Ken & Debbie
May/June 2017 update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
God has blessed our family with two more grandchildren! The two grandkids came 3 days apart. On May 24th, our oldest son Kenny, and his wife, Carole, welcomed the birth of their 3rd biological child: Kelly Marie Robin Norris. Just 3 days later, they went to court to witness the final of their adoption of the boy that they had been fostering for nearly 2 years. On May 27th, Martin Robert Romero Norris, at the age of 10 years old, officially became their 4th child and our 7th, but oldest, grandchild! Also, our 8th grandchild is due in August! Please pray for blessings for our family as we continue to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just over 10 years ago, we started Diné Baptist of Phoenix. During the first week of May, a group from that church drove up 5 hours to be with us in our Sunday morning worship service at Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church. Their service to our people here in Page, Arizona was a great blessing. Each one of them shared their personal testimony of how God saved them and is changing them each day to be more like Jesus. Our hearts were lifted to praise as they sang, and their pastor, Robby, stirred our hearts as he challenged us to pray, expecting great things from our heavenly father.
Our Navajo youth camp was the week of June 5-9. Please be in prayer for the children reached and that their new found fire for God will be evident to their families! Thank you for your support!
September 2017 update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
In June we had our Navajo Youth Camp in Kirtland, NM. We had 6 churches represented with over 80 in attendance. God be praised for the heart with which pastor Matt Brecht from North Pointe Baptist Church spoke. Many positive decisions for Christ were made, including a high school senior from our church!
What a surprise! A small delegation from the Dine’ Baptist Church in Phoenix, which we started over 10 years ago, came to Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church here in Page, AZ. After driving 5 hours & sleeping in tents the night before, they joined us for church the next morning. Their purpose for coming was to encourage NFBC to remain strong during the struggling process of God’s work to re-establish them in the community. While moderated by their pastor Robby Little, they lead us to worship our great God through their wonderful singing and miraculous salvation testimonies! Robby ended the service with a challenging message, “PRAYER: Taking It to Jesus!” God be praised!
Since we left Dine’ Baptist in Phoenix over 2 years ago, we have witnessed the same pattern in it that we saw with the church in Black Mesa 13 years ago. - both churches flourished under Navajo leadership!
If Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church is to flourish, it needs a Navajo pastor – and the sooner the better! There are 2 men, outside the church, that I am watching for this position. However, it would be years before the church could afford one them to come! We need to raise $85k to pay off their $49k mortgage, which was $400k 20 years ago, and help to provide a church parsonage. This small and struggling church is committed to get back on track…they just need a hand up!
December 2017 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
Jesus said in Luke 15:7 that there is REJOICING in heaven when a single individual gets saved. Over the past 2 months we have rejoiced to see three SALVATIONS. As a direct result of the efforts of the sweet people of Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church, two young children and a young woman has gotten saved. Further, the three are each unrelated, and represent an outreach to three separate families in our community. Please pray for the young woman, Joanne, as she faces many domestic challenges. Even still, pray for the salvation of her husband that attended church for the first time just last Sunday!
We also REJOICE that while the church has undergone a purging that has brought about a sobering humility, those 15-20 that remain exemplify a sincere effort to move forward in UNITY!
We further REJOICE for a fresh vision of REACHING THE YOUTH in our community. During this past Fall season, the church has reached out to 6th-12th graders through special monthly meetings. During each gathering we have witnessed an increase in attendance from three-four to ten-fourteen. Two-three of the kids are starting to show a regularity of attendance to the regular church services.
Further still, we REJOICE with anticipation for upcoming results from scheduled ministry outreaches during the CHRISTMAS SEASON.
1. Christmas Caroling, Dec. 13th
2. Parade of Lights, Dec. 16th
3. Candlelight Singing of the Birth of Christ, Dec. 20th
4. Christmas Potluck dinner, Gift exchange, & Christmas play, Dec. 24th
Yet still further, we REJOICE that the church has met their FINANCIAL BUDGET(lol, by the skin of their teeth) the past 2 months… This is a first since we have been here! While the above mentioned blessings come with great rejoicing, they require needs of earnest prayer. Please pray for the following:
1. LABORERS – Sunday School workers, Song leader, Janitor, Youth minister, Navajo Pastor!
2. BUILDING NEEDS – Air conditioning repair, New Water heater, Parking lot reseal & black topped, Stucco repair,
3. MINISTRY MATERIALS – Video projector mounting & installation, projection screen, General audio/video update
4. DEBIT REDUCTION – Mortgage payoff..$52k
5. PARSONAGE - $35-40K *(Utilities are in!)
Thank you for all you have done to support us this year and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
January 2018 Update from Ken Horris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
God answered your prayers! You may recall from our last letter that as Joanne had recently gotten saved, we asked for prayer that her husband, Levi, would come to Christ also. On December 17th, during the church Christmas dinner, one of the church members took Levi into my office and lead Him to Jesus! Please continue to pray for this couple as they learn to walk in God’s grace…as they have MANY obstacles to overcome! Praise to the Lord for the man who lead him to Jesus. Pray for Bill who is now actively seeking to disciple Levi in his new walk!
We also rejoice for what God is doing in the life and heart of a 13-year-old boy named Calitri. Though his mother, Pearl, is very strong in the tradition of Navajo worship, she allows him to come to church because of the “good morals” he is learning. He has been coming to church by himself for over a year and has learned a lot about Jesus and salvation. Yet, he had purposely hesitated to ask Jesus into his heart because he did want to offend his mom. However, at the Church New Years Eve gathering, this very conscientious boy, bravely asked Jesus to come into his heart! Calitri has now been bringing his little sister, Katrina, and a friend, Jacob, to church. Pray for their salvation…as well, as for the salvation of his mom. Also, he is considering to start a prayer group and Bible study at the Middle School that he attends. Wow! God is so good!!
These salvation stories represent just 2 of the 5 people that have gotten saved in the past 3 months. We praise God not only for their salvations, but also for the renewed unity God has placed in the heart of his people here at Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church!
April/May 2018 Update from Ken Horris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
Thank you Serenity Baptist Church from West Chester, Ohio, for helping our people with some practical repair needs. Led by their pastor Don Hooker, this fun-loving group of people came and did a fabulous job of giving our “much needed to be painted” Fellowship Hall an attractive face-lift. They not only painted the room with great fashion, but also replaced our VERY out dated & non-functioning “Emergency Exit Lights” throughout our ENTIRE building! These lights are not only more discreet in appearance, but also use much less electricity and are almost maintenance free! Thank you Serenity for your labor and financial help in these projects. You are an encouragement to our people!
Thank you Grace Navajo Baptist Church in Gallup, NM. When you “randomly” sent us a $1,200 check for any “projects” we may have need of at the church, you didn’t know that we would need to get our church van ready for camp. When the mechanic shop said it was going to be over a $1,000 I whispered, “Thank you Lord and bless GNBC for their sensitivity to follow your leading.” Then, much to my surprise, the owner of the shop said he wanted to give the church a discount. So, for a/c service, a throttle body cleaning, a throttle sensor repair, and 4 brand new tires we were charged just under $450!
Our registration fee at Navajo Baptist Bible Fellowship Youth Camp is just $50! While that may not seem like a lot by today’s standards, it is still a very restrictive amount to many of our Navajo youth. Again, a special thanks to Serenity Baptist Church for graciously paying the camp registration fee for our kids! Nine students, only 2 of which are saved, have already signed up. And trust me, they are ready to go. One student is already talking about packing! Youth camp is not until June 4-8! 😊
We have spoken in past letters how this church is facing DEEP struggles, yet by God’s grace, this church is reaching outward! Over 80% of our campers need Jesus! Your support has been used to show God’s favor in the community! God is not finished with this church, His church! Thanks for helping!
June/July 2018 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
This year's youth camp theme was "Fearless," taken from 2nd Timothy 1:7, which states, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind." What a privilege to take 10 kids to camp, 8 of which had not received Christ as their Saviour. However, we are happy to report that 2 of them gave their lives to Jesus during the camp. Pray for Monique and Joseph as they grow in their new faith.
Since October 2017, the church has put divisions behind them and continue to strive towards unity with the body. The church continues to enjoy the rewards of their unity in Christ, and 8 people have been saved of the past 7 months. May God be praised!
However, blessed the church is for its regained unity, the past 6 years of disharmony and discord have not been without consequences. Like any Navajo ministry, it will take a while for the church to financially grow to the point of being able to care for the facilities that God has blessed it with. While there was a day that they maintained it well, their present intent and desire is not enough to meet the pressing demands.
Please pray for the following projects:
Parking Lot: The parking lot is in ill repair. Deep cracks are many among its 25,000 sq. ft. area. We have graciously been offered to have the job done for just under $4,000. However, we must do the crack repair prep first. In the end, that is about $4,000 more than what the church currently has, as it is presently doing all it can to pay its current obligations.
Building Stucco: The stucco on the buildings are heavily cracked in numerous places.
Building Mortgage: While the church was once easily able to pay down the $440,000 mortgage that they took on 20 years ago, today, it struggles to make budget. Even still, we are tremendously proud of only having $26,915 to go!!
Church Parsonage: As church planters, we are always looking for a way to leave the work God calls us to. The sooner a Navajo pastor can come in, the better for the church. That's just the way we have learned to see it work. The church would be more readily able to care for a pastor's needs if they have a parsonage to facilitate his family. We have found a large single wide mobile home that would work. It costs just $8,000, but would need approximately $3,000 in repairs. However, $11,000 is not bad for housing costs!
Thank you for all of your support and prayers for these big needs!
September/October 2018 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
Just after 13 years from its birth, Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church in Page, AZ began a 4-year decline that led from an attendance of over 80 to a meager 20 people. Therefore, we came here 3 years ago, and the first two years were HARD! Each week was a watch for death to the remnants of its cold, divided body. However, while the past year has not been easier, something very significant took place a year ago, this month. GOD GAVE US UNITY!!!! Further, as a bonus, during the past twelve months, the church has rejoiced to see the new life of 12 people giving their hearts to Jesus!!!! 😊
During the past few months, we have been studying the "Riches of God's Grace" and "The Fruit of The Spirit," all while emphasizing "The Value of Being the People of God." While I wouldn't say the church is a well-organized body of Christ that is on the move for God. I am proud of them and extremely thankful to God as they rise once again and seek to be a voice for God in the community!
However wonderful the past seven years of neglect have plagued the church facilities with repairs that must often go unkept simply because there is no money left after mortgage and utilities! Prayerfully consider helping this sweet body of Christ to re-establish themselves by asking God what you can do to meet our needs listed as the following: roofing repairs for $750; a church sign for $1,000; parking lot repairs for $3,000; remainder of mortgage of $26,000; and a parsonage for $35,000. We also need new windows and screens; however, we don't how much that will cost us yet.
Thank you for all of your prayers and financial support!
December 2018 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
NEW LIFE is a wonderful Christmas gift! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church is thanking God for the NEW LIFE that is found in His name. During the past 13 months God has blessed us with the salvation of 12 souls that have found NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ!
Nehemiah and Joann in November of 2017; Levi and Calitri in December of 2017; Tisha in May of 2018; Joseph and Monique in June of 2018; Justina in October of 2018; and Breanna, Louie, Nephi, and Crystal in November of 2018.
Please, rejoice with us in celebrating this NEW LIFE!! Praise God!
Thank you for all you have done to support us this year.
And from our family to yours: HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
January/February 2019 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
The Navajo Fellowship Baptist Church's fabulously fantastic, frolicking, family-fun, film festival every Friday in February has been favorably scheduled further into the first two weeks of March! Perhaps, it has been such a success because it is the only warm public place to bring your family and friends for free popcorn and a big screen kids & family-friendly film on a freezing Friday in February, but I don't know for sure. Either way, we are forever grateful! We have had 3-5 visitors every week! Please continue to fervently pray for more favorable responses from family and friends as they continue to come view Faith building films on Friday, March 1st and 8th from 6-9PM!
Pray for our youth camp! The 2019 Navajo Baptist Bible Fellowship Youth Camp will be on June 3rd-9th. Our theme this year is based on Romans 8:38-39 and will be "Unstoppable" as we are more than conquerors in Jesus! Our kids come from very small and remote places across the reservation. The churches that they come from are small, and their youth groups are even smaller. Therefore, when they come to camp, they are encouraged to see the many other Navajo children at our Christian camp. Since these kids are from remote places, we take them to the city for swimming, bowling, and roller skating. While we seek to change the place and change the pace, our goal is always to allow God's Word to change their hearts! Please be in prayer as we plan and prepare for these kids to become Unstoppable servants for Christ!
Here are our current Prayer Requests:
- $3,000 and willing, able bodies to repair our parking lot.
- $35,000 for a church parsonage for the permanent future pastor.
- $25,000 to pay of the church's mortgage.
- PRAISE: God has restored unity in our church! However, the past 6 years have put them in a financial bind. Pray for fiscal wisdom and guidance
March/April/May 2019 Update from Ken Norris & Family, missionaries to the Navajo:
To start, thank you for 30 years and counting! The Navajo Indian Nation is the largest reservation in North America. It boasts a population of 300,000 on a land the size of Indiana or West Virginia ~ 27,000 sq. mi. With 35% of the people still waiting for electricity and 51% still using the outhouse because they have no running water in their homes, life there does not got too overly complicated!
However, we headed to Phoenix, about 5hrs. south of our home on the reservation, to catch a flight. We flew to Springfield, Missouri for the BBFI national meeting. On Wednesday, May 1st, we were recognized for 30 years of church planting service to the Navajo Indians. While Debbie and I are truly honored, our hearts turn their focus towards gratitude for the faithful churches that continue with us through their financial and prayer support.
To every church member who was moved by God in a Faith Promise Missions Conference, or otherwise, to give financially and/or prayerfully to their church's missions programs, we say "THANK YOU!"