As we continue to pray for the Lord to pour out His Spirit on us and move us forward together, I am excited to share with you ways that I see Him answering this request.
Below is a story that speaks of the movement of the Spirit to bring together some resources on our campus with the heart of one of our own for needs in another community. How amazing is that combination?
I trust this story of friendship and firewood and provision, told by Bob Payne, will encourage your hearts and fuel your prayers.
Bob Payne writes:
Last summer our family began attending Church of the Open Door. Pastor David Anderson took me on a tour of the property and to see the view of the San Gabriel Valley.
He happened to take me to an area of campus where our tree service company keeps some equipment. Nearby was the company’s large stack of firewood.
I looked at the firewood, and then at David in amazement.
I asked about the firewood. He told me that our tree service company offers us some of the wood for donations.
To understand my reaction to seeing this stack of firewood, I need to tell you the backstory:
Nearly 30 years ago a woman at a church here in Glendora approached her pastor and asked him to lead a mission trip to a Navajo reservation. The woman had children and wanted them to experience a mission trip.
The small team that went on that trip ended up in Burnt Corn Valley on the property of the Chischilly family. Burnt Corn Valley is located 10 miles northeast of the small Navajo town of Pinon, Arizona.
The Chischilly family are believers in Jesus Christ and had long wanted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) on their property to reach the valley for Jesus. After the team concluded the VBS, Bessie Chischilly begged them to return the following year.
The team DID return! The Navajo Mission Team went consistently year after year. Usually 100-120 Navajo showed up daily to the VBS ministry. In 2019 the team conducted its 27th VBS on the Chischilly property! I participated in the VBS in 2015 and have been part of the team since that time.
We saw the Navajo come to faith in Jesus Christ. There are adults that attend who told me they were kids when they first attended and they now bring their children to the VBS. Some feel that the VBS is the only time in the year that they receive good Bible teaching.
During my years of going to the reservation and getting to know the Chischilly family, I learned that one of the crucial areas of need for those living on the reservation is firewood in the winter months.
In 2020 the VBS was cancelled because of COVID, but God had laid on my heart the fact that the Navajo would still be in need of firewood for the winter.
So when David Anderson showed me the firewood on the COD campus and told me that some of it was set aside for donations, I couldn’t believe it!
I then shared about the Navajo ministry and the need for firewood and how God had laid that on my heart. I explained that we would be allowed to enter the reservation if we were delivering firewood as vendors. David was confident we could work out a way to make this happen. I cried and David and I praised God together.
Later I connected with the owner of the tree service company. He was overjoyed to help the Navajo people and agreed to donate one pickup truckload a month.
In late December of last year, the first truckload of firewood was picked up and delivered to Bessie Chischilly’s house!
The availability of this firewood has provided another way for us to care for our Navajo brothers and sisters and continue our relationship with them.