2015–2017 Mission Grant: Hope and Healing to the Navajo People — Rocky Mountain District, $75,000 partially paid

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Much has transpired at Navajo this year. There have been baptisms and growth at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Navajo, New Mexico. Joyfully we report that Native people have been instructed and confessed their faith in Jesus Christ. Volunteer teams have served the community helping with Vacation Bible School where over 71 children attended. Many of these were new families to the church. Weekly cultural art classes for children in the community were started, and a cultural exchange week took place when Alaskan Native brothers and sisters traveled to Navajo to share food, dance, and story. Two of the individuals are trained facilitators in the “Beauty for Ashes” program, which is a faith-based conference designed to educate and train individuals on how to interact with, work with, and respond to those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, abuse, and neglect. This event opened the door for individuals to gather and share their stories of hurt and pain in order to begin a journey of restoration to wholeness.

As Vicar Tim Norton continues his seminary training in the Cross Cultural Ministry Program at Concordia University — Irvine, he is applying what he learns to those who come to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Navajo. After meeting with a father, mother, and four children, all were baptized on Christmas Day. What joy they experienced! Sadly, less than a month later, while attending the annual Lutheran Indian Ministries’ staff gathering, Vicar Tim received a text message: The cousin of the mom was killed in a car accident on the mountain roads in Arizona. How many young Native lives are cut short — in one way or another. The need to proclaim Christ is urgent! We, as Lutheran Women in Mission, are helping, with our mite offerings, to make that proclamation.

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For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.