Mission with Meaning 2013

constructionWelcome back to the Mission team! They completed their mission of construction, veterinary care and a children’s education component. The team left changing lives in Ft. Defiance, AZ. Read about their work below..

  • Ben Smith’s blog:

http://936sundays.com/mwm

 

Rector’s Blog (by Fr. David Hoster)

June 23, 2013, Sunday.  First day sees us off to a great spiritual start.  Joint Eucharist with Navajo congregation, singing haltingly in Navajo (with instruction and practice), sharing some of our Anglo and Navajo “demons” in response to Chan Anaya’s sermon, participating in a Eucharistic order that reflected Navajo tradition, brought us all together in a very warm spiritual place.  Afterward we went to the parish hall and broke bread together—frybread, of course (and there are no calories in Indian frybread consumed at church functions, so don’t ask!).  After lunch the St. Andrew’s contingent had a team meeting to sort out last minute changes in our various projects in a great spirit of cooperation—plans for tomorrow expected to last at least until sunup.  In the afternoon we had free time to explore the area, but by hook or by crook found ourselves gathering around sundown at the window rock, which many of us climbed for a better view of the best moonrise of the year.  Morale is high as we prepare to move into our mission with meaning when the sun comes back in the morning.

 

Rector’s Blog – Mission with Meaning

Fr. David Hoster

Sunday, June 23

First day sees us off to a great spiritual start.  Joint Eucharist with Navajo congregation, singing haltingly in Navajo (with instruction and practice), sharing some of our Anglo and Navajo “demons” in response to Chan Anaya’s sermon, participating in a Eucharistic order that reflected Navajo tradition, brought us all together in a very warm spiritual place.  Afterward we went to the parish hall and broke bread together—frybread, of course (and there are no calories in Indian frybread consumed at church functions, so don’t ask!).  After lunch the St. Andrew’s contingent had a team meeting to sort out last minute changes in our various projects in a great spirit of cooperation—plans for tomorrow expected to last at least until sunup.  In the afternoon we had free time to explore the area, but by hook or by crook found ourselves gathering around sundown at the window rock, which many of us climbed for a better view of the best moonrise of the year.  Morale is high as we prepare to move into our mission with meaning when the sun comes back in the morning.

 

 

Monday, June 24

 

Everything is a blur of motion with people off in every direction.  Roe Chase and Jessica Webster (our A&M vet student) are at the vet clinic where the vet falls in love with them, wants to do it again for as many years as we’ll come back, and is delighted to welcome Gretchen Vilas and Susannah Jones for the rest of the week…everybody hanging entranced over a comatose pooch as Roe does her first neutering in several years.  Mary Young and Cindy Smith stake out their hospitality space at the animal vaccination program where all the Indians end up with a dog under one arm and a friendly Texas greeting and a bottle of cold water in the other.  The construction crew take off by themselves to start renovating a kitchen, sawing pipe, hammering away and trading friendly jibes with each other to pass the time.  Kitchen crew serves up sandwiches for everybody at lunch and meatballs, salads, and lots of fruit (which the Navajo don’t see very often) for supper.  But the high point of the day was Vacation Bible School where we were scared to death we might see only a dozen kids and ended up with forty-two, twice the number of the first day last year.  Think about all those kids responding raptly as Jim Kracht teaches them new rock words like “igneous” and “metamorphic.”  All those kids, their families, friends, our team made for quite an evening meal scene.  Father Jack Chase wrapped it all up with Compline at the end of the day.  Bedtime can’t come soon enough.

Tuesday, June 25

Did you know there are cool places in this land of ours in late June.  I don’t mean Fonzy cool.  I mean breezy, fresh and cool.  The climate at nearly 7,000 feet is delightful, the breeze refreshing, the early mornings bracing, sweater weather.  Been meaning to ask, how’s the weather in BCS these days?  So the construction crew is standing around leaning on their shovels as the end of the day nears, talking about wrapping up with a coat of paint that will be groundwork for installing cabinets in the morning, when a Navajo wanders by and says, “Right, lay on that coat of paint and watch it dry.  It’s what we do for entertainment.”  Who says the Indians don’t have a sense of humor?  Great hatch green chili enchiladas for supper.  VBS kids still going wild over getting fruit.  The spay and neuter clinic didn’t get much business in the old fairgrounds so our hospitality team is looking for a new assignment.  We’re working on that one.  Lots of good work for the vets-in-training at the new clinic.  I loved watching Matt Waskom run the competition group for Vacation Bible School where the kids had to run across the parking lot, put their foreheads on a baseball bat, put the other end of the bat on the ground and circle it three times before running back.  He had kids that were shorter than the bat.  45 Navajo kids in Vacation Bible School, tying last year’s record, and I did my first solo run to places like Rabbit Brush to ferry busloads of a dozen kids at a time.  Halfway point and we’re still above ground!  (Sucking thin air with two days to go.)

 

Wednesday, June 27

The kids today were even neater than usual:  wide-eyed with Glenda Byrnes’ pie-plate models of the solar system (so, is Pluto a planet?), asking for seconds on Terrie’s frito chili pie and dessert (banana splits—hey, is that a cherry?), and showing off their Native American fancydancing with hula hoops.  Bob Byrnes scours every store in Gallup (Walmart, Sports World, the whole nine yards) hunting for tether balls and finally gets lucky—where would you guess?—at Ace Hardware back on the rez.  Up on the second floor where the construction guys are going at it hammer and tongs for the third day the refrigerator fits into the planned space, but barely, and the cabinets are ready to go up to hide all the wiring.  Still hunting things for the hospitality ladies to do, I finally strike gold.  So how about heading out onto the open range with Jessica and the vet to help out with horse castration.  Cindy our parish nurse says she only does humans.  I don’t pursue that line of conversation.  Roe and Jack Chase, with the help of Gretchen and Susannah, whip the vet clinic into shape while the vet is out on the open range doing that thing with horses.  Saying grace at close of day, I point out to the Lord that it’s the home stretch and pray for the strength for us all to sprint to the finish line.

 

Stay tuned for more information on the 2014 Mission Trip.