If the life of faith is like running a race, Mikayla Rose Sierra is leading the field.
A two-time state champion in the 300-meter hurdles — as well as a stand-out in volleyball and basketball — Mikayla is a 17-year-old high school senior who entered the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related Menaul School in the sixth grade. A member of the Navajo (Diné) [di-nay] Nation, Mikayla considers Menaul to be her home.
“Menaul raised me in a way,” she says of the college preparatory day and boarding school in Albuquerque.
“Since my mom worked full-time for the airlines, she was sometimes gone for four or six days at a time. My dad was going through his own challenges as he managed his business, causing him to be gone a lot due to work.”
Mikayla’s life-changing experience at Menaul — both in the sports arena and in the classroom — is made possible, in part, by gifts to the PC(USA)’s Christmas Joy Offering, which helps the school provide scholarships to exceptional students.
The annual Offering distributes gifts equally to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color and the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions.
Off the field, Mikayla has developed and matured into an amazing young woman. “Mikayla exemplifies the mission of Menaul School in that she is strong in mind, body and spirit,” said Melanie G. Davis, director of Institutional Advancement. “Proud to be Native American, Mikayla embraces her classmates at Menaul and their cultures from around the world.”
Mikayla shares that the Menaul community has helped her to grow in a variety of ways, including spiritually.
“I have definitely noticed an increase in my prayer life in recent years,” she said. “Chapel at Menaul always gives us a moment of reflection when we get to pray and give thanks for what we do have rather than being annoyed at what we might not have. I’m Native American so we also have a spiritual connection to the earth.”
When she graduates from Menaul, Sierra looks forward to becoming a lawyer because she wants to help people, just as her coaches, teachers and the Christmas Joy Offering have helped her. Her future is bright. And maybe one day she really will run the world; or at least a corner of it.
When we give to the Christmas Joy Offering, we share our love with the leaders of our Church — past, present and future. Please share your gifts with those share their gifts with us. When we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray~
God of justice and hope, you desire all your children to thrive in body, mind and spirit. We thank you for schools that nurture and cultivate such growth. Bless them in their work, and bless our giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, that it may support this critical mission. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.