Navajo Chaplain Corps Stay Busy During COVID-19

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Navajo Nation gained national attention. Often, we were the epicenter of Covid-19. Covid-19 spread rapidly, decimating families in the Navajo Nation. Weekend lockdowns and nightly curfews were set in place to protect as many people as possible.

However, while much of the Navajo Nation and surrounding areas were under quarantine, the Navajo Chaplain Corps was busy. The feelings of despair, hopelessness, bitterness, and grief found throughout the first 20 verses of Lamentations 3 were touching the lives of everyone here.


The distribution site. Many people pictured here are chaplains.

The Navajo Chaplain Corps desired to bring hope to our community by visually displaying God’s love, mercy, and faithfulness as spoken of in Lamentations 3:21-23.

In the spring and summer of 2020, every chaplain in our corps assisted the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team. We put together nearly 8,000 care packages filled with food, paper products, and the hope of the Gospel. We gave these to pastors and chaplains in the Navajo Nation to distribute to those with the greatest need.


Several of our Chaplains and youth serving at our distribution center.

We delivered packages to homes where residents hadn’t eaten in days. We also provided food and a message of God’s love to numerous hotels in Gallup, New Mexico, housing the homeless and those infected with Covid-19.

We also distributed bleach and care packages to first-responders across the Navajo Nation and McKinley County, New Mexico.

During the summer and fall of 2020, we networked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to organize and host free CISM training in various locations. We taught first-responders and faith-based leaders how to address the trauma and grief that everyone in our region felt. We provided wood for hundreds of families this past winter, who rely on wood to heat their homes. Further, almost every one of our chaplains serves in full-time ministry in one capacity or another through Christian Radio, missions, youth ministry, church planting, addiction ministries, and education.
We continue to use our chaplaincy training and certification in various ways in our ministries and personal lives as we walk alongside hurting people looking for hope.

We are thankful for the incredible encouragement that the IFOC family has given us throughout this past year.

We invite you to watch a video produced by Chaplain Seth Stevens at the end of our food distribution.

Kevin Ruthven,
IFOC Senior Chaplain, Navajo Chaplain Corps


Chaplain Ty Platero (Assistant Commander for our Corps) speaking at the Office of Navajo Nation President and Vice President early on during our Covid Relief for one the President’s Town Hall meetings.