October Newsletter

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On October 3 Mike Barlow & I flew people into the Fall Blast being held in Koyuk this year. We started with six ACC female students and the newly arrived Covenant Missions pastor for Soldotna and flew to Anchorage where we picked up two other Fall Blast leaders. After delivering them uneventfully to Koyuk, we blasted off for Nome to pick up the second group of youth and leaders (including Tom & Jessica (Palmberg) Mute) arriving back at about 6:30 PM. There were about 40 youth and leaders involved. It was very strange to see a flowing river freeze over completely during the night. The next day saw all the fishermen fighting the ice to get their boats onto the shore.

Click on picture for more photos ...................................................Fall Blast at Koyuk

Some of them were able to use four wheelers on the ice to tow the boats in – others were not so lucky and had to drag them in by hand. Mike and I stayed at Wassillie & Jean Mutes (Jessica’s in-laws) and were very well fed on caribou and muskox. At the church service on Sunday we got to hear the Fall Blast youth & leaders sing as well as the Church Choir and a smaller group called the Northern Lights. The return trip on Sunday was under clear skies and fair winds until we got close to Anchorage. It was forecast to be good weather but a nasty snow/rain storm was moving through just as we arrived so we didn’t pick up the runway until about ¾ of a mile. The snow was melting on the ground and as we took off and made a right turn towards Soldotna we flew out of the storm and it was fair weather all the way home.
On October 27 Bob Widman & I flew people to the Moravian Pastor/Leader Conference in Bethel.
We flew a hopscotch mission dropping in to pick up people in King Salmon (1), Manakotak (2), Twin Hills (1) and Togiak (2) on our way to Bethel. The flight from Twin Hills to Togiak is interesting in that they are only 5 mailes apart so we take off from, do a 90 degree climbing turn (leaving the landing gear and flaps down) which puts us on a base leg for the other runway. After Bethel, we were to go to Quinahagak to pick up four people and then down to Good News to pick up another 4 people. However Good News had cancelled but one person from Eek was added so we flew a quick 15 minute hop to Quinahagak where we off loaded the boat motor we had for the pastor there and loaded on the people.

Click on picture for more photos ......................................Moravian Church Pastor/Leader Conference

We then flew 5 minutes to Eek to pick up one person and flew back to Bethel.
We were initially scheduled to stay for four days in Bethel but a schedule change required us to fly back to Soldotna so we could fly some cargo out on Thursday. Flexibility is the key to doing the Lord’s work.
On October 30 we spent the morning loading the King Air with cargo bound for Mekoryuk and Hopper Bay.
The Mekoryuk cargo was under padding, carpet and linoleum for the parsonage and the Hooper Bay cargo was cabinets and light fixtures for the ECCAK apartment. We even had to take the co-pilot’s seat out so we could get the 12’ long carpet rolls into the plane. When we were finished the airplane was stuffed and we had to climb aboard through the hatch by the pilot. We took off about noon and after a stop in Bethel for fuel we flew to Mekoryuk where the weather was supposed to be clear. We decided fly the instrument approach because there was a low layer of clouds below us.

Click on picture for more photos .....................................................Cargo to Mekoryuk & Hooper Bay

It was a good thing we did because the clouds went all the way down to 600’ above the ground and we were fortunate to get in. Unloading is always easier and in 20 minutes we had all the carpet, padding and linoleum out – we didn’t even have to take the co-pilot’s seat out. Off we went to Hooper Bay which was clear. Actually the weather in October has been pretty good with much clear skies and very little wind. It was very pleasant unloading in Hooper Bay. If the weather was like this all winter there would be a lot more people up here. Off we went to Bethel where we picked up one person for Tuntatuliak, one person for Eek and five people for Quinahagak, from the Leader Pastor Conference. It was a short 10 minute hop to Tuntatuliak and another 10 minutes to Eek. On the last 5 minute hop to Quinhagak we called the village on the marine band radio and they said the village was fogged in. Not to be out done we intrepid aviators went to have a look. Two minutes later it was evident that the villagers knew their weather so we turned around and flew our 5 Quinahagak passengers back to Bethel. We waited until 10 PM to see if the weather would come up in Quinahagak before calling it a day.
The next day found us fogged in at Bethel until about noon. But the fog did lift and we were able to get our Quinahagak passengers home. Returning to Bethel we picked up the Togiak, Twin Hills, Manakotak and King Salmon passengers and delivered them home safely. By 5:30 PM we were home.
Cat’s Corner: This morning on the way to church we admired the beautiful frosted trees from the cold temperatures last night. It was 4 degrees this morning, so we didn’t see our bunny family out before we left. The old timers say this has been one of the coldest Octobers in memory. They worry that the wild berries will be damaged which has a large impact on the native village peoples Berries are one of the main sources of nutrition, whether frozen, canned or jellied. It’s hard for those of us who shop in grocery stores to really appreciate the concerns of the people when the weather threatens their food supply. Dancers from ACC performed at Crossroads Church in Anchorage last week. This is the largest church in the city, with a membership of 2500. I spoke with one of the members and he was very impressed and seemed to feel that the church would begin a program of support, perhaps scholarships to help students who don’t get loans. I am also hoping to start participating in a combined MARC - Samaritan’s Purse Women’s ministry called Sewing Seeds.
This ministry not only makes blankets and clothing for villagers, but also teaches women to sew. Some of the ACC students are interested and we are working on setting up a carpool so they can participate, be with mature Christian women, and learn new skills while having fun. Everyone brings their own skills, I hand knit, sew and am trying to figure out an older model embroidery machine. If my health continues to improve, I can look forward to working with both the college and MARC. I am still pretty much housebound, but am now serving with Don on the church worship team so things are better than last year. I’m learning to take things slow. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us with prayer and contributions. You are the wind beneath our wings.