Thursday, March 27, 2008

Better late than never post

Here is an e-mail from Manokotak that might fit into your blog We have received a request for baptism, so the work is growing in Manokotak.

Thank you guys for coming over. I enjoyed the sabbath day! I am going to miss H and the other 2! I'm just so surprised at how many people that I've told by email, they never showed up at all. But just like Florie said, the devil threw all he could to make people not show up. Friday evening, M showed up and stayed all through out the bible study and asked if they were done when they were done. I guess he had fun learning. I always pray for someone from this village to be converted, someone who speaks well in yupik and for that person to become a 7th Day Adventist pastor for Manokotak. I also pray for a church to be built and for more people to convert to our church. This is such a very hard village. They'd rather stick with people who study with moravian church goers. A little discouraging.
Aright, I gotta get going here.
Take Care

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On Life and Death

Here are some of my thoughts recently on life and death

On death, today Selawik is holding its third funeral of the last three weeks. Orren and Roy had both been sick for some time. Ira died the same day as his brother, Roy. Ira and Roy left a brother and sister as the last of eleven siblings. At Ira's funeral on Friday, we discovered Sara's Inupiaq name was the same as his, Paniyaaqluq. Louis, our Inupiaq teacher shared how he owes his life to Ira, his uncle, who stepped in as the one to comfort him as a baby when crying would turn him blue. We are beginning to see how connected they are in Selawik. Warren has gotten to experience that community spirit in coffin-making and grave-digging. They really do take care of each other.

On life, at Orren's funeral, the main speaker referred to the original Greek meaning of a word in the Bible text he was using. I have observed that the people here come in all personalities, shapes, sizes, and educational levels. Yet, incidents like this have showed me that it is not as hard as I thought to transition to life outside Selawik. The differences between us are mostly only in personalities. We are trying to study their culture, but they are acquiring our culture as fast as we are figuring out theirs, or so it seems.

On life and death, I want to ask you to pray for Elvis Jr. (Yes, Elvis. He's five and is called Junior). He is very sick, and going back into the hospital today. He has a cyst in his lung, and has a tube going to his heart as I understand. He was moved to outpatient for about a week. He is such a sweet boy and the medical care horror stories I have heard from people here have me very worried. I don't know why natives seem to get less quality care, but I want Elvis Jr. to come home alive and well.

On life again, I have good news, sort of. Warren and I have been discussing having Adventurers and Pathfinders Clubs here probably since before we came. Finally “Selawik Seekers” has been born. We have had two Adventurers Club meetings, mostly set-up, but some classwork too. We have ordered materials for Pathfinders and will make a plan when those arrive. We will need wisdom to structure the meetings to work with Inupiaq culture, but we will not be alone. Debbie Reiswig has experience for which we are most grateful.

To life,