It would have been about four years ago when I first heard about Harriet Butler. At that time she was 90, and still laboring for the Lord on the Navajo Nation. Whenever I hear about a saint who is in that age range and still working heartily as unto the Lord, I have a strong inclination to want to get some time with that person. To learn from them, to see what is going on around them, and to follow in their footsteps. I met Harriet’s son John the summer of 2013, and didn’t meet Harriet until the summer of 2014 when we spent six weeks volunteering with WIM. I sat in on her Navajo Women’s Bible study that summer my heart soaking up the discussion of the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians, and my brain expanding with early lessons in Navajo pronunciation and reading. My heart soars when I hear the Scriptures being read in any other language. It reminds me of God’s heart for the nations and His promise to make Himself known to all tribes and tongues.
Since we moved to Window Rock in November 2015, I have been privileged to attend Harriet’s Bible study again. There have been times that it was called off due to nasty winter weather, or Harriet’s health. Shortly after my daughter was born in July, her son John called to tell us that Harriet was going to be officially retiring this fall and that she wanted me to take the reigns of her Bible study. Imagine me, a 34 year old white lady leading a Bible study of older Navajo women!
I agreed, with the confidence of having a Navajo co-leader who is excellent with reading the language. The Lord knows that I would love to see a Navajo woman leading this group with strong language and theology. In the meantime I am honored to learn alongside these older, wiser women. They have welcomed me with love and entertain my questions about Navajo words graciously.
Currently we are reading through Edmund Clowney’s book “The Unfolding Mystery; Discovering Christ in the Old Testament.” As we read the book together, everytime we come to a scripture reference we read it in the English Bible and then in the Diyin God Bizaad (Navajo Bible).
Now that Harriet is 94, we will be throwing a retirement party for Harriet on Oct 2, 2016 to honor her legacy and many years of service to the Lord. If you are interested in sending a card or a letter to her, please contact me at email@example.com.