NAVAJO NATION IN CRISIS with COVID19
What can I possibly do from my own home to make a difference in the Navajo Nation Crisis, to be part of the hope they need? HOPE Response, Inc. has for years dedicated personal ministry and resources to the salvation of Arizona’s valued indigenous peoples with close to 23 native nations here. Yet as it is in any crisis, God presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to minister to the whole person in a way that brings hope out of darkness. “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ.” Gal.6:2 Join in with us to “be the church” in giving a Hope Response in an “Adopt-A-Navajo Church” effort to personalize our ministry for a long-term impact.
What can you do to save lives among the Navajo people?
The territory of the Navajo Nation, home to the second-largest tribal group in the U.S., located in the Four Corners region, has a population of approximately 157,000. The Navajo Nation has a long history of morbidity and mortality (e.g., cancer, heart and respiratory disease) much higher than the rest of the Nation. In conjunction with the health problems, unemployment is nearly 50%, food insecurity is pronounced, and 40% of the population is without running water or indoor plumbing. In light of these factors, it should come as no surprise that the Navajo Nation is suffering extensively due to COVID-19 as compared to other parts of the U.S. (Healthlaw.org, Zamir Brown) As of July 1, 2020 the Navajo Nation reports 7,619 positive COVID19 cases with 369 total confirmed deaths.
Winter is coming and temperatures often reach freezing by October yet now... the people have less means to buy fuel or wood or coal to warm themselves with the suspension of selling permits for their crafts and goods, unemployment and many lock-downs.Until national parks and marketplaces open up, their need grows more desperate. We have already begun this but need your help to continue to save lives.
WHAT CAN YOU DO: (Coordinate a Donation Drive on your block, with your workplace or any group you are a part of)
Donate canned goods (vegetables, meats, chili, stews, soups)
Donate dried goods (flour, pasta, cereal, beans, rice)
Donate Hygiene Care (Sanitation cleaners, wipes, masks)
Donate Winterwear (Coats, gloves, caps, socks, sweatpants or shirts)
Donate a toy or activity supplies (crayons, markers, paper, etc.)
One pastor shared “I’ve lost my father, my auntie, my cousin and now my sister-in-law….it hurts so much, pray for our grief and even bitterness.” Another Christian leader, former council member, opened up that “its easy to be forgotten out here because we are so remote and when we reach out for help and it seems to us like it is a struggle for people to respond, like we are a “leper colony” that they don’t feel that they can even get close to us.” Another woman asked “can someone just help us, talk to us, listen to our sadness and pray for us.” It is a known reality that we seek some type of comfort in our grief and tragic experiences and we can by just giving a “listening ear” help prevent such increases in alcoholism and addictions, depression and suicide or violence by doing so. Arizona has reported already an overall state increase in domestic violence so we know that vulnerable children are at risk as well. A telephone company used to have as their slogan “Reach out and touch someone” and phones are one way to make a meaningful connection on the Navajo Nation.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
(Be willing to genuinely listen to, encourage and pray for someone by phone.)
Be a “Hope Responder” by phone or a personal note by mail
Ask about their COVID19 Story and how it has impacted their life
Pray for them.
Share your story and His story.
Tell a child a Bible story by phone
Navajo Christians have seen an openness that is unlike any other. A traditional family suffering from COVID19 said “Why our mom? Why us?” and “What have we done? What did we do bad?” Accustomed to using the healing of the sand painter or medicine man, now are saying “we had prayers done for us. We’ve been accepting all religions through their prayers and church.” This disaster has naturally raised an interest in seeking God so PRAY that this will result in believing and God's saving power through Jesus Christ! Some pastors have passed away from COVID19 and congregational leaders find themselves not sure of what to do to respond to the spiritual needs all around them. Churches have been shut down and there is not the means of online services or tithes and offerings to sustain the pastor or outreach.
WHAT CAN YOU DO: (Involve your church to share your gifts and resources.)
Provide a DVD or CD of a service, hymn and songs or a message of encouragement.
Give money towards Bibles (also in Navajo), Gospel tracts (loss sensitive)
Sponsor a pastor on the Navajo Nation with a monthly help financially
Learn the specific needs of your “Adopt-A-Church” congregation
Purchase a Hope Response Grief Pak $45/person
Food Box $75
Medical Box $30
HPR Grief Pak $45