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.
The Troxels are back from vacation!
The trip was a bit trying at times. Long flights and long drives were required. We drove all day from Nenana to Anchorage and flew out late at night. Upon arriving at LAX, we drove straight to Las Vegas. Traffic in Vegas was a bit much for village folk like us. Later we drove into bumper to bumper traffic returning to LA. In LA, Disneyland was a must see. After this, we flew to Portland and Village Missions graciously loaned us a van to drive to Cannon Beach for a VM conference. After that, we returned to Portland for a day and a half and flew back to Anchorage. We enjoyed some lunch with Rebecca’s folks and returned to Nenana.
We spent two weeks in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has spent time and money making the destination more family friendly. We were able to rent rooms at a very low rate. The city has a lot of things for a family like ours to go and do and see. The hotel we stayed at had an indoor amusement park complete with rollercoaster.
We spent just shy of a week in LA. The crowning event was Disneyland. We stayed right across the street from the park. Every night, we went out onto the balcony to watch fireworks.
Cannon Beach was a great time reconnecting with VM friends and making new ones. The director gave us updates on the mission that were very encouraging. A VM pastor preached several messages that were encouraging and convicting. We learned the details of a great program to provide education and equipping of the saints to do ministry. These materials are made available to all of us at no cost except any textbooks that are required.
Portland meant a pilgrimage to Powell’s. This huge bookstore is amazing and stocked with new and used books and covers a city block.
Home again. We are still getting caught up on what has happened since we were away. Among other things, the wildfire season is upon us. Many fires are active very close to us. That means a busy time for the fire department, smoky air, and concern over the loss of property that many of our neighbors have experienced and some still face. Join us in praying for slow, gentle, rain in copious amounts and no lightning strikes.
Family Update May 2015
April has come and gone and so has most of the snow. The ice on the rivers is starting to break up. The Nenana tripod (which has eight legs) tipped over and traveled far enough to trip the wire, officially marking the ice going out. With spring time coming, the temperatures are warming. I have seen the first bird of spring, which for us is a mosquito. The daylight is growing long, but I have yet to see an out of state RV.
Our family is already looking ahead to summer. We’re not tired of spring, but looking forward to a vacation. In late May, we will begin travel that will take us to see the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and hopefully see some family. We have loose plans with some relatives to also travel toward the Southwest and reconnect and catch up.