It was a camp meeting, a tent revival, Navajo style.  Stanley and Mary put up a tent on their land, put a sign out by the road, and put meat on the grill.

Stanley is an older Navajo, a solid Christian.  His wife Mary helps with music at the First Indian Baptist in Gallup.  But their faith is so strong they were willing to give of themselves for the Gospel to be heard.  So he put up a tent and borrowed chairs from 3 churches – seats for 60 in the dirt-floor “tabernacle”.  And next to it, a tent with eating tables.  You know there was plenty: posole soup and chicken soup and fry bread.

Our purpose was to mix and mingle and build relationships.  I met a man who was 98 years old, a Navajo who had in his younger years traveled the country as a translator for an evangelist to the Navajos.  What a great time talking to him!  But soon, food was over and the service began.

It was a preaching service, but Stanley opened the floor for testimony.  Pastor Gary, our mission host, made sure I got up to sing, and I dragged Meredith and Bethany to sing with me.  And there were testimonies of faith.

Finally, Pastor Bobby Boyd got up to preach.  He is a Navajo preacher and brought some from his church (including the 98-year old man).    He preached because Stanley had come down with a cold, and was unable to preach that night.

Pastor Boyd uses an interesting advertising program to get his message out.  He puts baskets of sermon tapes and CDs at the local Christian bookstore and at truck stops, to be given away for free to whomever wants to hear.  And those who take them will be encouraged, and will call him to preach for their services.  His model of advertising is to give himself away and let God arrange his speaking calendar.

It was a great sermon, reminding us that we are by nature sinful, born into a disfunctional family, unable to meet the standards of our heavenly Father.  But that loving Father made a way for us to be saved.  Pastor Boyd then got to meddling – telling us we were justified and sanctified not for ourselves, but for service.  But the rewards he described, the wages of a faithful servant, is righteousness, right standing before God.

And he closed with a passage paraphrased from Ezekiel:  “If you leave here without Jesus, it’s not my fault, because I told you Truth tonite.”

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