Forming friendships across communities

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By Special to the Monitor

White Rock Presbyterian Church’s mission partner on the Navajo reservation is House of Fellowship, a small church 11 miles south of Gallup that serves several Navajo communities. Many in the community still live without running water or electricity.  Rev. Fred Thomas and his wife Lorraine, both Navajo Indians from that area, reach out to the community in many ways, including doing housing repairs, hauling wood and visiting and praying with the elderly and shut-ins.

To help continue their work, White Rock Presbyterian Church and House of Fellowship are joining forces to sell Navajo tacos during the Next Big Idea event from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

The tacos feature fresh Navajo frybread, made on the spot and topped with pinto beans, ground beef, cheese, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, green chili and salad.  There will be a vegetarian option as well.  

Plain frybread, which can be topped with honey or powdered sugar, will also be sold. The tacos will cost $7 a plate and plain frybread will be sold for $2 a piece.

All the funds raised will go to help finish the addition to the House of Fellowship church and for community projects such as a new roof for an elderly widow and a waterline to an isolated family.  

Lorriane Thomas explained the collaboration is beneficial to her community.

“Our partnership with the White Rock Presbyterian Church has evolved into a ‘think big’ initiative that will allow us to better serve the Navajo people,” she said. “The proceeds from the Navajo taco sale will be used to improve the House of Fellowship Church building which is the hub for coordinating community service projects in the Navajo community of Bread Springs. The building addition will serve as a kitchen where wonderful Navajo and American food will be prepared for times of fellowship with our friends and neighbors.  

“Our community service effort is one way of preparing the mission field for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We firmly believe in improving the lives of the Navajo people by making much needed repairs to their homes while sharing the love of Christ with them,” Lorriane Thomas said.

The partnership with the White Rock church was formed during the past year.  Jennifer Holmes, a member of the White Rock Presbyterian Church, who taught on the Navajo reservation for many years, contacted her former student, Lorraine Thomas to see if the two congregations could work together to help each other with mission work. Both congregations were eager to learn from and help each other.

“Our building may be here in White Rock,” said long-time White Rock Presbyterian Church Rev. Harry Chronis, “but a big piece of our heart is over on the Navajo reservation.”

WRPC mission team members have traveled to House of Fellowship on two occasions this past year to do home repairs in the community and to help build an addition to the church.

House of Fellowship members have visited White Rock several times to help with various fundraisers and to share in worship services. Rev. Fred Thomas has preached at White Rock and his church’s raise team has performed at worship services in White Rock.

Last March at the White Rock Presbyterian Church’s yard sale in White Rock, the Navajo team sold Navajo Tacos.  They sold out in two hours.  There were many disappointed customers, so the Navajo ladies promised to come back and bring their tacos to the area again.