Monday, October 1, 2012
On Sabbath morning, I woke up early to set up the Rec Room for Breakfast. I had looked at some ideas I had collected from Pinterest (LOVE that website) and drew a tentative layout, then I went shopping in Show Low and Snowflake for the materials I would need. With a $50 budget, I feel like we did the best we could (but I will continue to scower through websites to see other ingenious ways to stretch the dollar when it comes to decorating and event planning). The little girls were especially excited!
Then, Jovannah delivered our sermon. She talked about life on the reservation for her and all that she had to overcome in order to be at the point she is today. I thought it was very creative how she wove this idea together. She used the topic of cards. In a card game, if you are given a bad hand you try to switch out your cards. She made her own stack of cards with situations written on them like: alcoholic parents, parents without a job, being raped or sexually abused, not having enough food to eat, etc. Then she said with God's help, we can make the most of the cards dealt to us. Even though we cannot choose the situation we were born into, we can choose where we will end up. Throughout the message she shared some personal testimonies, which I thought were so powerful because, as a Native American woman, she can connect so much better with these girls!
Once the sun set, we had facials and foot soaks! The girls really had a great time with that! Then Jovannah (who is IMMENSELY talented) painted the girls' nails. After getting pampered up, we watched the first two Anne of Green Gables movies. The girls loved it and became fans of Gilbert!
I know there was a huge time gap between this post and the previous, but that goes to show you how busy dorm life is! I love my job and I feel so honored to be here. Please continue to pray that God may keep piling on the blessings for this dorm, these students, and this school!
Monday, August 13, 2012
I would like to introduce you to my roommate, Sashina Yazzie. She graduated from Holbrook Indian SDA School last year and, with her permission, I would like to share with you a part of her story. Sashina is from Window Rock, AZ (which is on the Navajo Nation). She has just recently gotten out of an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. He would beat her, control her, take her things - he took her phone and computer as well as total two cars she had -, verbally abuse her, and cheat on her. But Sashina is no ordinary woman. She said that after he would beat her, she would wash her face and leave their room with a smile. She said she has always been strong and she is lucky to have gotten out alive because many women get killed on the reservation by their boyfriends. As I listen to all of this, I can only look at her in wonder. It takes a different kind of strength and courage to go through a horrible relationship, a personal hell, and still be able to smile and laugh. Sashina finally ended the relationship when she realized he wasn't going to change and now is starting a new life for herself.
As the congregation shared praises and prayer requests in church this past Sabbath, Sashina spoke of her gratitude for Holbrook and the support she has found here. Through sobs, she said if it wasn't for Holbrook, she didn't know what she would have done. All I could do was hug and hold her. What can you say when someone shares such strong, soulful feeling?
I am remembered how, in history, people would claim sanctuary and would hide in the church against evil or violence. This is how I view Holbrook. It is a sanctuary for all the students who attend, whether they realize it immediately or not. This is one of God's lights on a hill and I pray that I will not get in the way of its shine.
Sashina is back at Holbrook to work on campus as a custodian and take some classes at the local community college, NPC. She wants to become a nurse and plans on transferring over to Union college at the end of this academic year. I am so immensley glad she is my roommate! We have laughed every night over trivial things and we have bonded over Veggie Tales and tea. She is a blessing God has placed in my life and I am eternally grateful for our friendship.
I went and got Sashina from Window Rock two Sabbaths ago and we started working on the dorm the following Monday. Here are some photos of our accomplishments!
We often get soap bars, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotions, face wash, shampoo, sunscreen, and other toiletries sent to us by the box so I decided that we needed to make use of the stuff before it all goes bad! Here are the trash bags. We made some for elementary, junior high, and high school. At the last step of registration, each room was given a trash can with the donated items.
Sashina and I also finished making posters and we staple gunned them to the walls (except for the ones I had painted. I had to nail them onto the wall because the board had curved. It was extremely hard and I have vowed to never paint one of those foam boards again!). I've got to send a shout out to my mom who sent me all the letters for the quotes on the posters in the high school wing. I love you, Mami! :)
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."
"You've only got three choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you've got."
I also set up a photo booth for registration using wrapping paper and the staple gun my mom gave me (never realized how fun those things are). I had to force some of the girls to take their photo but some of them got away from me! I also cut out some mustaches (that seems to be all the rage right now) and some of the littler ones got excited to use them!
I should have video'd the entire dorm just so you could see the tremendous difference Sashina, Malvina (an RA), Heidi (the other girls dean) and I did! But here are a few more photos of the finished product:
We have 25 girls right now but I'm told more normally come in the next to weeks. It's my hope to have a full dorm! Your prayers are greatly needed and appreciated. The staff did a prayer walk last Friday night all over campus and Heidi, Sashina, and I stopped at each girls' door after lights out last night to prayer over them specifically. But I don't think there's such a thing as praying too much!
There are also so many needs in the dorm. A lot of the girls don't have working lights in their rooms, our plumbing is crazy, and the roof leaks. Please pray that we get mission groups and donations to help us fix up the dorm!
I will try and keep you posted. Right now I've got to get ready for my class!