In celebration of their 30th anniversary, Navajo Pastor Rev. Darwin and Ann Tsosie renewed their wedding vows on May 18 at their church, Red Rock Wesleyan, on the Navajo Reservation. Although the day began with an early morning snowfall, a joyful, warm and loving mood prevailed!
The bride’s two oldest sons, Aldo and Titus, escorted their mom down the aisle, while granddaughters, Reshanna, Trina and Giselle, served as bridesmaids. Five-year-old grandson, Aldo, Jr., served as ring bearer. Pastor Ron Little performed the renewing of vows ceremony, which included the exchange of wedding rings.
Daughters, Annabelle and Leona, and daughter-in-law, Jerri, desired to honor their parents in a meaningful way by organizing and funding the renewal of vows ceremony and reception.
As part of Navajo tradition, the younger women work in the kitchen and serve the older family members and friends. A unique gift was given to the couple: a penny collection in a display case for each year the Tsosies have been married.
Twenty-six years ago, this Navajo couple began their ministry at Red Rock Wesleyan Church, located in a remote area of the Navajo reservation. The Tsosies were burdened for their family and their Navajo people to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Their burden remains today.
When asked how they’re doing, they reply, “We just keep trusting the Lord.” This fervent trust carries them through day-to-day hardships such as driving on rut-filled, muddy roads, dealing with dry spells at community wells forcing them to buy water, repairing broken down vehicles and providing for the needs of their children still living at home: Titus, Brian and Sheena. Their congregation cannot support them, so for every need, the Tsosies rely wholly on the Lord’s provision through his people.
Pastor Tsosie’s life verse summarizes how he has prevailed through the years: “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31 NAS).
These words from Isaiah picture a daily life of spiritual and physical renewal. In the special celebrations of life, as in the renewal of vows, a couple’s recommitment to each other and to the Lord embodies a rebirth.