Another exciting day. We headed out at 8 a.m. sharp, for a 2-hour drive to Nazlini, in the middle of the Navajo Reservation for church. It was quite a drive, with lots of amazing scenery. The church was pretty amazing, too. It was the Nazlini Church of the Nazarene, and was built like a huge Navajo hogan (a round, or 8-sided building that Navajos traditionally live in and worship in). It was beautiful. The service was very interesting. Most of it was in Navajo, but the pastor moved back and forth between Navajo and English, doing his own translating. One of the hymns and the special music was even in Navajo! Before the sermon our group got up for special music. I played guitar, and we sang Victory Chant and You Are My All-in-All. The congregation clapped along, some sang along – it was a very nice experience. At the end of the service, the church recognized all of the fathers in attendance with gifts. Most got coffee mugs, including David. They had a special gift for me – a silver bolo tie decorated with turquoise and red rock. VERY beautiful. I wore it all day, even though I was just wearing our work and witness t-shirt!
After the service, we all went over to the fellowship hall and were served Navajo tacos, made with Navajo fry bread instead of tortillas. It was there that I actually got into a conversation with a lady named Julia Smiley, who only spoke Navajo. I opened the conversation, and was able to understand her and hold up my end of the conversation, even introducing Sharla to her in Navajo. The pastor was impressed as well. (It felt really good to be able to actually converse with her!)
After we finished up lunch, we went with our coordinators to the Hubble Trading Post, the oldest trading post in Arizona. After that our coordinators and the staff people that went to church with us parted ways with us. They came back to the school, and we went on to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, which were both amazing. (See some of the pictures below.) We got back to the dorm at about 8:00, had spaghetti for dinner, a devotional, and sang worship songs together for about half an hour.
I do have one prayer request for anyone who reads this. I left my Day Planner and my hat in the fellowship hall at the church. So far they haven’t found it, but communication on the reservation can be spotty, so we are waiting for the folks up there to get their voice mails. I’m not worried about the hat, but the Day Planner is very important. Please pray that they will find it, and that we will figure out some way to get it to me that doesn’t entail either us or them having to travel 2 hours each way.
Tomorrow we start our work projects! We’ll update you all tomorrow.