By Dorie Panganiban – Farmington, New Mexico . . . Through donations by an online community, La Vida Mission continues to bless the Navajo community with much-needed propane gas used for basic cooking.

COVID-19 is severely impacting the Navajo Nation and its surrounding community.  While other communities were able to ease restrictions, the Navajo community in Farmington recently reintroduced their week-end lockdowns.  La Vida continues to bless this community in need through the ongoing, seemingly never-ending, pandemic.

In April, generous donors made it possible to give food baskets to the community on three different occasions.  On one occasion, the mission delivered food to individual homes, and the last two food distributions were staged out of the church parking lot.  Since April, La Vida has helped 375 families with much-needed food and bottled water.

After talking with families in the community, La Vida discovered that one of the greatest needs was propane gas for cooking. Knowing this was a major cost, La Vida wondered how they could afford to help them obtain propane gas. La Vida members took this urgent need to God in prayer.

Claire James, La Vida’s schoolteacher thought about doing a Facebook fundraiser to obtain the funds. She created the fundraiser and shared it with her Facebook friends who answered the need by donating enough to provide the propane gas.

It was a bit of a challenge finding a gas company who could do propane servicing to the mission, but praise God for Nations Gas, a Navajo-Pueblo-owned gas company, who happily agreed to partner with us and deliver the propane.

On Monday, June 29, this latest COVID-19 relief operation took place in the church parking lot. As many as 110 families were provided with free propane bottles to refill (100-lb, 40-lb, 30-lb and two 20-lb bottles per family) along with food, water, bags of flour, and instant noodles.

This has been an opportunity to make friends with everyone who made this possible as we served together and prayed with our new Native friends before the operation began.

-– Dorie Panganiban is community outreach director, La Vida Mission; photo supplied