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.
Winter is slowly melting away. The roads are snow free. The yard, not so much. There is still some ice hiding where the sun can’t find it. The river ice has yet to go out. But the sun feels so warm when the wind isn’t blowing. Winter coats have given way to lighter jackets. The babies have new bikes and new helmets. Walking around town is much more pleasant.
Other than winter giving way to spring, the family focus is on wrapping up the school year. Aerin is soon to graduate and is eager to spread her wings and fly away to college. Rebecca and I are so proud of her (and the other three too), but we feel the bittersweet success of seeing our first child leave the nest. I remind myself that other parents have survived and so have their adult children. But I can’t help but see my little girl when looking at the young woman in front of me.
We have a new supporting church. Many thanks to the pastor, his family and the family of believers at Kenny Lake Chapel for their prayers and financial support!
Sometimes I forget which pictures and stories we have shared. If there are any duplicates, it’s because I love showing pics of my beautiful bride and kiddos.
On to some individual updates:
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:
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.
Seems like Fall started in Nenana before August was even half over. Rains came and were welcome. We have had a dry year. The fires around the state smoldered and then went out thanks to all of that rain.
The days began shortening and the temperatures fell. Bill ran on a 911 call in the early morning and had to scrape the windows of the car. We saw the first hints of yellow in the leaves. As of this blog post, there’s a lot more yellow than green on the hill above the town.
Winter seems too close. But as it approaches, the family looks forward to the Arctic Barnabas Ministry Family Retreat at the end of September. The time we get to spend with other ministry families is a yearly treat before winter sets in on Alaska.
Probably the biggest news for our family this month is the baptism of Ethan.
The other big news is our new puppy. His name is Rico and he is a long haired Chihuahua. The kiddos love him. He is 8 months old and is full grown.