Saturday, November 1, 2014

Circle Alaska: 2014

Here I was traveling to Circle, we were invited back even though we had sent Ann back. We knew the Village Council understood we did all we could for Ann, but does Ann' family have hard feelings toward us. To say the least, I was very worried as we arrived in Circle.
From the very first person I found how much we are loved by our Gwich'in family. We doubled the number of gardens and the size of each garden. We will be more specific about the wonderful summer in Circle, along with photos. I could not believe it when the day came to leave for Fairbanks. We planned a carpentry service project in Fairbanks incase we were not welcome in Circle because of Ann. Now I just didn't want to leave. In fact the council was upset we were leaving because there would be misunderstandings as how the gardens would be finished and food handed out. They understood why we did this but asked us to stay the whole three months in 2015. We agreed and now are making plans to expand to what will be our biggest effort in the past eight years. I can't wait to return to Circle in the spring. We will share much more as to what a wonderful time we had in Circle.

Disaster Response Trip: Toms River, New Jersey

Jim, his son Andy, and I headed to New Jersey to help out after Super storm Sandy. Jim asked me to arrange a trip before Andy started his senior year at Adams Central. Because Penny and I spend most of summer vacation time in Alaska, that left one week in early August. So three days after returning for three months in Alaska, we left for New Jersey.
We had signed on with a group from our Maryland District, so we were about to meet a group of folks we were to work and live with. We arrived to find such a group of Christian men. Tim was still the long term director, with Kim as a co-director. My dear friends Paul and Sheri were there. Sheri as food director, and Paul as a crew leader. I knew this would be a great week for Jim and Andy, who were on their first disaster response trip.
The work projects consisted of three new builds setting side by side in one location. This offered Tim the opportunity to work with the groups instead of setting up new jobs each week. I'd been on site with Tim many times in several states, but had never worked with him. This was a blessing on many levels.
Jim and Andy fit right in working with the guys as we insulated and drywalled. Tim also took advantage of Jim being a Ford man. Him and Andy saved BDM hundreds of dollars by working on several of the Ford work vans.
We left at weeks end having new friends as we were the hands and feet of Christ. Jim and Andy came home hooked and looking forward to the next trip that came their way. We came home better friends for making this effort. What a great way to serve others!!