Today is Colette's birthday which we celebrated with birthday cake for breakfast and a plan to go out for a meal tonight. Our programme began with a meeting with the Mayor of Gallup, Jackie McKinney. We went downtown to the Mayor's office and went into his chambers and sat around the table with him.
It was an awesome occasion and the Lord showed us such favour through this man.
Jackie is quite a character! He wears his hair long in a sophisticated pony tail and is a real cool guy. He is a long term member of the CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association). During the meeting his mobile phone rang and released a great deal of laughter as the ringtone was of a lever action Winchester! We are, after all, in the real Wild West!
We had a fantastic discussion about our visit and he gave us the green light to work in the open air around the city including setting up tea and a chat at the Ceremonial Dancing in the town square and other possible openings to visit the detox centre etc. Without going into too much detail it was a real breakthrough not only for us but for Dennis and Peewee here at Joshua Generation. He also wants to see us on Tuesday next week. We ended the meeting laying hands on him and praying for him.
From there we got coffee in a coffee shop in the centre of town. Noticing a guitar and drums we asked if we could come along in the evening and set up a cafe church to which we also got the green light!
Moving on from there we went to Care 66 on Route 66 which is a homeless shelter (the old Lexington motel) making a real difference in people's lives. We are going to cook a meal for them on Wednesday so Julie took a look at the kitchens and worked out a menu. Two doors away from this old motel is a little church which used to be the home of Joshua Generation and where there are still strong links (it was the building they temporarily used for church when they had to leave their current building). After we have fed the folks at Care 66 we are going to invite them to the church where we will put on a programme.
From there the team split into two and Dave, Alice, Mark and Julie headed out to the prison whilst the rest of the team headed the opposite direction down Route 66 to the Manuelito Navajo Children's home.
The Manuelito team were able to meet up with the teachers, children and houseparents and plan for our other visits. They walked around the classrooms and chatted with Jim Christian the Headteacher who gave them a warm welcome. We are definitely seeing the fruit of being consistent and regular with our visits out here.
The 'prison team' headed east to Grants and met up with Calvin. We were taken through security and in to meet the Prison Governor. It was a great meeting, full of favour and we were able to share with him our plans for which he totally approved and asked if we would be able to make more visits! From him we then went around the inside of the prison visiting the 'pods' and meeting face to face with the inmates inviting them along to the various events we are putting on in the gym on Friday. We walked through the exercise yards where the prisoners came up to the fence and we posted our flyers through the chain link fencing and chatted to them. The last category were the women who all came out in the sun to meet us. Please pray for many to come along - we are in prison all day and evening on Friday doing three long sessions.
The thing that really touched us was the guys who came right over to Julie and I and asked if we were the people that had given them the Alpha course - one was beaming as he said how much he was enjoying it. They love Nicky Gumbel! Some also recalled our last visit and even told us what we had done including details of our dramas - really blew us away knowing that we had an impact. God is good! Such an encouragement.
Back in Gallup we regrouped and did some planning for the next few days and eventually headed out to Earls Family Restaurant for dinner. Such a cool place where the Navajo come around the tables selling their jewellery. Final event of the day was a trip to Walmart for supplies, drama props and craft material.
Thanks for your ongoing prayers