Recently our team of seven joined a larger group from the Eleventh Street Baptist church in Upland and went to a Navajo reservation in Burnt Corn Valley, Arizona. We put on a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children on the reservation and helped a Navajo family, the Chischillys, with building projects on their property.
To quote one of our team members (thanks, Griffin!), “It was fire!” ☺
We asked you to pray in some specific ways, and we saw the Lord answer! Here are some glimpses of the Lord’s faithfulness to us:
1. For unity in Christ Jesus
We were a diverse group of people (5 different churches, ages 6 to 70+ years old) all with the same purpose – to make the gospel plain to those who came to the VBS and love the Chischilly family through acts of service.
Lukas Czarnota said, “(I loved) seeing all the moving parts working together – all the different backgrounds, different gifts and God working them all together, even those who thought they had nothing to offer. When we all have a common goal, furthering the kingdom of God, radical things can happen, and that is what I think happened this week.”
There was a sweet fellowship as we shared our testimonies of coming to Jesus with the greater team – so unifying!
2. For good relationships to be built with the kids
Nadia Barela said, “Even though I helped in the pre-k/kinder class, and most of my kids didn’t understand much of the lessons given, God used me to show them His love. I was able to give them attention and show them His love, things they might not receive often.”
After just a few days, Ben Morse and I noticed that our 3rd and 4th grade class began to open up and talk about all kinds of stuff!
3. For boldness and sensitivity in sharing the Gospel
God’s love for the outcast was focus of our lessons. By the final lesson, our team had a chance to share the gospel clearly with each group of kids (pre-school, 1st & 2nd grades, 3rd & 4th grades, 5th & 6th grades).
Griffin Grable shared, “I was able to share the gospel with preschoolers and was able to talk to a kid named Gavin about the gospel and got to answer lots of questions he had and got to show him different pictures of Jesus.”
“I think that God showed me that everyone who you don’t think needs God really does and He will use you in the most random moments (like your e-cube falling out of your pocket in the back of a truck!). But when He does use you, it makes the random moment very special,” Ben Morse reflected. (FYI, e-cube is short for evangecube.)
Kevin Folbrecht wrote, “God used me in giving my testimony to the 5th and 6th grade kids and giving me their full attention and ultimately putting the words in my mouth – perfect words. Big God moment!” (Feel free to ask Kevin about the vivid analogy the Lord gave him to share right before he started to speak!)
4. For hearts ready to receive the Gospel
In some classes, all the kids raised their hands to believe in Jesus; in others, no one did. What we know is that each kid heard the gospel and many gospel seeds were planted.
5. For physical protection for the team from start to finish
The Lord definitely protected us through all the elements (dust, wind, rain and heat).
He gave us safety in all the driving – the pick-ups and drop offs of Navajo kids and adults around the valley.
He took care of us during the work projects, such as being up on roofs, digging outhouse holes, and using power tools.
Thank you for being a part of this week as you prayed!
We had such great unity, many gospel opportunities, and much love for these dear folks, who we believe came because you ASKED the Lord for them. We’re so thankful for your partnership!
Your Kingdom partners,
Pastor David Schaller (with Nadia Barela, Lukas Czarnota, Kevin Folbrecht, Griffin Grable, Ben Morse, and Lilly Shires)
P.S. It’s been an encouraging summer of missions so far, and there’s more to come! Mark your calendars for August 21-28 – WorldReach 2022! This is our annual week to focus on God’s heart for the world at Church of the Open Door. You’ll have opportunities to meet and hear from and encourage COD missionaries nearly every day of that week! Watch for a complete schedule to be posted on the website soon.