Yesterday was our first “Thursday Lunch” of the semester. Johnny Glover provided the meal, driving several hours from Greasewood, Arizona, near Canyon De Chelly on the Navajo Reservation. Johnny is a missionary who cares more for the people around him than he does for his own needs. I’ve met several older single missionary men like him. Their selflessness and genuine love for the people among whom they serve is a challenge to my desire for self preservation. I frequently like to look out for my own needs first. These guys seem determined to die in their tracks, oblivious to trends in the world about them, unwavering in their focus on the people they came to assist.
We had lunch in the new student life building. Though we are still waiting for an occupancy permit, we have permission to use it for an occasional event. I sat with several of the new students, across from a young freshman from San Carlos, Arizona. I shared with him my experience of driving onto the San Carlos Apache Reservation for the first time. I cried. It looked like no one cared. There were boarded up windows in all the homes I saw. Enormous amounts of broken glass littered the sides of the roads and people’s yards. Looking around one was compelled either to run away or give in to the feelings of hopelessness. Yet, this young man exuded enthusiasm and hope! He was raised in a Christian home and was passionate about music. Yet even he did not escape from the violence of the surrounding community. The young student shared with me how his older brother died a couple of years ago in an alcohol-related automobile accident.
Applications continued to pour in for this semester until we finally stood firm on our cut-off date. We were scrambling for housing, wondering how we could possibly fit all the students who had been accepted into the existing dormitory space. Then several decided not to come. Another was asked to wait till January after completing a GED. Our final count is 35 full-time students, a record number! Many, as the story above would indicate, come from difficult places. Please be in prayer as they start their second week of classes. I am privileged to interact with 7 students in private music lessons, 13 freshmen in Basic Study Skills, and 12 juniors in North American History. Please pray with us for God’s transforming work the life of each student. May God be pleased to use His servants for His glory.
Lord willing, we will have a newsletter coming out before too long with an insert containing names, tribal affiliations, and prayer requests. Till then, here is a photo of the eleven new freshmen.