Happy New Year! The week between Christmas and New Years has proved once again to be the only "slow" time I have found in Galena's annual schedule. This year the temperatures were hovering around 30 ABOVE! Made for an easily warmed shop and lots of projects off the 'honey do' list.
Thanksgiving was a joy again this year. We hosted a couple local friends and had some out of town guest that came to visit us. First was a teacher from Tanana who is beginning the process of starting a YoungLife there. It was great to get to know her and connect her with our team here in Galena. We are looking at how we can regularly support the ministry work in Tanana. The Faires' from North Pole, AK are recent members of SEND North and our interior team. They do support and logistics from the road system for us and host most of our team mates when we need to be in Fairbanks area. Shell and I will be staying at their guest house for the wait for baby Evelyn to arrive.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving I flew to Bethel AK and spent two weeks teaching the book of Isaiah at the Bethel Bible Seminary. My students were incredible. Three Yupik students and two Korean students comprised my class. I as the Kgusuk (white guy) had a steep learning curve in language and culture as we walked through all 66 chapters of Isaiah. They and the rest of the community members that I met were so incredibly hospitable. I tried several native foods that I had never had before: Seal oil, dried herring, frozen raw Tomcod, as well as Yupik aguduk (eskimo ice cream). It was also the first time in 18 years that I steamed with several Yupik men. I look forward to my next opportunity to teach there next school year.
Christmas brought many community events, including our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service. Church life has been going smoothly. We currently have two groups of men and women going through the Step Studies of Celebrate Recovery. We are excited to begin launching that ministry to our community later on this year. We have already seen some of the rich healing that happens when believers don't hide in their sin but rather "confess to one another" (James 5:16) the reality of our brokenness. We continue to pray that this ministry process would bear much fruit in Galena.
Things you can be praying for:
- We have seen a sharp upturn in spiritual warfare over the past 9 months in Galena. Pray that the church would stand firm in the Gospel and would be able to push back the darkness.
- Pray for Shell as she is in the last weeks of pregnancy.
- Pray for that the Gospel would be lived and shared with power and effectiveness.
- Pray for safety as the sno-go trails around the villages are very dangerous with the warm weather.