Norton Family Newsletter-Serving in God’s Mission Among the Navajo

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Dear Friends in Christ,

Summer greetings in the name of our Savior. Looking back in these past few months it has been a whirlwind of activity but God has used it all in accomplishing His mission! Back in April, Heidi and I went to Anchorage, AK for a week long seminar. The seminar was called “Beauty for Ashes” and it is a method to help survivors of domestic violence and trauma. Although this was not our first exposure to the method, (two times trained facilitators have visited us, once in October, and again in January)we gained by far a deeper and greater understanding through the experience.

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Following the seminar, we held our second confirmation retreat. This was another great opportunity for the students to mark, read, and digest the Word of God. The students enjoyed God’s creation and were able to go whitewater rafting. It was a great joy for everyone involved.

The students were confirmed on Pentecost Sunday and one was baptized on the same day! Since confirmation class was his first exploration of the Christian faith, it was similar to an adult baptism. Right after this, I left for Concordia University in Irvine to finish my last semester of schooling.  I have now completed my classes and been certified for ordination, which will take place on the 27th of August, so another big event to prepare for.

Immediately following school, our entire family was privileged to take part in the National LWML convention in Albuquerque. The LWML has given a grant to the mission and has sent a group down twice from Idaho to serve in Navajo. What a wonderful experience to be with so many women (and a few men) who proclaim, “Jesus Christ Above All” ( the ) .theme of the convent). I spoke at a special luncheon to share how God is using the grant we received to bring hope and healing to the Navajo people.

Now we come to the photo at the top. Right after the LWML convention, we had a men’s (and young men’s) campout.  The photo is right below Dibé Ntsaa, as it is known in Navajo, or Hesperus Peak, as it is known in English. It is one of the four sacred mountains to the Navajo people. We hiked up to a pass just below it (Sharkstooth Pass). The group enjoyed the hiking and the fishing but it wasn’t all about being in the outdoors. We had Bible studies and times of sharing. Once again, God used these things to create and sustain faith and to bring healing from difficult and traumatic experiences. We were joined again by our friend and colleague Vicar Rick McCafferty, Lutheran Indian Ministries staff from Anchorage, AK.

I’ve already mentioned the ordination but we are also looking forward this summer to hosting a team from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Topsfield, MA for the third summer in a row. They will lead Vacation Bible School, and service projects around the church. We also received a team from Risen Savior, in Wichita, KS for an afternoon in early June; they too have come to Navajo for the past three years. We are so blessed with faithful and helpful volunteers!

-The Norton Family

Please Thank God with us for:

  • The opportunity to learn and grow through the “Beauty for Ashes” training seminar. We already have had many occasions to use these skills in our interactions with people.
  • The 2nd confirmation retreat and the growth in the Word God accomplished.
  • The volunteers from Risen Savior L.C. in Wichita, KS who served at Navajo.
  • The confirmations and baptism on Pentecost Sunday.
  • God’s faithfulness in seeing me through four years of schooling and providing all I needed.
  • The LWML and their dedication to their Savior, that they faithfully give so much of themselves to proclaim Jesus.
  • The Men’s camp-out and the opportunity to heal and grow in the Word.

Please intercede with us for:

  • Young people in our community who have attempted suicide.
  • Families that are being torn apart by sin and the devil.

 

Gifts to support this ministry can be sent to: Lutheran Indian Ministries

15400 W Capitol Dr. Suite 201
Brookfield, WI 53005

with a note: “for the support of Navajo” in the memo line