Spring 2019

The small boy hurried along the trail, holding the hands of his two smaller brother and sister. The night was dark. The small boy wanted to cry but held it in. He was used to that feeling. He didn’t want to look weak when they all needed to act strong. The trail was longer in the dark. They could all imagine scary beings along the way. Somewhere on the trail up ahead they hoped to find the house that was really a tar paper shack. They couldn’t go back, it wasn’t safe. The hunger they felt kept them going. Later, much later they saw the outline of the place they hoped would welcome them in. This boy is now in his middle forty’s and is a school bus driver. He brings children to us that need our help. The Navajo lady sat before me. We knew each other since she was eight years old. She and I are both grandmothers now. I saw her she said with a faraway look on her face. She repeated it again, I did, I really saw her. This morning I was outside, and something caught my eye. It was a small Eagle sitting on a pole. I looked at it and it looked back at me. I didn’t move and it didn’t move. We just looked at each other for the longest time. Then I remembered, I felt tears in my eyes. Today makes ten years ago that my baby girl passed away. I know this is her way to let me know she is OK. Us Navajos she continued believe when we lose a loved one, they return to us in the form of an animal. An hour later the mother let out a sigh of relief and held out her hands. Please she asked, make me a prayer. I share these two stories with you because we need your continued prayers for wisdom as we go forward with the many needs among the Navajo people. The children on the reservation don’t like it when school is out. They say no School means no Food. So again, this summer we ask you to remember us with your gifts that will help our families on the Indian reservation. One of the greatest needs is water. When you help and send, we haul and go. Please keep us on the trails this summer and go with us and hold our hands in prayer.

Sylvia Webb

Summer 2019

My name is Kris Heaton. I live in Connecticut. At a church function in my hometown, I was introduced to Sylvia Webb. After we talked and she returned to Arizona. I decided to be a supporter of her mission. While on a business trip to Flordia, I was getting ready to fly back to connnecticut and I decided I wanted to go to Arizona. I called her, she said, come on over! I did! The drive up the mountain from Phoenix was breath taking. Cactus, blue sky WOW! The next day Sylvia and I, with her daughter driving, we headed out early for the reservation. Warning! The elevation at 6000 feet can be taxing. Another warning – hold on to your seat, the miles of wagon trails are rough!

Indian Mobile Mission? It is “MOBILE” and has a mission!!

We arrived at school. The staff and students all wanted to be the first to give Sylvia a hug. I never saw anyone get so many hugs, hundreds at least that day. The staff talked with me and told me how they were toddlers when Sylvia arrived fifty-one years ago. And now they smile and say we are the teachers and school bus drivers because Sylvia encouraged us to get in school. I also met the principle who is from New Jersey. He is finding his way around this foreign country called the Navajo Reservation. He could not say enough about the things Sylvia and Junior do to help the students. Classroom supplies, new clothes, shoes, toiletries and words of encouragement.

I enjoyed talking with a real live cowboy. He is also a bus driver. He told me about his horses, rodeo riding awards. He chuckled and pointed to scars and bumps when he flew in one direction and the horse galloped away in another. I loved his deep laugh when he said, sometimes the horse wins.

At school, some of the boys wore western hats to class. I felt like I was at a huge happy family reunion. Students, staff and community lined up for a meal. I caught a glimpse of Sylvia’s daughter serving meals to Navajo Children. Sylvia and her daughter have the same name thus the Junior defines who is who.

Sylvia asked a small boy if he goes to bed hungry. He looked down at his feet and said, “I have no bed.” Another story I heard was a boy who wanted to play soccer. The teachers were in a huddle about why he keeps falling. Soon the truth was known, he was wearing his sister’s big shoes (they share) and he was tripping over his feet…. Sylvia and YOU to the rescue!

The Sylvia’s need your help. As you read this school will be starting. Hundreds of children will enter their classrooms empty handed. A tall old Navajo man hugged Sylvia. At home his is called Big Daddy. He was dead set against education for his grandson. Sylvia talked with Big Daddy many times. This year the grandson Foot Runner went into 6th grade passing with flying colors. The boy said someday I will care of Big Daddy.

And this was just my first day with Sylvia and the Navajos. Come see for yourself. I’m going home and tell everyone….. I went, I saw the raw truth and the need. Let’s help Sylvia and Junior stay on the trails where the real need is.

Till the next Adventure in Navajo Land!

Kris from Connecticut

June 2020

“Crybaby”, she’s just a crybaby. The Navajo ladies in the village all agreed with a nod of the head. The small girl was about three years old. She seemed lost in the village of smoke and brown faces. She felt lost and unwanted. She knew she was different. Not one spot in the village was hers. She wandered around in hopes someone would give her a scrap of bread or meat to eat.

One day a strange lady appeared in the village. She spoke some words, but no one knew what they were. The lady was white…not brown. The lady “smiled” everyone understood that language. The lady was drawn to the child called “Crybaby”. There was an instant connection. The lady said in Navajo “Jesus Loves You”. The village listened, who was she? Who is Jesus? Later they learned her name was Sylvia. But the idea of her “Jesus” was strange. One-night Crybaby had a dream, she saw a really bright light, a hand with a scar on it reached out to her and said, “little girl don’t be afraid.”

The years flew by, Sylvia was always there with books, papers and pencils, also clothes and shoes. Crybaby loved the place called school. One day she received a Bible story book with beautiful pictures. At the age of thirteen, Crybaby asked Jesus into her heart. Soon some family members asked Jesus into their hearts too. But some family members got ugly to Crybaby. One day Crybaby asked her mother why she looked different than her sister and brother. She was hit and told to never ask that question again.

At the age of eighteen Crybaby graduated from high school with excellent grades. She loved Math. She was happy to go home and hoped for a Coke to celebrate. But when she arrived home she was told to get out! With tears in her eyes, Jesus in her heart and her diploma in her pocket she caught a ride to Phoenix. She was scared but got three jobs and put herself through college. Twenty-five years later, she is still in the accounting department for the City of Phoenix. At the age of twenty-seven she married a Christian Navajo man. They have two sons in High School.

She is no longer Crybaby; she is a Christian with a mission. She and Sylvia make up family bags of needed items for people on the reservation. A copy of the Lord’s Prayer is placed in each of the family packages. Crybaby’s real name is “Bernita.” She says she has been blessed and wants to give back to her people.

As I write, the phone rang. Crybaby was crying. What she said made me cry too – she just lost her sister to Covid 19. Please keep us all in your prayers as we help others. There’s much illness and death on the Reservation.

Sylvia Webb

May 2020

What’s that sound? The security at school went from door to door trying to find where the sound was coming from. Two more days and school would open, the break would be over. They heard it again then they located the rapping. A small boy was outside on tippy toes trying to get in. Security opened the door. The child was crying, his eyes and nose ran down to his chin. I’m hungry he said with a pleading voice.

Right now, “PLEASE” help us help Navajo Indian children like this boy. He knew if he could just get to school, he would be okay.

We want to be there with food and bottled water for many of the students just like this boy. He knew where the safe place was. The Reservation is under emergency shut down at this time. Many are ill.

Years ago, we sponsored a girl till she as about fifteen. The family moved from our area. We never forget them and wish them well. Last week my daughter and Navajo lady who is a longtime friend went to Flagstaff AZ for supplies. We were in a store and I heard my name called. I turned around and there she was, gown and a manager of a large well know chain. We hugged, we cried and oh the memories!

At last we have a school nurse, the principal said. I was busy but said “who is it?” Her name is Candida was his reply. I dropped my pencil. I was thrilled, our sponsored child of long ago is home helping children in her own area. Her sponsor helped her through the years with books and many other needs. Toddlers that I met over fifty years ago, are now teachers in schools on the reservation. I had to push against culture to give them pencils and notebooks. They have their own stories of struggles with education to help their community. Education was not accepted for a long time. It was looked on as a threat.

One teenage boy was just bad. We got ahold of him and taught him about Jesus. He saw the light, got a job and today he is a Trackman Operator for the Railroad.

Yup, fifty-two years and counting. Still on the trails with your Blessings! Speaking of Blessings, my daughter is on the trails with me. Our Navajo friends are thrilled! In the Navajo Culture mothers and daughters are never apart—ever! A recent girl handed to us from a sweet Navajo lady was hand-made muffins. They were so good. Ingredients were blue corn meal and ashes. Anything made with blue cornmeal is considered a gift of high esteem. Yum, soooo good.

Till next time. With Your Prayers and Help,

Sylvia and Sylvia Jr.

January 2020

Greetings from Pennsylvania, I am Holly Dangerfield. When I was in High School, I learned about the plight of the Native peoples. But I did not know how to help or what to do. I didn’t know where they were. Years later, I was in a Christian Book Store and overheard two ladies talking about someone who lived among the native people and helped them. I asked the ladies for more information. Soon, I learned they were talking about Sylvia Webb and Indian Mobile Mission. That was twenty years ago! Sylvia and I talked on the phone a few times. Then one day this past fall I called her. She told me of a need for toothbrushes and tooth paste for the children and adults. Such a small item and I asked, “why?” Sylvia told me of a child who received a toothbrush in a gift bag. He was so excited! In his family there are six people and they all use the same toothbrush. This was not okay with me. I went to my Pastor and it was not okay with him either. Our Church started a collection and we counted 7000 toothbrushes with paste to match. My Pastor wasn’t done yet. And he said, we are sending you out to the reservation so you can help pass them out. I was thrilled!We made home visits on the second day. I didn’t know in our country people lived in dwellings a little bigger than a goat shed. In some cases, three generations huddled together. I am lost for words to describe what I saw. But the love I felt from all these families….wow…I found myself enjoying the people and the surroundings did not matter. However, I will never take a glass of clean water for granted again or grumble about vacuuming the carpet, washing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom. During one visit, I was surprised to see a large handmade wool Navajo Rug being made on a loom. Another home we visited I saw a five-year-old boy. He wanted to attend school. Sylvia encourages attendance…then we heard what the problem was. The small boy was dropped off months ago by a person who in turn dropped him off at another home. He has no birth certificate. No one in the home was sure who he was. Because there is no paper trail on this child he cannot sign up for school. So, from a distance he watches other happy children enter a building where he can’t go. I did lose my composure when on that hot day we saw a group of horses dying for water. There was a water tank, but the faucet was down in a deep pipe underground. The horses knew there was water but could not reach it. A Navajo lady laid on the ground and could barely reach the pipe, all of a sudden, the rush of water flowed into the trough. The horses gulped till they were full. I saw for myself the need and felt the pain of Sylvia and her daughters experience. For the minimum of twenty-five dollars you can sponsor a child. Or you can send undesignated funds to help families with food and so many other needs. After what I saw, I decided to sponsor a second child

In Loving Memory

Ken Webb was born June 26, 1929 in Massachusetts. He endured school and never went straight home after class. There were more interesting things to do like hunting bugs and frogs for his collection at home. His mother became a nervous Nellie and a screamer as a white pet rat crawled out from under his bed.

At the age of seventeen he wanted to expand his roaming for adventure and begged his parents to sign on the dotted line so he could enlist in the Navy. They said NO many times. But the soup at home was getting thin so they relented and away he sailed. He quickly decided it was a mistake but had to stick it out. He counted down the years and months until he was out. By then his dad who was a plasterer by trade and was working in Phoenix, Arizona. Ken tried his hand at different jobs till one day he went into a coffee shop and had a chat with a man who was driving a telephone truck. A cup of coffee and a slice of pie later the deal was struck. He was now an employee as a lineman for the county.

He started out with a five foot shovel to dig holes for the lines. As the years went by and more schooling was required he moved up the ranks into computers. He was a bachelor with a few scars from a broken heart. He bumped into Sylvia in Snowflake, Arizona when her pick-up truck needed fixing at a local garage. That day his life changed forever – but change is good.

They met in April of 1983 and were married in July of 1984 in Alaska while on a fishing trip. His knowledge of computers and no knowledge of how to be a husband made for an interesting start.

Mr. Webb was a quiet man with a quiet strength. He will be missed but never forgotten by Sylvia and his many friends. His quiet wisdom helped Sylvia with major decisions on the Navajo Reservation.

A new year is upon us with new adventure and challenges. Sylvia needs your love and prayers as she continues travelling the trails.  

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Me and the stray dogs waited for the door to open. Scraps would fly in our direction. We just had to be patient. We were all hungry all the time. The year was 1968 and I just turned twenty-four years old. I listened for the creek of the door. We heard it. The Indian lady would get in trouble if she got caught. She was very traditional. But she was kind to me. Don’t tell she whispered. Winter 1969 I was cold, lonely and miserable. Hunger was my constant companion. The Navajo Reservation was vast. The family’s huddled in their hogans near the fire. I stood still and sniffed the air. I smelled food. I followed my nose. Soon a home came into view. I was very shy but my hunger was stronger. I knocked on the small wooden door. I heard a word in Navajo that meant “come in”. I ducked down and entered. A group of natives sat around a cast iron pot. They used their fingers to scoop up fried potatoes. It smelled so good. I knew I should stand in the shadows and watch. When I saw a slight movement. Two people moved apart. That was my signal that I was welcome to sit with them. I kept my eyes cast down to show respect. I waited my turn to gather a few pieces of food. Toddlers and babies sat on mother’s and grandmother’s lap. The food was chewed then placed in their mouths. I felt so accepted. I felt cared for. Somehow, I knew these people would care for me in their own way. Forward Fast – 2018 and Holidays are near. The toddlers of long ago are now teachers and school bus drivers on the reservation. Some are nurses and some young men and women are police. Others entered the military. I am still among them. We talk, we laugh, we cry tears of joy when we think of the past that brought us together. These are my people. They fed me when I was hungry. They cried with me at losses in my life. And they now rejoice with me because my daughter and I work together bringing gifts and supplies. Third and Fourth generations of Navajos are my family. Fifty years of my life and I can truly say God is Good and He had a plan when I didn’t. Speaking of Plans, can you please fit us into your Holiday Plans with Turkey’s and Gifts for our Indian Children? You can shop and ship or we can do it in your name. Together we can give a little back when they Gave Me so Much!

Sylvia Webb & Sylvia Jr. 

Summer 2018 Newsletter

One of my earliest memories was the day I acquired a five-gallon plastic pail and a piece of rope. I felt like a queen. Now all I had to do was find water. A few days later I came across a deep well. I knelt by the well with my pail. Water! How precious, I hauled it back to camp. With some soap and a cast-off toilet plunger, I had just invented a washing machine. After bubbles and a rinse, I hung my undergarments to dry. I sang praises as I tided up the camp. I sang loud and clear. How happy I was. Suddenly, I heard another sound. Indian boys on horseback spotted the rope clothesline. They wanted it. They cut it lose and there went my wash through the red dirt of the Navajo Reservation.

Let’s continue to Celebrate my milestone of 50 years among the Navajo people. This summer, you and I can deliver more water, more food and more comfort than ever before. The need is great among the children who are alone and trying to survive each day. Recently, I was at a home where a nine-year-old boy lives. He is very thin. The grandmother said he’s hungry. She was ill with the flu. I gave her some over the counter meds and I handed him my bologna sandwich. Soon two more children appeared. their glance in my direction said it all, “thank you”. The children shared the sandwich sitting on their bed which was a piece of flat cardboard on the dirt floor.

Summer, 2018 We need more supplies. You and I together, are the only ones to continue on the trails reaching hungry thirsty Indian children this summer. Summertime is not vacation time on the reservation. It’s lonely, hot and boring. Most homes have no electricity, bathrooms or water. The children are in survival mode wishing for school to start. Come along with your prayers and gifts, be with us in spirit. We really need you.