September 9, 2020
As I write this update, I look outside and see freezing rain coming down. Two days ago it was 96 degrees. According to Masani Cece, the blooming Goldenrod tells us that Fall is imminent. We hope that our Fall and Winter bring us moisture because it was a very dry summer here. This is important because precipitation is so limited here the little we receive is vital to the livestock, crops and keeping down wildfires.
I posted a video to our Facebook page this month summarizing what we have been up to all summer. I described most of this in last month’s update. This month we received $5000 in PPE donations. We have been in collaboration with the Utah Navajo COVID-19 Relief Fund. We were able to provide 1152 bottles of hand sanitizer, 7500 gloves and 4000 face masks to Navajo families. I would easily say we have reached over 8000 face masks since the beginning of the pandemic. This means we have distributed face masks to 5% of the Navajo population!
When we first moved to the Rez we knew that we would have to homeschool based on the poor educational opportunities available. Shortly after that we started a co-op of families. At one point we were up to 6 families involved. Ashli called the co-op Inspired Learners. Over the course of 2019 we saw the commitment to collaborate and co-lead fade as some families only wanted to be served. We saw others move from the Rez due to different opportunities or paths for their lives. For 2020 we removed scholarships and continued the homeschool path alone. But God. August brought new questions, new followers and new interest into homeschooling. Ashli has shifted from homeschool mom into homeschool coach. We would love for you to follow this journey on Instagram. Ashli’s account is raisingtalloaks. Here you will find the efforts we are making to reach others, share our story and coach in providing Christian education to “small acorns.” In August, we had a Navajo family reach out to us about homeschooling. We started small by providing curriculum and coaching through phone calls. This led to more interest and a commitment from the family so we opened up one more scholarship. We contacted our resources and shared the story and received the curriculum and virtual learning package at ⅓ the usual rate. This family identifies as “Traditional Navajo” in their religious beliefs. They reached out to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the recent past and were rejected. We believe that through our existing relationship and homeschooling we will see a great redemption story for this family.
We started this ministry in 2017 with the vision of changing families and working from the bottom up within churches. This vision has never wavered despite the changing world. We have only changed the methods we use to reach the lost.
Justin and Ashli Galloway