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beauty for ashes (navajo edition)
Here’s a little glimpse into my past week out west!
Myself and 14 other women from all over the country got to lead and facilitate a women’s retreat for the Navajo community in New Mexico! Beauty for Ashes is the women’s ministry within Adventures in Missions. It exists to share God’s restoration, hope and healing through Jesus. It’s designed to create a safe place for women to walk out of shame and into freedom through biblical stories, testimonies, seeking the Lord’s voice and sharing their stories with their community.
We all got to stay and live on the Navajo reservation, attend one of their church services and meet women of all ages and walks of life. The retreat lasted 3 days. Some women came each day, some could only attend 1 day. We prepared and taught lessons on how each of us view God, our identity in Him, how He shows us our true worth and how to walk in forgiveness from our past experiences.
I heard story after story of the grief, loss and pain that these women have been walking through. They shared how they’ve continued to be isolated due to COVID restrictions that their government hasn’t lessened. One woman shared “I feel like I’ve been crying for years.” Another said “I don’t think anyone really notices me, I go to work and I come home. That’s it.”
The goal was not for us to ‘help’ these women. The hope was that the Lord would meet and continue to meet these women in their heartache and brokenness. That’s the hope for all of us, really.
And when I tell you He did, HE DID!
These women shared things they’d never shared before. They embraced the opportunity for God to speak into and heal difficult memories from their past. They opened up with us and more importantly, each other. We guided them through activities as a way to experience and embody freedom from their past. It was moving, powerful and what I envision Heaven rejoicing over.
I already miss my team and the Navajo women dearly. I can see how God is moving within this people group. How He’s providing for, comforting, and speaking life over them. Looking forward to when I get to see them all again.
‘to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.’ Isaiah 61:3
(the Navajo women requested us not to post photos of them)
- continued revival within the Navajo people
- support raising! I’m in need of monthly donors to commit to help and provide for me monthly (even if it’s $10 or $20 a month, it blesses me! The link is under ‘Donate!’ listed above. I’m currently 52% funded!)
- all the short term trips happening this summer! For logistics, ample ministry opportunities and the participants to come eager and open to what the Lord has planned
Let me know how I can be praying for you!
Amen! Thank you Tim, I appreciate all that! Yes, I agree, the US needs missionaries and the gospel just as much as the ‘rest of the world.’ Hoping missions can be in your future someway/somehow!
So so cool!!! God is definitely bringing healing to many lives, and I’m so glad you were there to witness and facilitate conversations! I love you Kaitlin and can’t wait to hear more!
Thank you!! Love you too and can’t wait to see you soon!
First off, I love your blog posts! Your poem exemplified exactly how I’ve been feeling in this season, especially in regards to ministry. Secondly, your stories about the Navajo tribe are beautiful. Being able to minister in that way is truly incredible. I also think doing missions to communities in the US is so great because it shows that the US needs missionaries too, we don’t all have to go international. I hope to be able to do this one day. You’re awesome!
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