Navajo

 
 
Trinity has participated in many mission trips over the years. Click a location to learn more.
 
     On Friday June 21, 2013 the Trinity UMC Navajo Mission team (TNMT) departed for what would be a wonderful and enriching experience serving the Navajo people in New Mexico. Fifteen (15) of Trinity’s finest spent 7 days interacting with Navajo children and missionaries by providing an enjoyable Vacation Bible School (VBS) for about 25 Navajo children of all ages on the reservation near Teec Nos Pos in the Northeast corner of New Mexico. The team of seven adults (Pastor Jeff, Rob & Liz Johnson, Stan Smeltzer, Stephanie Sexton, Arleen “Sam” White and Rick Hope) and eight very eager younger volunteers ages from 20 to 10 (John Cannon, Katie Potter, Wesley Wallner, Kaitlyn Michaud, Joseph McNure, Stan Smeltzer, Nick & Molly Johnson) represented the members of Trinity with great enthusiasm and dedication. Liz Johnson and Stephanie Sexton lead the team of volunteers for the VBS bringing a program with crafts from Smithfield.
 

     The trip started with a brief visit to the South rim of the Grand Canyon the day before aerialist Nik Wallenda completed his historic walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge on Sunday. The team attended church on Sunday at Teec Nos Pos and performed for the Navajo congregation that conducted the service in both English and Navajo. The team stayed at the Four Corners Home for Children (FCHC) in Farmington, NM. The President of Navajo Ministries, Jim Baker took the team on a tour of the facility that provides housing for as many as 28 at risk and abandoned Navajo children from the surrounding counties. On Monday the entire team starting one of two major projects on site, the removal of overgrown Junipers and Cacti in the front of the facility. After this we laid a three tiered block retaining wall to help preserve the entrance to the facility. The TNMT were told that we accomplished more in the first day than many previous teams attempted all week. On Tuesday the TNMT split in two with most going to the reservation about one hour away in Teec Nos Pos to conduct the VBS and 6 staying back to erect a much needed chain link fence on the compound. The project team overcame high temperatures (95-101 F), engineering and terrain irregularities and was able to complete about 130 feet of a sturdy chain link fence that will provide added security for the children of the FCHC. During our down time the TNMT took side trips to the 4 Corners National Monument and the Aztec Ruins nearby. Each night a different team member lead the group in devotionals with singing and thought provoking questions based on the Bible verse of that day.

     On Thursday the members of the TNMT were invited to join the FCHC for a community wide cookout. This allowed the team to spend more time with the counselors, house parents and children that resided on the 14 acre compound. There were some tears of sadness shed on the final day of VBS with some children trying to bar the door and saying “please don’t go”. On Saturday the team flew out of Albuquerque and returned to Smithfield in the wee hours tired but satisfied from a life changing experience. I believe that I can speak for the team by saying it was a wonderful experience not soon forgotten and that we look forward to the opportunity to travel back to New Mexico in July 2014 to renew many of the friendships that were formed.

     The team would like to thank ALL of the members of Trinity for their prayers and support during our various fundraisers. Without your love and support we may not have been able to take the message of Jesus and love to these very deserving Native Americans. – Rick Hope