Dear praying friends,
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.
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!
BAM! BAM! THUMP! BAM! Strum, strum, strum, plink, plink, strum, BAM! These are typical noises you hear each day in my new music room. I wish there was audio in our newsletters but you would probably hit the mute button as fast as you could find it so it’s just as well. I am having a great time teaching music again this year and especially love having my own room with a door that locks. The elementary grades get to come once a week to sing, play the bells, keep rhythm with sticks and look longingly at the pianos, guitars and trap set that I reserve for the upper grades. Then I get the older girls and boys for an hour each day while their counterparts are in PE. We can already accompany many praise songs on both the guitar and piano but our solos leave something to be desired. My goal for the students is that some day they will be able to use these skills to build up the local church in worship and enhance their own personal worship to the Lord. I’m thankful that the Lord appreciates a joyful noise but I don’t think we need to remain at the noisy gong, clanging cymbal stage in our musical development.
Dear praying friends,
Here it is already late August and we have started another school year. We have 80 students enrolled for the new year. We have two new teachers (Kelli Wilson in 1st grade and Solomon Sun in 4th grade). Please pray that they will get off to a good start and impact their students for Christ. So far they are doing well. Our bus driving situation has improved as we have four certified drivers this year. We run two routes morning and evening so we each just have to drive once a day. Pray for safety on the bus routes. We are thankful for Ranson Tom who keeps the busses running smoothly. Pray we will have a good year and that students will come to Christ through the hearing of the Word each day.
We had a great summer here at the mission with 7 work groups coming. Our major focus was to get our new shop building up which was accomplished. See picture.
There is still much work to be done but at least the frame, sides and roof are done. This will house our auto shop program slated to start fall 2008. We still need a teacher for that program. The youth groups also painted several houses in the community and did many other fix up projects. They ministered to about 25 families in the community with Bible clubs for the kids – the adults always listen in. Several adults expressed interest in the gospel – we plan follow-up contact with them.
We still do not have a maintenance man and that is such a big need. Would you pray that God would supply that need soon. It’s been over two years now and things do deteriorate. The youth groups really help but it seems to us that we need someone full time. Do you know someone who could serve the Lord in that way? We also could use another high school teacher – especially someone who could coach BB.
On a personal note – we now have two new grandchildren. Rex and Shawna had a boy on July 4th – Miles Alexander. James and Eryn had a girl on Aug 13 – Autumn Sophia. We are excited to see them in the coming months. We travel to Kansas over Labor Day and to Seattle WA area Sept 13-15. I enjoyed sharing the work of Immanuel Mission in Asheville NC this summer. I had to attend a conference in Columbia SC for ACSI certification, so took the opportunity to visit friends and the assembly in Asheville. Johnny is back at Emmaus Bible College for a second year. He worked at Kansas Bible Camp most of the summer.
We appreciate your partnership in the work of the gospel among the Navajo people. We are very much in need of your prayer support. Thanks also to those who support us financially. We praise God for His faithful provision. We are starting our 20th year here at Immanuel Mission and are encouraged that God is working both in us and through us.
John & Ruth Bloom
Dear Friends and Family,
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! It has been so exciting to see God provide for all my needs this summer and I have every confidence in His continued provision.
I got to work at Kansas Bible Camp again this summer for six weeks; jr. high, high school and girls jr. high and high school. It was encouraging to be working with young people who love the Lord and are using their gifts to serve Him. I’m referring to the counselors and staff in particular but many campers were an encouragement as well. Probably the greatest excitement was girls’ high school camp. The Lord wanted to do a different thing and worked all kinds of hindrances to get His will done. When my co-director and morning speaker had to cancel two days before, my sister, Alice Page stepped up and we got to see God direct the camp instead of us. There was such a confidence in Him that week as I was forced to trust Him fully and yet found Him fully trustworthy. I really need to do that more often, but it is pretty scary to only be able to see one step ahead instead of the path down the road.
Now I am back at Immanuel Mission and am enjoying teaching music and math once again. I drive the bus only once each day but we’ve managed to have an adventure a week so far. The first day of school we broke down and waited about 40 minutes for help but we were right next to a wind mill so had fun playing in the water while we waited. Then the next week we had heavy rains and couldn’t get through the wash as it was flowing with waves. The ten kids who live on the other side of the wash went back with Lorena Herbert and me in her 4-wheel drive truck at 6:00 but it was still rushing. We waited around for about an hour. The two oldest kids waded across when none of us adults was watching (their grandma was on the other side waiting with us). Then another high school boy came by with his Artic Cat 4-wheeler. He went across easily but water was up to the top of the tires. Grandma ok’d it so we sent the remaining kids across with him 3 at a time starting with the oldest. There were no mishaps but as he was coming back after the final two, his mom drove up in the truck and was a little upset that he was driving across. I assured her what a hero he was, then skedaddled with Lorena.
Oh, one other thing. The Wednesday night before school started, I drove into a ditch where the road had washed away in front of me. I didn’t see it as it was 11:00 at night. Almost immediately a truck came along and gave me a ride to the Mission, then John Bloom took me back and we worked for three hours getting my car out. It is still at the shop but even before the deductible is due, the Lord sent me a check for double that amount. I’m reminded again how nice it is here. I walk to work, to church, to friends’ homes, etc. I went to town with Becky Knopf this weekend in her car and we both enjoyed the company. The only real negative is that I haven’t been able to say, “Take my car!” to neighbors who’ve also been having car difficulties.
You’ve probably heard from others that Kelli Wilson is here teaching first grade and Solomon Sun is teaching fourth grade. Solomon has a wife Sarah, who loves to sing and has been a great addition to our Sunday morning worship team. They have an almost three year old daughter, Eden, who is a delight for all of us aunties and grandmas who are missing our own desperately. Keep praying for a maintenance man and consider if you might want to come for a week or a month to help out in that capacity.
I need to write more often so I can give you more instances of God’s faithfulness. I would love to hear from any of you. I know we all have great testimonies of God’s goodness in our lives. I’ve been so appreciating how God has a plan for each of us and nothing happens by chance. Disappointments are just as much a part of His will as successes. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him”