Floyd Pearson, McPherson, long term leader for DOC Volunteering, recently led 26 members of the McPherson First Christian Church, Paola Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, and several friends on a mission trip to the Jemez Mountains near Cuba, N.M. The focus of the trip was to cut firewood for the Navajo Nation in the area. While on the mountain, the group lodged in cabins at Rancho del Chaparral, the Girl Scout camp in the Jemez mountains.
Greeted with a blizzard as they entered New Mexico and unable to head up the mountain until Monday, the first night was spent at the Lybrook Mission near Counselor, N.M. Included in donations left at Lybrook were a half pallet of flour donated by Grain Craft mill of McPherson as well as clothes, blankets, and numerous medical/personal hygiene items. Once up the mountain, volunteers worked for four days to cut and split wood. By Friday afternoon five, two-ton dump trucks of split wood had been delivered to three different Navajo Chapter Houses and Lybrook Mission. Additional wood that was cut during the week will be delivered to other Chapter Houses.
Because the Navajo are dependent on wood for cooking and heating, this mission was desperately needed. US Forest Rangers in the region were in awe of the number of volunteers and amount of wood that was cut and split. When asked why so many would travel so far to volunteer, Pearson responded, “We are called to serve.”
Plans are already being made to return to the Lybrook Mission in June for possible waterline installation and other maintenance projects. A trip in September is planned for wood cutting and delivery.