Summer 2011

 You can download a PDF version to print here. 

E-Newsletters

 THE NEWSLETTER OF THE NAVAJO EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN MISSION

Friends: Ya'at'eeh

Our hooghan—traditional Navajo home—is finally complete!  Thanks to funding from La Casa de Cristo in Phoenix and several churches throughout the year volunteering their time helping our maintenance staff, this
beautiful building is ready to house our summer mission teams as well as being a classroom for teaching Navajo culture and language.  We are also in the process of erecting a teepee for additional volunteer housing.

Other exciting news here at the Mission is that our Thrift Store has been converted into a Center for Wellness! Thanks to a grant we received from Advent Lutheran Church in New York, we were able to renovate the space and purchase exercise equipment for our new Center.  As you can see from the picture, our mission community is working out almost every day on the new machines—in fact, they are so into getting in shape, they often have to wait in line!  As an extension of our Health Center, Marina can monitor their blood pressure and heart rate, checking on everyone’s progress toward healthy bodies.

NELM wants to do more renovations this summer—like knocking out the wall between the Health Center and Center for Wellness—for bathroom access as well as making the entire space focus on health education and awareness of how to prevent diseases like diabetes that are so prevalent on the Navajo Nation.

While the Thrift Store closed because NELM was losing money on the 
project, we still accept donations of clothing and hygiene items—only instead of selling these items to the community, we now give them away!  The Center for Wellness was something the community asked us for, and we are so pleased that we were able to provide such a great program for our mission staff.

Inside this newsletter, you will hear from our school principal about the great strides made by our children so far this year, as well as from the pastor of the House of Prayer.  I just want to offer a personal note of thanks to all of our Mission Partners who continue to support our ministries and who have responded to our calls for much needed assistance during our time of 
transition.  We simply cannot do this work alone.  We are the body of Christ—one in the Spirit—making a difference on the Navajo Nation.

Lynn Hubbard

HOUSE OF PRAYER

Learning to PrayTogether


On February 27th the House of Prayer hosted “Spiritualities in Conversation--Promoting Hozho in Rock Point”.  This event featured speakers from the Native American Church, traditional Navajo spirituality and Christianity with folks in the audience from as far away as Ann Arbor Michigan! 
Bob Kirk (soon to become a member of HoP) and Harrison Begay (Director of the RP Senior Center) told us about the BIA Boarding school experiences of not being able to speak your own language without getting punished, about being taught that Navajo culture and traditions were evil.  Roger Benally, Dine Language and Culture Specialist, gave us a presentation about aspects of Navajo traditions and spirituality.  All speakers mentioned how it is the same God we all worship, “with all types of prayers, we continue on the sacred path”.  Despite how the early missionaries taught them to hate their own culture, most Navajo understand the teachings of Jesus, and we believe these teachings can help all of us restore harmony among the people.

This was only a beginning of what we hope to be many conversations about how we can come together as a community of faith, re-claiming the spiritual traditions of the elders, honoring and respecting the Navajo way of life as we walk in the path of the Christ. During the season of Lent, the House of Prayer offers a sacred place for the cultural and spiritual formation of all who come to the Mission—Navajo as well as church groups from all over the country--as we connect diverse cultures and communities in becoming the body of Christ in this place.

Deborah Hubbard 



School News

This year has brought about many changes at the Mission School. There are now two wonderful schools that reside on the Navajo Lutheran Mission!   One is a charter school that is operated and funded through the State of Arizona. The other is the Mission School, which gives religious education at the House of Prayer, for any student wishing to attend.  Due to State Law, the two schools are separated.

The Navajo Concordia Charter School is doing exceptionally well!  The Navajo teachers have taken on the Core Knowledge, Saxon Math, IXL Math and Reading Horizons this year. The teachers who have been here for three years are very positive about how well our students are doing. They are pleased with the progress of every student in the school. This year has been wonderful as a new Administrator, as I have never worked with such a hard working group of teachers!  They don’t miss school unless there is a real problem. They push the students harder to reach higher.  They love the changes and say to me all the time they wished they had this new curriculum three years ago. The whole staff has worked as a team for the betterment of our students. It is fantastic!  Again, I cannot say enough how I appreciate the many of you who have made this possible.

On the light side: we have had Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine Parties as well as our annual NELM princess pageant.   The students have gotten prizes and awards and we have held community dinners at these events because of your generous donations. We even baked sugar cookies this year and I found out many of our own staff had never made Christmas or Valentine cookies so all had a great time. 

The House of Prayer and the Navajo Lutheran Mission have taken on the busing of students to and from our school as part of our ministries. Without the on-going generous support of the many people and churches, the two schools would be unable to survive. On the Navajo Nation, the distances alone create a number of problems. The busing cost alone is a heavy burden on the Mission-- just to get children to and from school. Now with rising gas prices the problem is just going to get worse. Many of our parents do not have cars, or the money to transport children to school. The school buses are so old they need to be taken out of use. I want to thank each of you that have sponsored children!  

Without your donations, the Mission would be unable to provide the needed transportation.

Because of your support of the House of Prayer and the Mission school, our students are able to enjoy religious education and social and physical activities programs.  This is where the Mission School together with the House of Prayer plays such an important part in the student’s life. It is through the Mission School our Kindergarteners receive ½ day of education. It is through your sponsorship programs that we can provide spiritual, physical and social stability to these young minds in our after school programs. Again, thank you so much for your gifts and contributions to the mission this year.  Our Mission Partners are indeed making a difference in the lives of the Navajo people!  Look through the pictures to see all the great things that are taking place. A picture is worth a thousand words. 


Sponsors and Friends


 


Helping Hands

ACSTO

Campbell's Soup Labels

We encourage Arizona residents to consider participating in the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) and designate the Navajo Mission School as the recipient. Arizona taxpayers can receive a dollar-for dollar credit against the taxpayer’s Arizona state income tax up to $1000.00 for a couple and $500.00 for single taxpayers. If you live in Arizona, and would like more information on this organization, please call 480-820-0403 or go to www.acsto.com.

- Help the Mission!

When you send in your labels, please designate these are to be credited to the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission account. We are truly grateful to all of you who continue to send us those labels! It does make a difference! Please check the website atwww.labelsforeducation.com for step by step instructions.
Remember, you can now send in labels directly to Solheim Lutheran Home, where they will check labels, package and send them to the Campbell's Soup Company.

Campbell's Soup Labels at the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission

The address is: Solheim Lutheran Home
Campbell's Soup Coordinator
2236 Merton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041-1915

Box Tops - Labels For Education!

The Box Tops for Education labels must be sent directly to the Mission, as they need to be sorted by amounts and then we send them directly to the General Mills address.
This program is offered by the General Mills Company and generates points that are reimbursed to us in dollars.The labels are found on more than 100 different General Mills products, and are only about one inch long. These labels do have an expiration date, so be sure to clip that label and get it to us – even before you use the product if possible! Thank you for collecting these precious little labels. As with the Soup Labels – they do make a difference!

Boxtops for Education

Managed Funds

Another way you can contribute to the Mission is through Onward! A Legacy Foundation.

The Operation Reserve Fund is managed by financial experts to invest donor fund responsibly to preserve capital, provide growth and earn income for a diverse cultural and ethnic groups. Contact Chuck Forth at (970) 565-9047 for more information on how you can donate through this fund.

Onward Foundation