Family & Friends,
I have not maintained this website for updates in some time. Good intentions can be easily crowded out if they are not protected. Time has come to make good on those intentions. Many or all of you may be aware of the events of the last year, but I think a recap is in order before renewing this web page.
February 2011 was a hard time. My mother passed away suddenly. I was due to travel to Iowa just a few weeks later to pack her things and move her to be with us in Alaska. Instead, the plane ticket was moved ahead so I could get back to care for her final things. Eventually, two separate trips were necessary.
I was extremely privileged to have Cheryl as my mom. I was blessed to be able to conduct her memorial service and spend time with so many who loved her too. Special thanks to everyone who helped me through those days. Many friends and family members made the mundane chores much easier to endure. I would name you all, but I wouldn’t want to forget anyone by accident. You know who you are and I am so grateful for your help.
March 2011 required that second trip to Iowa. Ethan was able to go with me. After finalizing everything for mom, Ethan and I visited Chicago. A few days there meant we got to visit the Field Museum and the Museum of Science & Industry.
May 2011 was blessed and also a hard time. Our family grew by one as Emily arrived. Her birth was difficult. She had aspirated meconium and was at risk for severe pneumonia. Our attending doctor and midwife moved fast and did a great job. While many babies spend months in intensive care or die from these infections, Emily never got ill. We spent just less than two weeks before bringing her home. The doctors were concerned she might have cystic fibrosis. We had to wait until autumn before she could be definitively tested.
June 2011 meant “The Intern” was in Nenana. We were blessed to have a Moody West (based in Spokane, WA) aviation student do her internship through Village Missions in Nenana. Rachel was a joy to have in all of our lives. She was a good friend to many young ladies in the church. I am thankful for her influence in Aerin’s life.
August 2011 marked our fourth year in Nenana. The ministry is rewarding and the fellow ministers are good friends. The reason I find pastoring a joy here is because the people make it joyful. The church has grown in attendance, finances, and most importantly, in the maturity of their faith.
September 2011 was a new experience. The Troxel family began homeschooling. Aerin and Ethan attend the local school for music. The rest of their classes are at home or with the help of their wonderful instructor at the local homeschool office. This type of education is very popular in Alaska and Nenana boasts a local program called CyberLynx. The kids have done great and we loved having them around even more.
November 2011 meant a trip to Washington State. We needed a bit of vacation and had a doctor’s appointment. We spent some time in Seattle seeing the sights. After Seattle, our friends, the Van Dykes, hosted us for time in Spokane. The Van Dykes are the parents of “The Intern” also known as Rachel. While there, Emily was seen by a specialist to rule out a concern she had cystic fibrosis. She is as healthy as we could ever hope and pray. We were able to visit our good friends the Hayek’s too. At the end of our time in Washington, Rebecca flew back to Alaska with Ethan and Emily.
The rest of the trip was an adventure for Aerin and me. We traveled to Portland. Why? In reverent tones, the answer is “Powell’s Bookstore!” This huge and amazing new and used bookstore is a real treat for bookworms like us. We spent hours there every day. Following our adventure, we too were homeward bound.
Holidays 2011/2012 was a great time of year as always. Presents abounded. We all had more fun with Emily’s first Christmas than she did.
Winter 2012 was uneventful in a very good way. We simply got to live and minister in the place we call home. Some minor adjustments to my diet has ended or reduced most of the symptoms from my liver disease. Insomnia is a thing of the past. The pain associated is little on some days and none on others. The itching that accompanies this disease is slowly lessening. My energy levels are getting better. Basically, I feel great!
Spring 2012 and Emily is one year old. A lot has happened. The few short words here don’t even come close to the joys and sorrows of my life or yours. In all this, God has been good as he always is. We have seen his hand at work and felt the comfort of his presence. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf during these times.
On the near horizon, I have been asked to preach a short message at a community service this Sunday. Once a year, the local churches gather to ask God’s blessing on Nenana and the jobs and food that comes from the river directly or indirectly by river travel. I will share a message on who God is and that his greatest blessing is salvation in Jesus Christ.
Thank you friends and family for your love, prayers and financial support as we serve our great God and minister to his people.