Living Proof Live comes to Chinle
Nov 2, 2016
By Jean Bihn
More than 3,000 Native American women representing 20 tribes from 18 states converged on northeastern Arizona and the Navajo Nation Oct. 8 for Living Proof Live with Beth Moore, an event three years in the making. Organizers said it was the first gathering of its kind in the 7,000-seat Wildcat Den in the Chinle Unified School District.
“This is one of the first times this many Native Christian women came together to worship and pray together and hear and respond to God’s Word,” said Paula Hoyt, women’s ministry coordinator for the Fourcorners Association and Chinle city coordinator for the event.
The idea grew out of a 2013 Beth Moore Bible study and simulcast at White Mountain Apache Baptist Church in Whiteriver. Afterward, Hoyt began to dream of Beth Moore coming to the Navajo Nation to speak to Native American women from many tribes.
“Each woman is loved deeply by the Lord, and they don’t know,” Hoyt said. “I wanted them to know and hear and receive from the Lord Jesus Christ directly. One phrase that I held onto throughout the preparation for this event comes from John 4, where Jesus says to the Samaritan woman, ‘If you only knew WHO’ [was asking for water…]”
After more than a year of prayer by Hoyt and a small group of women from several tribes, Beth Moore and LifeWay Christian Resources’ leaders agreed to lead a day-long event.
Moore’s “down-home” approach to teaching alternately inspired laughter and tears in audience members. Worship sessions were led by Travis Cottrell, with music that brought participants to their feet.
Speaking about a tour of the Navajo Nation she had taken, Moore told the huge group, “I’ve been to the Holy Land several times and your land is not starkly different.”
Moving from Scripture to Scripture, Moore talked about the wounds many women suffer and how the Bible says in sorrow, people rend, or tear, at their clothes.
“A time to tear, a time to sew. We don’t mourn like those who have no hope,” she said, reading Ecclesiastes 3:7. “But there comes a time to sew that same garment. There comes a time when Jesus sews you up, one stitch at a time.”
Angela Nelson knows about wounds. The 49-year-old Navajo said she had experienced demonic oppression and continues to suffer from bipolar depression.
“I have experienced spiritual battles in my whole family,” Nelson said. “I wouldn’t be here without God as my foundation. I used to have no hope, but He’s my hope now.”
She came seeking prayer for her nephews, who are experiencing alcohol addiction.
An altar call resulted in dozens of decisions. At least 50 asked Jesus into their hearts, including an 80-year-old Navajo woman.
The emotional day came to an end in the parking lot of Memorial Baptist Church in Chinle, where Associate Pastor Greg Scott and Pastor Jon Hoyt of White Mountain Apache Baptist Church baptized 13 new believers in a galvanized steel trough.
Paula Hoyt and the leadership team gave God the praise for the success of the gathering.
“My head is bowed low before the Lord in worship, in gratitude,” she said. “He is so faithful and good. The Lord showed up. His presence and His Holy Spirit filled the worship and every one of us who came hungering to know Him and see Him.