Monday, April 21, 2008

Trip through Navajoland

Today was the start of a new development tour for Manuelito Navajo Children's Home. This tour will take me through four states and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Tonight, I am in Blanding, Utah, a beautiful little town on the edge of the Blue Mountains of southeastern Utah.

My drive today took me through the heart of the Navajo Nation, including the capitol, Window Rock, over the Defiance Plateau, and through Ganado, Chinle, and Round Rock. Coming into Utah, I came through Bluff and, making a detour, made a visit to Montezuma Creek. This small town sits at the confluence of Montezuma Creek and the San Juan River and on the border of the Navajo Reservation and Utah-proper.

Montezuma Creek is home to the Navajo Church of Christ. Some dear friends of mine, Ray an Oleta Whaley, work with this congregation and have been missionaries there for the past 15 years. They are wonderful servants of Christ and his church. The Navajo Reservation can be a very difficult place in which to preach the Gospel, and "results" are often slow to develop and pale in comparison to the "big numbers" of the Indian and African mission fields. It takes dedication, an unwavering commitment, to grow a church in this area, and the Whaley's have shown a great heart for this work. They love the Navajo, and in many ways, are one of them.

Please pray for the Whaleys and the other missionary families in Navajoland. And, consider becoming a partner in their work. Financial assistance is always needed and welcome. If you are interested, I can help you get into contact with the Whaleys (and other missionaries on the Reservation).

I have attached a few photos taken on my drive today. The lands of the Navajo Nation are beautiful. The first photo illustrates a very common "hazard" when driving the roads on the Rez . . . animals! . . . in the road . . . on the shoulder . . . often without a moment's notice! This flock of sheep was crossing the road just as I was coming out of a sharp curve (driving 50 mph!). The second photo is of Montezuma Creek. The third photo is of a rock formation north of Many Farms, Arizona. And, the fourth photo is of the mesas west of he Defiance Plateau.

If you've never visited the Navajo Reservation, makes plans to come.