A delegation from the FAME BOD were able to attend the Post Navajo Christian Leadership Summit in Window Rock, AZ on September 26, 2016.
It was on this trip that our delegation was able to listen and meet with others who are doing behavioral health (Preventive & Therapeutic) ministries on the Navajo reservation. This event is sponsored by the Navajo Nation President and Vice President who are Christians, and there were over 35 Christian leaders from around the Navajo reservation. The post-leadership summit meeting dealt with other areas beside behavioral health, but the topic of needing Christian behavioral health ministries on their reservation was made evident. We were able to meet with several key counseling ministries and therapists and what spurred from that meeting after the summit was that an online network where therapists with native cultural knowledge background could be located would be a great tool. In addition, having training for Native Church Pastors and lay-leaders on the topic of grief was seen as a key point to build up strong marriages and families.
What you should know is that talking about the dead is a taboo in Navajo culture and often times many hold in their emotions and are not able to process the death of loved ones. A curriculum on grief was presented as a possible task for the FAME team to take on. Overall, the trip was a great networking opportunity and I'm thankful to God for the connections made.
- Bradley Andrews