Well, it’s finally happened. After months of applying and waiting I have been trained in New York and officially commissioned as a US-2 Missionary on August 3rd. And time has moved quickly, as time does, and I have just completed my first week on my site in Farmington, New Mexico. I have been working at the Navajo United Methodist Center with a program called New Beginnings. New Beginnings is a transitional living shelter for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.
My parents and I pulled in on site last Saturday morning we were immediately greeted by the director and her husband, given a tour, and shown to my new home which is a trailer on site with the residents. I immediately realized that I couldn’t be late to work seeing as my house is only 50 ft from my office, I assume “getting caught in traffic” would not fly as an acceptable excuse. As the week went on my trailer has been cleaned, rearranged, and things have been put in order. I am so thankful to the work groups and volunteers that have been helping to spruce up my trailer.
My week was spent shadowing the staff, learning the layout of the town, and meeting the residents. The highlight of my week was spending time with a mother and her child as she made Navajo fry bread, which is amazingly delicious and should only be discussed according to taste and not caloric content as one of the main ingredients is lard. We enjoyed some first simply with salt and then made the rest into tacos. The three of us sat and enjoyed easy conversation together over a wonderful meal and lingered at the table until the setting sun dimmed the kitchen. We then made a team effort to clean up and as I returned home I thought to myself, what a simple interaction, but perhaps ministry through presence can in fact be a useful tool. After all, how can we speak of change if we aren’t at first willing and present?
Most of my week was spent listening to others. From the welcoming staff, to the residents, to the people in the community. And while I am still not quite sure what my place or purpose will be here, I am just resting in God’s love knowing that He is taking care of me and that I have been provided with a wonderful community to become apart of and to learn from.
They say you learn something new everyday…Things I’ve learned this week:
- Trailers make funny noises. During the day they have perfectly logical explanations. At night they are clearly caused by characters from horror movies or Big Foot (I hear he lives near by).
- Always make your bed. You never know who is going to want to “see how you arranged your room”.
- Prairie dogs make good neighbors, unless they try to start tunneling under your home.
- You will never stop being your parents’ child, no matter how old you get.
- People deserve to be heard and understood, no matter how simple the interaction.
- God’s love and promises are unfailing.
- Being willing and present will be my first priority.
“Just as a single stroke of white paint on a canvas can completely change the feel of a picture, a single point of divine light will transform the blackest, most hopeless life into one of promise, potential, and ultimate glory. God’s light is always shining, and always ready to guide us in His pathway.”
-Thomas Kinkade: Every Day Light