Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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High School Youth Travel to the Navajo Nation

Mission Trips from Abingdon

High school youth travel outside our local area about every third year. It is an opportunity to experience culture, people and geography different from our own.

In the intervening years, middle school youth join the high schoolers in a more local setting, usually within Virginia.

Both mission experiences are designed for the youth to work along side of the people in a given community and it is hoped that we contribute a positive and joyful spirit as well as tangible benefits of help and service.

Summer 2019

The Youth of Abingdon Church worked through the spring to prepare themselves and raise money for a pilgrimage and mission trip to the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona.

The goals of the team were to grow spiritually, learn about the history and culture of the Navajo, and to serve the people of the Navajo Nation.

 The desert provided plenty of opportunity for spiritual growth, as the five youth and two chaperones hiked up to a volcano and into the underlying ice cave at Bandero Volcano. They explored the ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs at the Canyon de Chelly. Most significantly, they experienced the vastness of the desert itself.



The Navajo people welcomed the team and generously shared their stories, both personal and historic, so that the team might better understand the people they were living among.

The team started to work at the Bonavenure Mission and School, but their task took on a personal note, as they helped prepare a hogan, a traditional home for a woman who became a friend.




After six days, the team arrived back in Virginia, exhausted, exhilerated, and changed.