Every culture on earth perceives the gift of life from its own perspective. Living Navajo is no different. The unique set of experiences that have shaped the Navajo people form a fascinating legacy of strength, loss, courage and commitment. Our mission is to create the opportunity for the Navajo people to tell you their story – each a true witness to their faith in God and hope for their people. Welcome to Living Navajo.
My grandson was injured in a work accident in Texas. In an explosion of some sort a pipe was driven into his abdomen. He spent 6 months in the hospital. All of his company insurance was used up. They told him that he would have to be put on a waiting list for a transplant of his intestines, colon and liver…if he could live that long.
Then a miraculous thing happened. A Navajo Doctor in Shiprock heard about my grandson. He worked with Navajo IHS to find some funding for the transplant. My grandson’s employer agreed to cover the remaining costs.
Last week, my grandson and his family were called to Omaha, Nebraska where the transplant surgeons performed surgery that took them all night. Twelve hours, I was told. In the morning he was alert and I talked with him on the phone. They will stay in the Ronald McDonald house until he can come back home. Maybe one day he can return to work.
God is so good. Just think of all the people who helped my grandson. Every day God answers my prayers. It is hard to be so far away, but I know God watches over my family wherever they are.
Shared by B.A.
Alcoholism is a very serious disease and most difficult to overcome on the Navajo Reservation. It's not something someone wants to share, but I'd like to share with you the day my father was taken to the ER. As one of the many Vietnam Veterans, my father deals with alcoholism, a path he decided on long ago. He says it helps with numbing the real problems such as PTSD.
My father called my brother on a very warm day saying that he needed help getting up, his drinking friends had left him behind and that he can't seem to get up on his own. And he added to alert the EMT services located 30 minutes to an hour away. Quickly my brother decided to call meinstead, since I was downtown Rock Point (my father's nickname for Rock Point). I received the call at work. My brother requested that I go to check on dad, with a described location of my father's whereabouts.
Before calling for emergency I went to investigate and to see for myself what was going on. Upon arrival, it seemed like my father had been sitting there for a while and needed water. The one time I forget to take water with me, my father needed it! I was looking at my father thinking there is no way I could help him get on his feet.
Right at that moment my brother arrived telling my father, "I'm going to help you up, and use this walking stick.” My father was sitting there confident that he couldn’t get up or walk, but his son encouraged him to try. At the count of 3 my brother pulled him up...1, 2, 3! Up!
And at that exact instant my father was lifted up to his feet, a hawk caught my attention about 50 feet behind my father. The hawk swooped through the sky as if it was lifting my father, helping my brother bring him to his feet. The hawk didn’t fly away like they usually do; this hawk hovered above my father...just floating and watching. As soon as my father started walking toward the vehicle, the hawk slowly disappeared into the distance.
Wow! That was definitely the most precious moment I've ever encountered. Guardian Angels do exist! The Lord sent a beautiful hawk to watch over my father, even at one of his darkest hours. That symbol was a sign to me that my father will be OK and that the power of healing has already begun with the work of the Lord, our Father.
Alcoholism takes a hold of many people and sometimes it doesn't let go. Somehow, someway the Lord still shines his light of love to keep pushing forward. I send my prayers for the many individuals dealing with the same disease that troubles my father daily.
John 8:12 says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Shared by L.B.
I didn’t know who my father was until I was in high school. After that, I would see him around town occasionally. Never once did he speak my name or call me ‘son.’ I was raised by my mother and grandmother. I have sisters from another father.
It’s painful to remember how much I wanted a father. I’m old now, and it still hurts. But God has been good to me – I’m still here! I have worked hard and try to be a good person. I help around town when I see someone who needs something. They took care of me, so now I take care of them. Shared by A.B.
When I was raising my children, most of the husbands were not here in Rock Point. They needed to find work at the mill, the mines or for the railroad in far off places like Oregon and Montana. The women were on their own, managing everything.
The mail service wasn’t good, so sometimes we wouldn’t receive the money sent by our husbands. The children would be hungry or get sick, and there was nothing we could do but share what we had with each other until the checks would come.
I didn’t think of myself as strong, courageous or the head of my household. Most of us just did what we had to do. We grew gardens, tended the sheep and goats, sold our crafts and raised our families.
Now my children have a different life and their children have greater opportunity. I will never regret the hard work. God made is possible for me – and God will make it possible for my family.
Shared by N.F.
Update on the campus Lovelea Begay, Mission Manager
A busy first few weeks of June had us going from project to project, getting things done with the help of our friends from University of Denver and Christ the King Lutheran Church. We checked off our list, organizing the wellness center from all the donations sent and dropped off by congregations from the valley, including items such as clinic supplies, school supplies, clothing, apartment supplies and the many quilts that will need to be stored for December give away. A crew from Victory in Mesa completed installation of the A/C unit at House of Prayer. We have a new paint job in the Mission offices (Desert Streams), staff have been jack hammering the sidewalks between the school buildings and preparing for new concrete, organizing the library for Fall 2016 and the list goes on. We appreciate all the groups volunteering their time in support of our mission. We would not be able to accomplish the list of projects that are needed here at the Navajo Lutheran Mission. Thank you.
June is the beginning of Ya’iishjaashchili, referring to the little corn tassels; we celebrated the anniversary of the Treaty of 1868.
Article I of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Navajo Tribe of Indians states; “From this day forward all war between the parties to this agreement shall for ever cease. The government of the United States desires peace, and its honor is hereby pledged to keep it. The Indians desire peace, and they now pledge their honor to keep it.”
We remember “The Long Walk” through stories from generation to generation. Family have their own stories to share about Our Ancestors that traveled on that treacherous journey to and from Fort Sumner. Most of the stories include many struggles of survival to get home and the need to get back to their ways of life. Every story shared brings us closer to out Diné Ancestors.
A story shared from my paternal side of the family: A young woman was able to escape from Fort Sumner while she was pregnant. She gathered flour to last her a few days and a blanket prior to her escape. Once she left in the middle of the night, she treaded through the darkness on a snowy night with a blanket protecting her from the cold. After a long night and long day of walking, she was rescued by another tribe and taken into their village for safety. Her baby was born there among the villagers. For a while she stayed in the village and had decided to dwell with the adopted tribe but that urge to continue on home was stronger. When she felt it was safe to get back on her journey home (now known as Rock Point), she packed up and left with her baby. Throughout her travels she encountered wildlife and she slept in the trees to keep safely out of harm’s way from animals and soldiers. Eating was limited as she only had flour to make bread. Through all her obstacles she made it home and soon after found herself living on what is now known as the Navajo Reservation. Her story of survival inspires me; faith in getting to where she needed to be is accomplished through strength in herself and confidence in a higher power to get her home where she belonged.
Navajo Christian Preparatory Academy – Uniquely Equipping Navajo Parents and Children Clarence C. Begay, Principal
Here at the Mission we have the opportunity to be different from Reservation schools – to offer an alternative learning environment in which both child and parent can experience the benefits of a Christian education. We focus on the whole person, body mind and spirit, with the goal of strengthening family life and nurturing students to become leaders in the community.
With the generous financial support of our donors and assistance from the NCPA Advisory Team, NCPA is immerging as THE K-6 school in the area. Our emphasis on teamwork and structured classroom learning goals has resulted in NCPA’s acceptance into the National Honor Society and six students receiving Certificates of Recognition. A new salary schedule based on continued education is propelling NCPA teachers toward a two-year goal of 100% classroom certified instruction. Weekly Chapel instruction leading to Confirmation, regular parent/teacher conferences, breakfast and lunch daily, small classroom size, individual tutoring for reading and math, computer lab instruction time for all grades, sports coaches and competitive team play, culture and language experience, regular dental care, health and wellness monitored by Indian Health Services, a learning library and curriculum in compliance with Arizona Merit standards – all of it adds up to our school’s growing reputation as a unique, family oriented and successful center for learning.
In preparation for the 2016-17 school year, NCPA is seeking a certified 3-4th grade teacher and a half-time Computer Literacy Teacher. We are also planning to initiate a Safe School Ambassador Program, training students to be ambassadors for playground safety and to safeguard against bullying, inappropriate language, and other common classroom, playground, hallway and school bus misconduct.
As Principal, I am proud of our school. Our teachers and students are the BEST! My goal is to promote loyalty and team support, so that the message we send to others is a unified affirmation of the good things that are happening here at NCPA.
Thank you to all our friends and financial supporters whose regular donations make all the difference for our students. Together we are changing the face of education at Rock Point – one student at a time.
Please consider partnering with us in the coming year to become
"A Mission With a Mission,"
and impact the lives of the Navajo children and families of Rock Point, AZ.