Crownpoint, NM

Crownpoint, NM

Sunday, November 9, 2014

October Festivities

October was a month filled with festivities.  I am a little late posting about them but I’ve been recovering from all of the fun.

First of all, October and November have been filled with football which David and I both love to watch, and David to coach.  Some big news for Crownpoint…we are going to the state playoffs!!  We couldn’t be more excited.  What an awesome start to David’s high school coaching career.  We will be playing this upcoming Saturday so cheer us on.

Now, the month of October started with a nice weekend trip to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta.  I had looked at the schedule and saw we the Mass Ascension began at 7am and had somewhat warned David before we left of the early rising morning.  What I didn’t know is that, due to traffic, we would need to be up by 4:30am and on the road by 5am to get there, park, and be in the park ready for the big launch.  I was super pumped about the event since I’d been hearing about since before we even moved to New Mexico and I have very fond childhood memories of some hot balloon launches in Tennessee.  Anyway, as you can imagine, David was far less thrilled about the early morning adventure.  He graciously woke up early with me and it was AMAZING!!  Seriously, I loved it – grinning from ear to ear.  David enjoyed himself buuuut would prefer not going again until we have kids.  :)  

We did enjoy the rest of our day with a nice brunch at Slate Street CafĂ©, an afternoon movie showing of Gone Girl, and then topped it off with dinner at Zacatecas with our dear friend Sue.  Overall, quite the enjoyable getaway weekend.  Check out a few pictures below!

I then went to Philadelphia for the week for work.  It was a joy to spend time with families and friends.  I had gotten worried that my calmer pace of life, and sometimes lethargic pace, would impede my energy level while back in PA but those fears quickly subsided.  I was on the go every day while I was there and was able to connect with lots of friends and our dear family.  It was a truly refreshing time and a time of renewal and refocus.

Upon my very early morning return to New Mexico, I got my NM license (yay!), enjoyed the high school football game and then we were off to Colorado for the weekend.  Oh we had a blast.  We were really looking forward to getting a hike in however it started snowing that morning and we had not prepared for the windy snowy weather.  It was absolutely beautiful though and so surprising to see snow in early October.  I was in heaven with the fall colors as well.  I seriously couldn’t stop taking pictures.  A few are posted here for your enjoyment.

A weekend or so of relaxation and then I was off to Portland, Oregon, for the YoungLives Northwest/Southwest Summit.  Upon deciding to go to the summit, my main objective was to learn more about the inner workings of YoungLives and see if I was interested in becoming a leader, or see if Darlene, was interested in leading.  Darlene is a local Navajo who has been volunteering with YoungLives since before Barbara left who had been leading the ministry.  It was an amazing time connecting with Darlene, and Andreana, previously from Crownpoint, who is working to start YoungLives in Albuquerque.  If you are interested in learning more about YoungLives, click here.

Anyway, my expectations were beyond met.  It’s actually comical now, looking back.  I was coming into it with a very practical, logical mindset.  Boy did the Lord blow me away.  Not only was I enthused more about the ministry and gained more understanding of how to lead or help lead, but I experienced a lot of mourning and healing.  I was able to really cry about leaving behind everything in PA, family, friends, community, church, good food, lots of things.  I was challenged about the materialism I mourned and really convicted that I placed so much enjoyment in things that will not live past this life.  It was such a sweet time to be around other believers and be encouraged.  The challenge from the speaker was really to be honest with God, with each other, and with ourselves, to take the jewels He has planned for us, to open our hands to Him and partake fully in the life He is calling us to.  To say the least, I was moved and motivated to return to Crownpoint and be thankful for the calling God has placed on our lives to bring us here.  I’m excited.

We did have some fun adventures in Portland including a scavenger hunt, a trip to Multnomah Falls, and another trip to downtown Portland before we left.  It was so nice to see some of the city and I certainly hope David and I return soon for our own little adventure.  Check out some of these photos too!

It is funny, you know, how quickly we forget the Words the Lord has spoken to us.  I was given a word from one of the ladies at the Summit that I am in the middle of the stream, just playing around there, focused only on the stream.  Yet coming soon is a waterfall so beautiful that will flood me, overcome me.  That vision meant a lot, to hold on to what the Lord has, to not be consumed always with the little things, right now, to expect what He is going to do.  He is doing a work here in Crownpoint.  He has his hand on this place and I believe it and claim it.

Yesterday we took a trip to Farmington (an hour and a half away) to see the movie Interstellar – which is a whole other discussion – and while at dinner afterwards, I’m having a mini-breakdown, wishing we were back in PA, longing for what was, for an easier life, for the movies not to be so far away, for our restaurant choices not to be so limited, for more and more and more.  Oh that I might not be focused on the stream, that I might not be consumed with the material things that so easily beckon my flesh toward them.  Oh that we all might fix our eyes on the King, looking upward and outward for where He is calling us to be a part of His Story, His Work, His Kingdom.  Romans 8:28 has really been encouraging me lately, a verse I’ve been clinging too might be a better explanation:  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  I believe God is working these things for good for us here in Crownpoint, NM.  We are here for His purpose and I am thankful and honored to be a part of it and am thankful for the grace He grants me during my mini-freak outs. :)

All our love,

Anne (and David)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Busy Times

Friends and family, we have been busy these last few weeks.  And when I say busy, let’s not equate it to the business in the northeast with the hussle and bussle always surrounding.  We have had two football games since I last wrote and a visit from my parents.  We also got to hang out with some people in the teacheridge.

Let’s start with what is most important.  We won BOTH football games!! One was a hot Saturday afternoon game and the other a bright lights Friday night game where the whole town came out to support.  We won 56-6 the first game and 12-8 the second.  We couldn’t be more excited.  David was so proud of his guys.  Of course he took no credit as the coach and kept saying they won, but I know he plays a huge role in motivating the team.  What was most impressive was that in the second game against Dulce, Crownpoint came back to win after being down 8-0 for the entire first half.  It’s not often these guys come back to win so David was especially proud of them for continuing to fight and get the win.

The guys celebrating after their win and the community watching.

My parents were in just this past weekend so they were here to see the big win.  Mom and I took a great hike up to the teepees on a mesa nearby and then we all made a trip to Farmington.  We found a great little restaurant after some shopping at Target and Petco to get little Rusty (our furry cat friend) a few things.  It was the most enjoyable time having them here.  We were also able to do a little fall decorating and got the front porch looking great with some pumpkins, gourdes, and some nice fall flowers.  Mom also brought my favorite pumpkin spice flavored coffee from O’Henry’s and I have been enjoying that each morning.

Speaking of fall, our mornings have become freezing.  And when I say freezing, I mean in the literal sense.  The temperatures have ranged from 30-39 in the morning.  Thankfully by midday it’s already back to being warm and I can still run in shorts and a t-shirt to the post office.  Fall also brings the big Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque which we are looking forward to experiencing.  It’s a big hot air balloon festival and gets rave reviews around here so it should be a blast to see, and to get to the real big city of Albuquerque and see our dear friend Sue.

I also have an upcoming trip to PA for a brief stint for work.  David is looking forward to some time to himself since as you all know, it’s just the two of us now.  With me working from home, as David says, I’m always here.  I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing some dear friends and connecting with family.  The fall like weather does little to the landscape here in New Mexico so I look forward to enjoying some beautiful fall foliage while I’m back in PA.

On a bit deeper note, adjusting to yet another new life in a new environment is difficult as many could likely attest to.  It's been hard for me working from home when I so desperately long to plug into the community.  We have met a number of people at church who have welcomed us kindly but nothing has really grown from that just yet.  Relationships take time anywhere you go so we're continuing to plug away and connect with people when and where we are able.  David is able to work with the kids in class and on the field and he is making a difference already; I can see it.  It's a different journey for me this time, being a wife and not a single woman moving to another country to try to make a difference.  My calling here is a little difference and as of now, I see it as being here to support David.  I am continuing to pray through my calling here, the vision the Lord has for me while I'm here and would love for you to join me in that prayer.  Please pray for my vision to be made clear and for David and me to continue to grow in our marriage and reliance on the Lord.

- Anne

Friday, September 12, 2014

And so it begins...

David and I have finally decided to start a blog.  Rather I have decided to start the blog for us.  I have been here in Crownpoint, New Mexico, now for six weeks and David has been here about seven and a half.  Already we have done a variety of things including a trip to Telluride, Colorado, many trips to Gallup, and our latest trip to Farmington, NM.

You may wonder why so many trips bring such excitement and variety but that would be because we now live in a town of around 2,300 people with one small grocery store and one small restaurant within an hour radius.  We are now the minority with the community being made up of about 90% Navajo.  Our lives in West Chester are now so far removed from the reality that we live in that it's as though we have traveled back in time or to another country.  I have joked since we've arrived here that there was more to do and more going on in Haiti than there is here and I still believe that's true.  I am reminded of my time living in Desarmes, Haiti, in the countryside however the landscape is vastly different here in New Mexico.  The sky runs on for miles.  You can see lights from far distant towns and the stars at night are though fingertips away.  The mountains, mesas, and far reaching desert quickly humble us as we see the vastness in God's creation and yet He made us in His image.

We currently live maybe a quarter of a mile from the school in what is known as the Teacheridge.  Most of the teachers or staff that are not Navajo live in duplexes in our little neighborhood.  David is teaching Junior English at Crownpoint High School where literacy rate was said to be 16%.  He is also the assistant football coach to the Crownpoint Eagles.  They have played two games so far and sadly lost both however last year they employed the mercy rule at every game and thus far that has only happened once so I think we're at least doing better than last year.  David's days are filled with time spent at the school or on the football field.  My days, on the other hand, are mostly spent at home on the computer as I continue to work for Frontline Technologies.  I try to make a point to get out during the day to enjoy the fresh air and some exercise.  I am grateful to have found Morgan, another English teacher at the high school and an avid runner.  We run together at least twice a week and it has definitely been not only a source of accountability but also a source of connection.

I have been able to connect with YoungLives here in Crownpoint and would love prayer in deciphering what kind of leadership commitment I should make.  YoungLives is a ministry to tenn moms and there are a large number of teen moms here in the community so it is definitely a needed ministry and fellowship opportunity.  Barbara Johnson actually started YoungLives here eight years ago but recently moved back to Pennsylvania due to some health issues so it definitely needs someone to step up and take leadership of the ministry if it's going to continue under YoungLives or any name.

David and I have gone to two of the churches here in town.  One is a Christian Reformed Church and the other an Assembly of God church.  At both we were warmly welcomed by the members and were even taken to lunch by Pastor Carlos of the Gospel Lighthouse AG church.  There aren't really any other churches in our immediate community so we will likely settle into one of those but are definitely praying through what that might look like and would love for others to join us in that prayer.

That's the basic update for now.  I'll write more about our specific outings in the near future now that the blog is finally up and running.  Thanks for all who are supporting and praying for us.  We appreciate it and are definitely feeling those prayers.  Right now, our biggest prayer requests would be connection and community.  We are really seeing the need for people to stay long term to invest in this community and these people.  We want to be those people if the Lord wills and community would obviously make that a little easier.  Until next time!