Tag Archives: California

February 2015

January was a month to rest and catch our breath. The holiday season is over and January slows down a bit. Still, we had a lot to get done as we look to the spring and summer.

In June, we will be attending a Village Missions conference at Canon Beach, OR. The mission will be paying for our tickets to Oregon. Rebecca spent a lot of time and effort arranging a family vacation around that trip. We will fly down early and will be traveling to California for a brief visit at Disneyland.

From California, we will travel to Nevada. While there, we hope to visit Rebecca’s grandmother who turns 100 this year. This trip will also take us to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. The kids are excited to see these places and the parents are too.

Rebecca has worked with the VM office to get a lot of details squared away for a smooth trip and family fun. Working like this in January helps us look ahead to warmer weather in the midst of winter. Winter has come upon us finally. The day I wrote this, the thermometer showed -41 degrees.

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Homeward Bound

The Troxels are starting the trip that takes us home! We will be on a plane this evening and arrive early morning into Anchorage. We will grab some sleep and then hit the road and get to our hometown by Friday evening.


Prayer Update:

I asked for prayer for a lady fighting cancer. She passed away last Thursday. Please pray for her husband and children and the rest of the family and friends. My fondest memory of this great lady is her smile. She had a smile that lit her entire face and the face of everyone around her. Her joy and love for life, her family and everyone around her was always evident. Join my family in praying for her family.


Travel Update:

We thoroughly enjoyed the time worshiping with the brethren at Clover Valley Community Church. The morning service included a wonderful testimony of one of the members. I was particularly moved by how the love of the folks at the church had made such an impact on his life. For the main service, I was able to share a few minutes of the ministry in Nenana and how blessed we are to live there. The message was an excellent handling of the passage in John concerning Jesus’ teaching of the vine and branches.

Monday morning, Ethan and I traveled with our district representatives to the conference location. Rebecca and Aerin came later with fellow Village Missionaries. The conference was in Ocean Park, Washington at the Sunset View Resort. The resort was wonderful and is a Christian organization eager to host Christian conferences.

The time in conference was blessed. The opening session was by Bill Wayland. Bill shared the role of suffering as God grows us into the image of Christ and for ministering to one another. Fellow missionaries, Bob and Ruth Silver, conducted several sessions. Bob focused on the challenges of pastors and the Scriptural truths that apply to them. Ruth took her experiences in Christian counseling and shared how pastoral families can work toward emotional health and stay healthy. She also passed along several tools to aid pastors in the spiritual care of God’s people.

Also during this time, Brian Wechsler, gave us a financial and state of ministry report for VM. While VM has been presented with several financial challenges in the past 2 years, God’s sovereign care is evident. For every challenge, God has lavished grace and glorified his name by providing for the needs of the mission and the missionaries. I am very thankful for the godly leadership within VM.

Following the conference, we got a ride into Portland with Butch and Jennifer Hallenbeck who serve in Glenwood, Washington. We checked into the Mark Spencer Hotel in the downtown area. That evening, we went to Powell’s Bookstore just a few blocks away. Fortunately they offer inexpensive shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

Today, we spent the day relaxing and with the kids doing the last of their homework. We will be taking a cab to the airport at 6:30 p.m. Oregon time. By midnight AK time we will be in Anchorage. We are very homesick and eager to arrive home to Nenana by Friday evening.

Thanks to everyone who has been with us through prayer. Continue praying for our safe travel home. We feel very rested and eager to get back to life and ministry at home.

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Big Foot & Redwoods

Our time with the Hayeks in Willow Creek was a blast. But before I add anymore, let me request some prayer for a dear family. The mom in this family is battling cancer. Her name is Carole. Please be praying for a miracluous healing. Also, pray for strength and comfort for mom, dad, and all the kids. This family has been dear to me for years and the son is a very good friend to me. The whole family has been a blessing to me and I pray for God’s special blessing for them in this time.


Our trip to Willow Creek and the fun we had with our friends was very restful. They fed us the best of food and loaned us a car after our roadblock in Redding. Our time there included a trip to the Redwoods. We were able to do some hiking and we were awed by the size of these trees. We also got to drive through a redwood tree.

We also got to go to the Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek. After the museum, we spotted a Schwann’s truck, something you don’t see in Alaska. We bought some boxes of ice cream to share with our friends.

We left Willow Creek on Friday evening. Jeremy and the two eldest boys came along. We went hamster shopping with the eldest son. Then we all went to In & Out Burger. We were told that this was a must do in experiencing Californian culture. Finally we checked into a hotel.

We left this morning early to catch our 3 a.m. train to Kelso, Washington. We will arrive by 5:15 p.m. to be met by fellow Village Missionaries, the Gustafsons. We will be worshiping with them on Sunday morning at Clover Valley Community Church. After this we will catch a ride with our friends the Hargroves to the conference.

We continue to be rested and refreshed. We also have enjoyed wonderful weather and safety in all our travels. We praise the Lord for this and pray (and ask you to join us in prayer) for continued safety all the way back home to Nenana. We should be in our own home by October 29th.

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Roadblock in Redding

We have arrived in Redding California!

The train trip was long but a lot of fun. The Coast Starlight train took us north with a great view of the ocean and farmland. We were comfortable in the coach cars and enjoyed eating in the dining car. Books, mp3 players, and I-pods kept us entertained.

We arrived in Redding this morning at 3 a.m. We walked several blocks to our hotel and eventually got to sleep again. When we got up we took the kids down the block for donuts. After breakfast, Rebecca called the rental car company for a ride from the hotel to their office.

After waiting for far longer than we were told we would wait, Rebecca called them again. It turns out that while they have had our payment information for weeks, they do not rent cars on bank debit cards. They require a credit card, but we don’t use credit of any kind. They gave us the number of the only rental company that allowed debit cards.

Rebecca called the referred company and discovered that they required a California driver license to rent a car. Fortunately, I was speaking with our friends the Hayeks on another phone. Tricia is our hero. She is driving 2 hours from his home to Redding to pick us up. Even more, they are giving us use of another vehicle they have. Thank you God for your provision! Thank you Hayeks for ministering to our needs.

While in and around Redding, we will be visiting the Redwoods and may be taking a tour of a local cave system.

For now, while we wait for Tricia to come to our aid, we are going to the mall. The kids have chosen vacation to outgrow their shoes. Seems they get bigger while our backs are turned. So we will be getting them some new shoes this morning.

Friends and family, we have been having a great time of rest and refreshment. We have enjoyed safety in our Father’s care. Please pray with us for continued rest and for fun and for safe deliverance to the conference and back to our home and church family.

Also, please join us in prayer for the Lord family. Willie Lord is the chief of the village of Nenana. His sister passed away and the funeral service is this weekend. Also pray for the folks of Nenana Community Church that they have opportunities to minister comfort to Willie and the rest of the family.

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Mountain Retreat

The Troxels have just finished a wonderful mountain cabin retreat.

Last Sunday, we were to meet up with the brother of one of our congregants at New Song Church. We arrived in time for the second service. Right away, we found a lady named Rachel to show us around. We were given a tasty breakfast and introduced to the senior pastor. Ethan went off for a service for elementary age kids. Aerin, Rebecca, and I went to the main service.

The service began and we worshiped the Lord in song and through the preaching of the Word. During the service, a time was set aside for meeting and greeting folks. We were made right at home. The family of God allows us to enjoy fellowship wherever we go.

Following the service, we met up with Art, the aforementioned brother. He had keys, directions, and bedding for us. We hit the road and traveled to Crestline, California. After coming into Crestline, we found “The Cabin.” It was perfect! Art had been there a few days before and had everything ready for us. We got our gear settled in and made a trip to the local grocery.

Over the next few days, we enjoyed a little rest and a whole lot of nothing – we did the nothing very well. We had a few naps. We read more than a few books. We hit the local lake twice. The first time involved pedal boats and the second was a motor boat. We also managed to fit in some bowling and some hiking.

The time at the cabin ended this morning. We started by having a small church service right at home. There were some hymnals there and I had prepared a message from Psalm 1. We got the cabin cleaned up and hit the highway again. We arrived in downtown LA so that we can head out tomorrow morning on the train to Redding. We continue to have a great time and are very thankful for the prayers of you our friends and family.

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Vacation Crowds

Everywhere we go and people find out we are from Alaska, we are instant celebrities. Wednesday, Rebecca was discussing Alaska with someone and told them our home town had 400 or so people. They were shocked and told us that we are in an area with 14 million people.

We started into our experience of LA crowds by hitting the highway on our way to the California Science Center. The trip to the center included some adventure on the road. The traffic was light for LA, but a bit stressful for us. Google maps leaves a bit to be desired. The directions off the highway to the center was quite wrong and we got a bit lost. After a few minutes of getting our bearings, we arrived.

The science center is a hands on and visually stimulating museum. Part of the exhibit included a nature portion by terrain type. The arctic display made us a bit homesick. The aquatic displays were very nice and included an interview with one of the scuba divers while he was diving in a tank.

We are thankful for the fun we had and for the safety we enjoyed.

Thursday and Friday marked our forays into Disneyland Park and California Adventure.

Thursday was Disneyland. We got there about 9 a.m. The crowd was thick, but not real bad. We managed to ride almost everything we wanted to ride. We finished the night with a ride on Space Mountain that involved a 55 minute wait in line. We got done there and stopped by a Buzz Lightyear ride on our way out.

to infinity and beyond

We managed to get back to our hotel at about 10:30 that night. We were exhausted.

Friday, we started by going to California Adventure. We started the day there at 10 a.m. with Monsters, Inc. ride. The kids had discovered roller coasters the day before and wanted more. We rode one on the pier that included some steep drops, tight curves and even a loopty loop. We went back to Disneyland for a few hours, but had to leave by 7 p.m. as the park had a special Halloween event that was an additional ticket fee.

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Vacation Adventures

We have arrived safely in Los Angeles and have already had some adventures.

The drive to Anchorage went without any hitch. We enjoyed time together with Rebecca’s grandma and called it a day. The plane trips (one to Seattle and the other to Anaheim) were smooth and blessedly uneventful. Then the adventures began.

We were picked up at the airport by a limousine. Rebecca found a great deal on the limo since we were arriving mid-week. The cost was less than the fees we would have had to pay for the airport shuttle for the four of us. The limo driver got us inside and then proceeded to put our bags in the back. Upon arriving at the hotel, we discovered that he had left Rebecca’s bag on the curb.

In the midst of trying to check into the hotel and also calling the airport to see about the bag, we started another adventure. Our bank cards were due to expire while we were traveling, so we had new ones issued before we left. We had been using the new cards for several days, but when the limo driver tried to charge the card, the card was inactive. Rebecca called the bank, but could not get it sorted out. Fortunately, God knows our needs before we do. The gift of monies for our vacation from the church paid the fees we owed (with money to spare – thank you Lord and thank you Nenana Community Church.)

We ended up taking the limo back to the airport. We had no luck reaching anyone by phone, so we hoped we could in person. While praying for the bag to be there, the security staff at the airport had already searched the bag. Upon seeing Rebecca’s medication bottles, they decided to not ship it out to their storage area. They felt the owner would be back soon. We were and we got the bag.

After that excitement, we decided to take a quick tour. The limo driver to us to Graumann’s Chinese Theater. We walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard looking at sidewalk stars. My love of old movies was obvious. I was more excited over stars like John Wayne, James Garner, Jimmy Stewart and Audie Murphy. What a blast!

Upon returning to the hotel we had yet another adventure. I was missing my wallet. A quick search of the limo showed no wallet. A search of our room ended the same. Just then our room phone buzzed. The front desk had my wallet. When we used cash to pay for the limo, I left my wallet in the main office. Another guest found it and turned it in. Thank you Lord for your care and for honest people.

After so many adventures, we locked ourselves in our room for the night.

This morning, it is raining and the forecast says it will rain all day. So we have decided to put off Disneyland for one day and go to a museum we had planned on seeing Friday. Our two day pass at Disneyland will be just as good for Thursday and Friday. Furthermore, we got the bank on the phone this morning and got our bank card situation straightened out.

So we are praying for fun, but a little less adventure for today.

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