Fern and I just got back from a week in Hopiland late last night, after our flight being snowed in in Flagstaff, and taking a 3 hour bus shuttle to Phoenix. Oy, Oy, Oy. We look quite travel weary.
There are 7,000 Hopi left, they live on top of several mesas. They are quite secretive, with many traditionals who would especially prefer white people to leave them alone. (I wonder why?!). They have been known to throw cameras over the mesa when they find someone with one, so I had quite a bit of trepidation filming some interviews, but was able to film a few. I taught multiple sessions on Spiritual Gifts, and Fern taught on Worship as Warfare, Having a New Song, and Reconciliation.
God is doing a splendid work in Hopiland, and Fern and I were amazed at Him. We had students from Switzerland, New York, Georgia, Canada, and other parts of the US, with about 4 Hopi men from jail. We also were privileged to do two services at the jail, (you should hear the men sing their new Hopi songs in jail! I think God hushed heaven to hear them). Fern spoke on godly sorrow at a Thursday night Hopi women's mtg. at the YWAM base where men come as well. Many of the women who come are professionals on the reservation. The Christian Hopi are warm, embracing, and hungry to know God. They are wrestling with cultural redemption issues, with many of them feeling that the Holy Spirit is leading them to not altogether forsake Hopi ways. This could be a great blessing for the advancement of the gospel, as for 500 years, missionaries have been telling Native Americans they have to adopt white mans ways or they will not be saved.
The YWAM work is led by Will and Millie Toms who are outstanding in love, vision and perseverance. Will had two years of astounding visions and dreams before leaving Santa Barbara to go work with the Hopi. It is clear from the beautiful people God has touched through them, that Will and Millie heard from God. They feel that God is going to touch the world through Native Americans, and I believe them.
As we left the reservation, Will took us to some 80 acres they are hoping to buy to establish a university for the Hopi. Every inch of it was gorgeous land, and I longed to fast forward the tape and see what God might build there in the years to come. He certainly has humble and tender hearted servants in Will and Millie.
It was a strenuous week, with Fern having a very sore back, after effective ministry, and I having continuous nightmares at night. The warfare there is potent, but no "weapon formed against us will prosper." It would be wonderful if God put Will and Millie Toms occasionally on your heart for prayer. They were told by one Hopi man after they had been there for about 8 years, "Well, I see by the fact you're still alive, that your God must be strong." God is indeed strong and very much at work among His beloved Hopi.
Thanks so much for praying for us. As always it was a joy to travel and speak with Fern. She is without a doubt, a treasured ambassador to Native Americans.
love and gratitude,