Breakfast was served between 6-9 so a few of us gathered down stairs early for some complimentary goodies. Wasn’t the best breakfast but it did the job. Decent coffee though.
We checked out of the hotel and were on the road to Sagebrush Community Church around 10 am. We made it there and as we were passing the front of the building we saw Jeff, Kara and the kids standing out in front. We let the teens and a few leaders out and Matt, Brandon Ethan and myself parked the van and walked to meet the group. The church was huge, which I suppose is why they call it a “mega church”. It was great to see the Trujillo’s. We went in and Kara suggested we visit the visitors desk for a little gift. Which we did and all the leaders got a coffee mug and a small package of info about the church. We talked for a few more minutes and made our way as a group to our seats. We were in the back balcony and the place was packed.
Jeff said they run about 10,000 thru a week. Got to see some of Jeff’s work on the screen and the service was pretty great. The sermon was in the series “Defining Moments” and it was about stepping up and taking chances to do what God calls you to do.
It was exactly what we needed to hear and and absolute blessing.
Brandon had an experience that was pretty great at the service and I’d love to tell you about it but I don’t feel that it’s my place. So suffice to say God had his hand on him during the service.
After the service we talked shortly and Jeff took us on a short tour of the facility. We saw his office and such. they had a service going on or we would have went a little more in depth.
For lunch we decided to LoveBomb the Trujillo’s by treating them to Twisters. Matt and I are fans of the television show Breaking bad and since it was filmed in Albuquerque we wanted to eat at Twisters which is featured in the show as Gus Fring’s restaurant chain Los Polo Hermanos.
The food was good and the company was better.
I said the blessing for the meal when we all got set and there was a family near us the said amen and smiled at us after the prayer. That was nice.
There was also a couple in Twisters that seemed interested in us. The lady took our picture why we were sitting down so when they were about to leave I decided to LoveBomb them with dessert. I picked some churros up and approached them. I said “Excuse me.” and they turned around. I introduced myself and tried to explain that we were a youth group from Missouri but it turned out they were French and spoke very little english. I handed them the card and the churros and they seemed shocked. They tried to tell me no. They thought I worked at Twisters and was trying to sell something to them. Finally they scanned the card and saw the “Jesus” which they recognized as Christo and they thanked me. I got a quick pic with them and they left.
As more of us finished we gathered outside because there was a fence next to the building with a lama and an ostrich. A few of the kids got their pics taken with the animals thru the fence because its kinda odd to see those particular critters outside of a zoo.
After Twisters we went with Kara to Sam’s Club to load up on groceries for the stay on the reservation. Pete our Native American liaison had told us there was a full kitchen for us to use so we knew we needed to pick up a few things.
After Sam’s we said goodbye to the Trujillo’s til Thursday and headed to the reservation 2 and a half hours away.
We stopped once to get gas and a snack. Ryleigh hadn’t eaten much if anything on the trip and we were trying to get her to grab a bit. She did end up eating about half a burrito.
I tried to LoveBomb the van with churros from Taco Bell but they were out and I just ordered a soda. They felt bad about not having the delicious pastries that they gave me my soda free so I ended up LoveBombed.
Then it was off to the Navajo Nation reservation at Smith Lake New Mexico.
We arrived at the reservation and unpacked. I got to meet Fernando and Pete. I had talked to Pete on the phone but this was the first time I had laid eyes on him.
He was about 50 and little taller than me with the expected dark complexion. He was wearing a hat and he had a pretty thick head of hair that hung over his ears.
While everyone got settled I walked with Pete and Fernando and they told me a little about the building. It was a repurposed school they had purchased and cleaned up for the community.
There was a gym, a kitchen, the boys bunk room, the shop, a chapel room then the girls bunk room, a meeting room and an office. The whole thing as you would figure with a school made big square so you could easily get from place to place.
We settled in and Pete told me there would be a short service in about an hour (7pm) because of course it was Sunday night.
I volunteered Ethan and Brandon to play a song or two and Pete liked the idea. I then asked Ethan which in retrospect I should have done first and of course he agreed.
We met in the chapel and Pete said a quick word then the fellas played a song. Pastor Bobby got up and gave a message. A little long and pretty dry compared to what we were used to from Pastor Kelly and our experience that morning at Sagebrush.
It was also a little distracting because there were 3 good sized dogs wandering in and out of the service at their leisure.
After the service we were invited to have some stew with the indians (hope this doesn’t offend anyone but its easier than typing Native Americans so buckle in for that word a lot).
Matt described the stew best as Potato Water. It had the flavor of boiled water with potato hunks. It did have some meat in it. Still on the bone and Matt got the “prize” by that I mean to say his meat bone still had a thatch of hair on it.
Pete told me when we arrived during my quick tour that we couldn’t drink or cook with the water. It was filled with sulfur and possible uranium from a mine that the government had not properly shut down.
Well our very own Cody had an allergic reaction in the past to sulfur and he was having trouble breathing. Our room was right next to the mens room and the place just radiated sulfur. Ethan, Brandon and myself took him to town so we could call his mom and of course Kelly. After talking to Lynn we decided to give him over night. He had only had one allergic reaction and it was the consensus that the scare of the last time along with the elevation difference was causing his problem.
Cody was fine the rest of trip.
Finally got some sleep. turns out everyone in the boys bunk room snores. I perhaps was the worst but they all snored. Ely did a snore mumble thing that was interesting and several of the other teens talked in their sleep.
We were told by Pete to not go outside after dark and the school locked down so it was safe. Wasn't that there was any real threats but the Indians are not the soberest bunch as a whole around there and Pete said that sometimes people would come there at night trying to get help with food or work and it was best just to ignore them. that never happened by the way.
Other than snoring every night was peaceful.