Thoughts on Mission Navajo
Our team has been home for a few days and I would like to share a little of my journey with you. I am going to focus on Wednesday and Thursday of our trip.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:7-8
Wednesday our group split into four groups. I stayed backed along with two others and we worked on a bunk bed assembly project and other odd jobs in Tohlakai, N.M., at the Free Trinity Mission site. After lunch, a car drove up and it was a few people who had been looking for us all week. They came to help!
So, I handed them each a paint brush, and we made serious headway on painting the bed. It was a delight to learn about each of them and their families. As the painting came to an end, I was able to use my gift of hospitality, and we sat down and enjoyed a glass of Gatorade and a snack. During our conversation, I had realized that this woman had been through some really tough times in her life. I finally asked her how she was able to move forward and show the love of Jesus. She said, Debbie…my family prayed over me many times, and one day I woke up and decided this was the day to turn it all around. That was 13 years ago.
The other lesson she learned was one day she was with Mother Gardner (you heard about Mother Gardner in Helene’s first Mission Navajo post) and after she hung up the phone with her husband, Mother Gardner said…instead of saying good-bye at the end of your conversation you should always end with, ‘I LOVE YOU!’ You never know what can happen, and instead of wishing you would have said something different, always end with, ‘I love you.’ As I sat there and listened I decided this is a very good lesson that we should all put into practice.
The message of LOVE has been a huge part of my spiritual walk the last year and a half. While we throw the word LOVE around a lot and use it very loosely a good chunk of the time, what does it really mean to have unconditional love to all people? Jesus walked with many different types of people and he loved ALL of them. He listened, healed, prayed and loved on people.
That evening this family joined us as we shared a meal together. Later on, we were all sitting around and we taught them a few new songs. Then they pulled out a songbook, and taught us some songs in Navajo! What a joy!
Thursday we had the opportunity to deliver the bunk bed, mattress and blankets to a family in need. Many thanks to those of you who helped make this dream a reality to a child who just wanted a bed to sleep in. As the bed was being assembled you could just see the gleam in his eyes, and the smile that covered his face. He said to me…I get to sleep in a bed! As I was finishing putting on the comforter he said to me, “Is this my very own blanket?” I replied, “Yes, honey, this is your very own blanket. Plus we left you some additional blankets as well.”
He then climbed up to the top bunk and just lay down for a few minutes. It was a precious moment! As we began to leave, I gave him a big hug and said, “My prayer for you is that you have many nights of good rest.” He said, “I will and thank you very much.”
As I stood in awe of what had just happened, I realized that we may never know the impact we may leave with people. Jesus we give it all to you for calling us to go and serve people who are in need. It is my hope and prayer that we touched the lives of a few people on our journey. I know my life will never be the same after this experience.