Friends and family, I apologize for the delay between updates. I permitted the busyness of hunting season and the holiday season to provide an excuse for not updating you all with life and ministry in Nenana. Let me catch you up…
First, we have a much needed prayer request. We are in need of a family vehicle. Rebecca and I (along with Emily and William) were in an accident on the Parks Highway. The road had seemed good, but I hit a patch of ice and lost control. We struck a guardrail and came to rest before plunging into a deep ditch. Our van was totaled. We are thankful for God’s protection. There was no oncoming traffic. Even though it seemed that we would go into the ditch and rollover, we hit the guardrail on the opposing side. We were blessed to receive a few scratches and sore muscles. We even had good friends come along not three minutes after the collision and provide us with a ride back home.
A small slideshow (images will change slowly or you can flip through them):
I was blessed to receive a commendation from the Fire department as Firefighter of the Year 2013. I received a plaque at our year end banquet. I also received a purple heart for injuries sustained when the drunk driver collided with our ambulance as we were in transit to the hospital with a patient.
The holiday season was hectic. There is so much to do. We were able to host a community Thanksgiving. This was the sixth time we had done this. We also took part in many Christmas activities including caroling and an open house at the new parsonage. We enjoyed good food and the Good News as I read the nativity with a devotion on why Christ was born and what he accomplished by his death.
Rebecca’s section will catch you up on many other things that have happened. I will start with some things coming up.
In March, I will be attending the Shepherd’s Conference in California. The church graciously provides my expenses to attend. I get to go with one of the elders and another pastor form Alaska. I look forward very much to this time.
Late March and into April, I will be taking a certificate course to be an EMT-I. The ministry and civic opportunity with the Fire department has been a blessing to us.
I thought once the garden work was over and school started that I would have some down time, some time to relax, drink tea, sit and knit, and take a nap. HAH! We have been so busy in October and November, I have hardly sat down at all!
I have been on jury duty since September. Although I haven’t been needed for a trial, I have to call in every week to see if they need me the next week. I hope I get to serve but there aren’t many trials here and when they do get scheduled, they are often settled before jurors are needed.
In September, the van shredded its serpentine belt for the second time this year. I took it to get fixed and after the belt was replaced, the van started screaming at me at odd intervals. So I took it back in October, and the tensioner was replaced and another new belt installed. The van promptly (as soon as I got home, sixty miles from the shop) started to squeak all the time when the engine was running. I took it back to the shop in November and it was discovered that the wrong belt had been on the van since March, the first time it was shredded. Good news! They found the problem! Bad news! The right belt was not anywhere in Fairbanks! So it has been ordered from Anchorage and hopefully, when I take the van to the shop next week, it will finally be fixed. So frustrating! (As a note to this story, we don’t go in to Fairbanks often, so that is why I haven’t taken it to the shop quickly each time, although I have called the shop so they have known I would be returning.)
At the beginning of October I was invited to speak at a Ladies Retreat in Homer. I drove to Kenai (8 hours from Nenana) and joined a group of ladies and then we all went to Homer, another two hours down the peninsula. We stayed at a hotel right on the end of Homer Spit, right on the water. It was really lovely. I had not met any of the ladies before but we quickly found common friends, and became friends ourselves. I was there to speak about missions in Alaska and what we do here in Nenana.
I have a friend, Harriett, who is an older lady with diabetes. One of the ways I minister to her is to give her pedicures. We get to spend a special hour together about every six weeks. I really enjoy being this help to her and she really appreciates it. We talk quilting and knitting, and she tells me all about the recent goings on in her family that all live far away.
Our family went to Mission Family Retreat put on by Arctic Barnabas Ministries at Victory Bible Camp in mid-October. We all had a great time, as there were youth group activities, a nursery, and a speaker for the adults. We were there four days and really enjoyed meeting up with some old friends and the chance to meet some new ones.
I was elected Library Board President at the last meeting, which sounds really impressive. However, it only means that for the next couple of years, I get to run the library board meetings. Also, I was elected as Parent Representative for Head Start, so I will be attending meetings in Fairbanks next weekend and reporting back to the local parents.
Since coming to Nenana we have spent Thanksgiving with some friends at their home, but this year they moved to much smaller living quarters. And since we moved to a larger house, we are hosted Thanksgiving dinner. We had more than 2 dozen people! I enlisted the help of a neighbor and dinner attendee to cook a second turkey! We fully enjoyed gluten-free stuffing, zingy bean salad, sweet potato casserole, and of course, dessert!
Emily’s preschool was concerned with her lack of speech in September. They aren’t concerned anymore. Whatever tide gate was holding those words back has broken down. She is also potty training. She’s doing really good. Her bright eyes and curly locks are a joy to many.
Little Bill is almost ready to walk. Occasionally, he lets go of whatever he is hanging onto and looks like he wants to take that first step. He has sprouted 4 teeth in total. He is almost always smiling and is eager for a hug.