I’m admittedly no expert on farming or agriculture but one thing I know. If you plant a seed in the soil, water it, and give it some good light and warmth, it’s going to GROW. This is exactly what we’ve seen happen among our Native American friends in Arizona. And 2018 is becoming a year of harvest!
In October of 2016 LifeWay Women, alongside a handful of local leaders, hosted the Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore in the heart of the Navajo Nation in Chinle, Arizona. Coordinating that event was one of the premier faith-building experiences of my life. I watched God resource people, funds, logistics, and supplies to cover every conceivable aspect of ministry He had planned.
It’s not hard to understand why God has invited us to minister in Chinle. The Native American culture is burdened with some of the most horrific social maladies of society. Alcoholism, abuse, and suicide (especially among teens) are rampant. They are in desperate need of the gospel and the hope and healing it brings.
When we arrived in Chinle the weekend of the event, we had no idea how many would come. You see, this was a free event for any Native American woman who wanted to attend. But God knew. And the gym filled with those who were seeking, many who were curious, and all who needed a word from God, including me.
Through the worship and Beth Moore’s message from the Word, God was planting hope and healing in the hearts of His people. Many came to Christ and many more made fresh decisions to follow Him as true disciples. The stories my team and I could tell you would bring you to tears. Redemption, rescue, restoration, and refreshing had come to dry and thirsty women, men, and children.
And out of that planting, with the watering of the Word and the warm love of native leaders, we are beginning to see a harvest of souls sold out to Christ and rising up in leadership and ministry to their Native American families, friends, and neighbors. I had the privilege of spending a week in May visiting this beautiful desert land. I traveled more than 1,200 miles from the Four Corners area to southern Arizona immersing myself in the Native American culture. It was breathtaking and humbling.
Today, there are 13 leadership teams, almost a hundred women, serving more than 13 Native American tribes enveloping the entire state of Arizona. They are praying for their Native American sisters, praying for the upcoming event in October, and spreading the word across the tribal nations. I love these women, men, and pastors.
They are praying that God will supply the transportation and funds necessary for many to be able to travel significant distances to get to Chinle and be able to participate in worship and Bible study — many for the first time. These servants are pouring themselves out to creatively solve the challenges that come from living in a remote and desolate area. Tribal lands cover almost 20 million acres in Arizona. Towns and people are so spread out on the desert landscape, making communication and transit complicated. Most of all these teams are praying that the worship and God’s Word will bring hope and encouragement to their people. Their challenges are many, and their sacrifices are immense.
LifeWay has the privilege of being invited once again to come alongside our Native American sisters in ministry. We are again becoming eye witnesses to God’s greatness and glory as He draws us into His grand scheme of redemption in the desert. The Wildcat Den in Chinle has 7500 seats. We are committed to seeing every single one occupied. It’s going to take a miracle on so many levels. But that is God’s specialty.
May I invite you join us in this ministry? For just twenty-five dollars you can provide a scholarship for a woman to attend this event. She will come and be embraced by her Native American sisters and a God who loves her deeply—a God who’s ready to meet her in her mess and shower magnificent grace on her. He longs to turn her face toward Him and then send her back to her circumstances with fresh hope and the will to stand to her feet in the face of much opposition. Many are waiting to be able to attend.
Here are some ideas to get you started as you consider ways to jump in to this ministry opportunity:
- Have your family provide a scholarship by using funds from a yard sale, babysitting, lemonade stand, or skipping treats for a week.
- Suggest to the women in your small group that they duplicate themselves with scholarships and enable Native American women just like them
- Perhaps your church would consider scholarships for a group of women
- Consider skipping your favorite coffee drink or another treat for several weeks and use that savings to purchase a scholarship
- Go on a treasure hunt in your home or closet and sell unused items to raise money for the scholarships
Visit www.lifeway.com/chinle to learn more and purchase a scholarship for Native American women to be able to attend on October 6, 2018.
If you are a Native American woman and wish to attend this event, click here.
Betsy Langmade is an Event Coordinator for women’s events at LifeWay. She is passionate about the ministry of events and serving the women who attend them. Married to her best friend, Betsy enjoys spending all of her free time with her husband, their adult kids, and their growing families.