Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yesterday was the funeral of Ruthie Ramoth Sampson. Her loss is deeply felt. Her sudden stroke and subsequent death made the front page of Anchorage Daily News (November 20). She had a service in Shungnak, where she was pastoring with her husband, before her funeral here. This was the largest funeral we have seen here. Groups from a number of villages got up to sing songs. Her metal casket was purchased instead of the usual locally made wooden ones.

She did an amazing amount of things in her fifty some years. Her work included much of the work on the Maniilaq book of elders' memories, providing the English voice in the Maniilaq video for the women elders,aiding the Inupiaq Bible translation, and assistance with the Rosetta Stone Inupiaq software (which we recently discovered and are enjoying greatly). She traveled extensively visiting places such as Greenland and Norway. She also lived in Japan for a time.

Roger and Diane Merrill had a friend who flew them up for the funeral. They came with a young man Ace who had recently joined them from Weimar. He has a very interesting background. God has lead him though many things and he is excited about sharing with the native people. We pray that God will continue to lead in his life. Our talks during our visit with him and the Merrills as well as Ruthie's sudden death renewed in our minds that our time in short and we need to live like it is. I am praying for wisdom to warn those around without offending unnecessarily. I do not want anyone to say to me "You never told me."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

While I was away...

While I was in Washington, I had a little anxiety that when I returned I would find someone I knew had died since someone drowned during our last trip out. I was almost right. When we returned I learned in Inupiaq class that a group had gone through the ice, but they managed to get out. A few days later D came to the house and told us that he and his cousin were the ones who had gone through. I was so glad that he is still alive, it would be so hard knowing that this boy I know so well was gone.

Praising God,