Big Veda

In Hinduism, a Veda is a knowledge or truth writing. I don't pretend that this stuff is anything more than rumination. But through writing it I find a bit of knowledge or truth. Hope you find some truth too. PAX


Sun Valley Indian School

It was my first mission trip and I was in high school. I don't remember if it was '86 or '87 but I was probably a sophomore or junior. We rode on a bus for 16 hours to what was then called Twin Wells Indian School. It is situated near Holbrook, AZ about halfway between Gallup, NM and Flagstaff, AZ somewhere near I-40. I had never driven anywhere west of Dallas, TX, where my family lived at the time. I remember seeing my first tumbleweed rolling through a vast expanse of rolling nothingness. That was so cool. I thought that tumbleweeds only existed in old western movies but I saw a real live one. Later in the trip myself and friend saw one blowing through the school campus and thought we would catch it. We stood in front of it and it knocked us over like bowling pins. When we dusted ourselves off we had to visit the school nurse to get bandaged up from the superficial scratches and deep gouges from the branches of the tumbleweed. Note to self: let rolling tumbleweeds roll.

Twin Wells school is owned by the Church of the Nazarene and is nothing more than a settlement of 15 or so simple buildings planted in the middle of a Navajo Rez. I don't recall a lot of details about the work we did with the exception of the demolition and roofing we did on a classroom building. This trip was in the middle of summer and I had never experienced anything like the heat in the Arizona desert. I recall someone saying the temperature on the roof we were repairing being in the ballpark of 140 degrees. I am an EXTREMELY white guy from the midwest who gets burned if I sit too close to the TV. I think I had SPF 300 sunblock or something and still got horribly sunburned. Physical discomfort aside, the environment was so alien and so full of mystery. It was like being on another planet. We visited Canyon de Chelly, Painted Desert/Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon on day trips. But the most impactful experience of the trip was going to a Nazarene Church on the Navajo Rez. They did the singing in Navajo and the sermon in English and Navajo. I had never been in a church that did things SO differently from what I was used to. We knew they were Nazarenes, however, because they had a potluck dinner for us after the service. Potluck is the third sacrament in the Church of the Naz. I remember lots of meat and corn but it was all very tasty. Funny how I remember the food and not the details of the sermon...

I discovered the website for Sun Valley Indian School today and little has changed. What a blessing that in a world enamored of change and evolution that they are still doing what they set out to do. I would ask anyone who is reading this to visit the site and say a prayer for this school and, more importantly, for the Navajo people.




At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on this trip... crazy blast from the past.

Corey Goode (RCN)


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