few minutes to shop too. That tended to take the edge off the kids’ attitude a bit! All in all it was a great trip.
January was a great transition month. Not to busy, but busy enough. Just looking ahead at the next month lets me know that I’ll have a lot more to report then. I covet your prayers this month especially with my new student.
Looking back, December was an EVENTful month. I’m not entirely sure I can remember everything that took place. I know that we have a wonderful turn-out at the Community Christmas. That is where our church and several other churches in the area put together a play and music program and then we serve lunch here at the school to the community. We also had Christmas at our Chapel—we all exchanged names for gifts and once again had a big meal. My favorite Christmas though was School Christmas. All year people send new toys, games, hats, scarves, toothbrush, tooth paste, stuffed animals, etc here to the mission. Then a few weeks before Christmas, two faithful ladies (Becky Knopf and Ruth Bloom) work hard to divide all the gifts up into a bag for each student. The last day before Christmas break, we have a chapel message with John Bloom and then we go back to our class where each person was handed a huge back full of gifts. It was so much fun for me to watch my students open their bags. You could hear their shouts of joy all through the halls. One of my students said that he was going to put all the gifts back in his bag and then open it again at home on Christmas (in front of his younger brothers and sisters!).
All the week of before Christmas we had been memorizing Rom 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We just began to memorize it, and we are continuing it even now. Please pray for us as we try to memorize this verse but also try to grasp what it means. It seamed that many of my students either don’t realize that they sin or don’t want to label it as SIN. They did seem to begin to see the connection between baby Jesus and the gift of God—but I want to really study this verse more in the coming weeks. Pray that I will explain it clearly. I don’t want to simplify it so much that they miss the message, but neither do I want to add conditions to the gospel that God never intended. Pray also for soft hearts to hear the message. Pray for everyday situations that I can use to point out the wages of sin and the gift of God. Pray for Star, Bill, Joy, Tia, Shantel, and Shane to open their hearts and accept the gift of salvation.
Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. It was very nice to see friends and family over the break and have you ask about my class and my life down here. Even the ones I didn’t get to see send emails and letters of encouragement. I love to see the body of Christ work in such an obvious way in my own life.
P.S. I never expected to see so much snow in Arizona. It snowed twice before Christmas—and then today we got at least 4-6 inches!
Dear praying friends,
We’ve been getting some of the snow that’s hit the rest of the country. As snow is one of Ruth’s favorite things (she says some of her best friends are flakes) she is excited. She is busy getting ready for Kid’s Christmas on Dec 20th, where we give all 80 students a bag of nice gifts. Our house is all decorated for winter – Ruth doesn’t necessarily decorate for Christmas – as winter is her favorite season. Lots of snowmen and snowflakes.
As we still have no maintenance man we have been relying on visiting handymen for help. God sent many talented ones our way this fall. We had visitors from Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Kansas and Michigan. We also enjoyed a short visit from the Montgomery clan. Howard, Jeannie and Ruth grew up here and it was good to see them again. I went to high school with Howard in Kansas many years ago. They loved seeing all the changes even in the last few years. While the project list is much shorter there are still many things to do if you have a mind to visit. Keep praying that in His time God will provide a maintenance man.
One of the visitors was Charles Roughton who is praying about coming to be the maintenance man. He and his wife Kathy live in North Carolina. He certainly has the skills we need. Pray that God would lead him and his church fellowship in discerning God’s perfect plan.
We are excited to welcome a new Navajo staff member. A former student, Running Feather Hosteen has come on staff as bus mechanics helper. Running has been trained in auto mechanics and wants to use his talents for the Lord. He has come on faith, trusting the Lord to meet his needs. Pray that support will come in for him and that he will be the help that Ranson needs. Ranson is still in much pain from his back and may need to go for surgery. Lula’s brother died suddenly recently. They remain faithful servants in spite of many trials. Pray for them.
We had our annual Community Christmas program last Sat. About 175 came to see the Nativity acted out, sing carols and listen to a great message. We served a good meal for everyone. We praise God for yet another opportunity to share the good news with our community. Dec 19th we are having a school Christmas program. Anne Denny has worked hard to put together a great musical program involving most of the students.
We will visit family and friends over Christmas in Kansas and Missouri. Please pray for God’s grace in many miles of travel.
John & Ruth Bloom
Merry Christmas to you! I have been in the Christmas mood soooo much this month. I am ready to go home and see my dad and my family. I hope that you have a great Christmas with family and friends as you remember Christ’s birth and sacrifice for us!
I had the joy of being in the wedding of my former roommate (Elaine Walter to Eric Evers) at the beginning of this month. It was neat to see the way that the Lord helped with the arranging of my transportation to get to the wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and yes, I did cry. But I know that Elaine and Eric will have a great marriage as they continue to focus on the Lord!
Thanksgiving for me was a restful time. A group of about 20 or so people were visiting Anne Denny for the holiday. Also, everybody from the mission stayed here for the holiday. We started the day with a pie breakfast at Dorothy Harvey’s house. The idea is that since everybody is always too full for pie after the big meal, let’s just eat it for breakfast first that morning. I loved the idea!!! Then for lunch we all ate a big meal down in the school cafeteria. We each brought a dish or two and had a great time. It was a fun day and then I had the rest of the weekend to get caught up on some much needed sleep.
I have had a couple bouts with a cold this month. I even sick on my own birthday—how lame is that. But the Lord worked it out that since I was home sick, I was also home when my grandma called to wish me a happy birthday—it was so nice to be able to talk to her when I was sick. One of my students also had a birthday this month. She shared her birthday with a kindergarten student—so we all got together and watched a movie and ate purple cupcakes!
I do believe that we all teacher’s and students alike are looking forward to Christmas break. I always anticipated it as a child—but I never knew that I would anticipate it even more as a teacher!!! I find myself saying, “Let’s just go read a book instead of…” We have the countdown going—only 13 days til Christmas!!! Have a Merry Christmas!