"Praise the LORD! Call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples. Make mention that His name is exalted; sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things. This is known in all the earth." Is. 12:2-5
July 27, 2015 Today's sunrise/sunset: 4:33a.m./11:19a.m. Length of day: 18hr, 46min
Today's low/high temp: 49*/64* Yesterday's length of day: 18hr, 53min
Dear <<Greeting name>>,
Summers in Alaska are unlike summers anywhere else. Everyone is keenly aware that these few warm months will soon be gone, and every opportunity to work on outside projects must be seized. Ministry also follows this rule of "get the outside work done before the snow flies." Last week, we had some opportunities to serve in some of these outdoor projects.
On July 15, James flew out to the village of Eagle with a fellow InterAct missionary and a work team from Indiana. This village on the Yukon River and the Canada border was flooded out in 2009. The village was rebuilt further away from the river, and they have been in the process of building a church building. Our contact there was an elder woman who couldn't really explain what still needed to be done on the building. We decided to go get "eyes on." When we arrived, we were surprised to find a Southern Baptist missionary with a work crew from Tennessee doing a fine job on the log building. Though our work crew wasn't needed, it was a good opportunity to introduce them to life in the Alaska bush.
First Family Ministry Trip in the Airplane!
The next day, our family loaded up the plane and headed to Shageluk for our first family ministry trip (about 400 miles SW on the Innoko River, near the Yukon). Our main purpose was to get to know some of the people that James met on his trip in April and to help them build a log house. We went prepared to tent camp so as not to make our coming a burden to our hosts. When we arrived, it was raining and later in the day than we had hoped. We were greeted with an invitation to a dinner of moose soup and fresh bread. It took us a couple of trips in a side-by-side to get all of us and our gear up to the village, which is three miles from the airport. After dinner, it was still raining, and our hosts arranged for us to stay in an empty duplex that is used for teacher housing during the school year. We were pleasantly surprised to find it had running water, a full kitchen, and even a bathroom with flushing toilets and a hot shower!
Work on the house was slowed by the rain, but by the end of our fourth day, we had finished the last course of logs and had set the beam for the second floor joists. It was a joy to work with several men from the village. We shared a lot of laughs, and I learned a lot about building a log house from these men.
On our way home this last Monday, we stopped by Grayling to look at the missionary house and inventory what it needs to live in as a family. James identified several issues of plumbing and heating that need to be addressed. It also needs a good cleaning. Please pray for wisdom and skill in addressing these issues. We visited some folks in the village store and in the tribal hall, then we were on our way home.
We needed a little fuel to make it, so we stopped in Galena. After fueling, we thought, since we are so close, let's drop in on some fellow InterAct missionaries and a Christian Native couple we know in Ruby. We had a nice visit for a couple of hours and still made it home before sunset! That made four villages in one day!
Now we are back home and need to spend time on our own summer projects, which includes repairing some wingtip damage on the airplane - from bison rubbing up against it while it was parked in Shageluk! Something new to add to the pre-flight checklist.
To the praise of His glory,
James and Shannon
PRAISE THE LORD FOR
Safety in and ease of travel
Time spent with our hosts in Shageluk
Faithful, encouraging partners
Fewer smoky days
Good study of John 1-6 through the Bible Bee
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Details to begin family ministry in Grayling and Shageluk, including house repairs, utilities
Summer projects, including James completing his instrument and commercial ratings by October 1
Wisdom in how to pursue instrument certification on the airplane. A recent estimate was much more than expected.
10% of Grayling residents are still out fighting fires