Positive Feedback

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.
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Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches

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.

Cattle Auction Day

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.

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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. 

 

Diné Bikéyah & The Long Walk

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.

Fiesta

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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.

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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.

We Have Good News and Bad News

Which do you want first?

The good news or the bad news?

DH was a judge for the Hilltop science fair. Here he is with two students.
Since we believe in a God who loves us and knows our whole story, even the bad news can be used for His glory and our good. Even so, there are things we experience on this side of Heaven that are very hard. We’ll start with the hard news.

Most of our prayer updates are focused on the ministry God has allowed us to be involved in. However, we know that you who pray for and keep up with us care about us as a family. That is why we wanted to include you on some significant personal family news.

Last week DH had an MRI to explore a possible cause of some hearing loss he’s been experiencing over the last year. While we waited for a follow up appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT), we sent a DVD of the scans to a friend who is a neuroradiologist to have a second set of eyes on what was there. Monday night we got news back from our neuroradiologist friend, who said what he sees is a textbook instance of Vestibular Schwannoma (acoustic-neuroma) – precisely what we were hoping to ELIMINATE. He said it is a slow-growing benign tumor – a growth on the nerve (not technically a brain tumor since it’s not connected to the brain but the cochlear nerve).

Tuesday we met with DH’s ENT again and he confirmed the diagnosis. He pointed out that the tumor was less than 1 cm (9.44mm) in size, which is still relatively small in comparison to others he had seen. He recommended that DH get another MRI in six months to see if it grows in size. Again, he reminded us that this type of tumor does not grow fast and he saw no danger in waiting that long. When we inquired about a non-invasive procedure that could remove the growth all together, he explained that the procedures all share the risk of loosing hearing altogether in the affected ear and he could not suggest that course of action unless the tumor began to grow so large that it threatened more than just parts of DH’s mid-range hearing (DH still has hearing in that ear and the doctor would like him to retain what remains). There still are some questions we hope to ask other doctors, particularly neurosurgeons that specialize in this non-invasive procedure (i.e. gamma-knife radiosurgery). However, DH feels content to wait on the Lord to see how He will respond in answer to the many prayers sent up to heaven.

The good news is God has already begun answering prayers regarding DH’s hearing loss, even before we knew it was a tumor. We had been praying for answers and peace. Now we know what’s going on and DH has a clear mind and is taking the news with faith that God will use it for the best.

Ministry continues despite this condition:

  • Pastoral Summit planning meeting this Friday (please pray for the equipping of Navajo pastors all across the reservation).
  • DH has been asked to moderate a long over-due congregational meeting at Community Bible Church. He is reading through two decades of meeting notes, and church communications to get up to speed on what the needs of this body are. Pray for the Pastor to be built up in this process, and for DH to be a blessing as he prepares the meeting’s agenda and moderates the meeting itself (scheduled for this Sunday, March 11).
  • Emily is beginning grief counseling with a third grade student from Hilltop Christian School and his mother after the death of his father/her husband.
  • AWANA is on Wednesday nights and DH has a energetic class of six pre-schoolers. Two of them, a brother and sister, are faithful in attending and excelling in their scripture memory.
  • We have been meeting with a couple on Tuesday nights to press on in language learning. A recent phrase we translated into Navajo was the English idiom, “He was born with a silver spoon in his hand.” We laughed together because, in the Navajo language, it is even more silly than it sounds in English!
  • We continue to work hard to help the Christensen family reestablish a normal life — in January, they lost their home and all their possessions to a fire. So far, we have seen God provide them with a used double wide trailer, and, it seems, they finally got water hooked up just last weekend. The process of setting up utilities is quite long here on the reservation, so they don’t yet have power in the house. They are still in need of funds to be able to set up what’s needed for their family to thrive. See the GoFundMe page.
  • Emily has been pouring her life into a young woman named Brianna over the past two years. Together, they’ve done Bible study, deliverance prayer, emotional healing, counseling for depression, suicidal thoughts, processing past trauma, and, most recently, Emily has been joining with her to battle against the Accuser’s attacks on her faith. In a conversation earlier this week, she confided, “I really want to be with Jesus but I’m having a hard time believing what He did for me.” She knows the Gospel, was recently baptized, and Emily is confident in her faith, but the Lord has to confirm in her mind the assurance He alone can give. The enemy is whispering lies to her along the lines of, “You’ve screwed up too many times…it’s too late for you…you’ve said and thought too many bad things…Jesus can’t die for that sin…” As you can see, the battle is intense. Please join us in bringing her before our Great God who is delighted to use this dear friend. Just today Brianna had the great joy of leading a woman to the Lord! Hallelujah!
Partner with Us

Please Ask God:

  • To give DH wisdom to moderate the Congregational meeting Sunday, and for God to give this congregation certain and final direction on matters that have been endlessly deliberated (James 1:5; 4:1-3)
  • To lead DH in all his preparations for the sermon to be delivered to High Desert Church in ABQ on March 18 (Eph. 6:9)
  • To provide a way to both preserve DH’s hearing and eradicate the tumor around DH’s cochlear nerve – whether through His miraculous power or through a medical procedure that He’s ordained. (Mark 7:34 — there are more recordings of Jesus making ears hear again. He’s certainly good at it)
  • For His healing presence to be with Emily and the family who she is counseling regarding the loss of their husband and father. (Phil. 2:13; James 1:27)
  • To strengthen Navajo believers in their faith and to enable Brianna to have a firm hope in the face of Satan’s accusations. (Eph. 6:16)
In Christ,
DH & Emily