Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And then there was more...

Eight crates, one pallet, and a trailer. That's what Inland Barge dropped off in Galena a week ago Friday. 11,300 pounds of crated goods to be exact.  A couple of the men from church helped me unload the crates into our Explorer and we began the process of making trips back and forth. While we hauled boxes and totes, Shell began putting away groceries.

Inland Barge Co. Offloading supplies in Galena. This is our version of an 18-wheeler showing up at Wal-Mart.

The forklift is unloading my three wheeler. Also notice over the excavator, There is a small boat, on a snow machine (mobile), on a trailer, on another trailer on a dump truck. The top three of those items are mine.

I have learned a new appreciations for my wife's organizational skills. It is no easy thing to put away a years groceries. We did manage to borrow a forklift (Thanks Roger) to drive one of our big crates back from the barge landing to our house. This is our Sam's crate that you saw in the previous post. It was such a large crate that Jason Harris (church member) had to drive it backwards 3 miles to our house. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it, but it was rather funny.Since then we have unpacked all the crates, unpacked boxes (most of them), brought the crate material to the house from the barge landing and disassembled it, put away the stuff that goes in the garage, hauled boxes to the dump multiple times, assembled a table and chairs and 2 cabinets for the bathrooms, and assembled the boys bunk beds.

Church the past 2 weeks has been a  sweet experience as it usually is here in Galena. We've had a decent summer crowd (about 23) and a great time of worship and fellowship. I began a teaching series that we will continue with through the beginning of school starting. It's on the names of God. The first week,we looked at Hebrew "Elohim" translated God. We saw how this shows God to be the God of Reality (El - Power, might and strength seen in creation), The God of Mystery (Elohim being singular plural, IE trinity), and the God of Humanity (YHWY Elohim - The LORD). This past Sunday we looked at Yahwey (YHWY- The LORD). It is through this name that we know God as relational. We've had our usual potluck after church and ate like kings. One of our sweet native elders cooked smoked she-fish that is dried and then boiled. As we would say in Cajun country "Po dats some good stuff yeah!" (translation: It was really good.)

We are making preparations for Summer work projects, and are also working to coordinate service projects for a missions team from California that will be here the end of the week through Wednesday of next week.They'll be doing a VBS through the Bible Church and will be assisting in community outreach through ministry projects. We're excited to meet our extended church family as they come and serve with us.

Things you can pray for this week:
-Pray for the VBS team as they boat 3 hours from Kokrine Hills Bible Camp to Ruby and then to Galena. Pray for safety, and endurance as they have just done a week long camp with kids at the Bible camp.
- Pray for the Send missionaries who serve in Galena as they prepare to do their shopping. Pray that God would provide the resources for them to be able to accomplish this very large task.
- Clint (our middle son) lost his glasses some time during the unpacking process. We will have to fly into Fairbanks to get new ones. Pray that we will be able to get that together soon.

Thanks for praying. -- The Kopps

Monday, July 11, 2011

There and back again...a Kopp's tale

Photo by Shell Kopp
 We're finally home. After 41 days of being away from home it was such a blessing to finally sleep in our own beds again! We had such a great time visiting with so many of you, and wish that we had been able to spend more time with you individually. If we didn't get to see you personally, we're so sorry. Maybe you can come visit us?? Our trip took us through Houston AK, Anchorage AK, Houston TX, Lafayette LA, Baton Rouge LA, Shreveport LA, Pineville LA, Bellville TX, and Fairbanks AK before we finally made it home. That's a lot of miles!!
Ray Johnson, a bush pilot and believer flew out to Galena and picked our family up in his Cessna 180. We covered the cost of the fuel and got an amazing view of the Alaska country side from Galena to Big Lake AK.
3 hrs plane ride makes for sleepy time.

God blessed all our efforts. We added new individual ministry supporters, built crates and shipped our Louisiana belongings to AK, visited with 7 churches, had a little bit of a vacation, and finished the trip off with 12 months of grocery shopping. I was telling a lady on the airplane back to AK that we were going to be shopping for 12 months of groceries. She said, "Yeah it feels like that sometimes doesn't it?" She had a really funny face when I emphasized that it was "really" 12 months of groceries. Many people have asked how that works so here are some photos to try to help explain:
 I found out that Wal-Mart cash registers max out their ability to sell products per transaction at 503 items. So we had to break up our 8 carts into two orders. Wal-Mart was stop number one on our list. We then went to Fred Meyer (grocery store) and picked up what we couldn't get from Wal-Mart. Our last large purchase was from Sam's Club, which is the bulk of the annual purchase.
 We use free shipping crates that the trucking companies discard after use to ship military personnel up to Fairbanks. It's about 3 1/2 feet wide, 7 feet tall and 7 feet deep.

Just our Sam's order filled this crate because we purchased a table and chairs from Sam's. So we actually used two creates this year for our Fairbanks shopping. Once the crate is filled you drive south on the Parks Hwy for an hour to get to Nenana AK where the barge companies are. They offload your crate and weather proof the tops. When they have enough freight they will load the barge and head down river. Once they leave it takes 3 days for them to get to Galena.

What the woodpile looks like finished.

Things you can be praying for this week:
- Pray that our stuff gets to Galena in one piece and without water damage.
- Pray for the Galena Bible Church members who are serving at Kokrine Hills Bible Camp sharing the good news of Christ with kids and teens from all over the Yukon Koyokuk region.
- Pray for the Fox Family. They are a new SEND Missionary family that has moved to Galena to learn about living in a rural village. Pray that God uses them to further His kingdom in Galena, and that God would give them clarity about where they will serve in rural Alaska.
- Pray that support continues to stay consistent through the summer slump.