Here are a few pictures from our missions trip we took as a family to Hardrock, Arizona. We stayed on Navajo mission compound on a Navajo reservation for a week and helped run a VBS for the Navajo kids and adults. My job was babysitter of Ellie, Gabe and another little girl, Addy (occasionally) so their parents could help run the VBS. They were very nice to me and gave me an easy job as I am quite pregnant these days! :)
Joey was in charge of one of the adult bible studies which included about 12-15 adults between 20 and 30 years old with a few older than that. Our pictures are somewhat sparse as the camera was in our trailer (which was air-conditioned unlike many of the other houses on the compound other workers from our church stayed at) most of the time, but hopefully you can get the idea.
Here we are on our way (our day started at 4:45am and we went to bed at about 11pm that night):
The Tao's sat across from us on the plane ride over. We tried to keep the babies together for entertainment sake and so that screaming babies would be limited to one area! :) Though I must say both babies did extremely well!
Here are a few pictures of the compound we stayed on. It currently acts as a church. I believe almost everyone who works for the church lives on the compound. This VBS we did has been run by our church from St. Louis and another church from California for about 10 years now.
The cafeteria and multi-purpose building-yes, that's a horse running through there:
The compound and some of the housing:
The area surrounding the compound was pretty deserted:
This is what Ellie did most of the trip:
And this is Joey's class working on their final project:
They studied Nehemiah and this was their wall:
Joey's class also made baskets the entire week for the second half of class. Here are some of the older women making their baskets (they're from the older adult class which was completely translated into their tribal language from English):
Here are some of the kids on the last day during lunch:
We usually had most of the afternoon off after lunch, so one afternoon the three of us took a trip across the street to the water hole. This is where many of the Navajo who don't get running water to their homes come for water:
As you can see from Ellie's face it was extremely hot there. Ellie and I would usually get comments that we looked sunburnt after being outside for only seconds because we both get flushed easily in the heat.
On Saturday morning at 5am Joey and some others from our church along with a few Navajo from the church went hunting! Yes, hunting...with real guns which kinda made me nervous (can you tell I'm from the city?)
We were going to go to the Grand Canyon later that day but they were experiencing record highs of 115 degrees, so we didn't end up going. I was actually quite thankful for that! :)
And finally Sunday, bright and early again we were on our way home!
It was a great trip overall with great experiences. I must say I was quite exhausted most of the trip, but was happy to experience a missions trip with my family. I know Joey had an amazing time and I know Ellie loved it too! It did take some adjusting for Ellie to not spend every waking moment with Gabe, but I think she's learning to adjust. ;) We had a great turn-out of Navajo kids. Many of whom our church group have gotten to know over the years because they keep coming back. What we loved about the trip was that the relationships that we made and the conversations we had with some of these kids about Jesus will be followed up by the people that go to that church and live on the compound. These kids come from all different backgrounds. Some of their parents are active members in Christian churches and some of are active in Navajo traditions which includes the worship of gods other than The God. So pray for these kids and their families!