Thursday, October 31, 2013

Countdown to Snow!

Now that the last of the summer tourists are gone, and the leaves are mostly off of the trees we have had more and more visits from our long-nosed neighbors. This mama has made sure that my rose bushes are nice and pruned for next year.

The past month has absolutely flown by! I cannot believe that tomorrow it will be November. Most of my month was spent planning the annual Alaska Christian College Vision dinner, which was last weekend. I am so proud of our students, we took 26 of them to Anchorage to help with the dinner and they all did so well!  The weekend before the ACC vision dinner, New Hope Counseling Center (the counseling center on our campus that serves more 90% of our students) had their fundraising dinner. This is Marlene (my mentee) and Grace at the New Hope dinner. One of my favorite things about ACC is the way that the staff get to really know the students, especially those that we mentor. Marlene and I spent lots of time sewing kuspuks (Native Alaskan tunics) for Noah, Grace and me.

Noah has become fast friends with one of the other staff member's daughter. They insisted on sitting on the same chair during the New Hope dinner.

We have made two trips to Anchorage this month, once to meet with and report to one of our sponsoring churches, and once for the Vision dinner. The drive takes my breath away every time. Around every turn is another majestic view. We were very fortunate that it hasn't started snowing yet, so the drive was fairly safe. There was some ice, one of our board members flipped his car on the way to the ACC dinner- he is fine but it made me very thankful for our studded snow tires!

We have had so many wonderful guests come and invest in our students this month. We had a man who used to work for one of the largest tobacco companies in the world come and speak about what tobacco does to your brain from a scientific standpoint. He brought several real brains, which the students loved.

Last week we had the honor of hosting Governor Parnell who came and spoke with our students about his own spiritual journey and how it has impacted his life. My kids liked meeting him, but I am not sure they grasped the real significance of his visit. Noah calls him "Government Parnell."

Tomorrow we have a state representative and a member of the House coming to speak to our students. It seems like our little school is starting to receive some notice on the state and national level, which is very exciting. What is even more exciting is to see the willingness of these busy, important people to come and invest in our students lives.
 The kids with the Governor

In the coming month we will continue to be busy as finals approach, and students persevere through the mid-semester slump that usually happens. Please continue to pray for us- with the snow holding off and rain every day it is incredibly dark here which can lead to depression amongst our students and staff. As soon as we see some snow the light we have will reflect and it will be a bit less gloomy.

Steve is excited that he has started to study the Yu'pik language with some of his students and the help of the one Yu'pik grammar in existence.  He hopes to be able to learn the language as another way of connecting with our students, and showing them that we highly value their culture.

Marlene helped Grace carve her pumpkin

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We are loving it here in Alaska. Every day it we are reassured that we made the right decision moving here to work with these amazing students. Please consider visiting if you can! If not we will be back in AZ for Christmas Dec 15-Jan 1 and would love to see as many of you as we can.

Quyana! (Thank you!)