Ya’at’eeh t’aa’anolso. Shi ei Lorena yinishye.

(It is good to y’all.  My name is Lorena.)                                 

I don’t remember if I ever wrote an article in all the years I’ve been at Immanuel Mission.  I am now going on my 23rd year.  It seems like I’ve been here forever, but again it also seems like it was just yesterday that I moved to the Mission.  In all these years, I’ve been doing many different things; I’ve taught 2nd grade, substituted, taught  Navajo  Culture, and led both group Bible studies and one-on-one studies.  Right now, I’m reaching out to our community by doing visitation.  During Christmas time I visit with the shut-ins and give them a gift and the Gospel.  In the summer, I organize the V.B.S. for the youth groups who visit. 

I also have been very involved with funeral preparations, grieving with the family, reaching out wherever I can.  Recently I lost someone who was dear to me, my nephew.  That kind of made this ministry tough, but I fully trust the Lord to continue to reach those that are grieving.  The Lord is teaching me the taste of how it is grieve the lost.  I am praying that I will be more effective in ways I have never been in the years before.  My life has been rough and at times I feel like I’m over with grieving for my nephew.  But out of nowhere, life hits and leaves me barely holding on.  Many times, I find myself praying for strength, and the answer seems so far away.  I know the Lord is by my side and then I see the Lord working in the midst of this hard time of my life.  I wouldn’t have chosen to have a loved one taken, but God is using my nephew’s death to work in my families’ lives.  My brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews are showing a lot of interest in the things of the Lord.  Some have started coming to church regularly.  I and others have been praying for my family for years. 

FOR MY THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS, NOR ARE YOUR WAYS MY WAYS; SAYS THE LORD.

ISAIAH 55:8. 

This scripture brought me through some of the difficult times when I didn’t understand why things are happening.  God has a plan!

Over all the Lord is providing in every way and in everything that I ever need.  I praise Him for all He is doing in my life. 

Without Him, I am  NOTHING. 

Love and Prayer,

Lorena Herbert

Thankful

Full time work, what does that sound like? Does it sound restful and rewarding? Well, it is. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

True true true! We all work hard here and our work  is  rewarding  at  Immanuel  Mission. Another thing. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey and will give it to us. Numbers 14:8, Have you applied these    promises to your own life? Immanuel Mission is a delight. He’s given me friends here, ‘closer than brothers’. My yoke is easy, the only  problem I see is trying not to get fat. Oops, too late ha ha.  We all have so much to be thankful for. At the mission there is more    opportunity for service. Check with Anne   Denny for school needs and John Bloom for general Mission opportunities. Please continue to pray for the work here. We have a common goal and work together to serve our King, and see souls saved.

Scott Valentine

Fishes, Loaves, and Bumper Stickers

How does a person motivate children to memorize Bible verses and then recite them from memory? We can be creative, but to really succeed we need to ask the Lord for ideas. And sometimes those ideas come about in ways we never would have imagined on our own.

 For instance…Recently the Lord provided the means by which I  could   purchase a   new  bass   guitar. The one I’ve been using since I started playing back when we lived in St. Louis was about the cheapest one a person could get (shy of a wash tub, pole and a heavy string!)   I found a  good   quality instrument at a reasonable price and placed my order online. When the guitar arrived, there was a sticker inside the box with the name of the company that sold the bass: Sweetwater. Now, you may think Immanuel Mission is located in Teec Nos Pos,  but  that is  just our  mailing address;  the    mission is actually located in the Sweetwater chapter of the Navajo Nation. So you can imagine my surprise and joy to receive a bumper sticker with the name of our community on it! When I asked my sales rep if he could possibly send me a few more stickers, so that I could share them with my students, he said he would make sure some were included in my next order. Fortunately I  also  needed to order a microphone, so I didn’t have to wait long. Soon the box arrived with my order, and I opened it with anticipation. And there, nestled between a T-shirt and my new microphone, were some stickers. But not just a few…THEY SENT ME 100 STICKERS! As soon as I saw this little treasure trove, I remembered something the Lord had me do a few years ago around Christmas time. At that time, I rewarded any child who could recite a Bible verse with a candy cane. This time, I walked around the school during lunch and recess times doling out nice, big Sweetwater bumper stickers to anyone who could recite a Bible verse. After the first few kids showed off  their  stickers to  the  others, I had no shortage of kids coming to me  offering to tell me a Bible verse.

It makes me smile the way the Lord orchestrates seemingly unrelated things in order to motivate children to learn and remember God’s Word. Little things add up to big things, and we know the Lord can do big things with the little we have to offer. Instead of fishes and loaves, this time it was bumper stickers. Next time…well, we’ll just have to see what the Lord uses next time

Jim Price (3rd grade teacher)

Preschool News

This is my second semester of preschool  at   Immanuel Mission School, and I am encouraged!  When I started the preschool program last fall, I had  no idea how  this  year  would  go  as  I  adjusted to a new school, a new culture, a new home,  and  a  new  climate.     It  has  been  exhausting, but I can  see  the  Lord  doing  so  much  in  my  classroom and in my life.  A verse that sums up how I’ve been feeling  about  the  preschool  program lately is Psalm 118:23, “This is the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

It has been such a blessing to have Christy Love here this semester helping with preschool and kindergarten!  We currently have 10 preschool students ages 3 to 5,  plus  a  mom and a grandma who come nearly every  day.  Our  preschoolers  are  an  energetic,   creative,    independent bunch.  They are a handful on the best of days, but it has been a joy to see them slowly but surely  growing in  responsibility,    empathy, self-regulation, and an understanding of who God is and their relationship to Him. 

Here are a few things you can pray about with me for the preschool program:

Understanding of the gospel and salvation for the preschoolers and their families

Academic, social, and emotional growth for preschoolers

A teacher assistant for the 2020-21 school year.  It could be you!

Anne Moffitt

Not much has changed in 6000 years!

God:  ‘Did you eat from the tree?’

Adam:  ‘The woman whom thou gavest me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’

God:  ‘What is this thou hast done?’

Eve:  ‘The serpent beguiled me and I did eat.’

[Genesis 3:11 – 13   BC 4000]

Recently, I gave four students discipline sentences for throwing bites of food up   into the air to catch in their mouths during our lunch meal.  I wouldn’t have minded if they had actually caught the bits – but they rarely did, and that left quite a few on the floor.  The Cook stormed over and told the kids, in no uncertain terms, that they were going to have to sweep up the mess!

Later that day, I talked with them  about  their  actions and the reason for the sentences.  At the top of the page, I had them express the reason they were given sentences, forcing them to think about it and confess to what they did.  Renee’s read, “because Amy and Troy did it and I wanted to do it,” and it made me think . . . not much has changed in 6,000 years!

Becky Knopf (4th and 5th grade teacher)

Holding up a Brother in Prayer

Sunday morning during our breaking of bread meeting, our Navajo Elder    Eddie Benallie who suffers from Parkinson’s said something in Navajo.  Another Navajo brother, Raefer Begaye went over to him and helped him stand as he prayed.  It was so beautiful to watch someone literally hold up a brother  in  prayer.    I loved seeing Eddie’s heart to honor and respect the Lord by standing.  I also loved seeing Raefer able to stand with this elder and support him as he worshiped the Lord side by side with him.  What a picture for all of us to hold each  other up and lean on each   other as   we  come  boldly  before the throne of grace .

Anne Denny, Principal

Secret Sister Slip-Up

I sat surrounded by sweet ladies,  waiting expectantly for the revealing of each Secret Sister. I had been Tiffany Hosteen’s Secret  Sister for the past 5 months, putting little gifts and notes in her mailbox to encourage her. I had tried pretty hard to remain secretive and kept glancing her way while all the ladies were  talking to get an idea of whether she suspected her Secret Sister was me.  Before  each  person opened their final Secret Sister gift, they would guess who had been their Secret Sister. When Tiffany’s turn came, I held my breath, hoping she would at least guess  someone else before suspecting  me.  To  my  dismay,  she immediately muttered,   “I know who it was.  It was Abi.” I sat there, horrified, wondering how ever she could be so sure. Tiffany than proceeded to tell how, after signing the first few Secret Sister notes with the typical “Your Secret Sister” or “SS,” I signed the third or fourth note with my NAME!!!  Needless  to  say,  I was  pretty   embarrassed, though quite amused as well. We all laughed together  and  enjoyed  the comical relief or the moment. For over 30 years, the ladies of Immanuel Mission have participated in  Secret  Sisters,  making  an  effort  to   intentionally  encourage each  other in the work that we do here. Even though there was no “secret” for my Sister this time, it was a true joy to get to pray for and show love to  this  dear  friend.  I  was extremely   encouraged by the notes and personal gifts from  Ginny, who had been my Secret Sister. They each came at the perfect time and lifted my spirits. So, take time to do the little things. Reach out in love to your siblings in Christ. Be intentional about loving them and continually pointing them back to Christ. Even if you slip up from time to time, the encouragement is never in vain. Thanks again for your prayers and for the words of  encouragement and gifts of love you contribute to the ministry here at Immanuel Mission. Your labor is truly not in vain and you remind us that ours isn’t either.

Love in Christ,

Abigail Renth– I Corinthians 15:58

Defining Wonderful

“Teaching is hard work all day, everyday.  You will fall in love with the children here.  The devil knows the individual and personal ways that he can discourage you and he will use them.”

These emphatic words spoken by John Bloom during the first days at Immanuel Mission proved to be right on every count.  Looking back after almost three years of teaching both first and second grade, I consider this experience to be a gift from my Heavenly Father.  So much was new and somewhat strange at first.  How would I make my involvement with these people come to fruition?  And what eventually made my time here so good?

God taught me so much…how He delights in meeting physical, emotional and spiritual needs in remote settings.  Magnificent sunsets and sunrises…a lovely little apartment, multitudes of various footprints in the thick Mission dust…the ins and outs of relating to others.  Comprehending more of the Navajo culture has been a challenge.  But struggling to make lesson plans clear enough for young hearers to grasp, hearing, “Oh, I get it!”, and becoming aware of the children sensing some of the greatness of God, I have felt a deep satisfaction in being here at the Mission.  A love has indeed developed for the people here.

Growing and Worshiping with the saints through Sunday morning meetings, small groups in Mission homes and prayer and singing times on Tuesday nights has brought great joy.  Even when a rubbing of each other the wrong way occurs, God in His great grace has a way of making all things right.  I have seen personal and group application of Christ’s  death and resurrection in lives here as well.  “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” Without His life working through us we have nothing at all. Easy?Absolutely not! Worthwhile? You bet!

Growing and Worshiping with the saints through Sunday morning meetings, small groups in Mission homes and prayer and singing times on Tuesday nights has brought great joy.  Even when a rubbing of each other the wrong way occurs, God in His great grace has a way of making all things right.  I have seen personal and group application of Christ’s  death and resurrection in lives here as well.  “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” Without His life working through us we have nothing at all. Easy?Absolutely not! Worthwhile? You bet!

“Wonderful – cause of  astonishment  or surprise,  aroused  by  something      extraordinary, feeling curiosity or doubt.” Yes! All of this and more have taken place in my heart and life as I have had the  privilege   of   serving  Jesus   here   at  Immanuel Mission.  Humility encountered… joys  accepted…loving fellowship imparted. 

I believe  that  the  Lord is  calling me elsewhere now.  But in many ways, I will miss Immanuel Mission.  This place and the people here will always hold a special place in my heart. Come visit.  See this setting for yourself.  Consider lending a year of so of your life to this or another Mission/work of the Lord.  Get to know God  even  more  in  this  wonderful kind of way.

Ginny Brown

From my tailgate…

The vacation continues, allow me to explain. ‘What will I do, if I can do anything I want’, like the book with a similar title. You know, like being on vacation all the time. With that thought, I began to pray. I want to paint, and drive around in the desert, (picture Monument Valley), I want to live with purpose, worry free, sheltered, with great people. “I want to serve you God”. (in a secret little room inside my head, I was praying, I don’t want to work too hard Lord). Can I ask that? And to live in a moderate climate too. Why not?

Really, trying to tell you all the things I asked God for, makes it seem like I made this story up after the fact. Strange too, I couldn’t imagine how God would answer my prayer, no idea. It always ended with “if it be Your will”. Encouraged to join a mission team from Northeast Bible Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, going to Immanuel Mission for one weeks’ work in 2013, you can say I never left, or looked back, because that ‘vacation’ is still ongoing! My dream job? I get to drive around with a school bus load of great young people twice a day on the most outrageous roads in the desert! I have a view of Monument Valley and I can paint any time. I’m not praying that old prayer anymore. Those old prayers have all been answered. Now, I can’t imagine a purpose more important. Praise the Lord! This story gets better every time I tell it, which is often.

Scott Valentine

Connecting With History

Teaching history this year has been both challenging and rewarding. God has been good. In high school, we focused on American government first semester and Navajo history second semester. Navajo history, being completely new to me, presented an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and teach the students about their own culture. All the hard work turned out to be fun, and I hope the students were able to gain appreciation for their history and people as I did.

The junior high class this year is very spirited, which allows for a more interactive classroom atmosphere. We started in the years prior to the Civil War and will end with World War 1. One of the highlights of my year was the historical themed parties of the Civil War and the Titanic. Several students made era-appropriate food for the class and costumes were encouraged. I hope this year the students were able to connect with history on a deeper level than just memorizing facts.

Danielle Wilson