Friday, April 1, 2011

Learning to ask

Dog team on the Yukon

            Accepting God's leading to serve  in Galena has caused me to grow in the area of "asking". Most of us don't really ask for things, we just work toward getting them ourselves. We don't ask for the promotion.  We work hard and hope someone is paying attention. We don't ask for a vehicle (unless you're a teenager). We save our money and buy the one we want. We, as a culture, value independence. We value the 'Do-It-Yourselfer' mentality.
             Alaska is a DIYer's paradise in that sense. There is much to be done, and in a lot of situations there is no one that can do it for you. As I've said before, there's no auto body shop here to fix the van. We just bang it out ourselves, literally. So if you want to be independent, this certainly can be the place for you.
             However, God has been showing me over the past several years just how dependent He wants us to be. Dependent both on He Himself, and dependent on those believers around us. The position that I find myself in is that my income comes totally from the generosity of churches and individuals who send support to Galena Bible Church, who then pays me a salary. I had to ask those churches and people to give. That was an uncomfortable thing to do. "So would you like to give your hard earned money away? It's for Jesus!" feels cheesy when I say it. It makes me feel weak, and totally not independent. Plus there is the aspect that people may not give, or may stop giving. What then? Where's the security? Ah, that's right, I don't find my security in finances or employment. I find my security in Christ. Am I walking with Him? Yes. Am I doing what He commanded me to do? Yes. Am I truly dependent on Him for my next breathe? Truly, I am!

Matthew 7:7-8 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

              Sure doesn't sound like independence to me. I've learned that when we do not allow people to help in our lives, we rob them of a blessing. Have you ever noticed that you are more willing to go help someone else than to ask for help yourself? Do you feel blessed to get to help someone else? Let us not fear dependence. I believe it's part of how the world will know that we are Christ's disciples. (John 13:34-35

So, on to asking...
We have several large projects that we are working towards this Summer for the Galena Bible Church. We need financial support, and physical support, to get these projects done. I want to ask if you, or your small group/Sunday school class, or church would be willing to take on a part of one of these projects. 
Some of my woodpile. Logs are 9' long. This is 9 sled loads of wood.
 We have a need for 4 projects to be accomplished, but 2 of them must happen. A wood burning stove is one of the two priorities for projects this Summer. As I have mentioned before, the cost of heating the parsonage with fuel oil is really expensive. It'll cost about $2500 to do this project, and would take 2-3 people 2-3 days to do the work. It will easily pay for itself double in the first winter.

Galena Bible Church's One Restroom
This is the inner workings of the sewer tank (look for the red tank), water tank (large upright white tank), and boiler system. Notice the crack running along the sewer tank just behind the 5 gallon bucket. It has grown since I took this picture in February.
The second and equally critical project is the sewer tank replacement in the church. The water tank that you see above is crushing the sewer tank. We are planning on building a room under the church building to house a new water and sewer tank.  It is impossible to remove the sewer tank without demolishing the bathroom. This room under the building will free up space for us to hopefully do a third project. This would be to add a second bathroom (so we would actually have a His/Her's setup).

scaled drawing of possible floor plan after summer work.          
The final project and lowest in priority, but highly desired, would be to have a kitchen setup in the church. We cook a potluck every Sunday for dorm kids, and it would be so helpful to have the building set up better for helping keep food hot. As of right now we simply have Crockpots plugged in everywhere. 

So that's the 'ask'. Can you help? If so please feel free to contact me. And as always, if I can be of any service to you, don't hesitate to ask. 

Things to pray for this week:
- Safe travels for the missionary Hornfischer family as they travel to Anchorage for grocery shopping. 
- Pray for the Christian leaders in Galena to be encouraged, and that their family life would be blessed.
- Pray for the Christian individuals who are applying for positions in Galena for next school year. 

1 comment:

John Campbell said...

Thanks for being a pastor, even half a world away. I really needed to wake up and read this today.

Бог работи (God is working)