Monday, December 2, 2013

We have been back home for already a month now from our trip to Michigan. We arrived and hit the ground running. Our trip to Michigan was such an encouraging time for us. We felt so much love and support from everyone we talked to. We are so blessed to have such loving and supportive friends, Church, and family. We know God is using all of you to further His kingdom. There is so many ways that God uses each and every one of us for His plan. We are so thankful for what God is doing, and that He is using us, together for His will.

Jared was able to talk in front of Church while we were in Michigan. He was very nervous, but he knew already that God was in it. People were going to hear what God wanted them to hear. Then we were asked to speak to all the Sunday School classes of our church. We thought how are we going to be able to hold everyone’s attention. It was scary when we found out about it, but it turned out great. The kids asked some great questions that we used to lead into more adult information. It was a God thing for sure.

Here are some pictures from our Michigan trip.
Girls sleeping in the airport waiting for a the plane.

Memorial for our sister's Fiance that passed away.

Walking to the park by Grandma's

A cool cake someone made for the pig roast.

Moments with Kacie's Grandpa.

The individual meetings were very memorable. The kids had fun getting to play with all their Michigan friends and new cousins that were born since we have been in Alaska. We were able to share what God is doing in our lives and let our hair down and just fellowship. It was very relaxing to get to know people on different levels. We are excited to have people come and visit in Alaska and see firsthand our ministry. We have had a lot of people interested in coming to visit that is the most encouraging thing to us. We can’t wait for people to see with their own eyes God’s Hands and Feet working at Victory.  We even had a few interested in be summer counselors.
Reflecting back on our trip we would like to say thank you to all the people that lent a helping hand. From helping at the pig roast, with church staff during the service, print and stuffing the letter in mail boxes, and to everyone who invited us into their home to hear about Victory Bible Camp. We are so appreciative.
 We are fully settled in now. We are back to routine of homeschool and work. Since we have been back Jared and Kenten had to opportunity to go up north caribou hunting. It was a hunt that allowed two permits of any gender. They stayed overnight and were able to harvest two caribou. When they got home it was back to work. We cut, ground, and wrapped all the meat and made it freezer ready. It was a fun time working next to each other to fill the freezer. We are so thankful for all the meat that the Lord has provided for us this year. We will enjoy wild game meat hopeful until next moose season.
Kenten went hunting with Jared.

Kenten and his friend helping with caribou burger.

Alison was part of the process too. She helped with wrapping and putting the meat in the freezer.

You may wonder what we do up here with no immediate family around us to celebrate the upcoming holidays with. We got together with a bunch friends on Thanksgiving and ate a bunch of good food. The kids outnumbered the adults like most group gatherings in the community. It is a young growing place. A wonderful time together to reflect on what the Lord has given us. We are already talking about Christmas plans. You have to plan ahead when the store is so far away. We also do things as a camp family together on or around the holiday’s.  Camp slows down during the holiday season. We have opportunities to have pot lucks, dessert socials, and fellowship time together as a camp family. Most of the camp staff families don’t have immediate family around, so we are each other’s families you might say. We love getting together with them, but find it very important to have our own family traditions for the holidays. So we spend time sledding, ice skating, snowmaching, or staying inside where it is warm just watching a movie as a family.  We enjoy spend time together especial during the holidays.
Jared plowing the drive way. After a foot of snow and 32 hours with no power. Thankful for wood heat.

We just want to let you know how thankful we are for everyone who takes the time to pray for us. We are thankful for all of the loving support and financial support. We know that God has blessed us all. We are just so thankful for all He has done for us and is doing through us.

Here is a family picture taken when we were in Michigan.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ministry In Gelena

Picture of the flood this Spring.

This past summer and fall Victory Bible Camps has been pursuing outreach ministry to a village near the Arctic Circle, Galena. Galena sets near the Yukon River about 300 miles west of Fairbanks. There is no road access here, only boat in the summer or plane. The village existed because of the fishing on the river, hunting and fur trading. Galena’s people are Native Alaskans and early Russian settlers. The village is now a closed down Military base given to the town for the use of the facilities as City Maintenance Buildings and Offices and a Boarding School for kids flown in from all over the state. The people of Galena suffered much devastation this spring with the loss of their homes and earthly possessions due to a massive flood off the Yukon River. The flooding was caused by a massive ice jam in the river for several days. Most everyone was evacuated immediately by plane. Christian aviation ministries from all over the state stepped in and helped with the evacuation. Houses were washed away along with all their firewood for the winter. Vehicles, snow machines and ATV’s were submerged in silt filled water for days destroying everything mechanical about an engine. Septic tanks and personal fuel barrels were torn away from their homes. One home was recorded to have floated down the river for 500 miles.
Mount Mckinley, flying on the why to Gelena

Yukon River

                VBC has been sending teams of 8 to 10 people to Galena to help with the disaster relief. We are there representing the Galena Bible Church working together to rebuild, representing Christ. There is much work to be done. Though the extreme cold weather is nearing, outside work will become near impossible with temperatures plummeting to -50 degrees F before Christmas. Most of October is spent with temps below 32 Degrees. Our goal before winter was to get every house hooked up to water, sewer, and heated for the long dark deep freeze. This has been mostly successful. Many folks have left because they have no house anymore and have lost absolutely everything they have. Whether or not they return and rebuild is up to them. We have often asked ourselves, “Why would any living person want to exist here? The biting bugs and Mosquitos in the hot summer and dark long cold winters.” This is what they know and do. Their families survived off the land for many generations.

Arctic pipe. They use circulator pumps so the water doesn't freeze.

                The houses that have remained are the homes that we have focused our energy on. Galena sits on permafrost. The word permafrost means permanently frozen ground. Because of the permafrost, all the houses and buildings need to be built on pilings or stilts. The underside of the houses needs to be insulated to prevent the ground underneath from thawing out. If the ground thaws under the house, then the house will sink. With the flooding, many of the houses have sunk or become out of level. We have spent hundreds of hours under houses with 20 ton bottle jacks lifting structures back into place. Every home has needed to be completely stripped down to the studs and rebuilt. Insulation, drywall, appliances all needed to be replaced. With time, Galena will get back on its feet.

                While working with the community, new relationships were built. The people were awe struck with all the volunteer work dedicated to build Galena back up. Many ministries from all over the country have traveled for thousands of miles to lend a Christ like hand to the struggling people. All these teams were representing the Galena Bible Church with hopes of connecting the People with the Church. The community cannot ignore the love that is present among the Church. God is glorified through this all.
There is the water level line. If you see next to the tank is a 6ft ladder.

leveling house

House that has water/ice damage.

Working on cars in Gelena.

Making pilings for the house to set on. It had to be above the flood line.

Moving the house in place.

Next set of piling ready the house to be put in place.
The whole time.
Watching a flout plane coming.
The flight home from Gelena.
 Packing out the moose meat.
Processing the meat for the freezer.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pig Roast and Fellowship time

You're invited to a Pig Roast!

Where: Forest Grove Church on the corner of 32nd and Perry 
When: Saturday, October 12th
Time: 4pm-9pm COME HUNGRY!! 
RSVP: (So we can get a head count)

We will be hosting a dinner to meet and fellowship with our friends, family and church. We will have information about our ministry at Victory Bible Camp. We are very excited to be able to spend time with everyone and share what God is doing in our lives and through us.
Thank you to everyone who has made this possible! God has blessed us with great friends, family and church, who are so willing to help out. We look forward to our night together! :)

No empty plates! Come hungry!

If you can't make it, but would like to hear us, we will be speaking at our church on October 13th at 9:30 am, during the service. Also, we will be speaking at the adult Sunday school following the service. If none of those times work, we would love to sit down and visit over some coffee and share our ministry. Please let us know if you would like hear more. You can email us at or call us at 1-907-982-6168 or our home phone at 1-907-746-7124

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What is gone on in the Northern Country.

Summer camp is over…
The summer staff have left the campus and gone home. They were such a big help with all that God had in store for all everyone that have come here this summer. All the activities, events, praise and worship and even with helping set up and take down equipment. We appreciate the summer staff for giving up their summer to come and volunteer their time and make a lasting impression on the kids and full time staff. We can’t wait to see who comes back next summer and see how they have grown spiritually with what God is doing in their lives. August is a busy time for the maintenance staff. Many large guest groups arrive and also there are large work teams to be with side by side serving Christ. It is time to go get fire wood, go berry picking and get ready for the cold. All kinds of work teams are here, and there are some big groups still to come. The list continues on and on.
We have had the wonderful opportunity to visit with the Hudsonville Reformed Church work team for two weeks. We had a great time working with all of them. We went down to the river, played cards, ate a lot of popcorn, and enjoyed fellowshipping together. They helped with remodeling our housing, they filled the camp wood sheds to the top, did a lot of carpentry, cleaning, kitchen work and, of course, bringing glory to God. Jared had a great time with Chuck Steenwyk working in the shop with him. Chuck was able to get all the DOT inspections done for all the camp commercial vehicles. What a blessing. This week we have a work team from Vermont. They are a great group of people. Fred helps Jared in the shop and is such a blessing to the shop. He does a lot of work on the equipment and with such a Christ like attitude. We were able to take them down to the river and have some time to get to know them. So thankful for the time and money that people give to be able to serve here at Victory Bible Camps. So many projects get done. We love getting to know the work teams.
Kenten and Jared on a hike.

Kacie hiking with some of friends.

Here are some of the projects Jared has been working on in the last month.

 Fred from the Vermont team repairing a radiator leak on the Loader.

 Jared doing his research on a vehicle.
Got a few new windows put in. The old windows had moisture in between the panes.

We are preparing for our October visit to Michigan. We will be in Michigan from October 1st to the 21st.  On the 12th, we will be sharing at Forest Grove Reformed church...nervous to death about talking in front of people. We look forward to visiting with everyone. We have many dates open if you would like to get together for a visit. Just connect with us and let us know and we can figure something out. We are so thankful for everyone who prays for us and who financially supports us.  We can’t thank you enough. Glory to God in the highest. We are so blessed.
Hauling logs for firewood.

Here's a good hefty load of wood that the ol' Dodge hauled out.

Kids picking blueberries.

The blueberries are big this year.