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Saturday, December 24, 2011

December Pictures

Christmas lights on the clinic
Bridger likes to go fast

Case taking a break

Ansley on the sled

Luke going over a jump on the snowboard

A trapper with his furs

A plane on Grizzly Lake, they will be putting skis on the plane soon.

Riding the trapline, they've had over 5 feet of snow

Russ with Dede and Millie, both came as missionary nurses.
Dede, left, has been here 25 years, Millie has been here 40 years.
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Merry Christmas!

This month, we wanted to tell you about North Country Clinic. Dede Duntze, a nurse practitioner, has been working in the clinic for 10 years. Dede came to Cross Road Medical Center 25 years ago as a missionary nurse, and stayed. She later went back to school to become a nurse practitioner and then moved to North County Clinic. She does a great job in the clinic and works in 2 native villages in the area. Russ has enjoyed working with her and will be at the clinic for 2 days while she is home for Christmas. The clinic is in a 2 room cabin (see the pictures, Dede is in the first one) at Grizzly Lake. Dede sees all kinds of people at the clinic and even provides prenatal care. If you need to given a urine sample, you have to go to the outhouse, even in the winter! Dede has lived in a cabin beside the clinic at Grizzly Lake since she started there. The clinic serves a great need in the area, as people would have to drive 1 and 1/2 hours to get to Cross Road Medical Center from there. Russ has been there once so far and really enjoyed it. Russ also just saw his first snowmobile accident. The patient was snowmobiling down a river and fell into a hole in the ice! He was hurt, but thankfully not severely.

We've had some different opportunities to share with people this month. Russ has been caring for some hospice patients lately and had the opportunity to discuss end of life issues. We particularly have been praying for one man who lives alone and does not seem to have any family involved. Russ has been praying with him during house calls and talking about a relationship with Christ. The kids have been attending a youth group at one of the native churches and met a girl named Hailey. Hailey told them that she like coming to church, but that she was an atheist. She said she came from a hard home life with alcoholism in her home. She prayed for things to change but they never did, "So I gave up on God". The kids have been talking with her some and we have been praying for her as well as the many kids here that are in similar situations. Sue, Luke and Ansley went to church at Chistochina last week, a small native church. They didn't have anyone to lead music so Luke played the guitar for them and Ansley sang "Mary Did You Know".

It continues to snow, but has not been as cold overall this month. It has mostly been above zero. We went out and cut a local Christmas tree from the forest. It's a little bit of a Charlie Brown tree, but we got it for free! The kids have been sledding and Luke has been snowboarding on the local sledding hill. We plan to have one or two of the single nurses over for Christmas. Sue's knee continues to heal. She has been released by her orthopedist and her limp is improving. The Copper Basin 300, a local dogsled race, is scheduled for mid January and we hope to at least watch it or maybe even volunteer! When Russ was up at Grizzly Lake, he was able to ride on a snowmobile with a trapper to check his trapline. You can see some of the furs in the pictures. It's been a fun Christmas Eve, it's been snowing all day!

Prayer Requests
- For the hospice patients in the area, for their spiritual and physical needs
-For Hailey, and the many other children in our area that are in difficult home situations and need to know that Jesus loves them even in midst of their situations
-That Sue's knee would continue to heal
-For Dede and her ministry at North Country Clinic
-For AWANA as it resumes in January and reaches out to many children in the area
-For the staff at Cross Road Medical Center, for wisdom and boldness to be a light for Christ in the area
-For nurses and a physical therapist to work at Cross Road Medical Center

Thanks to all for the many calls, packages, and especially the prayers.
Have a great Christmas!
The Meltons
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Middle November- It's getting cold!

Sorry that it has been so long since our last post! Here's the update!

Russ is still busy in the clinic, seeing patients and working on the administrative side of things as well. As an answer to prayer, we now have 2 new lab techs who are doing well. One is the wife of one of the students at the Bible college. Our new providers, including Russ, have tried to be involved in the community and it seems that more people are starting to come to the clinic. We saw 100 more patients this Sept than in Sept 2010. We continue to have a variety of problems, from issues with pregnant patients ( no deliveries!), to meningitis, and 2 people that amputated fingers. It is both challenging and interesting!

Sue and the kids continue to be active in the AWANA program and Russ has helped out at times. It really does reach out to many different kids from around the valley, including kids from the villages. Russ continues to lead a devotion and prayer time for our patients at the clinic on Wednesday mornings. On Halloween, the clinic sponsored a fall festival where parents could bring their kids to get some treats. We served hot dogs, Sue made balloon animals, and the kids helped hand out candy. We gave out bags of candy with tracts, similar to what they do for the fall festival at Riverview Baptist back at home. We've had some opportunities to discuss spiritual matters and pray with patients when they have come into the ER here. Karie, our PA, went to a conference on child abuse so that she could work with the Child Advocacy Center here, which is definitely needed.

It's getting cold, 25 below zero tonight. We have at least a foot of snow on the ground. We've rounded up some used cross country skis and taken the kids skiing once. which was fun. Sue did not get to go because of her knee, but hopefully that will change. She had surgery on Monday and did well. She did not have any nausea from the anesthesia, which was a great answer to prayer. She had her cartilage trimmed, which was probably causing the pain. She did have some ligament damage, but nothing that needed surgery and hopefully the knee will do well. She's resting it ( at times), and overall is doing well. She has crutches with spikes on the bottom for the ice! Hopefully she will be off of them in a week or so. Basketball for Case is over, he was a team captain and had a good season. Russ went with him as a chaperone on the last trip to Cordova ( see the pictures). We had to get on the school bus at 7 am ( 13 below zero, cold bus ride), drive 2 hours, get on a ferry, ride 6 hours, then get off the ferry in blowing snow, ride another bus to the school and play a game! The ultimate home court advantage in my book! Overall we're doing well, but still miss our friends and family in VA. Russ' mom and sister were able to come and stay for a week. They just left 2 days ago and we had a great visit.

Prayer Requests

For the continued outreach through the clinic to the lost and hurting in the Copper River Valley. Our understanding is that depression and alcoholism increase at this time of year. That we would have wisdom medically and the right words when people come to see us. That the light of Christ would shine through us here in the valley.

Continued encouragement for the staff at Cross Road Medical Center and that God would send the right people to serve here. We still need nurses and a physical therapist.

For the outreach through the AWANA program at the Glennallen Community Chapel.

For Sue and her knee, that her rehab would go well and that she would be up and around without problems.

For the kids as they continue to adjust to new surroundings and make new friends.

Thanks for all the calls, emails, and especially the prayers!
In Christ,
The Meltons

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Pictures

Ansley with the clowns at the Fall Festival

Luke and Bridger giving out candy at the Fall Festival at the clinic

The ferry ride to Cordova

The school at Cordova with the mountain in the background. You can only get here by water or plane.

The harbor at Cordova with the monument to the lost captains

Pictures from the ferry of the rain forest and the mountains on the coast

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winter is coming!

Things are still going fairly well in the clinic. We are getting ready to change the prescription part of the computer program. We have seen some wrecks related to black ice in the area. One of the providers that has been here for 2 years will be leaving next month, so that will be a transition for the patients as well as the people at the clinic. We have hired 2 new lab assistants lately, but continue to need nurses!

At the clinic, we have ordered the Saline Solution, a Christian conference on incorporating your faith into the practice of medicine. We continue to have prayer times for the clinic and patients on Wednesdays and Sundays. We have ordered Our Daily Bread to have for patients at the clinic, as well as Indian Life, a native Christian publication. Sue and the kids continue to be involved in AWANA. They have 50- 70 kids in the club. It is a mix of kids from Glennallen and some of the native villages in the area. Sue has a girl in her TNT group that comes from a broken home and just moved here. She told Sue that the only thing in her life that has stayed the same is AWANA. We see many disrupted families here related to drug and alcohol issues. As we get to know the area better, we hear more about the spiritual warfare that is taking place here.


Sue was able to go in a plane ride while on the women's retreat. She got to go up with a a missionary bush pilot who is working to train pilots for missionary aviation in Russia. We went to the orthopedist and Sue has arthroscopic surgery scheduled for her knee at the end of the month. Russ' mom and sister will be coming to visit for a week in November and we are looking forward to that. Ansley is taking a painting class and seems to be enjoying it. Case is playing on the middle school basketball team. The season started last weekend at an Air Force base on Friday and Saturday. Sue, Bridger, and Ansley drove the 3 hours up to the games and saw the biggest bull moose that they had ever seen. Luke continues to enjoy Bible college. For you soccer fans, we have been able to play some indoor soccer in the college gym. We got our first real snow today! Hope to be able to cross country ski soon!

Prayer Requests

Please pray concerning the spiritual warfare in the area, especially as related to the outreach of the native churches, the families in the area, and our family as we reach out to those around us.

Please continue to pray that God would send mission minded nurses to work at the clinic, as well as the outreach of the clinic to those that come seeking medical care.

Please pray that things would go well with Sue's upcoming surgery.

Please continue to pray for good friends for the kids.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Late September Update

Things are going fairly well at the clinic. We are getting more patients lately and have been getting some good feedback on having new stable providers. Russ' picture of Jesus helping to guide the doctor has been hung near the patient's rooms. We have gotten copies of the physician's life reference ( a New Testament with scriptural answers to different life questions) to place in the patient areas. Dr Parker showed Russ this at Riverview about a year ago. Russ has had many routine visits, but also had 2 auto accidents involving moose, flown women out in preterm labor, and we even had a grizzly attack. In that case, the patient was flown directly from the scene by a helicopter. Our team of nurses and providers is getting used to working together, and overall it is going well. The tourists have pretty much all gone home, so now we are seeing mostly local people ( local meaning within a 2-3 hour radius).

We continue to work on reaching out through the medical clinic, as above. Russ has had the opportunity to pray with patients in the ED, some of which were not Christians, but still appreciated the prayers. AWANA is starting at the local church. They have the AWANA circle in the basement with a pole in the circle! It is padded. Hopefully Russ won't have to treat any concussions! Sue will be working with TNT girls, Luke and Bridger with TNT boys, Case with games, and Ansley with Cubbies. Russ will probably help out, but as he is frequently on call for the clinic, is not going to be a full time leader at this point. This weekend Sue is at a women's retreat for the local church at a camp that I think is similar to Camp Bethel. I told her to take a good sleeping bag since it is now in the 20s at night!

2 weeks ago, Sue's parents and Jessi, our neice from Tennessee, were able to come for a visit. We had a good time together and were able to take them to Seward as well as Valdez to see the sights and the wildlife. We also went fishing, but only Russ and Case caught the artic grayling we were fishing for. Sue's dad did multiple repairs around the house, and Sue's mom had us all eating too much, as usual! The last night before they left, we had an Alaska game night with salmon that we had caught and a moose roast that had been given to us. We really enjoyed the time with all of them, it was a real blessing for them to be here. Case has decided to try and play for the middle school basketball team and has had 1 practice so far. Right now they play 4 weekends, 3 of them away. Because of the distances, they leave on Friday, stay in the school where they play, and come back on Saturday. The last weekend is in Cordova, which is a 2 hour drive followed by an 8 hour boat trip! We're getting used to this, as we don't know that many people yet and this is all very different for us! We're planning on trying it out for a week and gathering more information before we make a final decision.

We need nurses at the clinic as well as a lab tech! We are already short and may have more leave after the 1st of the year. Please pray that God will send mission minded nurses who would like to work in a rural area in Alaska.

For the clinic in general, for encouragement. The clinic has been through many challenges over the last few years and it has been discouraging and tiring at times. Please pray for encouragement and continued vision for reaching the lost through the medical ministry here.

The AWANA Ministry at Glennallen Community Chapel

God's leading on what ministries/opportunities he would have our family be involved in during our time here.

Sue's knee- it is getting better and she is off crutches. However it is still clicking and bothering her at times.

Thanks for all of the prayers, it means so much to know that many people are praying for us!

September Pictures

Fall is here. The aspens give the yellow color. They tell us that usually we have had snow by now, but we have not had any in Glennallen.

Case, Ansley and cousin Jessi at the Valdez harbor.

The kids, Jessi, and Papa Hoot, Sue's Dad, at Worthington glacier.

The copper river, good salmon fishing they tell me.

Case eating a gummy worm from his dirt cake on his 14th birthday.

Mount Drum, the snow is coming down the mountain!
Everybody keeps telling us to post more pictures, so I tried to put more on this time. We have some from Seward, AK and I'll try to add those soon.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sites from the shore and the air

Medical- Work at the clinic has been fairly busy. There are many administrative tasks to take care of that have not been done recently. Our new PA and nurse practitioner are starting to see patients and doing well. Continue to pray for nurses. We just got a new graduate from Biola University in CA, but could really use another experienced nurse.

Missions- We are starting to work on more organized outreach in the clinic. We have a chaplain who does a devotion over the intercom each morning for staff and patients. Russ has been talking with him about other outreach possibilites. We have started a weekly devotion and time to pray for our patients who request prayer, which is similar to what Russ did in Pearisburg. Luke has started to volunteer to help the IT specialist at the clinic and at the local Christian radio station. Sue continues to be involved in the ladies Bible study and the kids are really enjoying the youth group at church.

Life- School has started! The kids are actually studying Alaska history, which is required here.
Luke is taking 3 classes at Alaska Bible college- Old Testament Survey, Speech, and Principles
of Bible Study. Sue is actually taking the last class with Luke and both are enjoying it. Last weekend we went to Anchorage to shop and run some errands. We were able to stay with the Caseys, who are missionaries with SEND. Mr Casey is a pilot who flies missionaries to remote villages. We had planned to stay into Monday, and then realized that Luke needed to be back for classes. We're still getting used to college! Mr Casey was giving a flying lesson on Sunday and set it up so that they could take Luke back to Glennallen. He was lucky and got to see the trip from the air. The picture is from their backyard. I've never seen a canal that had floatplanes instead of boats in the backyard! We went to church with the Caseys and the kids walked home from church with them. They got to see a floatplane take off from the lake on the way home.

After church we headed south out of Anchorage to see some sites. We went down to an inlet named Turnagain Arm. We were able to see some Beluga whales in the inlet. We also were able to see the bore tide. If the tide is high enough, when it comes in it will travel up the inlet in a wave 3-6 feet high. The first picture is a picture of this wave moving up the inlet. People were out surfing the wave and kite boarding on it. The kite boarding looked really fun!
On Monday we finished our errands, and our shopping, loaded up the trailer and headed home. Russ is working this weekend, so we are having a quiet weekend at home. Sue's knee is slowly getting better, thanks for all of the prayers!

The Meltons
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A Fish Story

This is my rainbow trout that I caught a couple of weeks ago! Its 16in. long! We haven't cooked it yet, but I'm hoping to soon! I was soooooooooooooo excited to catch it! I was the only one to catch one. We were in the canoe not catching much. We had been out there for a couple of hours and hadn't caught anything! Most of the time we'd been catching lily pads. And then all of a sudden I felt a big pull on my line! It jumped completely out of the water twice! When it got to the boat dad grabbed the line and right as he did the end of the rod snapped! Not the line the end of the rod SNAPPED! Dad had just enough hold on the line to throw it into the boat. It was jumping all over the place! Dad was holding the fish down with his legs! It was a very exciting day for me!
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Saturday, August 13, 2011


"The rig" at the end of the trip. Needs a bath!
The Worthington glacier from a distance.
The Worthington glacier up close.

Bridger with a silver salmon, he actually caught all 3!

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