(All images below Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Photos — ANY UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION OR REPRODUCTION IS PROHIBITED)

Charlie Whitehorse is an important figure in Monument Valley.  On Memorial Day weekend in 2009, a group of five adults — including myself — and three youths, with two of them being my sons, Curtis and Grant, had the pleasure of meeting him during a mission trip sponsored by our Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Pastor Charlie Whitehorse

We left that Friday morning and got there that night, greeted by Pastor Whitehorse, who leads the 221-member Monument Valley Adventist Church.  He definitely speaks softly, and carries a big presence.  He spoke to our group for quite a while that first night as we settled in for our four-night stay at the church school on the Monument Valley reservation.  He briefed us on our plans for the next few days before we settled in for a night’s sleep.

On Saturday, our Sabbath day, we attended church with the members of the Monument Valley church, returned to the church school building for a potluck meal and fellowship time with the residents of the valley, and then went on a hiking and sightseeing trip led by Pastor Whitehorse and a few of the residents.

On Sunday, we got down to the biggest task at hand — working on the foundation for a brand new, two-story health center, all before Pastor Whitehorse led us on a trip through some slot canyons and up into some high Anasazi ruins that help to highlight such a magnificent area, made famous in so many John Wayne/John Ford and other Western movies.

That’s the whole reason for this blog post.  It was pretty neat on Tuesday to get the February 2012 edition of the Pacific Union (Adventist Church) Recorder magazine and see an update on Pastor Whitehorse leading Navajo Nation evangelism projects.  The updates in the article from the time we were there in 2009 included:

  • Pastor Whitehorse being named the Native American Coordinator of the Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Churches.
  • The Arizona Conference naming him to its same position so he can work on both the Nevada and Arizona borders.
  • Pastor Whitehorse being named director of Native American Ministries for the Pacific Union.
  • The health center, for which we helped build the foundation, is planned to open this fall.
  • A well is being drilled on Monument Valley church property to help alleviate the need for residents to drive pickup trucks to large tanks near the new health center so they can fill up large containers with adequate drinking water to haul back to their homes.
  • Near the new well, a new garden area is being built to grow fruits and vegetables for the residents there to help build and maintain a healthy diet.

It’s all a result of the tireless leadership of the quiet yet very large presence of Pastor Charlie Whitehorse.  It was an honor to get to know even a little bit about the man.

And now, here are some photographic memories of our trip to Monument Valley from 2009.

Denver Lodge and Diane Opp enjoy fellowship time with Monument Valley residents
Enjoying a potluck meal in Monument Valley
Dr. Tiffany and Darryl Priester, now serving a medical mission in Malawi
Visiting an old hogan site
Denver Lodge mixing cement for the health center's foundation
David Pufahl, Darryl Priester, and Grant Miller load up with fill dirt for health center's foundation
Working on the foundation for a Navajo health center
Curtis Miller digging in
Two brothers -- Grant (left) and Curtis Miller
Pastor Charlie Whitehorse shows how it's done in a slot canyon
Grant Miller navigates a slot canyon
Mission trip slot canyon explorers
The boys of the mission trip -- Curtis Miller, David Pufahl, Grant Miller
Grant liked "living on the edge" at the Anasazi ruins
Grant Miller and Darryl Priester "walking a wall"
Curtis' tubular bells and chimes in Moab on the return home
Grant's tubular bells in Moab on the return home

Press play on the following music video while looking at the remaining scenic photos.

Reminders of an ancient civilization

"Many Hands" among the Anasazi ruins

The Owl
The "Mittens" (middle) as they "switch sides"

One thought on “Remembering Charlie Whitehorse and a mission trip to Monument Valley

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