Native Hope Ministries grew out of efforts to help several Navajo organizations, primarily in the Shiprock, NM area. That expanded into a wider effort to assemble and install simple solar lights for homes with children on the Navajo reservation, a ministry that we first called “Lighting for Literacy.” That ministry expanded further into Native Hope Solar, which has reached a much larger number of families. Unfortunately, we have had to pause our solar installations due to the COVID crisis.

Throughout our work we have become aware of the many families who are living in substandard homes without electricity or running water. A combination of no vehicle, poor roads and isolation means that they struggle to obtain sufficient food, water and firewood. Native Hope Ministries is expanding its efforts to help some of those families. With donations of cash, food and supplies from members of Summit Church and the wider Durango community, we have begun a coordinated effort to bring food, water and firewood on a regular basis to about 60 of the neediest families. To augment that effort, we have developed a Family to Family program to match a Durango-area family with one of the Navajo families.

Want to get involved?

Water Distribution

We have identified many families who are without running water and have no access to clean water. We have started to purchase 55 gallon water tanks with hand pumps to deliver to some of those families in desperate need of water. Our Navajo employees, Melton, Joseph and Noreen, stop by those homes to fill up the 55 gallon tanks on a rotating basis as they go around the reservation delivering food, firewood, and other supplies. The total cost for a 55 gallon water tank and hand pump is $80. If you are interested in purchasing a water tank and pump for a Navajo family that has no access to water, please contact us!

There is a need for firewood and you can also purchase a cord of wood for $120 if you are interested and able to do so. Please specify when you make donations for firewood on your check or on an envelope. If making a donation for firewood online, please email

Solar Lights

We have been assembling and installing small 10 watt solar panels with LED lights on homes, shacks, trailers, and Hogans on the Navajo reservation since January of 2016 due to the lack of access to electricity in so many places on the reservation. This ministry was started to provide lighting in homes at night for children on the reservation to do their homework instead of breathing in toxic fumes from kerosene lamps. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we have had to suspend our solar lighting program. When it is determined to be safe to go inside homes on the reservation again, we will resume our solar lighting ministry at that time. We are planning to bring this program back soon. Please watch for updates on this page.

Food Drive

We coordinate several food drives throughout the year to supply much needed food to families on the Navajo Nation. Our next food drive will be on November 13th, 10am-3pm. Click on the link below to see a list of accepted items. 

Native Hope Flyer- Click here for more information.

Family to Family

Family to Family matches individuals and families in the Durango area with Native individuals and families on the Navajo reservation. In order to participate, each individual/family agrees to accept certain responsibilities for a one-year period. Among other things, each Durango area family agrees to provide food and houshold items monthly to their assigned individual/family as suggested by Native Hope Ministries. Each Native family agrees, among other things, to monthly do a kindness for someone outside their immediate family.

Each Durango and Native family interested in participating will need to complete an application. Durango area families can click on the link below to access the application form. After reviewing the submitted applications, the Family to Family committee will match up the participants. Durango families will be given containers and a schedule of when to bring their items to the church.

We believe that inter-cultural relationships provide significant benefits. Therefore, we encourage all participants to get to know one another by phone or mail, whatever is manageable for them. It is our hope that each participant will grow through respectful sharing and understanding of our cultural differences and similarities.

For more information contact Jake Forsythe ( or Marcia Heidenreich (

Building Community

Changing Lives

Bringing Hope