Leonard and Lorena Yazzie

Missionary Profile

Ministry Focus

Leonard's passion is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone he meets. He was appointed by Missions Door to take that news with him to rodeos and wherever his native people meet.

Faith Story

Leonard Yazzie was born in Keems Canyon, Arizona on the Navajo reservation. Raised by his grandparents nearby in the community of White Cone, he grew up tending the horses, cows, and sheep. As one of nine children, he was introduced to the cowboy lifestyle at age 5. His first rodeo competition came when he was 10. He was enrolled in a Christian school as a young man, but ran away when they prohibited him from speaking his native language. He later attended Toyie Indian Boarding School, but soon transferred to Holbrook High to play basketball. In 1979 Leonard turned his life over to Christ after his three best friends were killed in a car accident on a trip that he was supposed to be on. He realized God had spared his life and he vowed that he would serve Him for the rest of it. His pastor told him that God was calling him to teach and preach. In 1983 he became a youth pastor and in 1986 he met his wife Lorena at church. This same year he began traveling with the rodeo ministry and Lorena would go to watch him. He started the Indian Rodeo Ministry Association and served there several years. In 1996 he left the rodeo ministry and took over pastoring Tse Bii Otseel Bible Church when code talker Lemuel Yazzie retired as its pastor. He resigned as pastor in 2010 to follow his passion and life calling to serve God as a rodeo pastor.


Leonard and Lorena were married in 1989 and have four children: Kyon, Nyomi, Theriot and Hanna.


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Learn more about where this ministry happens

In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast

Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.

The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.

The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.

Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.

Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.

Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.

Cultural Snapshot

Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.

Faith Fact

In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.

Country Profile

Population: 320 million

Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other

Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others

Literacy: 99%

Poverty: 16%



Ministry service area:
Specialized Ministries

Ministry location:
Arizona, United States