Monday, December 31, 2012

Frozen Fun

Chip bag with Exp date Mar 26 2012, eaten November 20th 2012. Those were some good moose nachos!
What do you do when it's -40F for a month? Well, for the most part you feed your wood stove. The rest of the time you devote to spending time with family, and friends. That's what this month of December has mostly looked like in Galena. Too cold for the sno-go's to work. Not much by way of critters out for hunting or trapping. So we've enjoyed several events, either planned or spontaneous with our family and with our church family and community.
In the middle of the month one of the ladies hosted a baked sweets recipe swap, in which you had to cook a batch of the recipe and bring them to share. The ladies (around 15 of them) thoroughly enjoyed themselves and got some great ideas for recipes. The guys...well we'll just say we attempted 'daddy daycare' at my house. Four dads and what seemed like 200+ kids (slight exaggeration) was quite a lively house. Instead of baked goods, we ate meat. Smoked and jarred salmon, summer sausage, salmon sticks, and smothered moose steaks. It's not a guy event without meat I guess!

Christmas dinner with friends.

One Sunday (again it was around -46F) people were visiting after potluck. Then all of a sudden I saw a pile of boardgames appear. Someone had left went home and got their games and returned for several more hours of fun. The kids all built forts in the Sunday School rooms, while the rest of the Church body made another pot of coffee and broke our Settlers of Catan. I'm still not sure how to play it, but we did have a ton of fun.

Game night hosted at the Bible Church.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
(Act 2:44)

All things in common includes the need for company, refreshment, and enjoyment. There were community people who do not attend our church who attended the various events that happened this month. I'm so glad because I want it to be seen that the Body of Christ laughs, loves, eats, smiles, talks, and just plain enjoys being together. This is one of the gifts of the super cold temperatures, because there is so much involved in doing life out here, be it cutting wood, or working on a broken vehicle, or takings kids to this event or that event, there can often be too much to do and not enough time to enjoy each other. In the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving to New Years season it is kind of nice to be forced to stop, breath, and enjoy the family of God. What can you do to grow that in your body of believers?

Things you can be praying for:

- A week ago Sunday, a man about my age took his life in Galena. Pray that the enemy would be held out of the lives of the men in the villages who struggle with the temptation to end their lives. Pray that those deeply affected by this lose would come to know Jesus.
- Pray for Don & Brenda Ernst who are SEND missionaries on our interior team. They serve in Huslia, a village 90 miles north of Galena and have been serving there for 23 years! By God's grace they have seen the church they started grow to where they need an addition on their church building. Pray that the Lord would provide men to cut and haul the logs for the construction, 4 mission teams of about 5 guys each  for the building phase in June, and the remainder of the $12,500 they expect the project to cost.
- Pray for Me (Chris) as I prepare to begin a sermon series called "The Work of the Gospel." Pray that the Holy Spirit would prepare the hearts and minds of the hearers to the truth of the Gospel.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When you lose a hero.

Today I'm lonely as I sit in the Anchorage Airport waiting for my flight that will lead me to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I'm lonely because as I sit amongst strangers I read the words, "He's gone."

At 8:57am (cst) this morning Edward Kopp, my grandfather, passed from this life into the next. He was a hero. An ordinary everyday superman. My hero. He was a husband of one, father of three, grandfather of eleven, great grandfather of sixteen, and friend of many. He was a passionate Christ follower for almost forty years.

I can't cry like I want to for fear that the TSA will think me a suspicious individual and haul me off.

How do you lose a hero?
He modeled what it means to love the same woman for 65 years. He told me that he asked her to marry him a dozen times before she finally called him and said she'd have him if he'd still have her. He told me, "Sometimes I'd pinch her so she'd get mad at me and chase me around the house, just so we could "make up"". He adored her. Through sickness and health, For richer for poorer, he followed his vows until his final breath. He modeled what it means for me to "love (my) wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:25) I want to be that man.

He modeled what it means to work and provide for his family. He worked shift work for the same company for almost 40 years. I remember my brother and I talking with him about working. My brother said, "Well at least you enjoyed your job." To which he replied, "I never liked my job. I would have much rather worked with my hands." To the modern sentiment of "its all about me and my comforts and enjoyment" he stood as a man that lived for others. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24) I want to be that man.

He modeled what it means to serve while enjoying life. Most of the memory that I have of my granddad was after his retirement. He spent a significant amount of this time serving young men in a juvenile detention center. He would teach them what the Bible said about Christ's love for them, and he would model that unconditional love towards them as he called the man out in them. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1John 4:11) I want to be that man.

He modeled the art of manliness by the skill of his hands. He could build anything. I remember coming to play at their house as a kid and he'd disappear in to his shop, that smelled of sawdust, varnish, and old tools, and would emerge 30 minutes later with a wooden rifle so I could "hunt" the squirrels that haunted the magnificent garden in his back yard. He'd build an addition on their home, create a coke can airplane, and paint a new bird house. When my grandmother wanted some new cabinets, no box store cabinets were good enough. He built them to custom fit. And they were beautiful. Through this he taught me that God does the same things with His holy hands in us. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) I want to be that man.

He modeled what it mean to be a disciple of Jesus. Pawpaw never new his biological father. He came to the stark realization that Mr. Kopp was not his birth father when he went to sign up for the Army Air Corp and his signature didn't match his birth certificate. Mr. Kopp adopted my grandpa when pawpaw was in his mid-twenties. My grandmother had to sign permission for him to be adopted, since they were already married! Through all this he gained a new earthly father.
When pawpaw was in his early fifties he was at a training with a young man on how to share the Gospel. His pastor had asked him to go thinking he understood it himself. After talking to my pawpaw the young man asked him, "Have you ever, by faith, made Jesus your personal Lord and Savior?" Pawpaw said, "No, I haven't." And right there Pawpaw got a new Heavenly Father. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16-17) I am so thankful that, thanks to the model of faith in my pawpaw, I am that man!

His final words to me in this life, when I spoke with him on the phone two days ago were, "I love you. I'm proud of you." What young man will not weep with gratitude at words like this from a man like him. I WANT to be that man!

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 15:53-57)

We need more heroes like Edward Case Kopp (August 29, 1926 - December 6, 2012)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Man Cooking

This is what the Northern Lights look like when you have a cheap camera.

Happy (late) Thanksgiving!!
We are so thankful for our prayer team and ministry supporters. The work of ministry that we are doing and the impact on church and culture would be impossible if it was not for you! We had a busy Thanksgiving weekend. For Thanksgiving day itself we hosted 8 students from the dorm. Two young men and six young women from 8 different villages around the state. In fact the Galena Bible Church body hosted almost 80 students in our homes for Thanksgiving meals! Never before have I seen a church host 80 strangers in their homes for a family holiday. Such an amazing blessing! Way to go church!
My blog needs smell-o-vision!
The day after Thanksgiving I hosted a young men's event with one of the RA's at the Dorm. We called it "Man Cooking". The general premise is that young men need to know how to do more than heat up a hot pocket in the microwave before they graduate High School. It also has to be something that they can serve their grandpa and feel like a man while doing it. We hosted 8 young men in our home for this event and I taught them how to make Cajun Rice and Gravy with Moose Roast and Bear Andouille with a side of green beans (cooked with bacon and seasoning). To replace the sausage that they used I also taught them how to make Moose and Caribou Andouille sausage which I smoked the next day. And yes it was all as good as it sounds! The young men loved it, and would light up as you affirmed them as they did well at the tasks given them. Several of these young men have no father, or healthy male roll model. I look forward to doing this event again and having more time to build connection with these young men.
We finished preaching through the book of Titus, and I began this past Sunday preaching a series I'm titling "Blessing Home for the Holidays." This past Sunday we looked at Romans 7 and 8 and how we understand what it means to be conformed to the image of Jesus. We talked about family resemblance, and how we were made in the image of God but look like the world as a result of sin. I then showed how Christ brings us into adoption as children of God through His saving work. At the end I decided to give a formal invitation (something we do not regularly do). A young woman came forward and said that she wanted to put her faith in Jesus! Praise GOD! We have been doing some follow up with her to make sure she understands what that means. I look forward to seeing what the Lord does through this.

Things you can pray for:
  • Please be praying for the young woman who put her faith is Jesus this past Sunday. Pray that opportunity to disciple her would come about.
  • There is a spiritual attack on marriages that I have seen and I would ask you to pray for the Lord's protection and wisdom as we address this battle ground.
  • My grandfather is in the final stages of his cancer and we are preparing for what we know is coming. I (Chris) have been asked to preach his funeral, which is a task I am humbled to undertake for a man who is a spiritual mentor and giant to me. 
  • It is getting dark and cold. Pray for the community (especially men) who begin in this season to have thoughts of self harm. Pray that the hope of that the church has in Jesus Christ would penetrate the darkest corners of our culture.
  • Pray for AKMissionConnection a new ministry that is being lead by a friend of mine who has the desire to web the Christian community of Alaska and beyond to help reach the state with the Gospel.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why are you here?

It all started with a conversation involving a drunk hitchhiker. And no, that is not uncommon. It's pretty regular that I give rides to people who are walking about town, and it is quite often that that individual turns out to be at some level of intoxication. So it was with this gentleman. I didn't know it until after I had extended the invitation for a ride home. It was about half way around him stumbling in front of my car that I realized, "Oh boy, he's drunk". And not a little bit drunk, like buzzing drunk, but full out ask you a question  and then immediately not remember that he asked you anything drunk. And it started like this, "Whyyy arrre yyyou heeere?" Among other questions this one surfaced several times. Each time a little more emphatically asked: Why are you here?! Both inquisitive and accusatory. The question held the weight of "Why, of all the places that one could live, do you choose to live here?" It's cold, dark, and isolated. Ethnically we are a minority. Religiously we are a minority. Hey white guy, why here?
I drove him home and he said "I'm too drunk to go home...lets go for a ride!" I said no and he said, "Ok just drop me off at the end of the street." I drove him to the end of the street and he said, "I changed my mind. I want to go home." So we turned around and I drove him home. Then he didn't want to get out of the car. He just wanted to ask me the same question over and over. "Why are you here?" I told him I was here to give drunk guys a ride home. He laughed and finally got out of my car. As I drove away and saw him in the rear view mirror I heard his voice say again, "Why are you here?" And I answered him, "For you."
Why are you here? In the place that you are sitting reading this blog, why are you here? For whom does God have you living and serving to display Christ? Who is watching you and evaluating the worth of Christ based upon the model of Him you portray? In Titus 2 Paul urges Titus to teach bond-servants to be submissive to their masters so that they can do something quite interesting. He says that "in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior." (Vs 10) Many people are very concerned with how they dress because they know that people will evaluate them based upon what they wear. So it is for us in Christ Jesus. Do we put him on daily so that the world around us sees Christ in all his grace, mercy, patience, beauty, and love? Or do we portray Jesus as judgmental, arrogant, belittling, and indifferent? Paul urged the church in Corinth to "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1Cor 11:1) What example of Christ will they see? I pray that as they see me, they see the grace of God lived out in a redeemed man.
Why are you here?
Things to pray for:
  • Pray for the Students and dorm staff that are at the dorms. Students are homesick and are looking forward to their Christmas break. Pray that dorm staff would have wisdom and patience with the students.
  • Pray that God would continue to give us clarity as we seek to engage surrounding villages with the Gospel. 
  • Pray for the marriages of the Galena Bible Church. Satan has been working to build indifference and isolation when God desires oneness and intentionality. Pray that God would give Shell and I wisdom as we give council on various levels. 
  • Physical challenges - From faulty water wells, to broken transmissions there have been many physical challenges that missionaries have faced over the past month. When there is no one else to do these tasks we can feel overwhelmed. Pray that God would provide the resources necessary to meet every need.
  • Please pray for Chris' grandfather in Baton Rouge Louisiana who is in the final stages of cancer.

Monday, October 29, 2012

What is success?

Seven people? Is seven people success? How about forty? Is that success? What about seventy? Is that success. Ruby, Huslia, Galena. Seven, forty, seventy. They're just places, and they are just numbers. But when you understand what they mean they hold a little bit more importance. The Bible church in Ruby runs about seven. The Community church in Huslia runs about forty. The Bible Church in Galena runs about seventy.  How about a hundred, about three hundred, about Six hundred fifty. That's the populations of these villages respectively. That's about ten percent of each village. Ten percent of the village regularly attends the local Bible church of that village. Ten percent! Do most churches impact ten percent of their communities lives? Not in most of my experience. What an amazing impact!

But what if the number is zero?


Year after year. Winter after winter. One funeral after another. Zero. Zero. Zero. What if a missionary lives the Gospel out in full view of the lives of a culture for one, two, three decades, and nothing. One brother and sister in missions spent 18 years in a neighbor village and finally had to leave because of health issues. No church. Is it success?

This is an important thing for missionaries to understand and be encouraged in. (By the way if you follow Jesus YOU are a missionary.) In Matthew 25:21 Jesus is sharing the parable of the Talents and says, "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"
Good and FAITHFUL...not good and SUCCESSFUL. What is success? It is in fact obedience to the will of God. Are you willing to be faithful in the things God has given you to do even if it means not being 'successful'?

October has been an extremely busy month. Galena Bible Church hosted a community church service in conjunction with the Yukon Jamboree, a sobriety awareness fiddle band event. The Bible Church sponsored Bill Pagerin, a Tlingit Native man who is a brother in Christ and president of a suicide prevention non-profit called Carry the Cure, to be the guest speaker of the Yukon Jamboree, and to preach at the community church service. We had about 80 people attend the church service including several local community members, and residents of other villages that came in for the Jamboree.

Since the end of September I have been preaching through the book of Titus. Two weeks ago we addressed the men of the church from Titus 2, and some amazing conversations have taken place since then by both younger and older men wanting to see men set the example of Godly leadership and character. We are quickly working on putting together a monthly "man skills" event where one christian man from the church will teach a "manly" skill (like how to skin an animal, how to sharpen a knife, or how to make a fishing net) to teens and younger boys, and then will share their testimony of what it means to grow as a man following Christ. We are also working on a men's Bible Study that will be taking place before work one day a week.

Things to be praying for:
  • Shell and the kids are in Louisiana and Texas for two weeks visiting family. I'm holding down the fort in Galena. Pray for their protection.
  • Pray for the Students at the boarding school who are experiencing homesickness, and other situations that cloud their ability to receive love from the dorm staff and members of the church.
  • Pray for one young teen guy that recently decided to go home even after many of the men at the church poured significant effort into encouraging him to be the man God wants him to be. Pray that the Lord would lead him back to the truths lived before him.
  • Pray the the Lord would continue to build a true unity amongst the body of believers at the Galena Bible Church so that this community would know we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Giving Thanks

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15-16)

I hope and pray that most days I would be like the Samaritan leper healed by Jesus: immediately grateful for the work of Christ in my life. But if I'm honest (a noble quality in a missionary, I know) I'm quite regularly like the other lepers that were healed but did not return to give thanks to Jesus for His work in their lives. Why do we do that? God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and all we can do is occasionally remember to thank him for our food. Lord where is the heart in me that falls at your feet giving thanks for healing me of the life ending disease of sin and death. Why not give thanks instead?

I had one of those moments during moose season this year. It was the last day that I was planning on hunting. The reason there haven't been any blog updates since August is that it's been moose season. Every opportunity is spent in the field with others to find a bull moose. For me up until that point I had seen only cow moose (female moose). I was thinking about how much I wanted to shoot a moose, not just for my own need, but so that I would have the ability to be able to give moose away and be generous. An average Bull Moose has close to 500 pounds of meat on it's body. That's enough for my family and enough to be generous with as well. It was about 6:30 in the evening on the night of the last hunt and I was hopeful. I had just sat down and in my spot about a mile out of camp when I heard the shot. It was from the direction of where my brother and nephew were hunting about a mile and a half away. I waited a couple minuets and then messaged them on our radios. Sure enough they had shot a moose. General rule of group moose hunting, is when a moose is on the ground everyone stops hunting and starts cutting and packing. So I started the mile and a half march over to where they were. I felt a bit down. "God," I thought, "It's not like I haven't been working hard at this for the past month. I really wanted to get a moose so that I could be on the giving end not just on the receiving end." (I think the parental term for this emotion is "ungratefulness".) And so this one sided conversation went for about a half mile. Then it (the quite voice of the Holy Spirit) hit me like a full charging bull moose: "What do you think you've been doing the past month?" I stopped on the trail and thought about each person that I had taken hunting on different trips through the season. Some (very) late night heart conversations around a campfire. Some whispered prayer times overlooking a field. Some pastoral care over a lukewarm MRE. I HAD been giving. But I had only been giving out of what had been given to me: God's amazing grace to a leper named Chris. At that moment I looked up and a double rainbow arched over the field that I was standing in. (For Real) And the last mile of my hike was a SWEET fellowship with my Father, who patiently gives what we really need at the time that we really need it. And then when cutting the moose my brother and nephew decided to give me the ENTIRE moose. So I did have a whole moose! I ended up giving about 180 pounds away. I turn back and give thanks. What's going on with you that you can do likewise?

Things to pray for:
  • There has been an extra-ordinary amount of loss in the village recently. Tragic deaths, major family health problems, and hard relational circumstances have seemed to hit many in the faith community very hard. Pray that God's grace would in deed be sufficient to the believers and that His peace that passes all understanding would be tangible.
  • Galena Bible Church is hosting a community church service at the City School gym this Sunday. Pray that our guest preacher (Bill Pagerin) would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to clearly share the Gospel.
  • Galena YoungLife is hosting a Basket Ball clinic Oct 11th-14th. Pray that the YL Staff would have opportunities to share the Good News.
  • This past Saturday Galena Bible Church sent 4 guys to Ruby to help the Bible Church there with some construction work. Pray that the team that came from Anchorage this week will be safe and will be a blessing to that small fellowship.

Monday, August 27, 2012

That all the world may know.

Galena SEND North Team doing bush style Church planting.

How far is the nearest 'like faith' church to where you are sitting right now? I'm not talking about the church that you necessarily attend. I'm talking about the closest church that shares at least the basics of Biblical Christian faith and practice where the Gospel is being preached and God is being worshiped. Could you walk there if you wanted to? Do you pass one or five as you drive to your church? What if you couldn't get there by car, or by walking? What if you had to fly, boat, or Snow Machine (Snow Mobile for non-Alaskans) if you wanted to attend church? Would you go?

Many of the villages in bush Alaska have no church presence whatsoever. Most that do have a church have one that probably does not have any type of pastoral leadership. Many villages that have a church may have one that is not of "like faith and practice". And so as one believer in a village recently told me, "My wife and I mostly stay at home on Sunday and try to study the Bible by ourselves, or we'll watch videos that our family sends us." For this couple the nearest church of like faith and practice is 36 miles by air, or 51 miles by way! How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Rom 10:14-15)

Galena Bible Church has been under such a blessing from God over the past several years that we are now to the point where we are healthy enough to give attention and resources towards planting and supporting churches in surrounding villages. As you may recall we've made several trips to Ruby (41 air, 50 river miles from Galena) to support and encourage a mission church in that village. This past week we took 7 gift bags (soft sided ice chests with Gorilla-tape, a flashlight, chocolate and such) to Nulato and gave them to the faculty and administration of the city school there. We had a warm reception from the entire group and found some possible opportunities to connect again with that village.

On the Galena front, this past weekend was quite the busy one. A team of seven guys came out from ChangePoint Church in Anchorage and helped with our Youth Group Kick-Off, YoungLife Club Kick-Off, physical ministry to members of the church, and hosted an Airsoft Event for dorm kids that had over 70 participate! Including the ChangePoint team we had almost 80 people in attendance at church yesterday! Amazing!

Things you can be praying for:
  • Discernment as we seek the Lord's direction for missions out of Galena Bible Church.
  • Provision - as Moose season is upon us. For perspective sake: 1# ground beef in Galena = $8. Average adult bull moose weighs 1200# and has 560# of meat. 
  • Protection - moose hunting involves lots of boating, and time in the woods.
  • Personal - We just found out that my Grandfather (one of my three Spiritual Mentors) has terminal cancer. Pray that the members of my extended family who are not believers would see how he finishes and follow his example. Pray for me as it is very difficult to be away from them in this season.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Supply and Demand

Kinda like you're floating on air.

Grocery Shopping Bush Style

Do you remember learning about supply and demand when you took economics? The simple principle is that in general if there is a high demand for something the supply of that thing will either increase or the price will increase for the limited supply. If the demand is low then the price or quantity of the supply will decrease. Supply and demand. It's what makes our commerce economy function. Anyone else noticing that the price of food is going up? It has. We just bought a years worth, and I can say with certainty that the price has increased at least 10% from last year. Demand for food is still the same I'm assuming, but the supply has been the issue. Too much rain in the deep south, too little rain in the mid-west, all causing a reaction to the supply chain, and the price goes up.

God's economy and our economy are not the same. However there is a connection between the principle of Supply and Demand in God's economy. There is a demand for the Gospel. The Imago Dei in us cries out for it. The demand of broken, lost, and spiritually dead people is high. It's always been high. Human beings need the Gospel. It's essential. The exchange that takes place between the demand for the Gospel and the supply of the Gospel is not measured in dollars, but rather in the souls of men. When the supply of those carrying the Gospel is low the cost goes up. Souls are lost. This dear friends is THE MOST COSTLY THING IN THE UNIVERSE. Don't believe me? They are so valuable that Jesus exchanged his life for them. What could be more valuable than that! When the supply of those living and sharing the Gospel is high the cost is low. More people come to know the Lord. They see what he is doing in the lives of those saved by his Grace. The danger in this situation is that that the Gospel can become cheapened. We forget that not only did it cost Jesus his life, it will cost us ours as well.

Imagine with me for a moment that you are a 16 year old high school student. You attend a Bible camp during the Summer, hear the Gospel, realize your deep need for Christ and his transforming work, and become a disciple of Jesus. Demand met. You then return home to your village of 137 people, and now by default you are the MOST spiritually mature person in your village. What do you think the cost of the Gospel is going to be for you? Welcome to Alaska missions.

The Galena Bible Church in partnership with SEND North is working to get the Gospel into the hands of those who desperately need it. Thank you for your continued support prayer and encouragement as we seek to bring the Gospel to rural Alaska.

Things you can be praying for:
  • The Fox family will be traveling to Allakaket to do a VBS. Pray that the Lord opens opportunities for continued missions there.
  • Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) has 240 students enrolled for this coming school year. This is the most it has ever had. Pray that faculty and staff would be prepared for the challenges that this number will present. 
  • Dorm staff will be returning this week to begin training before school starts. Pray that the believers among them will serve the Lord with gentle grace.
  • Galena Bible Church will be starting Youth Group on Sunday the 26th. Pray that we will have wisdom to know how to best connect with students.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Of Kindom building and chickens.

Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 

Hold still.
We just recently (like 8 weeks ago) got 6 baby chicks that we are raising to have as laying chickens for eggs. This is mostly because Shell wanted to have them, and thought it would be fun for the kids. It is also because a dozen eggs at the store costs about $9. I have yet to determine if these eggs are going to be cheaper than the stores eggs after paying to heat their coop when it gets to -70 next winter. (I am praying diligently that we won't see those temps for several more winters.) Right now though, the chickens are simply consumers. They don't give anything back. They just eat. They eat a lot. I mean really, I've been really impressed by the amount they can consume. Too immature to produce something usable, yet the potential is there. However, if October comes and we don't start having some eggs show up in the roost, we're going to have 6 fryer chickens in the freezer, 800lbs of chicken feed for sale, and a new play house for the kids. The goal of chickens is maturity: either mature egg layers, or fat plump fried chicken. Either one is acceptable in my sight. I will accomplish my goal and plan one way or the other.
How do you build a coop that stays warm with just a light bulb?

That’s kind of what I have observed God doing in rural Alaska. There have been small pockets of believers that have popped up in different areas of the state. They either matured into fruit producing churches, or they’ve dried up. Either one is, I believe ultimately God’s plan. He makes, grows, feeds, uses, and ultimately ends movements in His Kingdom. His will is going to be done, and His plans will be accomplished. Thanks be to God that He is long-suffering, patient, compassionate, and just. Galena Bible Church has seen days of immaturity. A season where there was no evidence of Kingdom work, or growth going on. We have, by God’s grace, been in a season of harvest and maturing. 

This past week we had the privilege of seeing my niece and nephew be baptized in the Yukon. They have both been believers for several years, but both came to the understanding of baptism as something they needed to do publicly. About 20 people gathered on the north bank of the Yukon (which is a very cold river) to witness the baptism. I shared the story of the understanding of baptism in the Ethiopian eunuch, and my brother Jason baptized his daughter and son as his sister and brother in Christ!

 Our community experienced a tragedy this past weekend. Friday night a fire broke out in a home in Galena and claimed 2 lives. Our local radio station general manager and his wife are believed to be the two bodies found in the rubble. Most of the men from the church showed up to fight the fire, along with many others from the community. In great tragedy there is a community togetherness that is present and a blessing to see.  You can read more about it at the Anchorage Daily News site HERE.

Things you can pray for:
  • Pray for those directly effected by the lose of these community members.
  • Pray that God would give opportunities for the Bible Church to show the love of Christ in these trials. 
  • Pray for Martin & Silke Hornfischer as they travel with 40 teens to to Warrior Leadership Summit in MO.
  • Pray for Gunner & Adrian Johnson as they lead the camps at Kokrine Hills Bible Camp for the next 5 weeks starting this week. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Maturity: The Aim of a Disciple Week 2

Keep your eye on the prize
James 1:9-18

Listening Guide
Sermon MP3

Maturity: The Aim of a Disciple Week 1

The book of James has been called the Proverbs of the New Testament. It was also written to the church that was "scattered" abroad, much in the same way that Galena Bible Church is scattered during the Summer months. Over the coarse of the Summer Brad Fox and Chris Kopp will be preaching through this book of the God's Word. We invite you to download the .mp3 of the sermon (if there is one) and follow along with the listener guide. 
May the Lord mature you thought this study.
Study guide
Power point with answers

Summer has come!

I have yet, after 18 months, to cease amazement at the pace of life that exists in this village. Since our last post the list of events that has taken place would make for quite a few posts: Prom, Graduation, students leaving for home, family visiting, birthday parties, good buy potlucks, and on and on the list could go. And as usual the pace has not slowed just changed. Now is the time that we have 23 hours of daylight so outside projects are if full swing.

This past weekend we held a Bi-Annual SEND North Interior Team Retreat (or at least that's what I'll call it.) We took three boats down river for a picnic and had a great time of fellowship. Then on Saturday we met for planning and vision casting for the following six months. In attendance were the three SEND families that live in Galena, the SEND couple that pastor the church in Husila, and the two SEND team leader families (myself and my brother).

We (Brad Fox and Myself) will be preaching through the book of James over the summer. I am attempting to record the sermons and post them on this blog with a listener's guide. If you are so inclined, please feel free to listen to the sermon and look at the guide. This is a trial run for us as we are seeking ways to use these resources to connect with other villages that do not currently have churches planted in them, and also as a way to stay connected with students who return home from Galena. Any feedback from this would be greatly appreciated, or any ideas and resources that you have to put towards this project would be welcomed as well.
More posts to follow soon.
Chris Kopp

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Power of God

River ice pushed onto the bank.
 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(1Co 1:17-18)

Watching the river break up in Galena is an unbelievable event. Like watching the Northern Lights, or gazing  off into the billions of unobstructed stars, one feels very small on the bank of the Yukon when the ice goes out. You watch as a block of ice the size of a small cabin flips end over end as a sheet of ice the size of a small neighborhood pushes it down the river. Black spruce that has been calved off by the passing ice is stripped of limb and bark and can be snapped like a blade of dry grass in your hand. As you peer over the edge of the bank and feel the ice shake the ground  beneath your feet you cannot help but say, "This is amazing power!" And steadily it flows. The water rises and falls. The ice may dam up, but nothing stops it. Eventually it will break and it will flow. Year after year, season after season, break up after break up.

And so it is with the working of the Gospel in the lives of God's sons and daughters. The river may rip a tree from the ground, but the Gospel calves an addiction from the soul of a man. The ice may jam in the river, but the Gospel changes the course of an abused woman's life. And we dear friends get to be a part in the never ceasing flow of the grace, mercy, and love of Christ through the working of the Gospel in and through our lives. What a privilege! WHAT AMAZING POWER!!!!

As you are guessing from the above picture and videos. The ice broke in Galena on the Friday the 11th at 6:30am. The Lord honored your and our prayers and there was now significant ice jam down river. On Saturday my parents arrived in Galena for my niece's graduation. We are excited to get to be with them until the 1st of June.

For Mother's Day Galena Bible Church had 83 people in attendance!! It was a very bitter/sweet day because it is the last Sunday for our teens as they shall be returning to their homes starting at 6am this coming Saturday. Many will return to villages were there is no Gospel presence whatsoever. Many will be returning to environments that are at best indifferent and at worst hostile to their life of following Christ. Pray for them.

I had the privilege of doing a vow renewal for Martin and Silke Hornfischer during the service on Mother's day. This Thursday will be their 10th anniversary. My sermon was on Song of Solomon 5:16 "This is my beloved and this is my friend". The Hornfischers have become some of our very good friends, and it was such an honor to participate with them in renewing their covenant to each other. So many of our students come from broken homes and broken families. What a testimony of the work of the Gospel! WHAT AMAZING POWER!!!!

Things you can pray for:
  • This week is Graduation: Pray for the young believers who will be making life decisions in the coming months. 
  • GBC is hosting a graduate BBQ for out of town students. Pray that all of the logistics come together, and that and we are able to make great connections with families from other villages. 
  • Pray for all the students as they return home to uncertainty. Pray that the believers here would have opportunity to love and influence them before they leave, as many will not return next school year.

Monday, April 30, 2012

When the sun comes back.

New Galena Bible Church Members!
On Sunday April 22nd nine individuals officially joined Galena Bible Church. These families have been a part of the Bible Church for a long time, but have committed to become members of the church. On the 15th of the month we held a membership class in which we taught through the acronym B.O.D.Y. Beliefs - What we believe as a church. Organization - How we govern ourselves. Discipline/Discipleship - Our heart for growth as a familiy. You - What is your part  in the body and how can you serve the Lord and others. I preached that Sunday on Matthew 18 which is the most loving passage on church membership that I believe exists in Scripture. It speaks of a people who have each others backs, and who are in each others lives to the point that failure is not met with judgment, but with unrelenting love.

On Good Friday, the Child Evangelism Fellowship's Kids Club hosted an Easter Egg hunt at the Bible Church. I had the privilege of sharing with the kids the resurrection story using Resurrection Eggs.
Sharing the resurrection story for Kid's Club
 The kids were so excited to open and egg and show everyone the contents! One young girl, who's parents are strong believers, has a set of the Resurrection eggs. When we were getting to the last egg she was about to burst! The excitement of heart and her love for the Lord was explosive! When I asked the group, "So what do you think is in this last egg?" She said, "It's EMPTY because Jesus is alive!" No more joyous words have ever been spoken! He's alive! There's hope! The Son has come back from the grave, and now death does not hold us down.
Easter eggs are easy to spot in snow. You also find some when it all melts.
 The great thaw is in full swing. When the sun is out it will reach into the low 50s. What a dramatic difference from -70! End of the school year events are in full swing as well. The Bible Church hosted the prom formal wear fitting again this year. This year myself and 3 other men helped the dorm boys get fitted with suit coats and ties. It is quite a comical seen to see bush men trying to match tie patterns and colors with slacks and suit coats. Ministry out of the norm for sure. However these young men beamed with the encouragement from older men. It's a great tragedy in our nation that more older men do not spend time calling out the manness in younger men. We pray that God gives more opportunities to do this in the lives of these young men.

Things you can be praying for:
  • There have been several suicides in rural Alaskan villages. Many of these villages have students who attend our boarding school. Pray for protection and encouragement for these students and especially the young men in rural Alaska.
  • The school job vacancy's are being posted. Pray that the Lord would raise up the right people to fill those positions.
  • Every Yukon breakup has the threat of flooding. This year has already seen some low lying villages up river see some flooding. Pray for the Lord's protection for Galena and the other villages down river that the breakup would happen uneventfully.

Monday, April 9, 2012

SPRING!!...or some semblence of it.

Galena Spring Carnival Ice Picking Competition.

Most of the rest of the United States is picking out summer flowers to plant, planning for early Summer vacations, and wearing shorts. In Galena...we're having snowshoe races!! Spring in Galena means longer daylight, and generally warmer days. But not always. Two weeks ago the average temperature was about -10 with wind. Lots of wind.

Tis the season for wood hauling (getting next years firewood), beaver trapping, Ptarmigan hunting, and being outside as much as possible after a winter of being inside.

Last week we were blessed to have a bunch of servant hearted missionaries from Gathering Place Church in Pineville LA come and serve in Galena for 8 days. 
The Louisiana Crew

They cut and hauled firewood for 5 families, built shelves at the church, cleaned and served in native elders homes, hosted two teen events for about 20 boarding school girls, cooked for several community events, and just generally loved on and blessed the believers at Galena Bible Church. It was such a blessing to have them here. This was 4 of the guys second trip to Galena. We are so blessed by their consistency and love for our body, and can't wait to see what the Lord will do as a result of their faithfulness.

Things you can be praying for:
  • The Annual Galena Bible Church meeting is on April 29th. Pray that God gives us leadership as a church to know his will for this coming year as we seek to set a budget, and plan a calendar for next year.
  • Pray for the SEND missionaries as we seek to make stronger connections to the surrounding villages.
  • Pray for dorm staff and teachers as the school year winds to a close. Pray that they would be intentional to live their faith in the lives of students.
  • They are predicting a larger than normal snow melt this year which has an increased risk of flooding as the river breaks up. Pray for God's protection through that processes. 
  • We had close to 75 people at church for Easter morning. The Gospel was clearly presented, and I am praying that many who were there would become followers of Christ. I would ask that you pray for that with me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10,000 Miles in 19 days

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
(Psalm 8:3-4) - Photo by Keith Ramos
Bedded down dog teams in Galena - by Keith Ramos

Photo by Keith Ramos
Aliy Zirkle leading the pack into Galena - Photo by Keith Ramos...I'm not sure what I would do without him.

As Dorthy said in the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” We arrived safely back in Galena on Friday morning at 11am after leaving Lafayette, Louisiana on Wednesday at 8:30 am. We would have been home sooner, but we decided to schedule a dentist appointment in Fairbanks for Thursday. Nothing quite like flying all night and then getting a dental cleaning first thing after landing! We left Louisiana at a balmy 70F, and our first morning in Galena it was a cool -25F. No place like home.

We had such a blessed time visiting with biological family and faith family while we were in Texas and Louisiana. I was honored to get to preach at three different churches and meet up with two other churches for food or dessert. Shell and I are so thankful for the love and support that we receive from our ministry partners, and the excitement of everyone about what the Lord is doing in Galena and the Interior.

The Iditarod is coming through Galena this year. We made it home just in time to see the first team come into town.  Several of the SEND Missionaries and other church members are volunteering at the check station. Many of the mushers are waiting to run their dogs at night because it was below zero, and easier for their dogs to run!

Next week we begin a series at church I’m calling “Epic Grace”. When you think of an Epic story, they usually follow the same pattern: 1.Intrigue/Paradise, 2.Lose/tragedy/conflict, 3.Contending, 4. Restoration/Resolution.  This has been the story of our relationship with God up until today. It’s God’s epic story of grace. Be praying for us as we go through this study.

Things you can be praying for:
  • Brad Fox (SEND Missionary) and a couple of teens from church went to Nulato this weekend to help with a Kid’s Club meeting there. Pray that Brad was able to connect with the believers  that are there, and that we’ll see God’s will in starting a church in Nulato.
  • 10 people from The Gathering Place Church in Pineville Louisiana will be traveling to Galena on the 30th of March to serve on a mission trip. Pray for safety and effectiveness of their efforts to further the Kingdom.
  • Several leaders in the church have been holding a parenting workshop for the past couple of Thursdays. Pray that new community members would feel welcomed to come and that we would have success in helping parents love and nurture their kids.
  • Pray for spiritual protection for the men in the bush. Pray that suicide would be prevented and the Gospel would replace hopelessness.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rest and Rush

Thank you so much for praying. The Lord answered our prayers and gave us relief from the bitter grip of winter. The temperatures have been in the 20's...ABOVE zero for about two weeks!! The day's are getting longer, the sun is shining, and vehicles are working. It's all good.

On the 31st of January Martin Hornfischer (SEND Missionary) and I flew to Anchorage then drove to Soldotna for an ArcticBarnabas Men's retreat. Martin and I used our time the best that we could to meet with people and tell the story of Galena and what God is doing here. We met with the dean at Wayland Baptist College in Anchorage and his wife for dinner in Anchorage our first night and then went to an Evangelism Conference to meet Baptist Pastors from around the state. Wayland is looking to forge a ministry partnership in Galena with the Bible Church, SEND, and YoungLife and we are prayerfully looking at ways to foster that connection.

On the first a van picked us up to head down to Soldotna. A blizzard also decided to tag along. You know you live in Alaska when a "retreat" involves pushing a 4x4 truck that's stuck while its chained to the 15 passenger van that you are riding in! Once we finally reached Solid Rock Bible Camp we were finally able to relax. Neither Martin nor myself really realized just how physically drained we were from the month of average -45 temperatures. We had the opportunity to meet missionaries from all over the state and encourage one another in love and good works. Some of the stories that I heard broke my heart and others gave me great joy at what the Lord is doing. One brother who's family has been serving in a small village (about 150 people) has done 26 funerals in five years, of which only 2 were natural deaths. He also shared a story of a native man who was walking out of the village with a rifle to end his life. The man was intoxicated and later told him he heard a voice say "turn right". He he didn't see anyone but thought "I can walk out of town that way too." so he turned right. A little bit latter he heard the same voice say "turn right". Still not seeing anyone, he turned right again, which led him up the steps of the missionary's home, at 3 in the morning. The man let himself into the house, and my missionary friend had to jump up to see who it was. The man handed him his rifle and said, "I know you, I can talk to you." After a couple pots of coffee, and God's amazing grace that reached into the souls of men this man put his faith in Jesus and is now a regular attender at the village church! Thank God for coffee and Jesus!!

Martin and I were encouraged by the servant hearts of the men who serve at ArcticBarnabus, and were renewed in our passion for the work that we are doing here in Galena. I flew home on the 6th and on the 7th a youth team from Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake, AK came for a week and a half of service. This was the rush. My vehicle was the primary transportation for the team. In the week they were here we put about 250 miles on the explorer. Did I mention there are only about 5 miles of road in town!! They cut, split, and stacked close to 8 chords of firewood, cleaned homes, painted rooms, visited elders, baked cookies, helped with two youth group events, a teen valentine social, and the 10th annual YoungLife Valentine Banquette (which is the only date night all year). We housed the 7 girls at our house, and our house was also the site of all of the team meals, and devotionals. 20+ people at each meal makes for quite the full kitchen.

Galena Bible Church sent our second team out to the village of Ruby this past Sunday to support the church mission that is there. Brad Fox (SEND Missionary) preached and the rest of the team helped with a youth Bible study and game time after the service.We are so excited about the opportunities that the Lord is opening for us to build the Church in interior villages.

Thank you for your faithful prayer for us, and encouragement. Here are some things you can be praying for in the coming weeks:
  • We will be traveling on the 20th to head to Texas and Louisiana to visit with family and do support raising. I'll be speaking at or with 5 churches while there. Pray for safety, rest, and Kingdom conversations. 
  • Pray for Martin, and Brad as they preach at the Galena Bible Church while I am away. 
  • Pray for a young man (22) who tried to take his life this past Saturday. The Lord spared him and he has expressed a desire to have a second chance at life. Pray for David Pavish (Galena YoungLife Leader) who will be discipleing him. 
  • Spring has been a historical time of suicides in the bush. Pray that the Lord would hold back the spiritual darkness and allow the Gospel to replace hopelessness. 
  • Pray for the Parenting Workshop that the Bible Church will be hosting on Thursdays for the next 7 weeks. Pray that community members would be encouraged to attend.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

100 Degrees Below Freezing

We have officially been in Galena for one year! January 20th of 2011 my family touched down in Galena and began an epic journey of experiencing God's faithfulness, provision, and loving kindness. I could not be more happy to be serving where the Lord has led us to serve.

The past couple of weeks have been bitterly cold. Please don't hear me say that in a complaining way. That's just the way that life is here, and it is one of the unique aspects that affects what ministry looks like in the interior of Alaska. Saturday the 28th saw temperatures around town that were -70 and colder. That's 100 degrees colder than the freezing point of water.  In these climates, air begins to 'pocket' itself into super chilled low spots. A 10 foot elevation change may result in a 10 degree temperature difference. One of the painful trials that comes with temperatures like this is that fuel oil (a main source of energy for heat in many houses) starts to gel. This means that it will not pass through the small copper lines to feed the boilers, toyo stoves, and monitors. I helped gather up electric heaters so that community members who were unable to heat their homes would be able to heat the lines enough for them to fuel their main heat sources. Sunday the 29th was a sweet albeit challenging church service. The day started at -58 and didn't really come off of that number. Most vehicles will not start at these temperatures. Ours was no accception. We decided to cancel Sunday School and potluck, since dorm students are not allowed off campus when it's this cold. Most of my congregation that attended WALKED to church, some from almost 2 miles away. Did I mention it was -58!! One of the teachers who's van did start offered to pick us up. We also picked up the Fox family, but before we could get them in the van I had to scare off a moose that was in their driveway. Oh the things you get to do to make church happen in the bush. I am so humbled by the hunger for fellowship, worship, and teaching that I see in my church. Think about you love your church family and crave the corporate praise of God  irregardless of the challenge of getting there?

I preached on the Great Commission concerning the understanding that we as disciples of Jesus are called to "teach them to obey all that I have commanded." It is not merely enough that we teach what Jesus commanded. We must OBEY what Jesus commanded. The mark of a mature disciple is not how much you know, it's how much you OBEY of what you know. We also talked about the need for disciples to remain teachable. Like leather that is hard, at first, becomes soft with use, so we too can bend to the will of the Lord even when he asks us to do difficult things. I then asked the church to share what God has been teaching them, or stretching in them. It was a great encouragement for the body to see each other wrestling with life through the lens of obedience to Christ's commands.

Things you can be praying for:
  • A warm front. No explanation needed.
  • I will be traveling to Anchorage on Tuesday and Soldotna on Wednesday to attend a men's retreat put on by Arctic Barnabas. Pray that God would allow me to connect with missionries from all over the state as we seek to bring the Gospel to every corner of Alaska.
  • Pray for my family as they remain in Galena.
  • Pray for myself and Brad Fox to have wisdom in mentoring young men in Galena. 
  • Pray that the church would continue to have the resources and energy to meet the physical needs of their neighbors, coworkers, and friends.
Thank you for your continued prayer, support, and love for us. Please let us know if we can serve you in any way.
Chris Kopp
PO BOX 252
Galena AK 99741

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hardship and friendship

First of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope that so far 2012 has found you blessed, and able to serve the Lord and the people around you in many ways. I apologize about the tardiness of this update, but as you will read in a moment, things have been......busy There has been a great many opportunities to develop the virtue of patience since my last update. Physical hardships have abounded since the cold snap that rolled in at Christmas, but I have been so impressed by the believers as I have watched them meet each others needs, and the needs of those around them.

Our Christmas Eve service was very enjoyable. We had about 45 people who attended, and had 10 or 11 people that shared different music, and led Christmas carols. It was very simple and very sweet. Christmas morning the church met again for our normal Sunday service, but we did not meet for potluck. It was that weekend that it started getting cold. It was about -38 by the end of Christmas day and it just got colder as the week progressed. Many people in town and in the church began to have problems with pipes freezing, and vehicles not working. So a large part of that week was spent at different peoples homes helping to thaw pipes.

New Years Eve we celebrated at my brothers house and popped fireworks on the slough behind his home. It was so cold that the wax on the candle that we were using to light the fireworks wouldn't melt sufficiently to keep the fire burning.  New Years day we saw -54 at our house. Another couple at church said their thermometer was reading -60. We still had church! It was a light crowd but we celebrated the morning together. After that weekend was when the real hardships started to develop for people.

Let me explain a couple of things about the functions of life in the village of Galena. Most homes do not have running water coming from the city. They have tanks in their homes that have to be filled every week or so, or they have a well. There are a few (our home in that few) that has city piped water. Most houses in Galena have tanked water. They either haul this themselves (the cheapest way) or have the city deliver the water. The same is true about the sewer systems of the houses. Most have septic tanks that have to be pumped when they are full. We also do not have a garbage pickup service. There are two dumpster location in town that you can bring your trash to, or you can drive out to the dump yourself which is 7 miles outside of town (almost at the end of the road). I'm explaining this to you so that you understand what has been endured in the past two weeks.

Problem one: Water station freezes. The pump house where individuals go to haul their own water freezes, thus inhibiting anyone from hauling water themselves. Luckily they can have it delivered by the cuty water truckl. Unfortunately, it freezes on a weekend, and a water delivery call-out on a weekend is an additional $100. This was a minor problem compared to the next problem.

Problem two: Trash truck failure. Apparently hydraulics and -45 below do not mix well with each other. The city asked all residents to hold their trash until further notice, or haul it to the dump themselves. This however pails in comparison to the final problem.

Problem Three: Sewer truck failure. Apparently nothing mixes well with 45 below for an extended period of time. The one sewer truck for the city had a motor malfunction that stopped it from being able to move. So sewer tanks that  were in need of pumping when it broke down were full for about 9 days. That means no flushing toilets, no showers, no laundry and nothing down the drain.

A couple of days ago I posted a "You know you're in Bush Alaska when..." post here is an additional one that was discussed right after that post. 
Lady from Church "Chris, did you get your honey bucket back from the other people that borrowed it? Can we borrow it?"
Me: "Yes I did and you are more than welcome to use it."
Her: "You know you live in Bush Alaska when you borrow a honey bucket from your pastor and you're not the first to borrow it."
Shell: "You know you're in Bush Alaska when your pastor owns a honey bucket."
Me: "You know you're in Bush Alaska when you know what a honey bucket is."

For those that don't know, a honey bucket is a five gallon bucket with a toilet seat lid. Ah the glamor of Alaska missions. We have been fairing exceedingly well through all of this. We have had no major problem with our own home situation. So it has freed me to be able to help others. Thanks so much for praying for us and for our church and community.

Last Sunday we kicked off a short series on the Great Commission called Discipleship. This Sunday I began teaching the adult Sunday School class a curriculum that I wrote called "To be a Hebrew" on Hebraic roots in the New Testament. We're looking at the Blood Covenant of the Old Testament, the Tabernacle, and the Feasts of Israel. I don't know if anyone else is as excited about it as me, but it should be a lot of fun.

Things you can be praying for:
- Shell and three other SEND Missionary wives will be attending a Ladies Retreat in Soldotna, AK next weekend with Arctic Barnabas. Pray for their safety, and encouragement there.
- Pray for me because I'll have all three kids to myself from Thursday to Sunday. My goal is to have as many at the end as I started with. 
- Pray for the SEND Missionaries (Brad and Madeline Fox, Martin and Silke Hornfischer, Josh and Theresa Kaufield) as they struggle with their homes in this long cold snap. Also pray that they would have clarity to know where and how to best serve the community and make relationships with people.
- Pray for warmer weather. I think my church would hurt me if I didn't ask you to pray for this.
- YoungLife volunteers will be traveling this coming weekend to attend the YL All Staff Meeting. Pray that God gives them encouragement and a fresh vision for reaching native Alaskan teens with the Gospel.
- Bible Church Youth Group will be starting back this Tuesday. Pray that we can continue to develop relationships with students, and model Godly love and wisdom to them.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Boiling water at 50 Below

Got some curious questions about boiling water and 50 below temperatures. So I though this might help. You are supposed to throw it out a second story window and it won't hit the ground, but all our windows are froze shut. So without further adieu...BOILING WATER AT 50 BELOW!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You know you're in Bush Alaska when...

You know you’re in Bush Alaska when…
  1. You do not find anything strange about the statement, “It warmed up to -31 today.”
  2. A half gallon of liquid bleach from the local store costs more than a movie ticket in the city.
  3. You understand what it means to “torch” your engine block so that your truck will start.
  4. You’ve been depressed because you want a snack, have looked in the pantry, not seen anything you wanted, and realized that it is EVERYTHING you have for the rest of the year.
  5. You know what happens when you throw boiling water in the air when it is -50.
  6. You regularly eat food that is past its “sell-by” date.
  7. A night out on the town consists of eating a snickers bar down by the river.
  8. The “riff-raff” at the local “mall” will not mug you, but might eat you. 
  9. You’ve tried to find something for $1.72 so that you qualify for free shipping on Amazon.
  10. Your physical address is made up, and sending something General Delivery will actually get to you.
  11. Your village posts announcements on the radio station like “The City of Galena asks all residents to conserve any room they have left in their sewage tanks. The truck is still broken down and may not be operational at all this week.” And “To all Galena citizens and businesses, the city is asking you to hold your trash until further notice because of the trash truck failure in the cold weather. 
  12. Your family in the lower 48 Google's directions from their house to yours and Google says "You cannot get there from here." 
  13. You love Jesus and the people that live here so much that you choose to deal with the above mentioned things so that God can be glorified, and people can meet Jesus.
Thanks for the faithful love and prayer you have given us over the past year.