Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Arctic Village: News Team from New York

Scott Sternbach ( Director of Photography) led a three person news crew to Create a documentary on Arctic Village. Also they hope to take protraits of all the Gwich'in in the village for an exhibit in the Museum of Natural History in New York. They will also be submitted to the National Museum of Natural History. Their plan was to include us before they traveled to Alaska. In fact they knew all about us, our blog plus other writings that we knew nothing about.Spending time with Dora, Scott, and Que was wonderful as we were interviewed, went through photo shoots, shot hoops, and plenty of fellowship.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Research-Learning Center

The day after arriving in Fairbanks I payed a visit to Carol Lewis' office. Carol is the Dean of Research and Ag. at the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks. As I waited I read an article from the Fairbanks News Miner posted in the hall outside Carol's office. It spoke of phase one of a large grant the Ag. Dept. had received which brought a complete new building to the campus.Phase two would begin after the first of the year. Phase two involved research-learning centers to be built in remote regions of the state. Because of the relationship between Penny,I, and Carol the Ag. Dept. has a five year head start if Arctic Village should be chosen. We knew when we met Carol that we would keep her updated, just in case a situation like this arose. Making connections and seizing opportunities to help people is how Penny and I are used as tools.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thanks to Mary and Todd Groat

We really don't know where the project would be without the help of Mary and Todd. In fact there might not have ever been a second year of gardens had we not been invited to camp in their yard. Albert (rest in peace) wanted me to pack and leave and later said he is glad that we stayed. Even then it was later that day Todd came to me and asked if I wanted to put the greenhouse in their yard. I was camped at the runway until June 8th when Penny arrived. I moved camp to Todd and Mary's at 5AM so not to be seen by anyone.
For four years Mary has allowed us to camp and have the large scale garden at her home. We have been so welcome and have stayed in her house from time to time. We were told to stay in their home as soon as we arrive, but no, more important to be as far out of our comfort zone as possible. What a lovely home they have.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Onions from Rural King

Most of the seed used we buy in Fairbanks because it's made for colder climates. One of the few from home is onion bulbs from Rural King in Decatur, Indiana. For five years we have shipped thousands of their bulbs to Arctic Village that have been enjoyed not only in salads, but cooked with caribou, moose, fish, duck, and sometimes even bear. By bringing these bulbs it's like having a small piece of home with us. It may not seem like much but when your so far from home, living in a tent, we take comfort in eating onions from home. This years onions grew so big and tastey, and the Gwich'in so enjoy having onions. It's great having fresh grown food from home when were two hundred ninety miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Teaching in Arctic Village School: Penny

Penny accepting Mary's request to teach math opened the door to new relationships with the youth that helped build trust by one on one conversations. The youth saw another side of not only Penny, but Bill also. They learned so much more about us and why we would travel so far to help them. The youth learned that we have other occupations than gardening. This led to so many different topics to talk about. They learned to trust Penny and to Love Penny. This prompted the youth to show Penny their trust with many, many hugs of affection. It opened the door to tell them so much more about us, what's important in life and how it's up to them to find a more self reliant way to live and support themselves. The youth with gardens at home asked their friends why they didn't have gardens at their homes. This led those children to go home and ask their parents why, why don't we have a garden and will we have one next year?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arctic Village: 2011 Garden Project

We have now returned home to Indiana knowing this year is by far our most successful year in so many ways. Over the next days we will share the impact of mission work and the effects on people both directly and indirectly involved. We feel so humbled to be used as a tool this way as people around the globe now know of this effort, and hopefully are inspired to help others as they are led.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FT> Wayne Rescue Mission

Following your walk in life is much more difficult than taking the easy way through life. For the fifth time there is a man hoping that I'll make his life easier by bringing him home to live. I learned a long time ago if my house isn't in order, how can I be of help to anyone. It was so easy for me to get caught up in the lives of others to the extent of having nothing for myself. No heat, lights, and more, yet it wasn't enough for them. I will remember why I'm there and the message I bring. Being a christian does not mean being weak, in fact just the opposite. I did NOT drink Mike's big, beautiful house away, he did. I an living proof you can get past anything in life, pick yourself up, and get on with it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Camp Mac

This Spring break will be different, carpentry and landscaping in Cen. Indiana instead of disaster response. They're no openings at any of the four response sites run by our denomination, so we will work at our camp. This will be a different type of work for the Lord, but work just the same. Our youth spend so much of their Summer learning there so we will help with this effort then Penny and I will fly to Seattle for a few days

Arctic Village garden project - 2011

Soon Bill will be heading back to Fairbanks, first to spend a week helping at risk teens do greenhouse gardening, then off to Arctic Village. We're told as long as Arctic Village continues to grow gardens the other forty-one will follow. The villagers travel back and forth so much we end up sending not only seed, but growing plants to so many places from Arctic Village. We would so enjoy a Summer at home with timely get aways and more money from working in the peek of the construction season. That would be easy, doing the Lord's work is NOT about us and what we want. So, we will go live in a tent ( which I dislike ) in a place with brown bear, wolves, and now polar bear will be near because we believe in the path God has for us, and we will like it .

Sharing at ST. Luke

Again, we had a time of sharing and our friends were happy to hear from us, we were joyful to share how their caring hearts are a part of this success story. We know the reason that all forty - two villages north of Fairbanks have some form of gardening is all the people praying, and supporting this effort. We're told we are a part of Alaska' history, that means ST. Luke is a part of Alaska' history.
We will again be visiting ST. Luke on April 2. They will host a five state district conference with reps. from some eighty congregations attending. We feel so humbled to be a part of this special day.
Thank you so much for caring enough to show you care year in and year out!!