Saturday, August 26, 2017

Circle: 2017

Penny and I have been blessed to travel and be welcome in first Arctic Village, Alaska, and for the past five summers in Circle, Alaska. This summer has been the best summer to date.
We had our first group in Circle, a Bible School Team from PleasantDale COB. Lesley Kintz, her daughter Lily, Marrah Steele, David Braun, and Dustin Jackson travel to Fairbanks for three days of being a tourist and much fun, before traveling the Steese highway to Circle.
The Bible School was a complete success and the team was invited back next summer, to the joy of us all.
Between a community gathering, to time on the mighty Yukon River, and helping with the many fish wheels going out on the river, a well rounded experience was had by all. Each member stated the time had passed far too quickly, and all though they missed their families, they didn't want to go back to Indiana.
One of the many blessing for Bill was to see a group of people in Circle, and realize they weren't from a far away country like he sees daily, but church family from PleasantDale. " That was one of the best moments of the summer " says Bill. Finally being to a point where our Gwich'in sisters and brothers were comfortable enough with us to receive others from Indiana . I couldn't be happier about our place in the village and our place in the hearts of the Gwich'in people.
Many photos will be added soon

Thursday, April 6, 2017

BDM trip Detroit

This was my first trip to our site in Detroit. This incredible building is the largest site I've visited in my sixteen years of disaster response. A monastery full of history.
The two home owners I worked for made my trip. Two African American women without a man in their life, made helping them such a blessing. Helping folks unable to help themselves is why we do this!! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wonderful Spirits Can Be Found Anywhere!!

One never knows where they might meet people who will inspire you. Penny and I were on a trail in Gatlinburg, Tenn. on Thursday, March 30th. A woman wearing a University of Michigan hat caught our eye. She was a woman of retirement age climbing by a waterfall where only the youth dared to go. I know I didn't dare climb where she was climbing. As she come down I knew I wanted to make conversation with her. She was about to make the last leap on to slippery rocks when I grabbed her arm knowing she would surely slip and get hurt. When she landed she knew I had kept her from getting hurt, and thanked me. I asked her three times if I had hurt her arm or shoulder. She said I did not.
She took off her cap to show her hair was now growing back. Whether her head had been shaved, or had fallen out we don't know, but her body language spoke of a person who had received a second chance at life.
You would swear you were watching a ten year old climbing all over large rocks with the ease of a child. We left wishing we could spend time hearing her story. We gave her our blog card and if she reads this, I hope she knows she made an impact on us.
I will never forget the childlike spirit we met that day, and only hope to have the vigor for life as we all seen from her. I know she impacts people wherever she goes, with her joy for life. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trip to Lybrook: Bill

Our October trip to Lybrook Community Mission was such a blessing, and a real opportunity to help out. Our congregation along with other family and friends have opened their hearts to fill our PleasantDale church van with clothes, bedding, towels, and toys. Along with tools and hardware and nails. The mission is two hours from any city of size, so to bring a van full of quality and new items not only to be sold at the mission thrift store, but to be given away just in time for Christmas, wow, it's like they are doing us the favor!!!
If our denomination sponsers and owns this mission, we must support it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Mexico: Penny and Bill

The time has finally come to meet two people from Circle, Ak. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then travel northwest of Cuba to Lybrook Community Mission. This is a Church of the Brethren sponsored mission that helps mainly Navajo Native Americans. This is to be a cultural exchange, and a chance to see how folks garden in the desert Southwest.
Miranda and Jason have spent a life time experiencing the harsh Alaskan weather and difficulties of village life, but had no idea how bad other natives may have to live. This eye opening experience has left a lifetime mark on our lives. Our dear friends returned to Alaska feeling they really don't have many difficulties at all, and have left Penny and I wondering if we should travel in a different direction next spring.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

LT. GOV in Circle

When a plane other than the mail plane lands in Circle we investigate. A large group came to Circle for a meeting at the Community Hall. We asked Chief Jessica if we should leave. No, no, talk to people was her response. One of the first people we spoke to was the LT. Gov. Bryan is native along with his wife and was amazed at the distance we would travel to help out, and was very interested to hear the Elders lunch program received the lions share of the food from the gardens. We traded contact info to brainstorm over the years for the benefit of natives in all the villages. Tanana Chiefs Conference President Victor Joseph said this is the only village that connected gardening and the Elders lunch program. This should be a model for all villages.


Revival in Circle

A four day revival was held in Circle that was very well received. So many Blessing came from this special time. When one witnesses unresolved issues finally put behind the parties involved, you can be certain of the presence of God. Having a missionary from Africa seemed to put so many at ease and bring out the best in the people of the village.