Thursday, May 22, 2008

William & Rebecca,
I have been enjoying your monthly reports. It has been such a blessing to read of your challenges, blessings and growth.
Each time someone sends in a donation, a receipt and "receipt note" is created and signed by Brian Wechsler.
During the month of April, the following note will be entered on all receipts that are used to confirm and acknowledge the gifts that have been received. Thought you would like to know about this and how much your work and ministry in Nenana, AK is being used and shared. It has been attached to this message.
Mindy and I are praying for you folks. Thank you so much in the work that you are doing and in serving God.
In His Service,

Neil A. Schaffner

Director of Stewardship

You would only see this in a small church . . . The pastor is preaching and asks the congregation to turn to a particular Scripture. In the front row there’s an 11-year-old girl who is looking and looking and looking. She’s only a couple steps away from the pastor and he sees what’s going on. He stops preaching. He wants her to be on the same page everyone else is on. For a minute he excuses himself from behind the small stand that holds his Bible and notes. He helps her find the place in the Bible he mentioned.

Jesus said that he wanted the little children to come to him and Pastor Troxel of Nenana, AK was just following in his master’s footsteps.

That’s what your generous gift means to rural communities . . . a chance for young people to find Jesus. Thank you for helping!

Keeping country churches alive,

Brian Wechsler

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer is here! The trees are budded, the birds are singing and the grass is getting green. The last snow fall was May 1st and it was a doozy.

We got about four inches of really wet heavy snow, and all the kids had a great time making snowmen and snowballs.

But recently the temps have gotten up to 70 F and it is just wonderful. I take the dogs walking every morning and we enjoy the sunshine.

Nenana looks great today! Yesterday was Clean-Up Day and all the school kids walked around town cleaning up the litter. Bill and I joined up with different classes and picked up our fair share. Mostly we picked up cans! The Native Council and the City are picking up garbage for free this weekend. I talked to the guy in charge and he said they have already taken 6,000 pounds to the dump!!! We put out an old satellite dish left over from previous tenants and lots of cans from the back of the property. We are raking up many years worth of leaves. Six piles of leaves were an hour's work.

Many people in our church will be traveling for long periods of time this summer, so our attendance will be down for awhile. Our Sunday evening services have been very well received. We started the Truth Project on the first Sunday in February and maintained attendance of about 30, many people attending the evening program that go to other churches in the morning. Now that the Truth Project has been completed we will be studying the Bible, its origins, its inspiration and its versions from the original to the present.

We will also be traveling to Oregon and on to Iowa. We have a Village Missions conference to attend in Canon Beach, OR and then we are going to drive to Iowa to see Bill’s family. We are going to drive pretty quickly from Oregon to Iowa but on the way back we will take our time and have a family vacation. We will be going to some zoos, Mount Rushmore, an amusement park in Des Moines and a botanical center. We will be gone from June 16 to July 12.

Bill and I continue on with our community activities. Bill went with the third/fourth grade on their field trip to Fairbanks to go swimming, to the Large Animal Research Station, and to a gold dredge. I am going with the first/second grade on their field trip next week. Today is a community picnic and we are going to that, and then tomorrow we will be the workers for food delivery to those who need it. I have started attending the meetings of Wellness in Nenana, a group whose goal is to promote healthy living in our community. We have been talking about gardening and composting this spring. I adopted some composting worms, and they are making beautiful dirt!

School will be out next week and the kids are looking forward to riding bikes all day long. Ethan took his training wheels off about a week ago and off he went, only falling down twice.

There are a lot of kids here in town to play with and we have a big yard, and a swing set across the street. Both Aerin and Ethan did great in their classes and Aerin has Perfect Attendance this year in school and AWANA. The kiddos have been going to Tae Kwondo classes this school year and they attended a tournament and both won medals and trophies!

Speaking of AWANA, we ended the meetings on May 5th. We handed out many awards and had a great selection of cookies! We had great attendance this year, most weeks we had more than 20 kids and 8 adults. We participated in the AWANA Games in Fairbanks with Denali Bible Chapel and everyone had a lot of fun running around.

We are getting better known in the community and many people stop to talk with us. Bill was asked at the last community meeting to open in prayer, he was introduced as the pastor of “our community church”. He has also been asked to open the River Blessing Ceremony tomorrow with prayer. This has been a catholic event in the past but this year they opened the service to everyone.

We are so happy here in Nenana. This little town is a perfect match for us. I pray our lives are saying more to the people here than our mouths ever could. We strive each day to bring glory to God in everything we do. Please continue to pray for us and our community. Pray that we will reach more people and tell them about God. Pray that alcohol loses its grip on the native population. Pray for traveling safety for all of us this summer.

In Christ,

Bill and Rebecca