Roots Mission & the Navajo Reservation

The Reservation is only about 17K sq. miles smaller than the state of Ohio.

The Reservation is only about 17K sq. miles smaller than the state of Ohio.

The Navajo Reservation has become a place near and dear to my heart. At about 27,000 sq. miles the reservation is larger than 10 U.S. States, including West Virginia, with 8 small congregations of the church of Christ currently meeting.

Our brothers & sisters on the reservation deal with death (suicide), drugs, alcoholism, and widespread poverty on a scale hard to understand. Questions like: Why do we Suffer? | Why does evil exist? | Where can we find relief? | are important everywhere, but especially on the Rez and people need the answers, they need Jesus.

As you deal with these topics in the midst of a those surrounded by poverty & constant struggles it takes on greater meaning. Luke 12:48 says “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” That is not hard to understand, it is not mysterious, but it is often twisted in our own heads. We often choose to look at those who have more and say “why not me”, instead of those who have less and say “Here am I, send me”.

How did you see Christ today?, is the question we ask at the close of every day while serving on the Navajo reservation. We see Christ in children’s faces, in how someone took the time to notice a need, how someone offered of themselves, serving, singing, laughing, bonding, hurting. There are many ways in which the light of Christ shines on a daily basis, the challenge for us is to notice, and personally take the time to be His light. That is true no matter where you are.

God is an amazing designer, & what we realize when we follow His command to serve, to teach, to love, is that in His wisdom we’re blessed with more than we can ever give. Take opportunities to serve others and you will be blessed, that is what Christ teaches us in John 10:9-11.  When we lay down our lives through Christ we realize the abundant life He has to offer.

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In response to the great need within the Native American churches of Christ, for both growth & effectiveness, Roots Mission Inc. (a 501c3 non-profit) was established. As an organization, Roots strives to improve mission efforts throughout Reservation lands. Roots is Directed by Nick Rice & Board members include Peter Clark (Willowbrook Trustee), Michael Nicodemus (Professor@Harding University), Jeff Darby (Minister@Marysville), Evan Todachine (Minister@Salt River, AZ), Bill Moore (Elder@F&K), Brent Dougan (Deacon@F&K), and Keith O’Neal (Youth MInister@Concord Road, TN).

Concord Road Youth are planning their fifth trip to the reservation & two of our college students, Andrew Pratt & Chad Stephens, are getting ready to lead their second Harding Trip (with many of our other college students participating). Total, 27 of our youth have now made 50+ trips to the reservation with 18 returning & 12 going for the first time this summer. If you would like to find out more about the mission works & opportunities on the Navajo Reservation go to www.rootsmission.org and follow them on facebook @RootsMission.org.

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