A big “Hello” to our friends, family, church and former teammates!
It is always a pleasure to share with you the work that God is doing in our lives and in the ministry of Teen Missions. Since our return from the Navajo Reservation, it seems like we have not stopped “running”. Our lives have been filled with school, birthdays, and hurricanes!! As I sit now, writing this letter, I am grateful for the opportunity to remember and finally process the fantastic summer we had.
The Inscription Bible House Church was our host for the summer. Their property is located on a plateau in the Arizona wilderness. We were definitely a remote team! If not for the drinkable, running water out of the faucets, our location had a very “overseas” feel to it. It was a one hour, one-way trip just to buy groceries. We brought tents to sleep in but ended up sleeping indoors in the big, new church being built to replace the smaller, older one. The new church’s construction has been ongoing for over a decade. It has not been a quick process.
We were happy to play a small part in helping the congregation get to their end goal of a finished product. The team moved a lot of dirt and rock in order to build the forms for concrete sidewalks that wrap around the building. It rained almost daily, so many mornings were spent re-leveling ground that had been level and ready for concrete the day before. Form building is a very tedious, precise job! Once rebar was tied and fitted in place, concrete trucks were ordered. Most teams make, mix, and pour their concrete by hand, so this was a first for Mike and me. Four trucks were necessary to complete the project.Every time a truck would come, many of the church congregation would join us to help. It was a truly multi-generational experience! I love how active the members are in their church. They were eager to be part of the building process and to see their new church grow. It was very special to witness. The finished sidewalks and front entrance to the church really make an eye-popping statement. Most of the ground is red dirt, so the cement sidewalks really stand out.
We also ran several children’s programs this summer, one of which was a week-long VBS. The theme for the week was “Family Focus”. Every evening at 5 PM, the population on property quadrupled as families arrived for the program. We ate a potluck supper together every night. Although there were many mouths to feed, there was always enough food. The Lord multiplied our “five loaves and two fishes”. We loved eating with our Navajo brothers and sisters and were thankful for the invitation that they extended to us every evening. Our contribution to the potluck was always dessert. Every day we made 100+ cookies to share. Teammates that helped in the kitchen that week loved all the extra baking! After supper, everyone worshipped together before breaking off into separate classes. We started every class with some kind of high octane, energy zapping game. After, we sat the kids down for a Bible lesson. Our Boot Camp puppet training came in handy as we told the children about Noah, Moses, Jonah, Rahab, and David. Every night of the week we focused on one of those Bible characters. Before kids went home, we handed out balloon animals and swords. Kids LOVE balloons. It doesn’t matter where in the world you come from: balloons are a universal fun language. Playing and interacting with children was definitely a team strength, something my four children got to enjoy all day, every day.
The Navajo Nation has a land base of 27,000 square miles, extending into the States of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. It is absolutely HUGE! It boasts more than a dozen national monuments, tribal parks, and historical sites. It is filled with lakes and ponds – the man-made Lake Powell alone has 186 miles of Navajoland shoreline. There was never a shortage of things to do or see on our days off! We had many adventures, but here I will touch on just a few.
The Grand Canyon is definitely proof of the existence of God! Words cannot capture what we saw with our eyes. Those of you who have been to the Grand Canyon before will understand what I mean. Our senses were completely overwhelmed by its size, vastness, and colorful, yet treacherous, landscapes. We enjoyed a three-mile hike down into the canyon during our time there. On the way down, we kept to a pretty good clip. Everyone was chatty and enjoying the view. On the way back up though, things were relatively silent as each of us conserved the energy we needed to make the vertical return trip.
We also hiked down into the earth during our visit to Flagstaff. Not all museums are in a building. The Lava River Cave is a natural museum discovered by lumberman in 1915. The cave was formed when motion lava flowed through the area, creating a “tube-like” cave as it hardened. Bats, porcupines, and squirrels are known to use it for shelter although we did not see any of those animals on our hike. Round trip, the hike was 1.5 miles long. The temperature inside the cave was 32 degrees Fahrenheit…very chilly for those of us who are accustomed to Florida weather!
We took the team to the city of Page for a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant and Lake Powell too. Glen Canyon Dam is the second tallest concrete-arch dam in the USA, dwarfed only by the Hoover Dam. The benefits provided by the dam are numerous and vital to life in the Western United States. The dam stores approximately 26.2 million acre-feet of Colorado River water that is critical to the survival of cities, industries, and agriculture throughout the West and Mexico. The hydroelectric power produced by the dam’s generators help meet the electrical needs of the West’s population. Lake Powell, the reservoir behind the dam, is not only an important recreation area but also serves as a “savings account” of water that can be drawn upon during dry years. Our time at the dam was absolutely fascinating.
Thank you to our MOST AMAZING team mates for a MOST AMAZING summer!! Thank you to each of you who prayed for us. Your faithful prayers sustained us.
We appreciate your prayers, support, and heart for missions. Thank you for serving with us these last 13 years!!!
Mike, Michelle, Kenya, Isabelle, Lily, and Gabriel Myers
Hurricane Irma Update:
I know that many of you are wondering how we are after such a terrible storm. We are well, safe, and sound! We went back and forth on evacuating or not before deciding to stay and ride the storm out. The noise from the wind, rain, and detestable tornado warnings were not very comforting sounds to endure throughout the long, dark hours of the night for me. The kids all slept through it! Mike wants me to mention here that he WOULD have slept through it if I had not kept waking him up! We sustained some water damage from ALL the rain and did lose some shingles. Mike is hoping to redo the roof in the New Year. It was already on our list of things to do before the hurricane. The hurricane just confirmed for us that it needs to be replaced! The water damage we will just have to live with since Mike just replaced all those floors last year when we had to replace our sewer pipes. We lost power and water for about four days. We count our blessings everyday, knowing that it could have been so much worse!
Hurricane Irma devastated so many lives and many are hurting and struggling to come to grips with their “new normal”. Please continue to pray for the gigantic restoration efforts here in Florida, in Texas, and in the Caribbean. God IS sovereign and good, ALL the time!!