August 2013

Troxel Update August 2013


July was a busy month.  Nenana Community Church hosted the First Ever Gospel Music Festival.

The festival idea bloomed from an encounter last year.  In July 2012, Bud and Carolyn McAtee, of Voices of Peace, took a working vacation to Alaska.  They had started several such festivals all over the Midwest.  They felt a call from God to take this ministry into Alaska.  Upon arriving in Alaska, they contacted several churches in the larger communities of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and outlying areas.  After exhausting those avenues, they started calling churches in rural areas.  We were the first to ask them to come and talk to us more.

The McAtee’s came to Nenana and after time and prayer, we believed that this was something the Lord would have us do.  From there, the McAtee’s were connected to Jeannie Bennett, a friend that is an amazing planner and organizer.  On the Alaskan end, Jeannie did the vast majority of work to make the festival happen.

Returning to this year, the festival took place July 5th and 6th.  There was an open air church service on July 7th.  There were several Alaskan musicians along with many performing groups from the lower 48.  Attendance was around 100 or so, but the McAtee’s experience says that the first festival is a bit under attended with subsequent festivals growing every year.

During this time, the music was aired on the local Christian radio station.  The Scriptures were regularly read from the stage.  The Gospel was presented during the church service.  Now, the Second Annual Nenana Gospel Music Festival is scheduled for July 4th and 5th 2014.

We are eager to see how God will grow this and use it to further his glory.

In sad news, one of our supporting families experienced a terrible loss.  Beverly Hermans passed away this July.  Please join us in praying for her family, especially her husband Chuck.

In family news:

The Tanana Valley Fair runs August 2nd-11th.  The fair is always an exciting summer event.  The whole family looks forward to a day of fun.


Bill was the one giving the Gospel message at the open air service following the Gospel Music Festival.  The attendance was 107 which is pretty good for a town of 400.

Bill was kept busy during the 4th of July with the festival and also with the volunteer fire department.  The fire department made up most of the parade this year and provided first aid for the festivities and the festival.

Bill also got to be up close to a raging vehicle fire.  He usually mans the ambulance and provides support to the firefighters.  This time, only three firefighters were available to respond immediately to an RV engulfed in flames and threatening a home and a potential wildfire south of Nenana.  The fire was extinguished and property was saved.  No one was hurt even though a vehicle was lost.

Coming in August, Bill and Ethan are going on a fishing trip with good friends.  They will be ocean fishing at Valdez, AK.  Pray for a good catch.  Fishing and hunting are the harvest for Alaskans.


Rebecca picked veggies at a local farm to put up for winter, and is picking from her own garden almost every day. The long days make for some early vegetables.  Every day we are dining from her garden.

The chickens are laying about a dozen eggs a day, and the extras get sold to a local market in Fairbanks.  In more animal news, we have a small tortoise now.  Friends moved to the lower 48 and needed a family to adopt their pet.


Aerin is looking forward to band starting up again.  School is right around the corner.  As a high schooler, she has been playing the trombone for 7 years.  She especially looks forward to preparing for band festivals and competing at state.


Ethan is a working man.  Peonies are a cash crop in Interior Alaska.  Asian markets pay good prices for high quality peonies and our growing season allows for late season sales.  Some local families have planted large peony fields, and Ethan has been hired to weed for a friend of ours.  He is enjoying his own pocket money.


Emily is learning to identify colors and shapes.  She loves building block towers and knocking them down.  She loves lots of hugs and butterfly kisses.  She has now taken to leading one of us to the couch, gets her pillow and blanket, and turns the big people in her life into her recliner.


William is starting to taste food, and is almost ready to sit up.  He giggles a lot and loves to smile.  He got his first haircut this last week.  He has the most hair of any of the kids and he was getting a bit shabby.  Nothing Grandma Jeannie couldn’t fix.


Bill will be doing a lot of traveling the next few months.  Pray for safe trips.  Pray for safety as he volunteers at the fire department.

Bill and Rebecca will be going on a couples’ only retreat in mid-September.  Pray for the kids to have a good time and for mom and dad to enjoy some time alone.

Ethan is having a lot of trouble with allergies.  Pray for his comfort as we get him ready for allergy testing in August.

Thank you all for your support, both financially and in prayer.  Our support has dipped the last few months.  The Lord knows exactly how he will meet our every need.  Please join us in thanking Him in advance and pray that we remain ever trusting of His perfect care.


One response to “August 2013

  1. Tricia Hayek

    Thank you for the update! Love hearing how the Lord is working through you all in Nenana!

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