It is now autumn, almost winter again. Where did the summer go? The leaves are all on the ground, the frost has ruined the garden and the chicks have grown up and will soon be laying eggs.
Right after graduating in May, Aerin moved to Fairbanks. She is attending University of Alaska, Fairbanks this fall. She is doing a great job out on her own and we couldn’t be prouder. The little kids moved upstairs to Aerin’s old room. Ethan worked at the tree farm again this summer. He is doing great in homeschool. He is growing a bunch, as is now almost an inch taller than me. Emily started Kindergarten at the public school this fall. She loves it. After school, she is taking ballet classes. Will goes to Head Start. He is friendly and smart. He can identify all the parts of a vehicle.
We did some travelling this summer. We attended the Village Missions conference in Cannon Beach, OR in June. After the conference ended, we flew back to Anchorage and drove to Homer. We stayed for a week in a wonderful missionary retreat house, up in the hills overlooking the bay. We just returned from the Missionary Family Retreat put on by Arctic Barnabas at Victory Bible Camp. We also spent a few days in Glennallen connecting with friends from years ago.
Bill is still part of the volunteer fire dept/ems. He will be attending some classes for his continuing education this winter. He has been preaching through the book of Psalms. In a few weeks, Bill and the elders will be meeting to prepare for the fall business meeting for Nenana Community Church. His back has been hurting some, so I bought him a new office chair.
I am on the Policy Council for Head Start. I will be attending a two day meeting in Fairbanks in November. We help set policy, budgets, and curriculum for the Tanana Chiefs Conference area. I have been knitting socks like crazy. I will also be involved in the kindergarten class when they need help.
Greetings family and family of supporters!
Things have warmed up in Nenana. We had a week of temperatures above freezing. Shorts and t-shirts are not quite our norm yet. Winter still has a bit of cold left for us. But we can see ground under the snow in some places.
The winter has been a bit busy. There are always things to do or things that need to be done. All the kids are busy with school. Aerin is busy getting her college application completed. I wonder though, if it’s this busy in the winter, how crazy is summer going to be?
It’s been awhile since our last update. So some of the updates may go back to January.
Some individual updates:
I intended to post an update last week. Unfortunately, a family, the fire department, and the entire community entered a period of grief and the update was postponed.
Monday January 11th, 2016, a believer was promoted into heaven. He was a young man and a fellow firefighter and medic. He was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He comes from a family of believers. The Christian community has experienced hope and joy even in a time of sorrow knowing that we will see this young man again.
Please be in prayer for the Nolywaika family in their season of grief. Also, pray for the fire department. We lost a friend and colleague. We also were the first responders to the motor vehicle collision that resulted in his death. I was one of the medics that had the privilege of providing care for him on the scene.
The funeral was a declaration of his personal faith and an invitation to all present to find comfort in Christ. For believers, we were reminded of our blessed hope and comfort in Christ. The unbelievers were presented with the Gospel and the hope for all sinners who come to know Christ as Savior.
Now that I have shared our grief and comfort, a few updates from the family:
I just got to be Santa for a Christmas bazaar in Nenana. The beard is real, but not the gray. I tried to use spray on dye to whiten it, but gray was as good as it got. Maybe two cans next year.
Merry Christmas! We are looking at a white Christmas. Growing up in Iowa, a white Christmas was never guaranteed. But with lots of snow and -20 to -30, Nenana gets a white Christmas every year.
The Troxels have a busy December, as most of you do too. Among other things we will: have two teens perform at a Christmas concert; a Christmas dinner hosted by the Nenana Ice Classic; village wide caroling; and a Christmas Eve party complete with a reading of the Christmas story.
Now for a few updates:
Winter is definitely here. Nenana has seen a little more snow than usual. The roads have been a little worse for travel. But the beauty of snow laden trees and white capped hills and mountains surrounds us.
Since the last post, our family was able to attend a family ministry retreat hosted by Arctic Barnabas. In addition to chapel sessions, we enjoyed the fellowship of friends and fellow missionaries from many places in the state. The time was relatively quiet and immensely restful. We capped the retreat off with a mini vacation. We spent a few days in Anchorage. We finished with a few days in Glennallen. Now we are back home.
Pictures courtesy of Aerin Troxel Photography
The weather continues to warm up in Nenana. For the last week we have had daytime temperatures above freezing. What little snow we have is melting quickly. The roads are getting sloppy in the day and roughly frozen over at night. In some places, pools are collecting to turn into treacherous ice slicks every evening.
Along with warmer weather, our days are growing. We have almost 13 hours of daylight already. That is up more than 8 hours a day just since Christmas. I really enjoy going to and from work in the light. These longer days will mean increased melting. We already have our rubber boots out because things will be getting muddy very soon.
As the spring comes in, we are also looking forward to travel in June. Rebecca has made a lot of reservations for our trip. We will leave from Alaska at the end of May and travel to Nevada. From there, we will go see the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. Our hope is to visit Rebecca’s grandmother in celebration of her 100th birthday. Unfortunately, her health is deteriorating. That is a prayer request, dear friends and family, for grandma and also Rebecca’s parents as they care for her in these last days.
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.