Busy Summer

Well hello all! It’s been crazy and I realize it’s also been since March. I am usually better about keeping you all up to date.

We headed back east in May to visit with our churches, touch base with friends and family – and, as it was a road trip, we spent the better part of May out of town. We squeezed some vacation time in while we were there and enjoyed the long break.
When we returned, we hit the ground running…. but only for about two weeks before illness took half of us out for half the summer. But after that, we hit the ground running! Summertime here isn’t usually any busier than other times of the year, although events sporadically through the season will make it feel that way. However, when we returned, there were several things up in the air about new construction which was possibly going to impact the school and library. This delayed much of Sharon’s summer work as ideas were tossed about. Computer problems in the library followed and all of the sudden it was the night before school. Orientation night and students were running around their classes, meeting new teachers and showing parents their specials. Sharon hooked up a new computer and installed the entire library software around kids coming in to say hi. It was tense, it was dramatic, but it worked and things levelled out fast after that first week. We also didn’t have any changes to library, so that was a blessing. No packing up books, or reassembling shelves on top of the normal summer schedule. We have wrapped up week 3 at Hilltop Christian School. Please pray for teachers and staff as we continue forward. We have a great group of kids and family that continue to show interest in what they’re children are discovering at our school (and parents who are from Christian homes whowant to volunteer and help out). Please also pray for staffing. We need support staff in the school as well as a permanent principal.
***If you know of someone who would be interested in applying, please reach out. Housing is available and the principal position can be as supported mission staff or potentially a paid position.

While library chaos eased and fell back into something normal, Steve was busy test-running another second Celebrate Recovery Meeting. This one was sparsely attended, with some weeks showing no interest at all. Six weeks passed with some new faces, but summer is a strange thing to gauge in our area. Steve will be starting another round at that same time and location on September 13th and running it through the fall. The possibilities of future meetings in other churches and offered at different times is appealing to the community and the CR volunteers, but settling on ideal schedules has proven to be difficult. Steve will also be involved with a Recovery event on September 17th in Gallup. Gallup is about 45 minutes from where we are “based,” and loosely considered local area. The event, Rally for Recovery, will offer Steve the opportunity to set up a table, advertise the group he hosts up in Window Rock and provide resources for faith-based recovery to the community. We hope to be able to pass out booklets and fliers that would provide basic steps and resources to help address a variety of addictions during this event.

The regular, Thursday night Celebrate Recovery meetings have continued steadily, have been well attended and provided access to healing through Christian recovery. Please pray for our regular meetings, the new test meetings and opportunities to start up another steady meeting in our immediate area of Window Rock. Pray for the Rally for Recovery event and that some of our local people could find useful and Christ-centered help for the struggles they’re facing.

The last month has seen much of our free time filled with storm damage. The severity of the monsoons have shattered records across the high desert. Flash flooding has impacted pretty much everyone we know, the campus roads have been washed out across several storms and the area around our house has been impacted by heavy water flow, mud slides, and (comparatively minimal) storm damage. We’ve spent a lot of time attempting to get trenches dug back out to draw water away, driveway leveled back out, fencing put up, just to be stopped by yet another storm. This hasn’t happened in a good fifty years, and despite drought needs we are praying it holds off another fifty before it does it again. It has, understandably, become exhausting to finish the day out only to go home and dig fresh mud out of fence post holes and fill rock back in to washed out driveways. A volunteer from southern arizona has been on campus all week helping out with the campus road damage as well, working for hours to get clogged drain pipes cleared and placed back under the roads. All of our campus roads are dirt and gravel, so as you can imagine, an unreasonable amount of water can cause damage very quickly. One of our classrooms flooded, leaving a huge amount of mud throughout the whole floor. While the class has taken some entertainment from this, textbooks were lost, a computer was water logged, and the carpet had several inches of mud sitting. It’s been a tiring month for everyone. The community as a whole has received much storm relief and assistance from the tribe and the state has cleared the roads regularly, so most of those impacted have some help or another.

Upcoming Prayer Needs and Information:

We have another Baby Clothing Exchange coming up at the end of September. The previous two were attended by several families and Sharon wants to establish this as a steady event every spring and fall. Families can donate clothes and take clothes through older toddler sizes as needed, easing financial concerns as kids so quickly burn through clothes. Please be in prayer that this event reaches those who need it most and impacts the community for the better.

There is a mission event the beginning of October which is usually “private” for staff and local churches to connect and grow annually. It coincides with the anniversary of the mission and school starting here in the Window Rock Area. This year, a harvest festival is being planned as an outreach event alongside of the regular annual gathering and they’re hoping for a big turnout. Please pray for those planning it, for Steve’s involvement with the event and that all goes well.

The annual Navajo Nation Parade and Fair is two weeks away. This will be the first time the fair has taken place since covid and the community is split as to the wisdom of having such a very large event in a small community at this time. Some are understandably frightened still, having been heavily impacted by covid. Many families lost more than a few loved ones and 20,000+people flooding the area has them on edge. Pray there isn’t illness spread at this event and the community would be able to relax in the aftermath.

Some Recent Photos

Click to expand the photos – I was having upload difficulties, so they are all thumbnails.
1. Library Bulletin Board for First Week Back
2. Community Bible Church, Pastor and one of our elders leading us in Navajo through In The Garden
3. Prayer and Dedication (an interfaith event along with traditional Navajo medicine men) over the Navajo Code Talkers Museum which will begin construction this coming spring. We were thrilled and humbled to attend part of this culturally and locally important event.
4. Our Third grade class brushing up on the difference between fiction and nonfiction
5. 6. and 7. Severe flooding (record breaking) has kept us very busy with cleanup and repairs campus wide. Area impacts were also severe and the town/county and city has been steadily cleaning it all up.
8. a post storm sunset, these are what Autumn sunsets look like up here in the high desert

We hope you all are well and enjoying the last of summer
Blessings,
Steve and Sharon

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AAAND it’s March!

2022 has moved fast so far… Happy New Year? We are here, going about life and ministry and work here in Window Rock and I realized we haven’t updated you all since Christmas!! 😲

A quick recap below across all of our areas of involvement:

Celebrate Recovery

Since the New Year there have been seven newcomers to the Celebrate Recovery ministry – three of whom have really dedicated themselves to the process and continued to attend. In March Steve will be starting a second weekly Celebrate Recovery meeting at our church here. It will use the same curriculum but will be an abbreviated format that meets on a different day and time. Hopefully having this second option available will give people a chance to attend when they weren’t able to before, as well as give those really dedicated members a chance to bolster their walk with Christ and their fellowship with other believers.

Tales from the woodpile

Steve and Wayne, another missionary on campus, have steadily worked with the folks from Desert Springs Community in Albuquerque and Faith in Rio Rancho. Lee and Brenda from DSC, own a large yard where they have near endless wood delivered, donated for ministry use. Much of that wood comes here to be distributed to those in the community who have a harder time getting wood for their stoves.

Picture of a wood pile on campus

Last month, we ran out. Completely down chips on the pallets. Wayne called Lee, Steve met him down at the pile to help unload. Lee had sent men over from Rio Rancho with some dozen truck beds and long trailers OVERFLOWING with wood on our emergency call. This wood has been invaluable to many people. Some are currently unemployed and can’t afford a load regularly, others are disabled and can’t get into the woods to haul theirs, still others just need an extra load now and again that didn’t fit the budget. Some of our teachers and staff with wood burning heat also use the wood that comes from Lee’s yard. We are expecting a “scheduled” load in on Saturday, but what a blessing that 12+ men and women dropped everything and hauled wood out three and a half hours to us on the Rez.

Hilltop Library

We are having a fantastic year in library. Sharon finally remembers everyone’s names, for starters! Although two boys in one grade and two gals in another are often inverted. With hoodies up and masks on, one often only has eyes to go on 🀣
Since the new year, most classes officially recognize most genres of non-fiction and can identify books they love that fall into those categories. Grades 3-6 are participating in library reading challenges, averaging 25 books per month across their grade (half of each class participating in a given month. While this is not compulsory, there ARE monthly prizes, so participation has gone up!)
There is a new fourth graders since the new year who has just dove right in and reads obsessively. She and Sharon have bonded over Star Wars kids books we have on the shelves. One of our fifth graders had some learning delays-caused by a variety of factors from pandemic shutdowns, to skipping around schools. She’s had regular tutoring from one of our retired teachers and over the last three months she has started checking out progressively more difficult books, with her interests also developing. She’s proud of those accomplishments and is one of the more participatory students for the reading challenge, reaching the highest level prizes each month.
We have a handful of students that need consistent prayer for educational, behavioral, spiritual and family needs (some just one of those, some across the board). Very specifically, KB, AB, AJ, SB, LS, EB, TB, KH, JL, LC, BH, CB, CM, DB, AB, AD
Most recently, three of our third graders, “named” above, have had difficult family situations lately and have talked about it at length during library time (new priority for third grade is a little different than books and where to find them). One’s mother has been bedridden in the hospital on maternity for two months. They’re stalling the baby’s birth and so far have done well. Looking to make it to at least the end of next week. Another lost both parents in Kindergarten (at the same time while he was on our playground), he does well, but you can see what he fixates on and how the trauma has affected him over the years. The third has struggled with accepting her estranged father who wants involvement. She goes back and forth week to week and doesn’t know how to handle it all.

Odds and ends

Visiting teams have begun again after two years of very low visitation with the local regulations. A few weeks ago, a large team from a Christian High School in Georgia came to work with the kids here at Hilltop. Sharon spent an afternoon in the library with a few of the teens as they helped out with sorting donated books and stamping them so we can get them into the system. This was a big help and we’re looking forward to a team this week from an Albuquerque Christian school involving themselves in our school in the same way. Unfortunately, our kids are on summer break, so this team won’t get to play sports and hang out with them, but they’re a big help to our teachers and staff nonetheless.

Steve has been taking classes at an online seminary to further his education and pair it with the chaplaincy courses. The goal being to fine tune what he does in local ministry including getting back into the jail as soon as it’s allowed.

family and travel things

Things are pretty much the same as usual with our family, kids are still homeschooled and steadily moving along. Adam is finishing up third grade and starting fourth (we have a less than standard school year). Millie Anne is focusing on preschool work, excelling in math for her level, but really hates letters… a lot. But she is doing well.
Sharon and the kids went down to the Phoenix east valley area for a quick getaway and spent time with family there last weekend, Millie Anne brought home a cough, but is better today. Actually, our first illness in quite some time.

In May, we will be traveling east for the better part of the month. We will be doing church visitation and updates, spending time with friends and family as both support and ministry and family vacation. Most of you know Sharon grew up in Pennsylvania, so we will be visiting cousins and parents and grandparents while we are there. We are looking forward to spending time at our home and supporting churches as well, so we will be and are reaching out to you all to plan that. Pray for our plans and trip. We have been planning this for some time and prices shouldn’t impact us too much at this point, but pray we can figure that out without too much change. We will be driving it for a variety of reasons, so road trip with kids and dog! need many prayers πŸ˜†πŸ˜‰

Happy Spring, everyone!!
Lots of love and prayers for you all,

Steve and Sharon

Mini Getaway in Phoenix Area

Autumn Greetings!

Happy November!!

It’s been a lovely fall for weather, we’ve had a few bitterly cold days and nights, but largely crisp, 55-60, fall feeling days. We are desert region, but our elevation is close to 7,000 feet…. so we know cold, and last year at this time we had been sled riding already! So the gorgeous days have been welcome.

On Halloween day, a couple in our church hosted a Harvest party in the parking lot. We helped out (Sharon did some babysitting of their lovely infant), the kids helped with setup and teardown and of course participated in the event. A local coffee truck was on site, which was a big hit, we had hayrides, games, a cake walk, and photo booth. Every car full of kids headed to trick or treat stopped in and we were able to bless them with candy, goodies, a safe experience, and loving welcome. The pastor of our church, Dave Hilderman, gave a wagon wheel/harvest themed Salvation message as well.
An incredible team of students from Indian Bible College came out to help and they were hard working young men and women! All of the kids enjoyed the hands on interaction they don’t get as often from “older grownups” πŸ˜‰
We had no head count, but we easily had several hundred people come through that day – some of them were our school kids, and they are always happy to see familiar faces outside of their classrooms.

Celebrate Recovery has continued on, with new faces over the last few weeks. They have been working on Step Ten and Eleven, maintaining and building the habit of daily prayer and Bible Reading. Praise One of the ladies from CR has started attending the Bible study Steve hosts at our church .
On the topic of local Recovery news, the AA meeting north of us, we have been told, officially requires proof of vaccination to enter the meeting (This is becoming common on the Reservation and did not surprise anyone). This does however bar some, despite high level of vaccination among the local community. We would not require it and are not obligated to, so Pray people find the meeting who now otherwise can’t get into a local recovery community.

Library has been a steady involvement, with Sharon holding “official” hours in the school library on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The kids just finished their first month of a Reading challenge, submitting their book lists, bonus question answers and earning prizes. They will continue monthly through the school year, earning points towards a new book. Preschool and Kindergarten get a story time and themed coloring sheet – Most often we choose Clifford and Curious George. 1st and 2nd have been learning the differences between Fiction and Nonfiction and some about the differences between nonfiction genres – biography, history, science. They also get story time every few weeks and we ALWAYS color a picture to take back to class.
3rd grade and up are participating in the reading challenges, learning about genres of Fiction, where to find their favorite books and how (we do not have a working catalog for student use, but Sharon can look up books for them and help them learn to find them – we are a long way from understanding the Dewey system!). The older kids are listening to a book called The City of Ember, an older “end of the world” elementary Science Fiction story in which 12 year old kids need to save the city and the people. Several kids are enjoying it, some are not at all used to listening to stories read aloud, but they are working on it. It helps-even for big kids- to color as they listen.
Sharon is also working on crochet Christmas gifts for the school kids, as we’ve done the last several years, starting before we moved to the mission. This year is primarily hacky sacks. A huge hit, and versatile, the kids enjoying attempting to juggle, kicking them around and having a ball.

Covid-19 While much of the country sees a return to something normal – even months ago – we are still being hit hard. A few weeks ago, Hilltop Christian School had a cascading spread, despite isolating and quarantining measures (in part because we have so many sibling groups between grades). One class after another with only Preschool being unaffected. Several of our teachers were hospitalized, others ill, and some of our students were quite sick. We were out of town during the first exposure and Sharon was not exposed. Not everyone is back yet, but all tests are negative and all classes returned. We have had a substitute teacher in for two of our classes while those teachers continue to recover, now at home. Pray for our Navajo language teacher, who is still recovering in a rehabilitation-type facility. Also, pray for the parents impacted by it, a lot of work was missed due to our outbreak and that hurts financially.
In addition, it has spread wide in the community again, with several people affiliated with our church and radio passing away in the last several weeks, please keep their families in prayer. Pray for Pastor Hilderman, who has performed several funerals of people close to him over the last few months.

Prayer Requests:
* Covid patients still recovering, for the families who lost work time, and for the families of those who passed away.
* Local Recovery, the CR meeting, and outreach opportunity to get to those unable to utilize the AA meeting in Fort Defiance.
* Our school kids who are still struggling with fitting into a school setting after so long out, and the few who had never stepped foot in school before this year. Also pray for the students withdrawn (one for delayed needs we can’t address at our small school, another moved suddenly for better work).
* Upcoming travel to the Phoenix area, a quick trip to see family over Thanksgiving (Millie Anne, Steve AND the dog get carsick, so please pray for THAT, too).
PRAISES
* The great turnout for the Harvest Event – families were connected with resources (ours and local state resources)
* The woman from CR now attending Bible Study
* Upcoming new study on Nehemiah
* Covid Recoveries of those who were seriously ill, no long term oxygen needed, and no long-term illness expected for two of those hospitalized

As a special request at something that needs much prayer – possibly nationwide – are the churches who are not bouncing back. Many congregants simply prefer to be home, and we are hearing this all over the place. Here, so many people relocated for one reason or another, remained critically ill after covid, and many passed away from it. Locally, we’ve had whole churches shut down, we have people afraid to come to church, people who just can’t because they are still very ill, and we have lost many, our church has maxed out at about a third of it’s members and regular attenders since opening back up and we aren’t alone in that. Pray for the leaders who have so much they need to work with. Our pastor who has needed a full-time job now in addition to pastoring the church, and those leaders who have had to shut their doors for a variety and combination of reasons.

We hope and pray everyone is well and has many a happy Thanksgiving gathering. Be safe and stay healthy!

~Steve and Sharon

A Long and Busy Summer

Wow, has time flown quickly by!! I just erased my August Calendar and filled in September! (Excuse the internet issues…. all pics will be at the bottom!)

Much has been happening around campus in the last few months – including most of us being quarantined throughout June! We’ve had some minor changes (mostly Sharon’s schedule and involvement) and are continuing to find our place in this community. We were still very new here when everything shut down The other night, we found ourselves talking about how that impacted our ministry and how we have continued to find paths through the strange unknown we all find ourselves in.

First, the NEW

Hilltop Christian School, our mission school, had several retirements and some teachers who have had life changes, a few new teachers have jumped on board, but we are still short people to accomplish what we need to here (know any good teachers willing to spend a season or two here??? πŸ˜‰ ). Early in the summer, or perhaps right before the school year ended, the school leadership approached Sharon about working in the library. They were flexible enough for Sharon to choose times and days and we officially have her in the library on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons!

Steve had Thursday half days to take a break before Celebrate Recovery in the evenings and he was able to cut back a few hours on Wednesday, too, so he will be home with the kids those afternoons.

Sharon is responsible for the usual checking out of books, but she also has each grade K-6 in time slots through the day for storytime, library activities, and classes on looking up books, book genres and classification and research. We are a few weeks into the school year and so far know about half the kids’ names and have accomplished quite a bit of Curious George-ness! We love Hilltop and Sharon has volunteered as a helper, for errands and other odds and ends since we arrived on campus, so this is a wonderful avenue to expand into the school more and be more involved with our school kids. Please pray for a handful of our students struggling to find a routine. After shutdowns last year, several of them hadn’t ever been in a school setting and a few more have been out of school for a year and a half!

We are still homeschooling (a personal choice predating even having kids of our own for anyone curious) and the later schedule in the library has allowed for no changes in what we are doing at home. We also get to use the library! ( which the school leadership and missionaries made available to us anyway, but now it’s a little bit easier to utilize).

Celebrate!

There isn’t much new or changing with Celebrate Recovery, which is awesome news! Sobriety and Recovery depends on a steady, gradual process. Steve shared his testimony a few weeks ago with members of our church and CR attendees in an informal setting, somewhat separate from and yet still highly part of CR. As a vital and essential service, it hasn’t been impacted in the slightest by the restrictions in the state or on the Reservation, so we continue to praise God for that.

Church and Community Outreach

We have several things going on and having gone on over the last few months.

Sharon finished the house for Liliya and Anzhelika! It was a long June, but it’s finished (Steve will be installing a new stove pipe for their wood stove later in September. The previous one was in unsafe condition and appears to have burned inside the pipe).

Steve is working towards getting back into the jail in Gallup (down town) where it’s been a year and half with no ministry or church services to the inmates. One of those things is likely to be Covid vaccination, so he is getting his first dose this week. Pray for easy appointment, minimal side effects and impact as he gets moving forward on that process and finalizing details to get back into the jail.

Steve is also working through chaplaincy courses, most of which are available online and convenient. He facilitated a supplementary course in our church building in July and attended the same course when it was offered in Gallup. One benefit of the pandemic has been the resources to come through. SO many trainings are being offered, largely free of charge, as organizations see the psychological impact of what is happening: in health, in current events, with fires and hurricanes. There has been no shortage of opportunity for Steve to learn how to address and help people and situations as they come up.

We are starting up a new Bible Study in the coming weeks on Ezra and Nehemiah. We expect there to be several members of the church attending and possibly others.

Sharon is holding an infant and toddler clothing exchange on Saturday – for those of you who attend Mesa Baptist Church, this is our exchange that mirrors Michelle Martin’s event at MBC. This is also heavily stocked by the donations given to us of the overflow after the event last summer ( we’ve been waiting on the Reservation to open non-essential services in order to hold it).

Family Stuff

We have had a great summer-after a nearly a month in quarantine. We were exposed and locked down at the end of May. And then again after Adam came back from camp. No one else got sick after camp, though, so our best guess is he was absolutely exhausted 11pm nights and 7:30 mornings are rough at 8!! We stayed home just in case.
We have had a few visitors through the last few months and it’s been nice to see family up here (come see us! We will show you some sights and have a good time).
The zoo opened back up! So of course we have been! It’s half a mile or so from us and entry is by donation so it’s a great little spot to spend some time with the kids. They put in a gorgeous playground right in the center of the zoo a few years ago and during the shut downs built massive awnings over it. Great for the kids to run and yet not be in the sun!
We had a quick trip down to the Phoenix east valley after losing a friend in an accident. We were very close to him and are still processing it. We would appreciate your prayers as we work through this. While he was saved and we know he is with Jesus now, it was sudden and very unexpected and it’s been difficult to process. We have many many mutual friends who are also struggling to deal with this, please pray for them as well.
Adam is officially in third grade and 8 years old! He was behind when we started last year and caught up quite suddenly over the winter – things clicked! Sharon didn’t have a whole lot of confidence left in teaching ability before it all started making sense to him πŸ˜‰ He also went to camp for a week down in Vanderwagen, NM. He loved it and has been working through a correspondence based Bible Study with one of the missionaries there.
Millie Anne turns six next week and is working through preschool. She’s been easily frustrated “doin’ school” so prayers would be appreciated for her patience and understanding. Letter sounds can be a rough learning process! She is super involved in Legos, dinosaurs and coloring and that’s pretty much her whole world.
Our van that was on it’s way out officially blew up (head gaskets and so forth). We scrapped it a few weeks ago and are very happy that we were able to get a vehicle BEFORE that happened. We had planned on giving it to a friend to run the rest of the way into the ground, but unfortunately it didn’t really get that far.

More prayer requests:

Our friend Jasper needs prayer after a severe injury. The details are unspoken, but healing will take some time.

Pray over the Bible study coming up, that the right number of people to have a good solid study and discussion would be able to attend.

Students F, Z, T, K and B who are all having a harder time settling in and can get just a little more than fidgety, Pray that they can focus, pay attention, and get the most out of time not just at the Library with Sharon, but throughout all of their school activities.

Pray for our school staff needs,

For the clothing exchange and a good turnout, and specifically that those who need it most will know where to come.

New family photos taken by our friend Brianna Harriman

We love you all and appreciate the support, prayers and care!

In Christ,

STEVE and SHARON

From Plumbing to Evangelism

Happy (almost) Summer!!

Something that we did not anticipate when heading out to the Navajo Nation was becoming DIY experts! You figure some unskilled, on-the-fly, handyman work might be needed, not unlike your average homeowner, but we’ve learned complex plumbing, basic electric, tile and more! Someone on campus recently told Sharon that “God gives us the skills that we need, we just need to use them.”

Because of this, we felt confident to jump into a major project here at the mission. One of the houses on site had become as nearly unlivable in the kitchen. Two of our young teachers moved into it last summer, for want of anything else on site, and occasionally we would hear about how they were coping with the different issues (mold and mildew, rot, leaks, broken flooring that had become extremely sharp and hazardous). Most of the problems seemed centered in the kitchen. Sharon got approval from the director to tear apart the kitchen. Both of the young ladies are away for a portion of summer break, visiting their families, so what better time to gut their kitchen than now? The kitchen has been pulled apart down to the subfloor (and in same cases, below it), cabinets are out, sheetrock is pulled back to rid of the mold (from a major leak at some point not long before they had moved in). Steve has refitted much of the plumbing to the kitchen and installed new shutoffs at the pipes and the propane line. The house is among the older on campus and so has seen many residents and many repairs. Today, we got the new cabinets in, leveled, mounted, calked and ready for countertop (and something for it is backordered, so that part is on hold). Tomorrow Sharon will level and prep the floor around the cabinets for new flooring.

Somewhere in and around all of this it occurred to us, the aforementioned, we didn’t expect this. Much of our work here (from prepping snacks for the teens to sorting checks and handling mission finances) are supportive roles. We knew our jobs are to help other people do their jobs. This newfound DIY skillset is no exception.

The two teachers in particular are among our paid school staff (our staff and teachers are half supported missionaries, and half paid positions…. very low paying positions). They are fresh out of school and this is their first and second year teaching, respectively. Anzhelika is our pre-k AND art teacher, Liliya is our second grade teacher. They are amazing young ladies who enjoy working at our school, but our tiny mission school is the job for them. Their mission, and the reason they are here, is to partner with the Russian Baptist church not far from here and do mission out in some of the far reaches of the Reservation. Everything from street corner preaching, to dinner with elderly people in a dirt floor hogan with no electric. These gals are amazing and we are so blessed to know them and to be able to fix up the kitchen and dining room (where one gives art classes and the other teaches Russian language in addition to everything else). What a delightful duo of young ladies. Pray no injuries occur during the remaining renovations. Pray Sharon’s cat allergies stay away – so far so good – the kitty who occupies that house looooves keeping her company. Pray for Liliya and Anzhelika to be able to use the renovated space to God’s glory as they continue ministering on the Reservation and with our school kids and pray for their safe trip back here over the next few weeks. Please also pray for their friend Joy, who stays with them frequently and has had a hard year. This, her first, teaching in the middle of the pandemic and with a rough group of kids. Joy teaches at a public school up north, but spends the weekends with the ladies and is involved in ministry with them. Incidentally, Joy grew up an hour from me, so we share a connection to Pennsylvania.
— Having issues cropping these pics, more below —



Now, for the fun stuff. We thought, after 10,608 hours we could leave Covid out of our newsletters, but alas…


We had two confirmed cases in office, active illness, with symptoms. Within days, several more on staff developed an array of symptoms from sinus pressure to fever and delirium. No one in our house is ill, but we are under full quarantine (until Saturday presuming no one comes down with any symptoms). The contact tracers (because they stalked us) said anyone vaccinated can be free to continue normal activities provided they were a facemask for the chances of asymptomatic transmission. One such lady – our first grade teacher, Sara- went and got us all the essentials at the grocery store!! Absolutely sweet. She’s also peeked in and checked on Sharon while she’s working on the house renovation (on campus and isolated from others). The Everetts are great friends and we are blessed to know them. Pray for healing on campus, especially for the woman who is experiencing more severe symptoms than the rest of us. Pray our immediately family continues to be symptom free and can return to life on Saturday. Pray, too, for the Everetts. Roger and Sara, that they remain healthy as they shop for and run errands for those of us fully locked down. They are a huge blessing.


Celebrate Recovery attendance has leveled off at seven attendees, but they are faithfully coming, reaching out to Steve and the other leaders and are growing both in their faith and their recovery.
We had a very special gift donated to Celebrate Recovery last month, and Steve was able to use much of it to help get a CR group on the Zuni Reservation (an hour and a half south of us) back on it’s feet after the severe impact of our lengthy Covid lockdowns and the direct lockdown on the Zuni Rez…. no one on or off Rez, road blocks for a good chunk of the year. The Zuni Reservation lifted these restrictions in April. This special gift helped restock Recovery Bibles, sobriety and recovery chips, and other resources that the group needed to fully restart.

Due to the high level of exposure and last minute notification on campus, CR was cancelled last week (for the first time since New Mexico’s original lockdown eased last summer. Tomorrow night’s meeting will still be absent Steve, but one of our other leaders who hasn’t been exposed to anyone on campus has offered to lead it, but quarantine should be lifted before next week, bringing us back to our newish normal. Praise, thank God with us for the CR gift, for other special gifts recently that have been used in powerful ways, for the ability to equip the Zuni CR group and for continued work with our Celebrate Recovery friends. Pray specifically this week for JJ, JH, and also for Darlene J. who is leading tomorrow night.


Family Things:
We had visitors last month!! Grandma and Grandpa visited from PA and we had a grand time! The kids were super happy to see their grandparents in their own house (we stayed with them last fall when we were back east… I think the kids like especially to be able to have them, to show them around and involve them in their lives). We took a road trip around the immediate area, pointing some sights out, unfortunately all of the Tribal parks are still closed, but we had a good time driving nonetheless. Complete with some special coffees for the trip.

Croquet form… how do you play?



Next week, Adam gets to go to Summer Camp! This is a camp not far from the mission with who’s lea are well-acquainted, Adam, on the other hand, doesn’t know a soul. So pray please that we are clear of any covid symptoms before our quarantine lets up and that he has a wonderful experience filled with fun, new friends and spiritual growth.

Millie Anne is stuck home! Mommy plans to try and get her to the movie theater down town as her own special treat. Rumor has it there is a horsey movie that has a little girl πŸ˜‰ Keep her little heart in prayer too, she easily feels left out when big brother gets to do cool things.

Summer is kicking up, the mission has a team arriving next week to work on the radio station building, Sharon will be finishing up the girls’ house over the next two weeks, Steve is looking at the next classes he can take for chaplaincy and planning more radio programs for Celebrate Recovery, next month Sharon will be logging time in Hilltop’s library, creating new entries for some several hundred books that were donated for the school. The kids are back to school (we school year round with several long breaks, they just had four weeks off) and we are about to study SPACE – we are all obsessed with the Mars missions. In the near future, Steve is hoping the jail will reopen and allow services back in so that can be resumed, and Sharon is talking with school administration about volunteering some hours during the school year in the library, as we do not have a dedicated librarian at this time. Please pray for all of this as summer and fall is definitely our “busy season”.

Love in Christ,

Steve and Sharon