Thursday, June 23, 2016

Normal Life

I found it significantly easier to update the blog when we first moved here because everything was new. For several years we refined the way we did life and ministry and so we had lots of good content. But now it just feels like ordinary life. I know for all our friends and supporters outside it still looks and sounds like a reality tv show. But for us we call it "Wednesday". 
So here are some fun highlights since our last post. 

Easter was a fun Sunday. We held services outside with chimney logs burning. We had an exceptionally pleasant winter and were not anticipating the temperature drop that Sunday. I believe it was about 0F. The communion juice had a thin layer of ice on it by the time we partook together. A little under 100 people were in attendance. 

Galena Bible church was able to send its first team to serve in the village of Tanana. 5 people from the church ran kid events, a youth gathering and built relationships that will allow us to continue to serve the village. Such an answer to prayer as we continue to pray for the villages in the region. 

Our incredible youth minister told me that she had several youth that were interested in getting baptized, and wanted to know if we could teach a class on "What is Baptism?, What is the Gospel?, What is a Disciple?, and What are spiritual disciplines?" We had a group of about 12 students who took the four week class and one adult. At the end 6 students and an adult decided to be baptized and publicly profess their faith in Jesus! Such a blessing. We'll be teaching another such class in October. 

The wood gasification boiler that was installed in the church has worked really well for us. The down side is we have to get wood to run it. The good part is God usually wills that driftwood floats down the river every May. Several men and I worked to drag in enough wood for the church and several of our houses. We did not get as much as we would have liked, but we probably got enough for a moderate winter. 

Stuff breaks. I guess it's a natural law or something. But when it breaks out here, one has to decide, do I throw it away and buy new, or fix it. When the thing that breaks is a truck axle bearing or a lower unit, you know you can't buy you learn how to rebuild a Ford rear axle. Oh I do miss the convenience of a NAPA down the road. Currently all these problems are fixed as I now chase down new problems in equipment. 

I (Chris), had the privilege of being one of the Speakers at the Leadership Week for Unalakleet Bible Camp. 16-25 year olds with a pastoral recommendation was the requirement for the campers. It was a great group and I left encouraged as I saw the church in its younger years. Join me in praying that next generation Alaska church leaders would raise out of this. 

All in all the Kopps are doing well. We decided to stick around Galena for most of the summer and enjoy the down time, catching up on projects, gardening, and spending time as a family. 

Things you can be praying for:
- safety for work teams coming to Galena. 
- that we'd be rested and refreshed for the coming school year of ministry. 
- for believers in the Interior, that they would not lose heart and would exemplify Christ. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Happy New Year!  The week between Christmas and New Years has proved once again to be the only "slow" time I have found in Galena's annual schedule. This year the temperatures were hovering around 30 ABOVE! Made for an easily warmed shop and lots of projects off the 'honey do' list.

Thanksgiving was a joy again this year. We hosted a couple local friends and had some out of town guest that came to visit us. First was a teacher from Tanana who is beginning the process of starting a YoungLife there. It was great to get to know her and connect her with our team here in Galena. We are looking at how we can regularly support the ministry work in Tanana. The Faires' from North Pole, AK are recent members of SEND North and our interior team. They do support and logistics from the road system for us and host most of our team mates when we need to be in Fairbanks area. Shell and I will be staying at their guest house for the wait for baby Evelyn to arrive. 

 The Sunday after Thanksgiving I flew to Bethel AK and spent two weeks teaching the book of Isaiah at the Bethel Bible Seminary. My students were incredible. Three Yupik students and two Korean students comprised my class. I as the Kgusuk (white guy) had a steep learning curve in language and culture as we walked through all 66 chapters of Isaiah. They and the rest of the community members that I met were so incredibly hospitable. I tried several native foods that I had never had before: Seal oil, dried herring, frozen raw Tomcod, as well as Yupik aguduk (eskimo ice cream). It was also the first time in 18 years that I steamed with several Yupik men. I look forward to my next opportunity to teach there next school year.

 Christmas brought many community events, including our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service. Church life has been going smoothly. We currently have two groups of men and women going through the Step Studies of Celebrate Recovery. We are excited to begin launching that ministry to our community later on this year. We have already seen some of the rich healing that happens when believers don't hide in their sin but rather "confess to one another" (James 5:16) the reality of our brokenness. We continue to pray that this ministry process would bear much fruit in Galena. 

Things you can be praying for:
  • We have seen a sharp upturn in spiritual warfare over the past 9 months in Galena. Pray that the church would stand firm in the Gospel and would be able to push back the darkness.
  • Pray for Shell as she is in the last weeks of pregnancy.
  • Pray for that the Gospel would be lived and shared with power and effectiveness.
  • Pray for safety as the sno-go trails around the villages are very dangerous with the warm weather.