Friday, February 18, 2011

So what ever happened to "uneventful" villiage life??

The past two weeks have been a whirl wind of events, with many praises to report. On Tuesday, the 8th, the youth group from Faith Bible Fellowship (FBF) in Big Lake, AK came out on their 5th annual mission trip to Galena. These students worked their tails off for eight days and left to return home on Wednesday, the 16th. During the day they worked on community service projects, like cutting and splitting firewood, painting rooms in houses, helping community elders with house cleaning, and many other "cup of cold water in Jesus name" kinds of ministry projects. Shell and I housed all of the high school and college girls who came with the "Big Lake Crew".  We had a blast getting to know them, and shuttling them around in 'Phil' (This is the name that all the students called our massive van). In the evenings, the Big Lake Crew would go over to the boarding school and just hang out with the students there. They made some great relationships with students who do not attend the church, and were GREAT encouragers to the students who do.There were several major events they helped with as well:

First, was a pizza dough throwing and pizza making event that we hosted at our house for dorm students. One of the adults that came with FBF owns a frozen pizza company, and brought all the supplies to make 24 pizzas from scratch. She showed them how to make a 'hand tossed pizza'. Because we have 2 ovens in our kitchen and a lot of space for tossing dough, we were able to host the event.  It was a great opportunity for Shell and I to meet a lot of local students, and for them to make a connection with the 'new pastor' at the Bible Church.

Second, the students decorated the Galena Bible Church facility to host a youth Valentine social for dorm students. There were about 45 students that attended. Shell was able to help at this event. Again this was a great opportunity to meet students, and it brought many new students into the church building that had never been there before.

Third, Monday night the Big Lake Crew helped the Galena Young Life students host the 9th annual Valentine Banquet.  It's a fundraiser that YL does every year, but it is also an act of service to the community. This year because of all the different service projects that the Big Lake Crew did in the community, we were allowed to use the new elder facility with a fantastic view of the Yukon River for free to host the event. There are no nice restaurants in Galena for you to take your spouse to on Valentines Day, actually there are no restaurants at all, so this was a very special treat. There were 74 people who attended the event, and it was a great opportunity for Shell and I to meet the state trooper, city magistrate, and fish and wildlife trooper and their wives (Shell and I thought how random is was that the Kopps sat with the cops).

Though we and the BLC were exhausted from the week of work, we have already seen some of the fruit of our labor, and believe that we will continue to see a harvest for God's Kingdom because of their faithfulness.
Things you can pray for in the coming weeks:

- Pray for Glen Whatley (pastor of The Gathering Place Church in Alexandria LA) who is flying to Galena on Monday the 21st to look at the possibility of partnering to do ministry in Galena.
- Pray for Shell and I as we continue to make connections with people at the church and in the community.
- At this time of year, teachers and staff people at the dorms evaluate their contracts for the coming year. Please pray that God would give wisdom to the believers who work in those positions, and that God would bring Godly replacements for those who leave.
- Pray for Chris. The tooth procedure that I had done last week didn't fix the pain problem of the broken tooth, so now I need a root canal. The soonest I can see an endodontist in Fairbanks is March 1st. Pray that this temporary 'thorn in my flesh' does not distract me from the work needed to be done between now and the 1st.

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