Navajo Nation a Crisis "Hot Spot"
The Navajo Nation, the largest one-of-a-kind tribe in the Southwest had some of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in the country making national news. They have a population of roughly 175,000 on dedicated land that spans 3 states and to date has seen more than 8,639 cases and over a 425 people that died as of July 21st. Due to their remote living area distances and rural conditions they were at threat of no water or food in lockdown. Their close knit families saw often more than one person die in their home so face tremendous grief, pain and loss.
Our response: We delivered with other organizations not only needed food and sanitation supplies but Bibles, 10,000 specially designed tracts and 500 workbooks on the Bible's Hope Response to Loss, Pain and Grief. Several months into lockdown led to increased tension so we responded with "Christmas in June" to bring joy to the children and relief to parents. Efforts are currently underway to match churches out of their area with 170 Navajo churches in what we're calling the "Adopt-a-Navajo Church" for the long-term personal and spiritual support and rebuilding.
COVID-19 Hits and Critical Care Needed
A world-wide pandemic of a deadly virus began in March 2020. A run on supplies especially toilet paper showed ugly interactions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders began and lay offs from jobs. Some refugees were caught in between having just become successful enough to discontinue food stamps but living check-to-check. Now they were in need of "critical care" food supplies and help signing up on unemployment. If you must have to go out then masks and social distancing was mandated.
Our response: Deliveries were made by us between matched donors and the needy receivers. Face time calls were made to us with the urgent topic of "do you think this is the time that Jesus will return?" We were prepared to share God's intent from the beginning to now -- to redeem us -- the price paid was the blood of the "Lamb of God."
Hope Responder Youth
A weekly multi-cultural youth gathering is held each week to ground them in God's Word and guide them in the application of it to real life issues and the loss, pain and grief in the world around them. It raises awareness to the way in which Christ makes the difference and how to introduce others to Him. Biblical literacy and a fluid handling of Scripture is encouraged in a step-by-step manner. There are no off limit discussions and a safe space is much needed for facing the challenges of life.
Our response: Hope Responders are encouraged in reaching out and building relationship. Meals are shared weekly and events such as horseback riding or a concert. Apartment complex outreach was able to be done monthly. A 5 week trip was designed of going to 4 different refugee groups in hurricane harbors and tornado alley and 18 native tribes along the Southern USA route stopped at for ministry and sharing their "Hope Stories."
Refugee Youth Go To Camp
There were 17 refugee youth from countries such as Syria, Irag, Somalia, Kurdestan, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Yemen were taken to Prescott Pines Christian Camp as a collaborative outreach with CRYT (Crossroads Youth) so that a fun-filled opportunity could be given to explore the Bible and know Christ. While there they had the chance to do archery, the ROPES course, ziplining, hiking, and campfire smores. Cabins were designated for young men and another for women. Relationships were formed.
Our response: The H.O.P.E. Response was personally shared with each youth in the context of them sharing the many various struggles they had faced as even children of war torn areas and then adapting to a new culture and language. Some struggled with depression, even suicide. The opportunity of relationship with Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit to guide, comfort and help so that they might live with hope of pleasing Almighty God the Father was shared.
Tanzania "Trauma" Trip
Time was spent in Tanzania for 5 weeks ministering the Bible's Hope Response to Loss, Pain and Grief in many areas of trauma. Maasai Tribe girls in rescue centers saved from FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and child marriage. We spoke to women suffering from HIV and sex worker abuse. Sober House recovery centers were times of intensive sharing of "Hope Stories" and God's plan. Disabled and abandoned children were treated to puppet shows on coping with loss at orphanages and early childhood centers. Colleges were visited and weekly times of teaching and responding to interest shown. An area wide conference of several churches was held with a full seminar given.
Our response: The devotional and workbook were translated into Swahili with the devotional book already sent and being used in women studies and colleges. A Christ-centered Maasai girl's rescue program was begun in a home setting that transitioned girls after a 30-day Hope Response ministry into the level of school that they were accepted. A local pastor trained as a "Hope Responder" looking for ways to pass it on and continue the work that was begun is being supported on a monthly basis for his pastoral ministry.
Disaster Response to Hurricane Victims
Summer 2018 we responded to those in both Texas and Puerto Rico that suffered from devastating hurricanes. We took a Native youth team to several tribes enroute to the coast of Texas doing door-to-door visits with our tract that spoke to their loss, pain and grief. Then in July we took an adult team to Puerto Rico as well for ten days. We learned of the increase in those who left recovery behind to go to the mainland, more incidents of panic and depression even resulting in over 50 suicides at "ground zero."
Our response: The teams shared their hope stories from personal disasters that connected with the hearts of those in gatherings or even in door-to-door visits. Many received Christ with the tract designed to touch their loss, pain and grief with the comfort of Christ. A refuge and retreat for God was set up too with 12 bunk beds.
Our celebrations are at the heart of what we believe and what is important....so it is a wonderful reason to share the "Good News" to those who come. We were blessed with the presence of many refugees and a God sent translator by the US Army credentialed in many languages. It was a potluck where the people themselves brought their country's foods to share. Games were played and donated Easter baskets were given out.
Our response: The message of the "resurrection of Jesus Christ" was shared in their heart language, with pictures, along with celebration with food, games and gifts.
A ministry of "one" life at a time has been a focus we have been involved with for now 14 years. Helping families to welcome a high school exchange student from many different countries to live with them for a school year. This month was the "good-bye" graduation for wonderful students from Senegal, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Camaroon, Ecuador, Germany, Italy and more.
Our response: Recruit families willing to be witnesses to one person at a time, hold holiday events with "the reason behind the season", assist in their struggles and celebrate their victories.
The Latino youth are the "dreamers" of their next generation. They are ambitious and want to serve God. We have been blessed to have several youth events with them for serving and teaching a class on a weekly basis. Some are preparing to do the Hopi Christian Camp as their first cross-cultural local mission outreach. Two youth who turned 18, have been led to join our Disaster Response to Ecuador missions team. They are bilingual and have embraced the gift that this can be!
Our response: Provide local service opportunities, take on mission trips, hold leadership development classes, meet with their families to support their spiritual growth.
The value of a life! Children giving birth to children...need help! Mothers with twins and near poverty...need help! Teens gunshot and still living with lodged bullets...need help! Some help is immediate and other is with what the heart and head does with the life-changing event...this also needs HOPE! Many have been taught how to cope with alcohol or other means...but there's a HOPE way!
Our response: prayer partners on urgent needs list; gave clothes for moms and babies to earn with their community service; made books and trainings available for loss, pain and grief.
Radio Interviews Raise Awareness
HOPE Response, Inc. was invited to share on FaithTalk Radio, KPXQ 1360 about both native spirituality and the response of Native Americans to the teaching of Christ as it relates to their loss, pain and grief. The Tohono O'Odham had it similarly aired to their 50,000 tribal listeners with immediate response of many coming to their local church ready to learn more about the comfort He offers.
Our response: A local church hosted a training for the caregivers, social workers and counselors to be able to offer as an option. KUYI 88.1 FM has a co-host social worker also seeking training.
Youth With a Purpose
We hear so much about the need of so many youth struggling from abuse, abandonment, and identity issues that lead them to mask the pain with substances or worse yet take their lives. But God's spirit has been calling youth to Himself and healing them of their pain. Then he blesses them with spiritual gifts and a passion to serve Him.
Our response: HOPE Response mission trips with training and outreach. Train and equip them in their giftings. A piano donated was given to a youth, lessons given and sent to music camp.
Training and Mentoring
Whether God brings us one or a few or a large gathering we seek to be found faithful to share the HOPE that is rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ. A theology of suffering and a divine response is what answers the deepest questions that people crave to know when they are hurting. We were offerred a million dollar grant to provide this training and resources if we would just remove Christ but we would and could not take away the HOPE for the world.
Our response: We have taught once a month within a local church; are offering first Saturday of each month to train "HOPE Responders", and mentor individuals, couples or families wherever.
Afghan Occupational Skill Sets May 19 - May 26
Arivaca Ranching Community May 29- June 5
Native Youth Bible Studies Every Tuesday 6:30-9:00
Refugee Home Visits (weekly)
Navajo Pastor's Conference (Western Agency) June 18
Navajo Pastor's Conference (Eastern Agency) June 23-24
Hopi Christian Youth Camp July 6-11
Syrian Refugee Hope Response in Augusta, Maine - July TBD
Ukrainian Refugee Disaster Response Trip - Sept.-Oct. 2022