I (Emily) am counseling two women right now. Just this week in both sessions, they shared with me how they have encountered other women who are going through similar struggles to their own. They both said how grateful they were to be in Christian counseling because they have been able to pass on the things they’ve learned. It’s not very often in ministry, or many lines of work, that we get to see the fruit of our labor or get to hear of the benefits that others are receiving because of our hard work. As a mom of young children, missionary and homeschooling parent, I don’t count on a lot of accolades. I trust that God sees what we do in secret. Anyway, I have been so blessed by the feedback I’ve received from these ladies. It’s nice to know that what I’m doing is helping.
It means the world to us to have churches and individuals supporting us so that I can not only minister to a couple of ladies during afternoon counseling sessions while my kids nap, but so that the work I am doing can be multiplied in their lives to other women on the reservation who are hurting and in need of healing.
A young man who comes from a broken family regularly spends time at our house. He helps out with various house projects from time to time, occasionally he volunteers to mow the lawn (which is mostly weeds), but he can almost always be found in the living room playing the guitar and engaging with our children. Our youngest child likes to show him her new “tricks” like running or jumping, and the older two enjoy telling him stories about lizards they have found, books they read or movies they’ve watched recently. Emily feeds him breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day he’s here at our house. He has an open invitation to stay in our guest room anytime he needs to, or even wants to. We laugh hysterically together over silly YouTube videos. We sing worship songs together. We study the Bible together. We’ve spoken hard truths to him in love. It’s nothing glamorous, but healing happens through the ordinary work of hospitality.
You see, he didn’t grow up in a home that had a mom and dad who were committed to each other or to Jesus Christ. He never saw kingdom values being played out in the home and like so many in today’s society never experienced family devotions, but he gets to see it here. In our imperfect home he gets to see us struggle to figure out proper discipline for our kids, he shares family meals around the table, he helps do the dishes, and gets to sit in on family devotions. He gets to see us in our most natural environment which means he sees us sin and sees us “with our sweat pants on” – stressed and struggling, busy with the messiness of life. This is also healing. So often in vocational ministry there is pressure to keep up appearances, or the idea that the best ministry is big and flashy with lots of numbers. But today when Emily made a turkey and cheese sandwich and served up a meal for our friend right alongside our own children, beautiful Gospel work was happening. This young man loves the Lord, in spite of many hurts and hangups and we delight in the opportunity to walk through life with him and disciple him in the Lord.
Because of the prayers and financial support we receive, we get to walk closely with this young man through the ups and downs of life. We have watched him grow tremendously in the time that we have known him.
In June we had the privilege of spending almost two weeks at a family’s sheep camp. We grew in our understanding of the Navajo ranching culture, and advanced in Navajo language acquisition. This video is especially geared towards kids, but is helpful to anyone interested in learning some Diné Bizaad.
Our kids have been greatly impacted by the life we lead as missionaries. While staying with the Chee family near Leupp, AZ, they made fantastic memories joining in on all the activity that took place each day. They grew to love riding horses, chasing goats, feeding sheep, receiving roping lessons, and watering the cattle.
Daniel and Genevieve Chee have beautiful hearts for Jesus and ministering to their people. They daily serve and minister to their neighbors by hauling water to families in their area who rely on gravity flow water systems. On Sundays and Wednesdays Daniel Chee faithfully preaches the Bible and prays fervently for the Gospel to be made known.
We have learned so much about Diné history this summer as the people have celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of 1868. We have much more to learn, but please enjoy this video where we share just some of what we have come to understand about about The Long Walk.
Here’s a short video about our family and the mission field we are honored to serve on.
Forty-five women gathered in a partially remodeled chapel on WIM’s campus to reflect on God’s work in 2016 to gather 3,000 men, women and children for Living Proof Live’s first event on Native soil. We looked back to see how much God had done, and looked ahead prayerfully at what He will do in October 2018 at the next LPL event in Chinle, AZ.
Why do an event for leaders? There is something that happens when people sit across the table from one another and share a meal. Friendships form, fellowship occurs, and connections are made. The women who sat across the tables from each other last night are all influencers in their communities. They went home after a beautiful night with a gift in their hand and Bible study resources. These women will go back to their churches, ministries, offices, schools, board rooms, homes and neighborhoods with the excitement of seeing Navajo women all across the Reservation reached with the Gospel!! I’ll climb a ladder to hang papel picado banners and carve a watermelon into a cactus any day for that.
Lord, may we see generations of women following You with all their hearts because of a fiesta dinner in Tse Bonito, NM on May 7, 2018.
What began as a large event at our mission’s campus back in November of 2016 has continued in regional events every few months. We look forward to the next Summit expected to happen in January 2018… (We hope to keep you posted.)