New Friends and New Places

With one drama-filled move followed by MTW’s month-long, live-stream internship and now a few itineration trips, it feels like the Henry household has not yet fully touched down into the rhythms of our new normal. Yet the finish line seems within view and, in the midst of all manner of troubles, the Lord has comforted us with many answered prayers and He promises infinitely more. 
Our rental home continues to prove God’s faithful commitment to answer prayers. Thank you for interceding with us for just the right place. Likewise, Mission to the World’s cultural internship provided us with truly insightful skills and knowledge to prepare us for when we turn the corner from itineration to ministry on the field (even though we have moved to our new ministry location, our priority has continued to be on raising our financial support team). According to our estimation, we only have 9% left of our monthly need yet to raise! In fact, DH and our oldest son, Phinehas, recently took a support raising trip to Denver. We’re praying for the Lord’s favor and full funding before June.
Even with our itineration status, the Lord has opened up beautiful opportunities to minister here in our new communities. DH preached one Sunday in our new church when the senior pastor, Josh Walker, was quarantined because of COVID-19. Sadly, our church’s music director lost her mother-in-law to the virus. However, on the positive note, DH has been able to step-in to lead music on several Sunday mornings in the last few months.
We made one of our first ministry connections, without much effort. One of the Navajo congregants at Church of the Resurrection, named Mary, visited us last week. Emily and Mary spent most of the morning together exchanging stories and getting to know one another. Mary has expressed interest in helping us with the Navajo Language. We look forward to growing in our relationship with our Shimá Mary. (Shimá means my mother in Navajo and we are of the age where it is appropriate for us to refer to her as that.)
We applied to attend Coconino Community College’s Navajo classes in the fall. We are very excited to continue our language learning process. Investing in learning their “endangered language” never fails to bless our Navajo friends. 
Getting fully funded means we will be released to begin building relationships with young leaders at Indian Bible College. This is something we are so excited to be able to do! Thank you for your prayers and support to get us here! We are trusting the Lord for great things. 

Please pray with us…
– That God would supply us with the remaining 9% of our monthly support by June. (2 Cor. 9:10)For the Lord to begin laying the groundwork for many connections to be made at Indian Bible College, Coconino Community College and this western area of the Navajo Nation. (Acts 18:10)
– That the Lord would give His church some Navajo evangelists, pastors and teachers to plant reformed and covenantal churches on the Navajo Nation. (Eph. 4:11b, Jer. 6:16) 
– DH had an MRI recently to follow up on some strange sensations in his face and trouble blinking in his left eye – we suspect this is related to the tumor that was removed in 2019. Please pray that Jesus Christ would heal, relieve and allow him to work unhindered. (Acts 9:34) 
– Pray for the kid’s homeschooling – we are longing to be a part of the Flagstaff Classical Conversations community, but it is currently full. Pray that God would let all things to fall into place for us and allow our children to grow in wisdom and the grace of God. (Lk. 2:40)

Sincerely, DH & Emily

Getting Resettled in Flagstaff

We Made It!
We rejoice in God’s good provision for us, and for the many answers to prayer we have seen. Thank you for your generous gifts at the end of 2020, and all your prayers. We are now 87% funded in our monthly need, and have exceeded our one-time need. Thank you! Because of your gifts, we were able to move to Flagstaff and begin getting settled in a rental house that is just 1/2 mile from Indian Bible College, and even less to Coconino Community College (East Flagstaff campus). We asked you to pray for just the right house in just the right neighborhood, and God answered. Praise the Lord!

We moved in on Jan 1st and got our belongings from Window Rock on Jan 5th. When we arrived in Flagstaff we were met with gift baskets, friends who ran errands for us, ordered meals and made meals, able bodied men to unload our stuff, friends to babysit the kids, and even air mattresses to sleep on while we waited to get our beds. It has been amazing. We has quite an ordeal with Uhaul, but in the end everything worked out ok. We are so happy to be resettling as we get to the other side of the “transition bridge.”

On Jan 11th, we began a five week internship with MTW called CCMI (Cross Cultural Ministry Internship). The first three weeks are filled up with various assignments and zoom meetings. We’re reading Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, taking cultural awareness assessments, watching training modules, meeting with mentors and coaches, and doing a few cross cultural assignments in the community. DH was able to step in to serve at our new church, Church of the Resurrection, to preach virtually this past Sunday because our pastor got COVID-19. He preached from Romans 8:19-25 – a very timely message on hope. You can watch his sermon here. We’ve begun building relationships with people at the church and are so thankful for this body of believers to fellowship with. We are especially excited about another homeschooling family with four kids who lives in our neighborhood. We just got the name and contact info of a Navajo man who is in his sophomore year at IBC who may be interested in doing pastoral ministry. Please pray that we can find a time to meet him and get to know him soon. Thank you again for your incredible support through this transition, and into a new season of ministry. 

In Christ,
DH & Emily

     DH & Emily Henry
     3409 N King Street
     Flagstaff, AZ 86004

The Church Needs Well Trained Pastors

Practically everything has changed in our ministry life this year, but one thing has been sure, strong and unchanging: Our commitment to the Navajo and your support. Thank you! As we navigate this truly unique year, you keep showing up. It was wonderful to see many of you as we took the risk to do some traveling in September, October and November. December 1, 2020, is GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity. This year, our goal is to raise $9,000 to make our transition to Flagstaff where we can begin building relationships with young Navajo leaders who may become the first to plant PCA churches on the Navajo Nation. This need became clear to us after one particular meeting with Navajo leaders last year. A visiting pastor gave a brief devotion, and as DH listened, he had a few questions about the Greek words and definitions the pastor sited. DH has this handy app on his phone where he can look up the Greek and Hebrew languages, and noticed that the pastor was teaching things that were not actually true. He didn’t want to disrespect the older man, so he thought he’d just ask.With a little nervousness, DH approached the pastor to validate his questions. “I’m interested to know where you get your sources for your studies in the Greek? Do you use Strongs Concordance?”  “I don’t use Strongs,” replied the pastor, “It was written by those that depend on their intellect. It’s not spiritual enough. I found a more reliable source on the internet.”This visiting pastor was there to train Navajo pastors. It was sobering to realize that many pastors who have amazing hearts to serve their people are still needing more robust theological training. That’s exactly what we hope to offer to the up-and coming Navajo leaders we meet in Flagstaff. Will you help us reach our goal so we can begin finding these new leaders? Your gift of $35 this GivingTuesday will make it possible to begin this exciting new part of our ministry among the Diné. Make it today!  Sincerely,DH & Emily HenryPS–For a century the Navajo church has grown in spite of inadequate pastoral training. Give today to make it possible for us to recruit new pastors and church planters, and provide them with seminary training. 
Give Today

Thank You for Being a Friend

Hear news about the Henry’s progress and a fun-loving lip-sync of Andrew Gold’s 1978 Classic “Thank You for Being a Friend.”
Nothing says “Thank You” like a family music video!
With all the chaos swirling around the world, we wanted to tell you in a reallyfun way that a letter is on it’s way to your mailbox.
As we lip-synced in the video, we really do want to thank you for being a friend to us and to the Navajo we serve. Please watch us rock-out, it’s sure to give you a laugh. 
In Christ,
DH & Emily Henry (and our family “band”) 

PS – A special shout out to the Ribera’s, whose house we are in. Thanks guys!
Click here to give a Year-End Gift

The Roller Coaster Incident and Its’ Design

October 1st marked the beginning of a new chapter in our life. People often use the analogy of chapters to mark the end of something and beginning of the next thing, and it’s very fitting for our family because we just moved out of the house we’ve called home for 4 years and 11 months. Ok, let’s just call it 5 years. Our fingers were cracked and rubbed raw from all the cardboard boxes we carried down two flights of stairs, and from scrubbing out our disgusting refrigerator. Our bodies were sore from hefting furniture and over-stuffed boxes.

We drove away from Window Rock at sunset. The kids were all smashed into the car, right along with our Leopard Gecko, Steve. We were about half way through a pretty remote part of our drive on the Reservation, with maybe 40 minutes on either side of us to a gas station when we noticed that our gas tank was almost on empty. Just like the first downhill part of an amusement ride when your stomach drops, some of us simply felt like we had been jerked around enough on this ride, and could not take one more sudden drop or “loop-the-loop.”

Maybe you’ve had the experience of being on a roller coaster that is absolutely terrifying to you. In contrast, perhaps you’ve been on a roller coaster that is scary, but “Weeeeeee!” it’s also super fun and exhilarating. The Timber Wolf wooden roller coaster was the first kind of experience for Emily, as a pre-teen, at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. She hated every minute of that ride and was pretty sure she was going to fall out or the dang thing was going to give way at some point. There are some rides you are willing to stand in line for again and again, but not this one. Not for Emily. No way. 

Walking into the unknown is a little bit like riding a roller coaster. Embedded within that experience is an authority issue. When we don’t acknowledge God’s authority in all circumstances, it’s similar to feeling like we have to steer a roller coaster and keep it on it’s track. But roller coasters are engineered to be safe for the people that are buckled in. And if you trust in the engineering, it can be a total thrill!

We knew that moving away and taking our family on the road for the next few months would not always be a thrill. At times, we have experienced this transition like the Timber Wolf ride Emily hated so much as a tween. But as we drove off into the unknown, we realized that we can truly have a blast on this crazy ride if we trust that God has perfectly engineered this season. We’re not saying that we have to push past our fears and ignore our hearts and just “enjoy the ride.” No, some of that fear is healthy. It’s there to remind us that we might just be forgetting to trust the one who made the ride.  

Want to help us with a place to stay along our trip? Maybe you don’t know of a place to stay, but want to put us up in a hotel! Please consider a gift card.  Get a gift card here! 
Our ItineraryCheck out our itinerary so you can pray for us as we safely go from place to place. See our itinerary here.

Pray with us…

– Every Wednesday and Saturday during October we plan to travel to another city for more funding appointments. Ask the Lord to keep us in His Way; for safety from temptation, from the enemy of our souls and clarity as we drive. Pray for peace in the car. (Jude 24; Duet. 28:6)
– We are 69% funded! Pray for the remaining 31% to come in before January 1st. (Phil. 4:19)
– Continue praying for our protection from illness as we “pitch our tent” in many places and visit various people. (Psa. 91:10)

Thank you!
DH & Emily Henry
602-663-3970 (DH)
602-663-2896 (Emily)

We were interviewed pod-cast style by MTW’s West Coast Hub leadership.

Moving Out

Watch this short video to learn about our move and hear the kiddos talk about and illustration called the transition bridge. 
Transitions are hard.
Transition with a family of six during a pandemic is especially arduous. We would love your prayers over the next month during this season of being “up-rooted.”

The Transition Bridge is a great illustration for the experience of transition (we learned this at Mission Training International). It can often go like this: being settled in life, then being uprooted, going through the chaos of the unknown, finally becoming transplanted and re-settled into your new normal. 

Pray with us…
– For our whole family to know God’s loving presence with us, holding us up amidst the chaos of change
– For safety and wisdom as we travel
– That we will be spiritually healthy, vision driven and full funded 

Thank you!
DH & Emily Henry

Our ItineraryCheck out our itinerary so you can pray for us as we safely go from place to place. See our itinerary here. 
Want to help us with a place to stay along our trip? Maybe you don’t know of a place to stay, but want to put us up in a hotel! Please consider a gift card.  Get a gift card here! 

Navajo Nation and Border Towns Crack Down: COVID-19 Serious Threat & Navajo Nation’s Response

Security guard at Basha’s grocery store in Window Rock takes our friend’s temperature before allowing him into the store. 
While many news stations talk about governors reopening commerce around the country, the Navajo Nation has also been hitting the news for a very different reason. You’ve most likely heard the story already: the Navajo have the second highest infection rate per capita in the United States, which means the fight against the virus rages on in and around the Navajo Nation. As of this week, there have been over three thousand cases of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation with 100 known deaths. To give you an idea of how that compares to other parts of the US – the land of the Navajo is about the size of West Virginia, the population, though, is only 20% in comparison to that state. Nevertheless, the Navajo people are suffering from more than twice as many cases and have lost almost twice as many people to the virus. All this despite a nightly curfew (between 8PM and 5AM) and a 57 hour weekend curfew that the Navajo Nation leaders have imposed.
President Jonathan Nez, while speaking to DH and a number of pastors Monday morning, mentioned how he has had a greater voice than usual. News anchors from C-span and CNN have been calling him up for interviews. In order to explain the source of the problem and why, for instance, 30% of the population has no running water, President Nez and his Vice President have had to catch their interviewers up on Navajo history – how, for example, the water rights system of “first in time, first in right” didn’t apply to Navajo during the westward expansion of the 19th century. This land, so often overlooked, is being acknowledged because of this pandemic. A number of big names have stepped up to help and have asked people to go to <>.
            The border towns around the Navajo Nation have been feeling the effects of its high infection rate, since so many from within the Nation frequent those towns to provide essential needs. With only 13 grocery stores on the Nation (and prices that reflect that disparity in supply and demand), most of the people living on Navajo’s Western agency go in and out of Flagstaff, AZ regularly. Likewise, those in the Eastern agency, like us, commute to Gallup, NM. But as Gallup’s infection rate began to reflect that of the Navajo Nation, they closed the city off; with the help of the National Guard, the Gallup Highway patrol barricaded the roads into town for 10 days. Just yesterday, the city reopened with hopes that the extreme measures would slow the spread of the virus but not hurt their economy too much. 
            It has been stressful for us to be in a place with such a high rate of infection, in the midst of nightly, weekend, and 10-day curfews – unable to get to town where we do most of our shopping. But, the challenges we have faced are practically nothing compared to what faces those deeper in the “rez”, who do not have electricity or running water.
President Johnathan Nez on CNN, Monday May 11, 2020
Our work here continues on amidst the pandemic, though it is much different. Lately, DH has been connecting Navajo pastors with Navajo Nation Christian Response Team (NNCRTeam) to assist in the distribution of food boxes to those in need. It has been beautiful to see the Diné step up to take care of their own people in this difficult time. Emily and the kids keep busy with phonics and math now that Classical Conversations is over for the summer, as well as the normal business of life with four young kiddos. 
We are incredibly grateful for your continued support and prayers!

DH and Emily Henry
Please pray with us…That the work DH is doing to help mobilize the Navajo church will reach beyond the network our small mission has and extend to the remotest regions of the Navajo Nation. (Is. 41:9)That the Lord would help us to be creative in equipping the church right now. (Eph. 4:12)For wisdom as we think about what future ministry will look like after this pandemic. (Prov. 18:15)
Navajo Nation Christian Response Team

Diné Facing Increased Risks from Coronavirus

We wanted to pass this Washington Post article on to you all to motivate more fervent prayers for the Navajo Nation and other tribes in the US. 
Please pray with us that:Navajo (esp. the youth) can practice long-suffering and “shelter in place” until this virus runs its course (Is. 26:20)our world and especially those infected by this virus would speedily recover (Is. 58:8)the Navajo language [Diné Bizaad] would not be lost to this virus (Is. 43:23)
Thanks for lifting up the vulnerable to our Lord. 

-DH & Emily Henry

P.S. If you feel the Lord moving you to respond to the Navajo Nation’s emergency, the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team will be picking up donated medical supplies, in part, from our mission. If you have hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, face-masks etc. they can be sent to:

c/o Across Nations
P.O. Box 9090,
Window Rock, AZ 86515

(FedEx or UPS):
c/o Across Nations
02C Hilltop Dr.
Gallup, NM 87301-9090 

Western Indian Ministries Now Called Across Nations

On March 11, DH crossed the last hurdle to begin resettling after the acoustic neuroma crisis. He had his first fitting appointment at the audiologist’s office and finally received the sound processor for his bone anchor hearing aid, a Ponto 4. In essence, it picks up sound with two tiny microphones and sends sound vibrations directly onto his abutment anchored to his bone. It carries the vibrations to DH’s working ear on his right side. DH’s right ear continues to hear very well and now, for the first time since the surgical removal of the tumor, he can pick up sound on his left side too. He’s still adjusting to the new quality of sound the processor delivers; it offers a much more digital version while his right ear still provides a natural sound. Even though it’s been a week since he got it, we have yet to test out how it works in larger group settings. That will have to wait until political leaders lift the regulations about social distancing.
Sometimes life feels like we barely finish one crisis before the next one begins. Of course, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has begun to threaten the Navajo Nation. Earlier last week (Monday, March 9th), before that threat began to make its presence known on tribal land, the Navajo Nation President and Vice President held a morning prayer event at the foot of Window Rock. Both traditional medicine men and Christian pastors from around the Navajo Nation were given opportunity to pray against the spread of the pandemic.

DH had been asked to invite someone he trusted to represent the Christians in prayer, so he invited one of our favorite prayer warriors, pastor Irvinson Jones (pictured above) from Huerfano NM, two hours north east. We were glad he was able to come. Also, our family was privileged to provide coffee and hot tea for everyone who made it to the event. Despite all the juggling of kids and hot drink preparations, our whole family made it out for the tail end of the event. Even during those early days of the crisis, President Jonathan Nez took the virus’ spread very seriously. We praise the Lord, for granting such wisdom to the Nation’s leadership and their advice to temporarily shut down Navajo Nation schools and their encouragement toward social distancing.

If events are being canceled and there is “social distancing” happening all over the U.S., such measures are even more important on the Navajo Nation. With Indian Health Services and the various Hospitals already being tapped out (because of high turn-over rate among staff and having to supply medical aid for vast areas), the potential of over-crowding medical facilities in our area poses a true threat. Furthermore, with so many elderly Navajo in close quarters with (or functioning as guardians for) their grandchildren, and the reality of wide-spread diabetes among the people, the Navajo Nation desperately needs to successfully slow the spread and reduce the number of cases, i.e.“flatten the curve.” Needless to say, our family has been staying close to home.We’re a homeschooling family, so we’re used to being home, but our kids have felt a bit cooped up during this odd time. Please let us know how we can be in praying for your families. We love you!

In Christ,
DH & Emily Henry

Phinehas LOVES to build!From marshmallow bridges to popsicle stick trebuchets, Phinehas has been ecstatic about our hands-on-science this quarter.
Josiah LOVES to draw!If he sees a picture of it, he can draw it. His favorite subjects include Bot Bots (transformers), robots, animals, monsters, and “Chinese characters.” 

Zoe LOVES to play!This sweet girl is most happy when playing with her stuffed animals or pretending to be a princess. She loves Mermaids because they are “elegant and beautiful and fun.”
Felicity LOVES to eat!She’s almost 1 now, and this girl is growing like crazy. Dee Dee (as we call her) sleeps through the night, crawls, opens cupboards, and keeps us all laughing.  
Pray with us….The Navajo Nation has closed its borders to visitors.  Please ask our High Priest to intercede and stop the pandemic at just the right time. (Num. 16:47)Many traditional Navajos believe in the protection of the Four Sacred Mountains, when this protection fails them, pray that Gospel truth may find its way into the hearts of even the most dogmatic medicine men. Andwhen God’s will is done, that His goodness will lead many Diné to repentance. (Judg. 16:24; 1Kings 20:28; Rom. 2:4)