In Her Own Words: An Interview with Delphina Johnson with the Native Nations Network

Linnette: Hi everyone, today I am excited to introduce to you Delphina Johnson! Delphina and her husband Tom lead the Native Nations Network and serve with Nations Within. They have three children and live in Northern Arizona. Delphina is a Navajo woman who loves the Lord with all her heart.  She grew up in the Navajo Traditional religion and came to faith in Christ in college when she was 20.

Delphina, introduce us to your kids and what you like about being a mom.

Delphina: I have three children. Our youngest, Naomi is 8. Our middle child is Bethani, she is 11. Levi is our oldest. He is 12. As my kids get older, I realize I love to be in the moment with my kids. I sometimes see myself take a mental snapshot of them at the age they are right now because it will be gone all too soon. I see them growing up right before my eyes. Their laughter, their innocent questions about life and especially their view of who God is to them is a gift I don’t recognize sometimes.

I can picture you being in a moment with your kids– what a gift that is to have a mom who is present with them! Well, tell me about your heart for the Native Nations Network and your work there.

Having been immersed in the Navajo culture most of my life, I have a heart to see Native people come to know Christ. When I think about our calling as Navigators to “Advance the Gospel into the Nations…”, my hope is to see Native people see Jesus not as a white man’s religion but as the Creator who loves them just the way they are.

That is powerful. I’m curious, what are some unique blessings and challenges you face in being a mommy missionary?

“How do I keep my priorities in order?” is a question I check myself on periodically. My children are a top priority. Always making sure their needs are not overlooked.

It is so easy to prioritize the people outside our homes and even to-do tasks over being present with our kids. How have you thought about engaging in ministry and motherhood simultaneously?

I asked my mentor when my kids were real young, if I should drop ministry for a while to be only a mommy, she wisely said ‘keep doing ministry even if is only one woman you meet with occasionally. Because at some point you will be an empty nester and doing ministry will not be as big of an adjustment as it would have been had you set that aside.’ I know that if that was what the Lord wanted me to do He would give me the strength. I also know everyone is different and to keep doing ministry is not for every mom. It was for me.

That is a lifelong laboring perspective! Thank you for sharing that with us. Delphina, how can we be praying for you and your family and ministry?

We finally put our 12 year-old and 11 year-old in school in August for the first time. I have never felt so vulnerable in trusting the Lord with my children as they are away 6-8 hours a day. They are swimming upstream in a culture that is very different than what they were taught at home. Please pray for my children as they go to school daily. I pray that they will be salt of the earth and as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Also, please pray that God would give us favor among whom He want us to reach, the next generation of Native leaders.

We are glad to join you in praying for these things. Thank you for sharing with us today!

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