I am just back for spending a week with the Navajo in Window Rock. This is my second trip in two years. We once again helped build a home church, but for a sweet lady this time.
I do not wish to come off as one of those that our Christ spoke of who stands on the corner and prays loudly so that the world can see how devote they are, but I want to share the joy, often childlike glee I experienced there.
I went to the Navajo Nation with some vague idea I was going to help other people. I think I did. But I know that I was deeply moved, deeply humbled before my lord and richly blessed by my experience there. My already maturing faith was greatly strengthened. And I felt the childish joy as I gleefully obeyed the call of the Lord.
The people we know as Navajo prefer to be called the Diné and I will refer to them as such for the remainder of this.
I wrote and/or drew in my journal everyday.
We once again helped build a home church, but for a sweet lady this time.
Her house had been hit by a microburst. The survey estimates that the house was hit with between 90 MPH to 120 MPH winds. The winds lifted the back porch off the house and clam shelled it over and upside down leaving the roof of the back on top of the roof of the main house. The front porch also took damage from long term and short term weather conditions.
We rebuilt the back porch. Added good side rails and pulled the old roof off the house and rebuilt it on to the back porch. We ripped out the front porch, redesigned the wheelchair ramp and brought the ramp up to exceeding code.
The lady we were helping was excited about and leaped in and helped with everything we were doing. But the one thing that moved her above else was that we found time to put in a nice gate for her in the far corner of her front yard.
It was half way through the gate project that we learned what the gate was for. She wanted a pretty gate to greet her friends and family coming to her house for prayer meetings and for Bible studies. So we walked in thinking we were just helping someone down on their luck and we found out almost at the very last that we are once again building on another Diné home church.
It amazes me how close the Navajo Reservation is to me. (A few hours drive) and yet how different the culture is. The Diné build fences to keep animals out of their food; we build fences to keep things in.
I have already started on a painting from the experience and hope to have more soon. I also hope to have photos to post from the trip.
This is a poem I wrote on our first day in Diné land.
First SundayFirst Sunday
Purple, dusting of yellow, green
In cerulean sky
Sherbet sky fluff
With blazing crest peaking over hills
Cool Refreshing breath of God on the land
Morning has broken
Day is come
Holy Spirit thank you for singing to me
For touching me
For being with me