Transformation in the Navajo Nation
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Experiencing a short-term mission trip as a team is a great opportunity to build relationships with fellow veterinary professionals and students while using one’s passion and skills in veterinary medicine for God’s glory. This July, several groups of veterinary professionals, vet students, and pre-vets traveled to the Navajo Nation on CVM short-term mission trips and experienced the power of God’s love, built relationships and practiced veterinary medicine. Although the team was there to reach the Navajo Nation, God was also at work within the hearts of those serving.
Nestled within the western United States, the Navajo Nation covers over 250,000 square miles, including southern Utah, northern Arizona, and western New Mexico. The Navajo are the largest of the Native American groups but whereas only a fraction (15%) of most Native Americans live on the reservations, 50% of the Navajo live on the reservation. This can be a difficult place to live, with a higher percentage of people existing below the national poverty level and twice the unemployment rate as the general U.S. population. In addition, the number of Native Americans professing Christianity is decreasing. In ten years, the percentage of Navajo professing faith in Christ declined from 75% to 50%.
CVM veterinarians recognized the tangible and spiritual need and saw how their professional skills could be used to help the Navajo with their pets and livestock as well as build relationships that point to Christ. Now, every year, teams of vets, vet techs, and students volunteer their time on short-term mission trips to the Navajo Nation.
One particular short-term team worked with the Window Rock Veterinary Clinic. The team expected to find opportunities to provide much needed assistance to the locals for their livestock and pets. However, God used their knowledge and expertise as an open door to build relationships. The team’s work at the clinic involved providing aid to those who are in need, which created a great opportunity for students on the team to gain hands-on veterinary experience. The team performed over 200 spays and neuters, 40 equine dentals, 10 equine castrations, and vaccinated and dewormed numerous sheep for the low income Navajo people. However, the work did not stop there. Performing veterinary procedures on the animals was an easy entry point to engage in conversation and fellowship with the Navajo people and the clinic staff. Each day, the team was able to enjoy their company and conversation as they, prepared meals and ate together, and shared stories and the love of Christ.
Terra, a veterinary student, states that one of the most encouraging parts of these trips is, “being so welcomed by the Navajo people and being allowed the opportunity to pray with them even with those who were not Christians.”
Rowenna, a pre-vet student, said, “it is amazing to see how God can use people serving Him faithfully to change people's hearts over time. There were individuals who come from very different worldviews who shared how they are coming closer to believing in the God of the Bible."
The team not only got to practice veterinary medicine and build relationships with the Navajo people, they also grew together as a team. One of the beautiful parts about going on a short-term mission trip is that team members get to know their teammates - who are from different states and different vet schools - and share in a powerful experience together. God brings just the right people together to make an impact not only on those being reached but also within the team itself.
A pre-vet student, Hannah, shares, “I was able to meet several amazing spiritually wise veterinarians who all had such servant’s hearts, wisdom and humility. I hope to be like them when I become a vet. God also taught me to be more bold and take advantage of short opportunities to share the gospel with people.”
Another vet student, Rebecca, shares, “It was a great opportunity for me to spend time with Christian vets and vet students. I got to know my fellow students much better. The mission trip was also great timing in my own life. It gave me renewed confidence in my own walk with Christ and in my ability to lead others through Christ.”
Short-term trips provide opportunities to connect with other Christians in the veterinary profession, use one’s skills in a hands-on experience, and become a vessel that God can use for His glory. If you are considering participating in a short-term trip with CVM, we encourage you to talk to our short-term staff, check out more short-term highlights stories, and chat with those who have gone in the past. God can use you in ways you never thought possible!
- Pray that the hearts of the Navajo people will be softened and open to God
- Pray for those serving in the Navajo Nation, that God will continue to use them in the lives of those they are serving
- Pray for those considering a short-term trip, that God gives them guidance
Please help send a team on a short-term trip, like those to the Navajo Nation, to where the need is greatest! Click here to donate today.
To learn more about Short Term Trips, please check out the short term trip section.