August Newsletter

August started off with a bang on 5 August. On August 5 at 12:30 PM we flew from Soldotna to Wasilla where we picked up 5 junior high kids from the Alaska Native Youth Conference and took them home to Togiak. On the way weather was not looking so good, so we stopped in Dillingham to get fuel. While in the air, we tried to make arrangements for the refueling but we were unable to get hold of Bo, our normal refueler at Dillingham, on the radio or by phone.

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......................................................................................................................AYNC youth to Togiak....
We got the frequency for Pen Air (a local airline) from one of their pilot’s who was airborne. We called on that frequency, thinking we were talking to Dillingham. They said sure come on in. When we arrived at the Pen Air terminal in Dillingham they were surprised to see us and were unwilling to refuel us. It appears we had been taking to the King Salmon Pen Air on the radio. Bob was able to get gas from a small airline next to Pen Air. After refueling we flew to Togiak, dropped the youth off at 4:30 and proceeded to Bethel for fuel and to pick up our next set of passengers. After refueling we loaded two Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) people and Pastor Nathan Hanna and his family. We flew the CEF people to the Eek and Pastor Nathan and his family to Mekoryuk, an island off the west coast of Alaska. It was 7 PM when we flew an instrument approach at Hooper Bay to get under the clouds and then proceeded to Scammon Bay. Nine people from Michigan were in Scammon Bay for a week supporting Arctic Barnabus (AB) to completely refurbish the pastor’s house. We picked them up and flew to Bethel for fuel once again before flying on to Soldotna. We arrived home at midnight having flown 8 hours. All this flying was a struggle but we believe that the Lord took care of us and gave us just the weather we needed to accomplish the mission to support four missionary groups – Alaska Native Youth Conference (ANYC), Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), Pastor Hanna and Arctic Barnabus.

Our second flight was to fly the Alaska Christian College (ACC) Advisory Council to Shaktoolik and Unalakleet on Saturday, 11 August. The purpose of the trip was to familiarize the Council with village life. After stopping for lunch in Shaktoolik we flew the 30 miles south to Unalakleet where we spent the night. Some of the Council were able to go out fishing about 10:30 PM and caught several fish, a 14 pounder being the biggest. After church and a lunch we flew them home on Sunday.
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.........................................................................................................ACC Advisory Council to Unalakleet

The remaining flights in August were in support of the Samaritan Purse (SP) project in Hooper Bay to build a Youth Activity Center/Church and parsonage for the pastor. On Wednesday, 15 August Bob & I flew to Anchorage to pick up the SP Project Manager, Luther and a four-member SP video crew. We flew them to Hooper Bay with a stop in Bethel for fuel and then flew home.
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...............................................................................................................Video crew and Luther to Hooper Bay
On Saturday 18 August both King Airs and the Caravan flew to Hooper Bay. The first King Air was full of passengers, while the Caravan was full of cargo. The second King Air, with Bob & I, was half cargo and half passengers. All in all we took out about 3000 lb of cargo and 13 passengers. The slowest aircraft, the Caravan took off first, followed by the slower King Air with the fastest aircraft taking off last. As a result we all ended up in Bethel within about 10 minutes of each other.

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.........................................................................Two King Airs & Caravan on Bethel ramp....................
The two King Airs returned home by about 4 PM but Mark in the Caravan was delayed by requests from the video crew for an interview and a flight to take pictures of the construction project from the air. He didn’t get home until about 7 PM. On Monday, 20 August we were off to Hooper Bay again this time to take a plumber, Josh Fedelem and Dave Petersen plus cargo. On the return trip we brought back the video crew and dropped them in Anchorage before returning to Soldotna.
On Wednesday, 22 August, Larry & I flew a load of cargo and an electrician, Steve, to Hooper Bay. We flew to Merrill Field in Anchorage to pick up Steve and some roofing and took off for Quinhagak where we were to pick up another volunteer. The weather was too low for us to get into Quinhagak so we just flew on to Hooper Bay. We had to wait for the electrician to work on several things so we got a chance to see the progress on the activity center and parsonage. They are well on the way to meeting their end October finish date. We also got to see the small house the volunteers were able to build for an elderly native whose very small house was destroyed by fire. Click on picture for more photos ...........................................................................................................................Steve & cargo..........
The machine to drive the activity center foundation pilings had broken down so the volunteers were sitting around waiting. Spenards Building Supply had sent a whole bunch of 8 ft 2X4s instead of the 10 ft 2X4s that were required. The combination of wood and people available allowed the volunteers to build the man a house in three days that was 25% larger than his previous house. The volunteers were also able to find windows, a door, a stove and a fridge so his house was completely outfitted. While we were waiting for the electrician, was also able to get some pictures of the different types of houses in Hooper Bay. We took off about 5 PM and dropped him at Merrill before returning to Soldotna about 8:30 PM – another long and rewarding day. On Saturday, 25 Aug we had a mission to fly out 8 new volunteers (from Raleigh, NC, Cincinati, OH, Onodaga, MI & North East, PA) and bring back 8 volunteers who had been at Hooper Bay for a week. The weather at Hooper Bay was good however the weather at Bethel, our normal refueling stop, was to low for us to even try. No problem because Aniak was clear and we could get gas there. Off we went into a clear blue sky. About an hour out of Aniak we got the weather and Aniak’s weather had also gone to low for us. St Mary’s and Unalakleet were also too low. Dillingham was a possibility but we decided to head for Russian Mission, just 60 miles north of Bethel and wait until the Bethel weather came up enough for us to get in. On our way to Russian Mission we checked Hooper Bay and the weather was really good. We looked at our gas and decided we could safely make it to Hooper Bay. Normally this would not have been an option. However Samaritan’s Purse had barged in Jet A fuel in 55 gal drums to support the flights into Hooper Bay this summer. As a result we were able to deliver the new volunteers and take the previous week’s volunteers home. A side benefit was that we were able to get home by 3 PM, in time for Bob, the other pilot, to get to a track meet his son was in. Thank you Lord.

During the past six months, Cat has been on partial and full medical leave. Although she has tried to keep her hand in at work, her doctor finally placed her on full leave with a review on 31 August. She hopes to return to work part time since ACC started classes on August 27. Our special thinks to those who support the ACC mission. Your funds partly pay for the only medical insurance we can get which is through the College and the Covenant Church. Thanks again for your faithfulness.
A personal note from Cat: I have been waking up at midnight lately and decided to read the Psalms. I found in Psalm 16 two versus that really hit home – Ps 16:7 & 16:11 – For in thy presence is the fullness of joy. I pray that you may discover fullness of joy.

With Love
Cat