Is July already gone?
July is almost over. August is just around the bend. We can see Autumn on its way and snow is coming soon.
Summer in Alaska is wonderful and beautiful. The flowers and mountains and rivers show us the beautiful handiwork of our Father in heaven. We are so blessed to live in a place so full of beauty.
Independence Day is always a great time in Nenana. We were so thankful that the festivities were held on the 3rd, so as not to interrupt church services. The day started with a free breakfast and special recognition service held at the Verhagen family’s building – the Nenana Conference Center. The food was delicious. The speakers were eloquent. Veterans had an opportunity to share, as did all who owe such a great debt to the men and women who place themselves in harm’s way so that we can enjoy freedom.
The day was marked with games and races for kids of all ages. There were lot’s of chances to enjoy ice cream, pizza and other food. The main street into town was packed with fellow Nenanans, Alaskans, and many tourists here to help us celebrate our independence.
The Troxel family got to take a few days away with Rebecca’s folks. We enjoyed a beautiful cabin owned by family friends. The cabin has an amazing view of Mt McKinley right out the living room picture window. We enjoyed a time of rest and family fun. We are so thankful to the Rasmussen’s for their invitation to use their cabin.
The Troxel parents took a mini break too. Rebecca and I went to Fairbanks for two days and stayed at a wonderful little inn. Aerin stayed with our friends the Chapmans and Ethan stayed with our friends the Blairs. So they got a break from us too. Rebecca and I got to eat at restaurants that do not advertise a playland or playground in the building – nor do they serve any food labeled as “fast.” The rest and relaxation were very nice. We are certain that we have found a new family tradition. We hope to take a mini break like this every 6 months or so from now on.
This month, we had another freecycle at our home. The Nenana Freecycle is like a free rummage sale. People bring items they no longer need and everyone gets to take home a new to them treasure. Any leftover items are then taken to a thrift store in Fairbanks. We had a lot of people come by the house. We were blessed with an abundance of food. The grill ran non stop for several hours, serving up hamburgers, hotdogs, and salmon.
The last week of July has been marked with several visitors. St Mark’s Church in Nenana is hosting their annual vacation Bible school with the help of summer missionaries from the lower 48. The VBS is always great and its good to see our friends from down south again. The Nenanan Community Church kids have been so anxious to get to the VBS. It does a pastor’s heart good to see the young people eager to take time to learn from God’s word and to have fun while doing it.
We also have a short term missions group in the town volunteering as work teams. They are with Global Expeditions and come from all over the continental US. One of the young men comes from Iowa, not too far from where I grew up. We lamented together about the heat and humidity in Iowa while enjoying the beautiful Alaska weather. Part of the team came to the parsonage and helped us by painting our deck. Several planks have been replaced and the rest needed a touch up. What a blessing to see young people serving God in Alaska.
Well, July is about wrapped up. Aerin and I are looking forward to our birthdays this next month. She is going to be the ripe old age of 12 and is going into junior high school this fall. The church will be meeting to plan for our AWANA program which will resume when school is back in session. We still need to get a chicken coop built for the chickens we are raising this summer. We hope to have fresh eggs by mid September.
We feel especially blessed to be serving God and his church in Nenana. Please pray for us – for wisdom and ministry opportunities as we live our faith in the wonderful town of Nenana.