Saturday, July 19, 2008

We will miss you Cindy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Conference Vacation and Home Again

The week before we left for conference and vacation, we sponsored a Freecycle at our house. We invited the town over for a grill out and about 70 people came over. We grilled hot dogs, salmon, moose, turkey, brats and burgers. Many people brought stuff like chips, potato salad, veggies, ice tea, cookies, and we had quite a party. The Freecycle part was like a big yard sale, but everything is free. People bring what they don't want and take what they do.

There was a great variety of people, young and old, native and white, from church and not. Free food always gets people to come out!

We left Nenana for the Village Missions Conference on June 15 at 2 p.m., and arrived in Cannon Beach, OR at the facility on June 16 at 3 p.m. It was a great time to catch up on our friends from Candidate School and we met lots of new people. We had chapel times and bible study times and free times on the beach.

After the conference we were the guest speakers for an Alaska Fund raiser Dinner that Village Missions hosted. Both the Hayeks from Galena and we got to speak about our mission fields. That night over $10,000 was donated to help pay our salaries. Praise the Lord!

The next day, we took off to drive to Iowa. We drove from Salem diagonal across Oregon, down to I80. Then across the US to Ottumwa, Iowa. It took two and a half days, and we ran into every construction zone and detour there ever was.

We enjoyed visiting family and friends in Iowa. We took Bill's mom to Des Moines for her birthday. We were going to go to Adventureland Amusement Park, but it was closed due to rain. We ate at Red Lobster, and then went to the Botanical Gardens.

The kids were very excited to ride cousin Jesse's horse.

At the end of our visit to Iowa, we got word that Cindy Ronander was ill and in the hospital in Anchorage. We decided it was best that we go home as soon as we could. So we got back in the car and drove right back to Portland to catch an earlier flight back to Anchorage. We had planned to take a week to drive back and see stuff, but we only had time to stop at Mt. Rushmore.

We drove through the Columbia River Gorge and got to see the dams too.

When we arrived in Anchorage, we went straight to the hospital. Cindy was dying of liver failure. She had been ill with breast cancer, and it had metastasized to her spine and she had been receiving chemo for that all winter. The doctors found tumors in her liver. She died on July 5. Her family greatly appreciated our presence during this very sad time. The kids and grandparents were all in Anchorage and we took the kids for some good times around town during those difficult days. After Cindy died, the family went back to Wisconsin for the remainder of the summer.

While we were in Anchorage, we also got to see the Somers. Scott and Anna have moved into a townhouse provided by the church where Scott is now the youth minister. Praise the Lord for this ministry opportunity! We got to see Silas and wonder at his abilities and cuteness! Please continue to pray for Silas, as he is battling another very serious cold.

We also spent time with my parents and grandma. Family is always such a blessing and I can never tell them Thank You enough for all they do for us when we are in Anchorage.

We then went to Glennallen for a few days to renew friendships there. It was so nice to visit. It was a haven of comfort after a difficult time in Anchorage. Then, on July 12 we finally arrived home. And that was just the best time of all.