Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We put on a community Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. A lot of people came out to have a good time. There was even a pinata and a movie!

We have had three potlatches since mid November. This is a pot of moose head soup. It is served at every potlatch from these enormous pots. Bill has started to help cook the soup.

I set up a table selling fabric at the holiday bazaar. I had a great time and got to see a lot of people.

Ethan had one of the main parts in the K-4 Christmas program. Go Ethan! He did a great job!

Bill got to play Santa Claus again this year. Not everyone was happy to sit on his lap!

Happy Holidays from Nenana, Alaska!

We want to wish all of our family and friends Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May God bless you greatly and may you in turn bless others.

2009 has been a great year for us! Our photo was on the front page of the Fairbanks paper, we got to see the Tanana River ice break up, and Bill got his head shaved at AWANA. Rebecca won a local quilt contest, Bill said the river blessing, friends and family came to visit and all of Nenana survived the wildfire that was only a couple miles away. All the details are on our blog; scroll down to read all about it!

We are involved in many activities and are never bored or have nothing to do. The kids participate in tae kwon do and they have won trophies at the tournaments. Aerin is in cheer club this year to encourage the high school basketball team at their home games, and Ethan has joined Cub Scouts. Aerin’s favorite subjects are music and reading and Ethan likes lunch and recess (math too!) They just participated in the annual fall concert; Aerin played the trombone in a trombone/trumpet duet, and Ethan was a part of the 3rd/4th grade drum choir. They both did a great job! Bill keeps busy writing sermons, leading Bible studies, and cutting wood. We bought a chain saw this winter and he has been using it to help others get in wood; we don’t have a wood stove. I work 10 hours a week as a file clerk, quilt and help others with their sewing projects, and be a wife and mom. There is never a dull moment around here.

Nenana Community Church is thriving. We are making a difference in our community and people notice. We just put on a community Thanksgiving dinner, free for all, and about 120 people came (out of a community of 400 or so). We have an average attendance of about 35 and are growing out of our current rented space. This next year we will begin seriously looking into plans for building our own church building. Many times this year people have stopped us and thanked us for coming to Nenana.

We were highlighted in the Village Missionary Prayer Spotlight this October and received quite a few letters, phone calls, emails and monetary gifts. It is wonderful to know that people are praying for us and really want to know what we are doing up here. As the only VM missionaries in Alaska, sometimes it can get lonely and we think we are forgotten. It was so encouraging to hear from so many.

Please pray for us during the upcoming year. Pray for guidance as we will be looking into blueprints and fundraising for our own church building. Pray for ministry opportunities as we continue to plan and implement community activities. Pray for Bill as he prepares the sermon weekly. Pray that we can be a light in the darkness in Nenana. Pray for Aerin and Ethan as they grow up. Pray that I can be a good wife and mother, and not neglect my family by being too busy doing good things.

Our work here is really making a difference in the lives of those around us. Your donations are keeping us here. We have lost some supporters over the last year, due to the downturn in the economy, and we are asking for your help in staying in Nenana. If you could support us on a monthly basis or make a one time gift, we would greatly appreciate it. You can do this by contacting Village Missions by phone at 1-800-617-9905 or on the web If you know someone who is looking for a missionary to support, please pass along our information. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Did you celebrate a Thanksgiving meal? Did you celebrate Thanksgiving Day? We celebrated Thanksgiving Week!
On Sunday, we ate dinner with some friends.
On Monday, I took someone to the doctor and ate lunch in Fairbanks.
On Tuesday, we ate the Thanksgiving lunch put on by the school.
On Wednesday, we didn't eat out but I helped Jeannie make pies for Thursday.
On Thursday, we ate at 2 p.m. at the Bennett's and then again at 6 p.m. at the Verhagen's.
On Friday, we hosted a community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Tribal Hall, about 120 showed up.
On Saturday, there was a memorial pancake supper for Joshua Mayrand.
On Sunday, we had church potluck.
On Monday, Thankfully we ate at home (Between AWANA ending at 5 p.m. and taekwondo starting at 6 p.m.)
On Tuesday, lunch out at the wellness meeting, and dinner at a potlatch.

And we just got word that a local elder passed away today and there will be another potlatch this week.

And this is really our normal.