Grizzlies, Bananas, and Mud–Oh My!

Hello from Kako, Alaska!  We arrived on Friday and enjoyed seeing more of Alaska’s varied terrain on the way in.  Well, most of us did.  Titus fell asleep on takeoff. 

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As we landed and started settling into our home for the next two months, waves of emotion began rolling over us–particularly Carol and Lucy.  Standing off the runway with mud seeping up around our boots, we watched our ride disappear on the horizon and felt completely abandoned in a foreign land.  It sure helps us understand a fraction of how jungle missionaries must feel when their plane flies away for the first time!   

We’re only about 425 miles west of of our last location, but it feels like oceans of difference.  It’s amazing how a simple paved road can make you feel connected with the rest of the world!  At Kingdom Air Corps we were on the Glenn Highway, only 40 minutes from a good grocery store and a Taco Bell.  Here we have a gravel airstrip and a small dirt road leading to the river for large items that are barged up to the camp.  Russian Mission, the closest village where our mail is delivered, has a small store where you can buy a loaf of bread for about seven dollars.  Bethel, a town of 8,000 people where there is a clinic and a grocery store, is a 45-minute flight from Kako.  Jared was in Bethel yesterday and found bananas for a really good price–only $2.50/lb.!  He picked up thirteen bananas for $13.00 as a special treat for Titus. 

Here’s Titus with his bananas and the screwdriver he has adopted for the summer:

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With the first few days under our belts, we are much more encouraged.  We’re beginning to settle into our roles for the summer–Jared in the maintenance shop and in the planes; Carol and Lucy in the kitchen and laundry; Titus seems to be everywhere he shouldn’t be.  Things are low-key compared to what they will be when campers begin arriving next week.  We’ll all have to kick into high gear then. 

Here are a couple of pictures of Jared landing at Kako with the 182, a high-performance airplane that holds four people:

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There are dangers, both physical and spiritual, to be dealt with in this place.  The surrounding land is wild as can be, and Kako is just a tiny plot of civilization carved out of the bush.  Last week a couple of people discovered a grizzly bear at the end of the runway.  Examining the tracks later on, they found it had jumped seventeen feet to one side from a standing position!  The spiritual issues are significantly more serious.  All of the village children come from societies (and families) entrenched in alcoholism and spiritism.  There are generational cycles of abuse that we will see the effects of as we begin to meet and befriend the kids.  Please pray that we will be ready to meet these “arrows” of the evil one with the truth of Scripture and the love of Christ. 

Also continue to pray about the water safety situation (we’ve been drinking the water since we arrived and have had no negative reactions).  We are still waiting on the official “okay” from the government but are going ahead with camp preparations as normal. 

We’re so grateful for all your support and prayers this far in our journey.  It’s a real encouragement to know of your interest and concern in what goes on.  We are just the arm (or wing) of the church right now, and you are still the supporting body.  Thanks for being involved! 

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6 thoughts on “Grizzlies, Bananas, and Mud–Oh My!

  1. Thanks so much for giving us an update. You are much on our mind and much missed. We worked in the garden today and it seemed funny not having you pop out to join us. Rio is here now and has asked about you as well. Praying for you and looking forward to your next bit of news.

  2. so thankful that you made it to Kako. continuing to pray for all of you. Also praying that God has already begun preparing the hearts and minds of those children that are attending camp to hear and understand His word.

  3. You are in our prayers constantly!
    The nice thing about $13-bananas is that when you get back everything will seem really cheap and affordable!! Wish I could send you some fresh fruit!

  4. To Carol: when I read your email, I had many memories come to mind of when I lived in Alaska. Although I was never in a remote location, I am very aware of all you experienced. When I lived there, just to travel a few miles of a road put you in the middle of such pristine beauty, I have a touch of homesickness thinking of what I had seen and experienced while in Alaska! Continued prayers for each day, live it to the fullest – glorifying God! Love you guys!

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