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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Greetings,

This past March we were blessed here at Christ for Native Youth (CNY) – WIM department that focuses on training youth leaders among Native America. We had some amazing guests from USAYO visit our local high school. A crew of professional athletes arrived to demonstrate not only their legacies left behind in basketball and sports but most importantly the legacy Jesus left on the cross. They spoke of the saving grace they encountered in their professional careers. The youth engaged each question and responded well to the Gospel. What started out as a visit quickly became a partnership, USAYO wanted to partner with CNY to reach native youth.

Chuck Harper – Director of Western Indian Ministries (WIM) has given me the opportunity to reach my Navajo people in a way that I once could only dream of. With prayer and preparation God has called me into a new season with CNY, taking on a leadership role. I will be focusing on outreach to Natives and training for the youth worker who are on the front lines. My first task was Wisdom Keepers – our annual training for youth workers. This year we were able to have Ted Travis – author of Building Cathedrals, as our guest speaker. Followed by our annual retreat in Colorado called Breathe. We were honored to have Ron Hutchcraft- founder of RHM and On Eagles Wings, as our speaker for three days.

Our first team from resound was deployed on April 22nd to Mountain Ranch, California to help our good friend Keith, whose home was destroyed in the wildfires two years ago. We were able to help with drywall and community work. Four days of travel and three days of work, we were able to complete a few rooms and visit the Pacific Ocean.

My birthday followed on April 29th, I was treated to cake at Kieth’s church in Mountain Ranch, California. For my birthday I realized that God was moving not only in Native America, but also in my life. I was honored to spend the day serving  Keith’s local youth group with our team. We were able to cook Navajo Tacos for the 15 in attendance, and I was able to give a message on John 5. If I could put it in one sentence I would say “Jesus’ relentless love” if I could boil it down to one word, I’d say “Grace”. I am looking forward to the days that are coming.

My church has been going through a few changes and updates not only to the building but also the people and structure. They have entrusted me to be a deacon at Community Bible Church. I believe our best days at CBC are ahead of us as we work together for a healthy church.

Chuck and I are headed to Youth Ministry Executive Council (YMEC) to meet with other major youth workers in this country from Campus Crusades for Christ to True Love Waits and Dare to Share. I am looking forward to seeing what God has in plan for Native America as we dream and plan for the future. Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Please be in prayer for the Navajo Nation – our 150th treaty day is coming up and we are hoping to help with the run back from Bosque Redondo. Pray that I can find a peer group that I can pray with while in ministry, and pray for the softening of hearts among the youth on reservations.

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Support Raising Solutions (SRS)

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I recently had the opportunity to attend SRS! Support Raising Solutions in Austin, TX. The training focuses on three principles 1)Being Spiritually Healthy 2)Vision Driven 3) Fully Funded. We had a weeks worth of homework before we attended the actual training. We read from the Bible the importance of being spiritually healthy. With the new training I have received I feel able to not only reach my budget goal of $3500 a month as a missionary, but also take care of those who join my team. I wish to go boldly before God and make my request known, because I know that He is willing and able. I want to rely on Jesus for all of my provisions and never deprive anyone from wanting to join in on what God is doing with the Navajo Nation and people.

I am looking forward to this new season in my life that I wish to embrace with prayer and action. This vertical relationship with God is needed when tithing and receiving support. The giving and receiving should always be vertical, our requests should go to the Father. In this relationship we get to worship the creator of all things. Continue to pray for me and my support team as we look to God for guidance. Thank you for taking the time to hear what God is doing among the Navajo people.

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Wisdom Keepers 2018!

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We kicked off  the new year with our yearly conference Wisdom Keepers! Our goal is to mobilize the next generation of youth workers with a biblical foundation. We had Ted Travis speak for the two days on building youth workers up and sending them out. Thirty youth workers attended and enjoyed the wisdom from our forty year veteran in inner city youth ministry. We learned who the real disciple maker is, Jesus Christ! The youth workers play an important role, they are leading the youth to Christ on a daily basis for the sanctification needed.

We look forward to next years conference and we look forward to working with the new connections made through Wisdom Keepers made possible by Christ for Native Youth (CNY) – a department of Western Indian Ministries (WIM).

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement! I’ve recently been able to attend Support Raising Solution (SRS). A great conference that trains missionaries to be fully supports, but most importantly, to have a vertical relationship with God. I am looking forward to see what God has in store for me as a missionary. There are three principles that SRS is all about being 1) Spiritually Healthy 2) Vision Driven 3) Fully Funded. Continue to pray for me as I have set my goal to be fully funded by April 29th.

 

In Christ,

Seth L. N. Stevens

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Navajo Nation Christian Response Team

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The native CHRISTIAN church will never be a strong church until it becomes a sending church.” – Chuck Harper

When Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas, all of America was devastated. In our local newspaper, the Navajo Times, there was an article on a Navajo family living in Port Arthur, TX when Hurricane Harvey hit. Their home was damaged by the flood catastrophe, leaving it flooded up to four feet with contaminated waters. Mold was starting to set into the wood after the water subsided, while furniture had to be moved to the curb of their house for the garbage trucks. Every Monday morning at 6 am, the Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez hosts a Bible study that I attend at a local restaurant. He mentioned that there is a need for a disaster relief group and that we should make an attempt to build one. The further our conversation went, the more we noticed that the government would not be able to help us in our efforts due to restrictions and insurance. With this knowledge, Chuck Harper who is the director for the mission I serve at said “Why can’t our local Churchs on the reservation do something?” There is nothing holding the Church back besides the lack of unity, but if we had a common goal, it would be possible to come together despite denomination and help the families in need.

Kyle Curley, Adam Dehiya, and I took it upon ourselves to help make a difference in our community. Chuck asked if we three would be willing to start an organization to help the families in Texas who’s homes were damaged and lives left in piles outside on the drive ways. With no hesitation our group made it our priority to make a website to start fund raising in hopes to send a team of fourteen to aid with sanitation and construction. Next meeting was during our quarterly Navajo Summit Meeting for pastors, held in Window Rock, Az at a local church. Chuck proposed that we send a team on October 21st to the 30th to respond to the disaster that had taken place in Texas.

Chuck mentioned that “Jesus’ training of his disciples is 4 parts:  winning, building, sending, multiplying.” “The navajo church for the most part has done a good job of building.  But winning and sending has been left up to “drive by” short term teams or outsiders.  Multiplying won’t happen well either until we are senders.  It’s a cyclical process.” All the pastors attending agreed that something had to be done, resulting in the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team (NNCRT) being formed.

We had asked local Churchs and businesses in letter form to donate financially to send Navajo Christians to Port Arthur, Tx in efforts to come along side others to aid with the crisis devastating millions. We started receiving answers to prayers with not only volunteers but also financial donations from the letters we sent out. Our mission on mind was to give the Gospel not only with the commandment to love thy neighbor as we help and serve, but also with the Great Commission as we tell others of the hope and faith that we found in Christ alone. With in two weeks our staff was able to print shirts with our logo, obtain magnets with our seal to place on our vans, start the safety training needed, and make contact in Port Arthur with the Southern Baptist Relief Team who were already helping as first responders to Hurricane Harvey. The day quickly approached to depart on a twenty hour drive, but first our local pastors came to pray for us and send us off. With our bags packed we left the Navajo Nation as a sending Church to aid others from a different state and culture. After a night of driving we were finally in Texas, greeted promptly by our brothers and sisters at SBRT. We met with the local Navajo family and offered her a bag of Blue Bird flour, her response being “This is better than gold.” In the span of four days our team was able to work on four homes, tearing out old dry wall and sanitizing the frames. We stood out like a sore thumb, being that we were the only indigenous group there surrounded by predominantly Caucasian relief teams. The SBRT were impressed that we were there to help along side them and insisted on taking pictures with us, stating that “History has been made here in Texas, because we have never heard of an Indian disaster relief group.”

We made it back to the Navajo Nation wanting to serve more. We had already planned on a second team to be deployed on November 5th to Texas to follow up with families to serve as Jesus served. They will be there for ten days helping with repairs, not only with homes but also with Navajo families through the Gospel. We wanted to show them a God who not only wishes to take care of the physical, but also the mind, soul, heart, and strength of a person. Through one week, our small team was able to lift up a big God. We have stayed in contact with the families because we want to build relationships and ultimately see them make the most important decision they will ever make… to follow the one true living God, Jesus Christ. We wish to see them not only have life but to see them have it in abundance as stated in John 10:10. We are not finished being about Gods business, we want to see His love abound and over flow to all nations. Please pray for us as we continue to help others. Pray that we will have boldness, patience, wisdom, faithfulness, and above all love.

If you wish to see all updates, you can visit our website at http://www.nncrteam.org or follow us on Facebook @nncrteam. We have photos posted and even a short film to watch of our travel and interview with the Bedonie family.

In Christ,

Seth

Prayer Request

Sleeping Giant

“The Native American is a sleeping giant. He is awakening. The original Americans could be the evangelists who will help win America for Christ!” – Dr. Billy Graham

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” As a people, the Navajo have rarely been given the opportunity and privilege of confessing Jesus Christ as their Lord in their own Native tongue.

The Christian faith has been in this country for over 400 years and less than 5% of the Navajo reservation would identify as a follower of Christ. The majority are still practicing the Religion of the Navajo people, which includes animism and ceremonial rituals. They fear and worship a god who is unknown, continuing the Traditional way, having ceremonies in hopes to know this Unknown god.

Acts 17:23 says, “for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

Like Paul, some of my generation have become provoked. Awakened, we are ready to proclaim Jesus to our people. We will carry the torch of hope to illuminate the way to God’s victory on the cross through His son Jesus Christ.