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Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission

Volunteer Mission Trip

May 31, 2009 through Saturday, June 6, 2009

Please note available attachments at bottom of page for Two Short Term Mission Proposals and Application

            Meeting the challenge! This was the first trip for the Pacific Southwest District as acceptance to the challenge given by LWML National President Janice Wendorf, for each LWML District to plan and implement two (2) Volunteer Mission Trips by the summer of 2010. 

A mission team of 12 members was recruited by Calvary Lutheran Church, Yuma, Arizona.  The team included 6 Desert Zone 25 LWML members, 3 teens, and 3 men. Members of the team were Pastor Joynt, Apryl Brand Applehans, Jerry Ferguson, Bev Ferguson, Elaine Green, Esther Foster, Diane Weeks, Rachael Foster, Andrew Morales, Matt Joynt, Jason Deforest, and JoAnn Bradley. 

 Pastor Michael Joynt led the team that was put together by the Calvary Mission Board Chaired by Jerry Ferguson.  Apryl Brand Applehans was the mission coordinator.  Plans for the mission trip began in earnest in August, 2008.


         Plans included presentation of special interest sessions during the morning Summer School program of the Navajo Lutheran Mission School.  Team members led sessions for each grade level for the four day program.  Classes included first aid, button sewing, quilting, crochet, art, music, poetry, story telling, puppetry, exercise, and math games.

         Afternoon Vacation Bible School was written by Mrs. Joynt.  The mission team taught classes for 3-5 year olds, 1st through 3rd grade, and 4th through 8th grade.  Classroom aides, craft leaders, snack providers, and worship leaders rounded out the program.  Bible study was a highlight for the team.  Pastor Joynt led the team through each lesson the evening prior to the next Vacation Bible School class.


Adults attending the Quilt and Crochet sessions were invited to stay for the Bible Study and 7 guests stayed to hear the Word.  As the week progressed adults asked for crochet and quilt lessons during the evening.  Tuesday and Thursday evenings were set aside for those sessions.  Nine quilters and 8 crochet students participated. 

Wednesday evening was a special event for the mission team.  The local Navajo artisans came to show their jewelry, baskets, rugs, a weaving.  Fourteen different artisans provided a beautiful showcase of their talents and gifts from the Lord.  Many beautiful pieces now adorn the mission team.

Smiling and singing faces brightened the hearts of the team members.  Each day new students came to hear about Jesus.  The theme for the week was “Jesus, a Gift for Everyone.”  Christmas, Jesus’ Baptism, The Feeding of the 5000, Good Friday, and Easter gave each child the Good News that Jesus is the true gift from God.  Gifts from the Heart packets were given to each child the last day of Vacation Bible School. 

Members of Calvary Lutheran Church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and Zion Lutheran Church provided health items, healthy snacks, and sewing kits to give to each child.  Thrivent Financial for Lutherans gave the team a Care in Regions Grant of $1300 for the week long trip. 

The Mission provided apartment housing for the team.  Each apartment had a living room, beds for up to 8 people, a complete kitchen, dining area, and a bathroom with shower.  The team ate breakfast and lunch with the students and dinner as a team in one of the apartments.

The team met with the Mission School teachers and gave them breaks each morning when the team members led their classes in the interest sessions.  Breakfast and lunch gave team members the opportunity to work in the kitchen and cafeteria as each child in the school was fed.  Thursday afternoon the mission team rode along with the students as they went home on the school buses.  Each student was taken right up to their doors and then met by their parents, grandparents, or aunts.  Family taking care of family is an integral part of the Navajo life.

  What a blessing for the entire mission team to be able to share the love of Jesus with our Navajo friends in Christ.  It was a wonderful challenge and an immense pleasure to step out of our comfort zones and follow Jesus’ great commission.  For more information please contact or to request a presentation of the mission trip:  JoAnn Bradley,


Please click on this link to open and print TWO PROPOSALS FOR SHORT TERM MISSION TEAMS.