Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Navajo Mission

The Navajo Reservation covers some 27,000 square miles in the states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Approximately 250,000 people lies within its borders. The Navajo are a noble people with great character and personality. I have been blessed to live and work among them and to call them my friends. I am especially blessed to call many of them family, joined with them by our common faith in Jesus Christ.

Churches of Christ began efforts to share the Gospel with the Navajo over 50 years ago. Manuelito Navajo Children's Home developed out of the first organized effort to evangelize the Navajo. In the half century since, nine congregations of Churches of Christ have been established on the Reservation (a list that should include a tenth church, the Gallup Church of Christ).

Presently, there are Churches of Christ meeting at these places on or near the lands of the Navajo Nation:
  • Crownpoint, New Mexico (with Edison Gruber serving as missionary)
  • Hogback/Waterflow, New Mexico (with Philip James serving as missionary)
  • Shiprock, New Mexico (with Wayne serving serving as missionary)
  • Montezuma Creek, Utah (with Ray Whaley serving as missionary)
  • Kayenta, Arizona (with Josh Austin serving as missionary)
  • Tuba City, Arizona (with Paul Ghee serving as missionary)
  • Many Farms, Arizona (with Ben Begay servings as missionary)
  • Kinlichee, Arizona (with Bud Payne serving as missionary)
  • Ft. Defiance, Arizona (with Joe Rivera serving as missionary)

These churches are small, but they are doing what they can to reach their communities with the love of Jesus. The missionaries who serve and lead these congregations are good and dedicated men, who with their wives and families, are tireless in their efforts to preach the Gospel and serve those in need. A few of the men are Navajo, themselves. Edison Gruber, Philip James, and Ben Begay are working among their own people, and what a blessing this is. Other Navajo men are preparing to become preachers and missionaries and further the cause of Christ among their people (men like Andrew Nathaniel at Shiprock, and Terry Laurence of Kayenta who is currently studying at Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver).

Pray for the work of Christ that is being done on the Navajo Reservation. It is a good work. It is a work worth supporting, and if you have an interest in doing so in an active way, let me know, and I will get you in contact with one of the missionaries.

On the Gallup Church of Christ website, I have a page devoted to the Navajo Mission. Visit there for more information on this important work.