Hi Everyone, sorry that we skipped April, it was a busy March and April. Here is the update.
Medical- We continue to be fairly busy at the clinic. We have had many emergencies lately and actually flew 6 people to Anchorage in 1 week. Russ had a medical student from Washington come to work with us for a month. She said she had a great time and learned alot, and we enjoyed having her as part of the team. We have continued to be in contact with Datcha, a doctor in training in Michigan. She is very interested in working here and plans to work with us in June. She is has a heart for missions, and has to work in an underserved area in the US. We hope that she can come long term sometime this winter. We recently had a miraculous recovery of one of our seriously ill patients. From my standpoint, it was nothing less than a miracle, and we pray that it continues to bring glory to God in our community.
Ministry- AWANA is wrapping up for the year. We have our awards ceremony next week. Luke and Bridger served as coaches for the TNT boys and went with them to the First Annual AWANA Bush Olympics 3 hours away. The AWANA kids had a good time, as they had never been to AWANA games before. Sue and all of our kids have all been involved as leaders and it has been a good learning experience for them. Sue has joined a ladies craft group weekly at a church in one of the native villages. They like her to bring her bread for supper. She is learning to do native beadwork and it has been a good opportunity to get to know some of the native women in the area. Rodney and Heather Mann, as well as their children, came to see us around Easter. It was a great encouragement to us to see them, and we had a great visit. They also served as a scout team for the construction team from Riverview Baptist that is coming in June. The team will be replacing a roof and windows of the nurses dorm and doing some remodeling of a native church in Gulkana village. Rodney and Heather were able to look over the arrangements for the team and meet with people here at the clinic as well as the pastor at Gulkana. Everyone here is very excited to have the team coming to help out, and it will be a big help to the clinic here and to the local native church.
Life -We started off with a bang in March. Russ had an medical meeting outside of Anchorage and we used the time as a vacation for our family. We were planning on going to Fairbanks to see the ice sculpting world championship but ended up staying in Anchorage for car repairs! We stayed with the Caseys, a missionary couple who were wonderful to us during our time there. We also had to make a big decision at the end of March. As most of you know, our original plan was to return to Virginia in July. The clinic has asked us to stay for another year. The plan is to stay and have another physician, hopefully Datcha, come to continue the medical ministry here. It was not an easy decision, as we have missed our friends and family, as well as activities like soccer back at home. After much prayer, discussion and tears as a family, we have decided to stay until next spring. Even though it was a hard choice, we feel like God has given us a continued opportunity to serve him in the ministry here in the Copper River Valley. Luke still plans to attend Liberty University in VA in the fall, and that will be hard (particularly on Sue!). We hope that we can get everyone home for a visit in August and get Luke settled in college. We had some great surprises in April. When the Manns came to visit, they brought Sophie Steele, one of Ansley's best friends with them! Just last week, Russ had Laurie Steele, one of Sue's best friends, fly up for Sue's birthday. Ellowyn, Sophie's sister and another of Ansley's great friends, came along. So we had some great reunions with friends over the last month that have been a great encouragement.
For the continued outreach with the love of Christ of the Cross Road Medical Clinic, to the people in our area, as well as to the people who come to visit us short term. Some of them have never seen a faith based medical clinic. We are also starting to have an influx of tourists and the clinic should get busier.
For Sue's continued relationships with the native women at Gulkana village.
For the personnel needs of the clinic, including a physician for the future, our new nurses and our need for a physical therapist.
For the construction team from Riverview Baptist, as we continue to make plans for their trip. For safe travel, a productive week, and good weather to work while they are here.
For our whole family, that we would grow in our love and knowledge of the Lord during our our time here, and be used for His purposes here. For encouragement when we miss home.