In Jesus’s parable of the sower, it is written,

“Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” –Luke 8:8

The BCCUCC 2018 delegation to Dine’ Bikeyah, (The Navajo Nation)!

Through our churches support for the prayerful camp of water protectors at Standing Rock in 2016, a connection was made with the Navajo Nation.  For the 2017-2018 mission/service project, a delegation from our church traveled to Pinon Arizona, the heart of Dine’ Bikeyah, (The Navajo Nation) to support the Nation’s “Food Sovereignty Project,” an initiative of the Black Mesa Water Coalition.  BMWC was formed in 2001 by a group of young inter-tribal, inter-ethnic people dedicated to addressing issues of water depletion, natural resource exploitation, and public health within Navajo and Hopi communities. This Food Sovereignty Project is a part of the Coalition’s Restorative Economy Program to support, strengthen, and revitalize the local food systems through traditional and sustainable techniques of dry land farming developed through the traditional clanship structure of the Dine’.  Leading up to the trip, the group from our church spent the year learning how Christian discipleship requires supporting individuals and communities being marginalized by the oppressive social systems of white supremacy and colonization.  Meeting with local Native American leaders and African American culture workers, our mission trip group spent the year exploring what it means to show up in solidarity with Native American communities and how to be good, strong allies.  In Pinon, they were hosted by families who are maintaining traditional and sustainable agricultural practices for the Navajo Nation against harrowing odds.  They spent their time learning about Dine’ history and culture,  the relationship the people have to their land, plants, and food, and Indigenous Earth ethics that call humanity to care for the Earth in a way that preserves it for future generations.  Our group met with elders who the Dine’ refer to as, ‘The clan mothers,’ and were taken to visit various sacred sites. They also assisted in the planting of trees and other plants and helped dig irrigation ditches.  Our group’s efforts will help the Dine’ grow corn and other traditional foods in drought conditions currently being exacerbated by climate change.  Forming relationships of friendship and solidarity with our Dine’ neighbors and with the Earth is how we allowed our hearts to be good soil for God’s word which is justice and peace.  May the harvest grow and produce a hundredfold.