Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Family Ties

My family is filling my thoughts as I prepare to leave today to go to my grandpa Virgil's memorial. Though I am sad to be parted from him, I am glad his pain is over. Mostly I am thinking of getting to see my family that I haven't seen for over a year. It is hard being so far from them at times. Yet this is a choice I have made. Why? Because I have another family to consider. My grandpa did the same many years ago. He remained a bachelor even though apparently he didn't have a lack of interested women. Then he met my grandma who was alone with three children and decided to help her. His current widow had suffered through some bad marriages forced upon her. He married her to show her what a good marriage could be like. Like my grandpa I have a duty of love. Selawik is full of people who need a clearer picture of the loving God I serve. The more I get to know them the more like family they are.

I feel I am making progress with Inupiaq since I happened to discover that Rosetta Stone has done an Inupiaq version of their language software. We still attend Inupiaq classes at school, but the learning is slower there since the teacher doesn't use the immersion method and speaks much more English than Inupiaq. It is cultural learning for us and a chance to show our interest in them. Some of the stories he tells show how much fear of the supernatural still exists even with committed Christians here. I want to see the true power of the gospel to sweep through the Arctic. They have a belief in God, but they don't yet know his power and love.

Let me introduce you to some of my family here. There is Virgil next door who I jokingly call “Dada” which is Inupiaq for grandfather. Last week we were able to connect with M and had a wonderful visit with her and her husband,. They had questions about Revelation that we hope to be able to answer when we return. We also getting to know L and her husband J who is trying to quit drinking. There is also P whose son D has quit drinking but she is struggling. She is proud of him, but she has conflicting feelings when she sees the change in his life. There is K who always has a sweet smile and a hug when we meet in town, but her friends and relatives like to tempt her and then take advantage of her by stealing or worse. There is Pauline Ramoth's family, our neighbors, who are all very dear to us. We had a wonderful church service last week with all of our regular members there. We had our chairs in a circle and I was able to relax and truly worship with family. Yes, we are surrounded by family here.

In Jesus,