Volume 23 Issue 5
Navajo Nation Hungry For God
If you were told there was a nation within a nation hungry for the gospel but wasn’t getting enough truth to feast on, would you believe it? Well, in the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah covering more than 27,000 miles of unparalleled beauty where the land is dry and mesas outline the terrain, the Navajo Native American nation is desperate for Apostolic revival, and it’s time that we finally took notice.
Over the past 15 years, Bro. Jim Sleeva and several Indiana Bible College students have traveled to Tohatchi, New Mexico and the surrounding area to minister to the Navajo nation — a nation that had been without an Apostolic church until the Eastridge family ventured to the land 60 years ago. Since the late 1950s, the Eastridge family has broken through the language and spiritual barriers to evangelize much of the Navajo land where they have built three churches. After 42 years of pastoring the church in Tohatchi, founders Jerry and Nancy Eastridge have now passed their church on to their children, Marty and Cyndi Eastridge.
“The nation for several years has been one of the poorest stricken areas of the United States,” said Pastor Marty Eastridge. “It’s a place where unemployment rates are up over 40 percent and the average life expectancy is years less than other Americans. With most communities being remote and containing limited resources, adequate housing is still a problem. As far as education goes, only 56 percent graduate from high school and 7 percent from college. In a nation that is larger than 10 of the 50 states and contains over 300,000 residents, it’s time that we started a search and save mission here.”
With a vision for revival in place, Pastor Eastridge describes what’s ahead. “These people are children of God just as we are, no matter the physical differences we may have,” he said. “They are so open to this Apostolic message and desperate for something of substance in their life. The job now is to give them truth by going wherever and doing whatever we have to do. Our goal is to train the Navajo people to reach the lost, spread the gospel and build churches in the 108 chapters of the Navajo land. Along with that, we hope to build a Bible training center and youth center that will serve as a safe haven for the young people of this community.”
This past summer, that vision has started to become a reality. With potential missions trips in the works, an annual Vacation Bible School program up and running, and tent revivals happening all the time, God is doing big things in the Navajo nation! “Over the past few months, I have been asked to preach that Holy Ghost message to a local Baptist church, and we are looking to plant a church in the city of Crownpoint,” says Pastor Eastridge. “The people are as hungry as ever for revival, and we’ve got the responsibility to bring it to them. This truly is just a portion of all God is doing in the Navajo nation out west. Apostolic revival from a nation within a nation is happening today, and it’s picking up momentum. Now this is where the reader of this article can get involved in this work and help pour fuel on the fire of this revival.”
Pastor Eastridge said there are several needs for the church in Tohatchi, NM: a new church building, youth center, Bible training center, church van and a church building in Crownpoint, NM.
If you are interested in supporting the Navajo nation revival financially or in person, either call or e-mail Pastor Marty Eastridge, 505-879-2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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