Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Open Bible in New Mexico

Well, we just got home from Annual Conference - a delightful experience. And we are asking ourselves what, and why, and how do we do what the Lord is calling us to do as representatives of Open Bible in Navajo Country - Dine'Tah? Currently we are worshiping and serving at Four Corners Community Church in Shiprock, New Mexico...an AOG church. Art is on the worship team and part of the leadership of the prayer initiative to reclaim Shiprock in the name of the LORD. (a year long spiritual warfare project). Maryellen teaches children's church twice a month and is on the dance team. It is a good place to be, an exciting place to be considering what the Lord is doing there. We also have connections with no less than 5 other ministries in the four corners region: United Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, and a para church ministry, as well as AOG with which we minister in service and prayer.. But where is the Open Bible connection? We wait and we hope and on the horizon we see the hint of a new thing emerging, so we pray.
This we know. This we have learned. We are in an area that illustrates vividly the concept of "every tribe, tongue, and nation." Multicultural Christianity is possible and necessary here, although not always easy to attain. At our church, where most of the people are Navajo, our worship leader is a Pollack from Chicago, our dancers dance to Jewish music, our youth group and worship team have Anglos, Hopis, Apaches, Utes, as well as Navajo, our pastor is a halfbreed. That sentence isn't very politacally correct, but that's the way they describe themselves. Outside of the church, the native people in particular, are in great bondage.. They continue to walk in darkness. Some struggle with the question, can they be Indian and Christian. Can they be Christian and Indian. Jesus is still very much seen as the "white man's god". The elders are tired, the men are discouraged, and the youth are angry. There are many churches here. In Farmington, the boarder town, there are some pretty big, mostly white ones. On the reservation there are lots of little, family, type churches, mostly mission churches supported by various denominations. Four Corners Community Church is one of the very few churches on the reservation that is not a mission church, but rather self supporting. And there are a lot of revivals out here. Signs are up everywhere, "Revival Tonight!". Summer is coming. That means youth mission groups coming out to do Vacation Bible Schools. Although only about 5% of the native american population in the USA are born again Christians, many, many people have heard the message. In the past two weeks we have had personal encounters with individuals who were in bondage to drugs and alcohal, but were able to quote scripture, and claimed to have been down the "Roman Road". Something more than evangelism is needed here. Another church is not needed. If we had the ways and means, this is what we would do. We would have an crisis and descipleship ministry for men. We would have a training program for pastors and church leaders, a Bible School of sorts, to help them to become better leaders without making them leave their homes to go to school. We would have a radio ministry to reach the people on the outskirts of civilization, as they herd their sheep or sit on the stoop of their hogans to greet the dawn. We would continue to partner with established ministries here, continue to sing the songs of the land, continue to fight the good fight against the spirits of darkness here as we strive to enlighten the spirits of the people of this land with the true light, the Light of the world, and the Open Bible which will be the light unto their path.

2 Comments:

Blogger Chris P. said...

Hey good post! A Pollack really??
Time for some sausage and kraut.
Didn't realize that we have our own little united nations out here.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Maryellen said...

don't be mad at Pastor Art, the pollak statement was written by me.
thanks for stopping by...

5:22 AM  

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