My Story to God

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Holbrook Indian School (HIS) is a place of hope and opportunity to the Native American youth who come with unimaginable challenges.  HIS nurtures the creative spirit of each student by teaching them how to express themselves through art. Laqueta, 10th-grade, wrote this spoken word about the battles she has endured and the victory of knowing Christ’s love. She is vulnerable, courageous, and a strong leader of other students.

What is life?

I ask God, “Why me?”

But no answer every time I ask.

People around me say He is there,

But no, you see,

I ask where that still, small voice is

But no one really knows.

So I guess it comes and goes

Waiting to be heard,

Waiting to be called upon,

Waiting for people to actually listen.

They say His love is unconditional.

They say He’ll never fail,

But how would you know it’s for real?

Bible stories? Testimonies?

I never had a father tell me

What is right from wrong.

The fact is I never really knew God

Until losing my mom.

 It made a difference in my life in a bad way,

To the point where I started

Cutting and getting depressed.

I was grieving in the wrong way.

It was hard dealing with the recession;

I didn’t know how to let her go.

I felt like it was my fault,

My fault she was gone.

I blamed myself for so long,

I started using a bong.

It only lasted for a while,

Caught up in the thought that

I wasn’t thinking about my actions.

I kept asking questions,

I had to find answers myself.

So I looked and looked;

I put God on a shelf.

Then I remembered the Book,

The Bible.

I finally realized that it was Him I needed;

Now I wait for His arrival.

But I still question the thought of my mother and father going to heaven,

Will they make it?

Was it too late?

So I pray to God they will.

Seeing these years go by so fast,

I realized that it was all for a reason.

The reason is to make me stronger,

To encourage those like me,

To help those who are weak,

To serve God in a way like no other.

We all have a role to gather as many followers

Before sin takes over.

But some…

They’re coming along, but slowly.

We need each other for the battle;

We need His help as well.

So that is why we go to Chapel.

Sin is like a bombshell;

It will explode sooner or later.

Satan is waiting for the right time,

A time when you are at your lowest.

He took away my parents,

He took away the thought of me being enough,

He took away my courage,

He took away my love.

He sure got the best of me.

But now…Now He is regretting it.


An Unexpected Thank You

By: Rebecca Heinrich

It was Fall Break, and I was at my home working on an assigned online course.  As I headed to the school to print my completion certificate, I noticed B.P., a recovering addict and current resident on our campus, walking outside.  I waved and called out, "Hi B.P!"  He came over and started telling me that the JesusAndMe leader had asked him to help with the recovery meeting tonight.  

B.P. said he needed to thank me for saving his life.  Bewildered, I said, "What do you mean?"  He repeated himself, and added that he had been calling out for help and no one else noticed, but me.  He seemed to be thanking me [and my class] for noticing his wayward activities with the drug house next door and reporting it to a campus administrator.  This way he could get help and get back on track.  With a sincere smile, I said, "Thank you for taking it that way," as I extended my hand to him.  He shook my hand, hugged me, and walked away.  

Working at Chinle Adventist Elementary School (CAES) is much more than a straightforward teaching job.  Our community deals with special challenges that affect us all.  On this day, I had not been feeling well, but this surprise contact gave me renewed energy.  What a blessing an unexpected turn of events can be.   

Rebecca Heinrich is an elementary teacher at Chinle Adventist Elementary School.

You Make a Difference

Laqueta, 10th grade, is in her Native regalia performing at our Native Heritage Festival this year.

Laqueta, 10th grade, is in her Native regalia performing at our Native Heritage Festival this year.

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?” 1 John 3:16-17

Jesus’ parting words to us were, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Often times we read that and think that we must go overseas, live in a remote village and help our foreign brothers and sisters. While yes, there is much need overseas and we are called to help in faraway places, let us not forget that sometimes “going into all the world” means going next door.

Two hours north of Holbrook, Arizona is a small town located on Navajo reservation called Chinle. Many of our students at Holbrook Indian School (HIS) are from Chinle. If you were to drive through you would notice the roads become rough with potholes and when it rains the mud causes many to be stuck on their property, the cows graze freely keeping drivers alert, and hogan’s (a traditional dwelling of the Navajo people) are scattered throughout the vast desert land.

Chinle is only 1 of 326 reservations in North America. Native American tribes vary in their traditional beliefs, lifestyle and activities; yet most reservations share the common thread of economic challenges. Many families do not have electricity or utilities. The outhouses are used and multi-generations live together in small houses. Employment and education rates are extremely low. In contrast, the suicidal death rates, sexual abuse, and alcoholism are extremely high.

Only two hours away from us and we find a nation within a nation. They are all around the United States. So what do we do with this realization? Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.” So we do what Jesus is all about.

Holbrook Indian School is a place of hope.

Our goal is to seek to provide a safe haven for our students to learn, live and grow in Christ by giving the tools and skills they need to face the challenges that confront them.

Throughout Holbrook Indian Schools’ 72 years, God has countlessly shown His desire for our mission and His children here. He uses people like you to do so. Did you know that HIS operates 80% off of donations from individuals with a heart for Native American youth?

It is because of your heart, your kindness, and your gifts that keep this mission alive.

Whether you give on #GivingTuesday, send monthly payments, or offer up daily prayers, you are not keeping silent in the midst of tragedy. This school may be out in the middle of the desert, but it is powerful to know that God is using people all around the country to make a difference in our students’ lives.