On Top of the World, Beneath the Stars

Today was by far the best day we’ve had with these kiddos. They’ve finally gotten comfortable with us: our leadership, our friendship and our piggybacking abilities. It’s cool to notice how each kid comes into the sanctuary remembering our names, jumping eagerly into our laps, and laughing with us as if we were old friends.

We started off the day enthusiastically singing the songs they had grown to love already, even though they’d only learned them two short days ago. All the voices cheered faster as we sang “Happy All the Time”, and everyone participated in the funny dance moves that went along with “Pharaoh Pharaoh” and “Father Abraham”. We went to visit Joseph to hear about his experience with wisdom and how God will always lead us to the right path. Then during family time, our students got a hands-on experience by leading each other blindfolded around the classroom. They embraced each other’s in(sight)ful wisdom and had a blast doing it. Other highlights of VBS today included the kid’s willing participation in craft time (we made beaded crowns), the insisting need to play with every caterpillar they picked out of the trees, and the competitive and sportsmanlike spirit showcased in our giant game of capture the flag! We are blessed to say that after some prayer and a whole lot of sleep, God renewed our patience and energy, allowing us to lovingly connect, teach and be crazy with every single kid.

Sports Camp went quite smoothly following our fantastic morning! Our hardest group, the 6-7 year olds, really got into playing volleyball. They were engaged, passing, laughing, and we even lifted them up to spike over the net like “a real varsity star”. We also got a kick out of the fact that the 10 year olds playing basketball were originally unfamiliar with the game ‘bump’; but once they recognized it as ‘Knockout’ (The same game with a different name) they rallied and gave Weston a run for his money. We ended sports camp by gathering around to sing/chant “Boom Chika Boom”, and say goodbye to our favorite new friends for the day.

For the evening, the pastor at Ganado Presbyterian, C.J., invited us to hike up to one of his favorite spots, Fluted Rock: a viewpoint at 8,000 feet where you can see Navajo land in every direction you turn. Here we heard C.J.’s testimony about how he came to his faith, and learned about other Navajo traditions. In the light of the falling red sun and the quickly brightening moon, we were blessed to have the opportunity to see the sacred prayer circles of the Navajo people, where all come to worship, celebrate, ponder and grieve. There are really no words to explain the beauty that we saw. The night concluded with worship under the moon, stars and galaxies. Some of us saw our first shooting stars, while others entertained ourselves with star tripping. Laying in a circle, counting the stars and creating our own constellations allowed us to grow in fellowship and friendship with one another, and really just became a family.

- Brooke and Mallory

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