Monday, May 20, 2013

The LONG Spring

Gassing up for my morning commute to Church.
A good Sunday morning service.

 What a busy, but great month it's been. The first weekend of this month, Galena YoungLife hosted an After-Prom that had a 95% participation from students from both the city school and boarding School. We hosted some of the out of town participants at our home and members from our church helped chaperone the event, and made breakfast for all the kids.

At the same time that was happening, retired Lt Colonel Kent Wong came on a vision trip for a week to learn how to support bush missions. One of the highlights of his trip was to get to go to Huslia with Don and Brenda Ernst. Don pastors the Huslia Community Church and they have been in Huslia for 23 years.

Lt Col. (ret) Kent Wong and I on our way to Huslia.

Pastor Don Ernst calling in our ride on his Satellite phone.

Our Taxi arrived
Our Sister Church in Huslia. Huslia Community Church.                  

 We were able to attend their church service (which they do on Sunday evenings). And get a tour of Huslia. Don shared about how they've become a part of the community, and his vision to see missionaries in the other villages of the Koyukuk River system. They're church of 35 is busting at the seams and they will be adding onto the log church building this Summer.
No joke...this was missionaries Don and Brenda Ernst's first house in Huslia. They used to get a sheet of ice build up inside the house during the winter.

Chris "shopping" at the "mini-mall" (next to the city dumpster, not to be confused with the "mall" which is the city dump.)
 Mother's Day Sunday was our last Sunday with the students before they left. We spent about a third of the service praying for the students. Many are returning to places where there is no Gospel witness. Our charge to them was that they would be so empowered by the Holy Spirit that they would begin to lead Bible studies and share their faith in their own communities.  This past Friday was graduation and Saturday was the mad rush of planes flying the 160 dorm students back to all corners of Alaska.

As of right now, the Yukon river has not broken up. If the river does not break before May 26th, it will be the latest break-up since records have been kept (100 years). This is delaying our drift wood harvest which we need to get for the boiler that we will be installing in the church this Summer.

Things you can be praying for:
  • Pray for the Students that Galena Bible Church has invested in over the last year. Pray that young believers would be protected from the temptations and dangers that exist for many of them.
  • Pray that the river breakup would be uneventful. Pray for the Village of Eagle that flooded late last week. 
  • Pray for Brad and Madeline Fox (SEND Missionaries) who will be returning to Galena at the beginning of June from a home service.
  • Pray for Martin and Silke Hornfischer (SEND Missionaries) as they travel to Germany for the summer months and work through their Visa renewal. Pray that they'll be able to smoothly transition back to Galena from their home service.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Meta-Narative

Several years ago there was a movie called "The Truman Show" where Jim Carey played a man who's whole life had been a TV show without his knowing it. He thinks the world around him is normal and real, but in reality it is all an act. Since that movie was produced psychologists have categorized a mental disorder for people around that idea. The Truman Show delusion is a type of persecutor/grandiose delusion in which patients believe their lives are staged plays or reality television shows (1). They believe that the story revolves around them.
Unfortunately all of us at some time or another can slip into that same mindset. That the world does (or at least should) revolve around us. We're not clinical, and when confronted with the truth we are quick to acknowledge that we are in fact not the center of the universe. This is where it is helpful for us as Christians to understand what it means for us to be in the "Meta-narrative" of God's redemptive work(that can be your new word for the week). A meta-narrative is a larger story that is comprised of many smaller stories, but ultimately is about one story. Think Lord of the Rings trilogy, not just Gollum and Sam Wise arguing over the proper preparation of rabbit. The Bible is Meta-narrative. There are individual stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, 700 left handed slingshot welding hair killers (it's in'll have to dig for it). And of course there's Jesus, the cross, resurrection, ascension, and coronation. And then there's us. Did you know you are in the Bible? Jesus prayed for you. God knew you before the foundation of the earth and determined to redeem you for His glory. The story isn't about us, though we are in it. The story is about Jesus who is throughout it all, from the first promise, to the covenants, to the sacrifices, to the remnant, to Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and You. The story is one whole story of God's faithfulness, love, grace, and justice. Our little subplot is a small part of the eternal story of God.
A young woman who became a Christian a couple of months ago blessed my and Shell's story by sharing what God is burdening her heart for. There is no church in her village. No one who would teach the Bible. No one who would declare God's love to her people, her family. So this summer, she will. She's already asked permission to hold a Bible study. This young believer has come to know the story of God and wants to be a part of it! Who knows what the Lord can do with her, but I'm praying that he leads an entire village to faith in Jesus because this precious one was willing to walk in faith. Would you be praying for that with us?
No matter where you are in your own story, remember you are a part of the Meta-narrative of God's eternal glory, and redemptive purpose in His creation. Thanks for being a part of our story as well.

Things you can be praying for:
  • Students - As school ends our students will return to places where, for some of them, there is no Gospel teaching church. Pray for them for streangth, and pray that we as a church would be able to stay connected with them over the summer.
  • SEND North Missionaries - Many of the missionary families that we work closely with are experiencing various trials. Pray that discouragement would not win the day, but rather that perseverance would be built up leading to greater faith.
  • The City of Galena - currently the Yukon river ice is just under 5' thick. When the river finally breaks there is always the possibility of severe flooding for the villages along the Yukon. Pray for protection and specifically for gradually warming weather.