God is so good. In many ways He blesses us, keeps us safe, shows us His glory, teaches us about whom He wants us to be. Fortunately for us, all of these blessings of God and more were experienced in our high school youth group’s trip to the EC Mission in New Mexico. We had to drive 18 hours, practically straight through to Kirtland in 2 days to arrive for Sunday service. Dave and Carol Kochendorfer were incredible hosts, receiving us with open arms, feeding our group of 20 graciously throughout the week, and guiding us through the rich heritage and culture of the Navajo people with whom they have been charged to love and witness to.
During our trip we were able to share in the service held at our EC Missions church (Pine Tree Mission) just south of Gallop, NM. This was an incredible blessing to share with those sweet people, but also to hear a bi-lingual service in both English and Navajo. The heart of God is strong in that place and their spirited worship was a blessing to all of us. During our week we also accomplished much: we built a new play structure for Dave and Carol’s local church (Kirtland Hope Evangelical), cleaned up the property, along with cleaning up 3 other separate properties of congregants from their church.
Amidst all the projects and experiences we had while we were there, Tuesday night was the richest and most valuable in my opinion. We publicized a community wide youth night weeks in advance before we arrived, a night of fun and games in the dark! We had glow in the dark dodge ball, football, basketball, 4 square, wall ball, and many more games. We had 16 local kids show up for the fun, which Dave and Carol were saying is quite miraculous considering the vacation week! During our time we had a few of our students share their testimonies, one of which has lived on a reservation herself. The impact was obviously much greater than we could have seen that night, but I believe through the courage of these students sharing their stories God has started a work in those young people’s lives there, and we pray that through Kirtland Hope and the work of other believers in the area these families will come to serve the Lord.
Thank you for your prayers, and if any of you reading this have ever thought of sending your students on a mission, New Mexico is an incredible opportunity.
Pastor of High School Ministries and Contemporary Worship Arts
Pacific Evangelical Conference Youth Director