FARMINGTON — While they are still looking for baby Jesus, cast members of the Navajo Ministries nativity scene are almost ready for their big night.

Members of the nativity scene pulled on layers of clothing Thursday to fit themselves into an assortment of traditional Southwest clothing in preparation for the Saturday, Dec. 22 one-night showing.

The facility will be open to drive-thru visitors between 6 and 8 p.m. Guests can also drive further to a luminaria-lit path lined with Navajo carolers.

"I'm only nervous if lots and lots of people come, but I'm usually pretty brave," said Shakira Cervantes, 9, one of two who will play the part of Jesus's mother, Mary.

Navajo Ministries expects hundreds of visitors during the event. There is no admission fee, though donations are welcome.

"It helps to remind people why we celebrate Christmas," said Kay Baker, director of the partnership ministry.

The nativity has been an event for the facility since 1984. It has not changed much in the decades that it has been around, though one year the staff thought to incorporate a Santa Claus.

"That didn't go over very well," Baker said.

Many of the children that participate remember the event fondly and enjoy watching it still.

"I played every part, except Jesus. I lived here for 11 years," said Sonya Rodriquez, now a house mother for Navajo Ministries.

The organization has been around since 1953, when it first helped provide homes and support to Navajo families in need.


It has continued to do so without state, federal or tribal funding and relies on the financial support of independent partners.

The programs at Navajo Ministries include the Four Corners Home for Children, an on-site elementary school, KNMI Vertical Radio (FM 88.9), on-site counseling services and Navajo Nation Outreach.

For more information about the nativity, or about the organization, call 505-325-0255 or go to