Tag Archives: tragedy

January 2016


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:

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Wildfire in Alaska

Good Monday family  friends.

On Saturday we enjoyed a very nice rain.  Our garden was very happy.  As a family, we heard some thunder which isn’t as common here as in the Midwest where I grew up.  Unfortunately, thunder means lightning and lightning means wildfires in a place as dry as the interior can be.

Several smaller fires merged into one 20-30 miles from Nenana and 4 miles from our only highway.  The wind is blowing this way.  Last night, we could smell smoke on the wind and our clouds looked like smog.

There are many brave volunteer firefighters and fire jumpers on the scene.  They had the fire under control until a brisk wind picked up and pushed it closer to Nenana still.  The article in the Fairbanks paper can be found by clicking the following link:


Please pray for the safety of the men and women trying to put out the fire.  Also pray for the safety of the folks who live in the path of the fire.  One area has been asked to evacuate.  Please pray for the town and people of Nenana.  The fire is not that far away.

Also join us in trusting God.  He is sovereign over all things, including this fire.

Thank as always for your prayer and financial support.  I hope you understand how large a part of our lives and ministry you truly are.

Long Overdue Update

This update is long past due. Following our trip in November much has happened. I felt overwhelmed each time I thought about getting this blog up to date. So I will give some brief updates on several topics.

First, last year we experienced the pain of a miscarriage. As many know and have known, we are eagerly awaiting baby Emily who has May 22 as her expected due date. Her two older siblings were both later than their due date, so we think Emily may run a little late too. We also had an ultrasound recently that gave us a great view of Emily.

Baby Emily

Also, many know that my mom passed away in late February. I was able to get to Iowa in about 24 hours. I spent about 2 weeks there. I was privileged to conduct her service myself. Many thanks to the folks at First Pentecostal Assembly of God in Ottumwa, Iowa for hosting a luncheon following the service. Even more thanks to all who helped me clean out mom’s home (special thanks to Steve, Brenda, Shawn, Teresa, Will and little Will, and my father & many others.) All in all, the trip was pleasant and I enjoyed seeing family. A second trip is necessary to finish her business with the bank. That trip will be on April 10th and my son will accompany me. During that trip I will join mom’s siblings in picking out a marble marker and inter her cremains in a family plot in Missouri.

A unexpected joy while in Iowa was spending time with my father and brother. We spent some good time visiting and catching up.

Todd and I

Dad and the boys

Again thanks to everyone for the prayers.

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Family Prayer

Hello all. I come before you needy. The Bible commands us to bear one another’s burdens and we are bearing a burden for a dear family member. We are asking folks to go before the Lord with us asking for His guidance, care, provision, and saving love for five dear people.

I received a call from my mom this morning about a sick family member. She was unsure the name of the condition, but it first affects the eyes, causing the muscles to keep the lids closed. From there is proceeds throughout the body leading to paralysis. The paralysis can lead to a wheelchair or being bedridden or could end in death.

There is one medical procedure that may cure the illness. The process is surgical and can be quite painful in recovery. If the procedure fails, there is no further treatment available. I am asking for prayer for the whole family.

My cousin’s wife Amy – the lady with the medical issue – for healing. Who knows the body better than the One who made it? Pray that He is at work in her body and guides and directs the doctors and surgeons.

My cousin Jason – pray for him as he comforts his wife and kids, but also he needs comfort. Pray for the Comforter to make God’s continuous presence felt. Pray for strength as he will need to lean heavily upon the Lord as he leads his family through this

My cousin’s kids (three of them) – for peace of mind and comfort as they endure everything happening to their mom

Thanks everyone. I will post an update when I have further news.

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Miscarriage continued

I wanted to share the latest news. We went for a doctor’s visit in Fairbanks on Thursday.

The doctor looked over the information from the hospital in Hawaii. He also gave Rebecca a sonogram. The baby’s body was no longer discernible, but a lot of tissue remained.

We were told that Rebecca had a “missed miscarriage.” This is where the baby dies, but the mom’s body carries on as if the baby is alive. This can cause great health concerns as the baby’s body can cause infections in the mom. While the mom may deliver the baby, she may not. The doctor was concerned that given the baby’s developmental age and the fact that Rebecca had not delivered the baby in the time since the baby died that Rebecca could be at risk.

After considering several options, it was decided that Rebecca would undergo a procedure in the office. This required a dose of pills before the procedure, a local anesthetic and further pain pills and an antibiotic. During the procedure, the remaining tissue from the baby and placenta was removed. There were no complications.

We are thankful for friends that watched Aerin and Ethan (on Thursday) and for the meals so many have provided. This has allowed me to care for Rebecca without needing to worry about feeding everyone.

Further news…

The doctor has no concerns about future attempts to have another baby. He has advised another visit in two weeks to verify mom’s health followed by three months for healing and rest. Sometime this summer, we will try for another baby. We pray that the good Lord will bless us with another child.

Concerning the child we have lost, the kids asked if we could celebrate the baby’s birthday as being on March 1st. Their reasoning is that on March 1st, our baby went to heaven. The evening after my last post, we went to downtown Waikiki and had cake and ice cream. Aerin also suggested a name for our baby. Since our baby brought us so much joy we will be calling Baby Troxel “Joy.” Baby Joy is truly a part of our family. While we are grieving, we also celebrate the joy God gave us.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support.

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Thank you for your prayers. The Lord is good all the time. Baby Troxel has miscarried.

We went to a local hospital and had an ultrasound. The results showed that Baby Troxel had no heartbeat. There is no current word on any cause. We have a doctor’s appointment this coming Thursday. We will be back home Wednesday evening. We need our people around us. We can’t wait to be back to Nenana.

We are hurting and in need of further prayers. Mom is fine physically. Emotionally we are wrecks. We need all the support we can get right now.

In a few hours, the kids will be brought back to us from a trip with grandma. We will tell them then.

I will be preaching on Sunday. For years I have told my people to trust in God, find peace in Him and joy in Him even when it hurts. This Sunday, we will share why we still have joy and hope even when it hurts so bad.

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Sad Facts

I recently read a post on Facebook listing several shocking and scary statistics about pastors. Knowing that the internet may not always have facts straight, I searched for where these statistics came from. One reputable site, The Schaeffer Institute, has an article that shares a long list of sad statistics from a variety of legitimate sources.

The following is a sampling:

* Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.

* Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.

* Eighty percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.

* Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

* Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

* Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

* Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

* Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons (This is Key).

Most statistics say that 60% to 80% of those who enter the ministry will not still be in it 10 years later, and only a fraction will stay in it as a lifetime career. Many pastors—I believe over 90 percent—start off right with a true call and the enthusiasm and the endurance of faith to make it, but something happens to derail their train of passion and love for the call.

This is only a fraction of the information found in this article

This is an opportunity to pray. Pray for me as I pastor one of God’s churches. Pray for your local pastor. Pastors are not super-Christians, but are simply men. Like all men we are prone to temptation and discouragement. Beyond praying, I can attest to the amazing emotional lift a simple compliment can bring.

I feel very blessed as I receive a lot of encouragement from our church family, our community, our family of friends and supporters, and from Rebecca and the kids. Some of your pastors may have a special need for such a ministry of encouragement. Please take time to minister to him.

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