"Above all things have fervent love for one another...Be hospitable to one another...As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." ~1 Peter 4:8-10
Providing discipleship, encouragement, and pastoral training to Native Alaskans in remote Alaska villages. James and Shannon Miller Family in Interior Alaska P.O. Box 73204, Fairbanks, AK 99707 ‖ 907-322-0320 ‖ firstname.lastname@example.org
January 19, 2017
Today's sunrise/sunset: 10:16a.m./3:48p.m. Length of day: 5hr, 32min
Today's low/high temp: -44* (up from -52 yesterday!)/-39* Yesterday's length of day: 5hr, 26min
Dear <<Greeting name>>
When the outside air temperature drops to -42 degrees, it seems the best thing to do is stay inside by the wood stove and write a prayer letter! Yes, that is 42 degrees BELOW zero. We are keeping warm with both the oil stove and the wood stove burning, plus a propane heater keeping the basement from freezing. No, we don't fly in that kind of weather either, especially since our likely destination, Grayling, has been as cold as -59 degrees in the last few days.
Walking into the house in Grayling after a long flight and hauling all of our luggage and supplies from the airport to the house is always a relief. On December 20, we had been delayed a day, and the less-than-perfect weather added a little more stress than normal. The warm greeting from our friends in Grayling and the snow machine ride to the house was a great relief. [Join us for that ride, the approach into Grayling, and other videos and photos from the trip using the links on the right!] When we walked into the house, our hearts were filled with joy at the pile of packages that were sent from many of you. After a few cups of salmon chowder, we were ready to dig into the large pile of Amazon boxes stacked in the living room. As we opened and tallied each package, we were overwhelmed by the love that was being shown to us in each thoughtful gift.
When your love tank is full, it’s easy to pass that on to other people; and when your house is equipped for hospitality, it is easy to share with others. We were immediately able to pass on your love to many in Grayling with a well-equipped house. Our hearts were delighted to serve up hot chocolate to the dozen or so visiting children and tea to the ladies - in mugs brightly decorated with Scripture verses - and to piece together a Precious Moments jigsaw puzzle by the warm Toyo stove.
Later in the week, we had a Christmas service in the Grayling Tribal Hall. It was a nice evening of singing, Scripture reading, and a devotional by James about the humility of Mary and Jesus in the Christmas story. We had planned to hold services in some of the surrounding villages, but weather did not permit us to fly.
That same weather delayed our return trip home, but that was a blessing. Instead, we were invited to the community Christmas dinner of prime rib and shrimp! They even had gifts for all of our children! It was an opportune time to meet some folks we'd never met before, both resident and visiting from nearby villages.
We made it home on Christmas Eve, for which we were all thankful. Let's just say that the weather required a lot of decision making.
Even though the weather is keeping us inside this week, please pray for upcoming ministry opportunities.
On January 25-29, we will be conducting another training module in Palmer. This course will be on the book of Acts. Please pray for potential students and for Harry Hafford as he organizes and teaches this training module.
We hope to make a trip out to Grayling in February. The house has had some issues with frozen pipes which will have to be dealt with then, if not before.
Please pray for InterAct. We joined our fellow missionaries in Palmer on January 6-8 for a winter retreat and met three families who have hearts for missions in Alaska. One of the men was a Marine who also served in Fallujah, Iraq, with James in Regimental Combat Team-1 in 2004. Please pray for all these families that God will give them direction.
Praise the Lord for His part of the body that supports us to do the work of the ministry! We are thankful for you!