Thursday, January 27, 2011

Making First Impressions

It has been an eventful first couple of days in Galena. We arrived on Thursday at -46. It didn't get much warmer than that until Sunday afternoon. We've been unpacking groceries, and luggage since we arrived. There have been a couple of interruptions to unpacking. First, Friday morning there was a city wide power outage for about 45min. That wouldn't have been a problem to most residents on the road system, except it was -45 outside and the heating systems of most houses doesn't heat without electricity to run the pumps. Plus we had to try to find flashlights and candles in the dark which were all still in boxes. (Our sons thought all of this was very awesome!) Power came back on thankfully and life resumed as normal. Second, Saturday evening we were planning a surprise birthday party for our youngest son, and got a call that part of the city school was on fire. So I (Chris) and my brother went over to see if we could help. There is a volunteer fire department here, but the definition of who is on the volunteer fire department are very loose. If you show up...you are on the team. Here is a link to the news story on the fire.
  It was about -50 when we were fighting the fire. If we stopped spraying water through the hoses, they would freeze, so each time we ran out of water (there were no hydrents to connect to so we had to pump out of a water truck) we had to detach the hoses and drag them into the school hallway so they wouldn't freeze. Several members of the church were directly affected by the fire because it burned a some ATV's, snowgear, and chainsaws that were being used in the shop class. Please be praying for them, and for the kids that used those classrooms, as the school tries to decided what to do for the rest of the school year.
Third, Sunday was scheduled to be our first Sunday at church. Problem was it was -58 when we woke up that morning, which is dangerous to get out in, especially for those who walk to church. So our first Sunday service was canceled due to extreme cold. It did warm up enough to still have the community potlatch that  night to "come meet the new pastor and family". The volunteer fire chief came out and told me thank you for helping. I also was able to meet a couple of the village elders.
Monday night singer and guitarist Dennis Agajanian gave a free concert at the Galena Bible Church. There were about 35 people in attendance, a number of which were dorm students who are learning to play guitar and bass guitar. Dennis gave a clear presentation of the Gospel, and encouraged students to connect with church leaders if they wanted to make a decision to follow Christ.
Things you can pray for this week:
- Safety for the YoungLife area directors that are flying in to Galena for an annual meeting. Pray that God births God-sized ideas about youth ministry around the state.
- Pray for safety for the missionary family Hornfishers as they travel back to Anchorage to buy more groceries to continue their community outreach and hospitality.
- Pray for Chris and Shell as we continue to make new contacts with people in the community. Please pray for our first impressions to be ones that show how beautiful our God is.

2 comments:

mta said...

What a welcome to Galena. Nothing like a fire to get the community working together. Sad about the loss but thankfully no one was hurt.

Marty Van Diest

Myrtle said...

We will continue to pray for all of your requests and for your safety as you and the precious family adjust to the extreme weather. Papa&Nonna