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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer is here, I think


It's the middle of July and it's been a busy, but cool summer.   We've accused people here of not quite telling the truth when they told us about the great summers here.  Apparently, this is the coolest summer they have had lately and the one with the most mosquitoes!  

We've enjoyed getting to see many people from home over the last 2 months.  We started in June with a visit from Sam Steele, one of Luke and Bridger's good friends from home.  We had a great week with him; got to go visit an old mining ghost town and made his hands go numb from the cold when we went fishing for salmon in the rain.  After Sam left, a mission team from Riverview Baptist, our home church, came to help.  They had team of 23, who worked to replace a leaking roof and put new windows on the nurses dorm here.  They also did some interior remodeling on the church in Gulkana village and placed a roof over a storage area there.  The women also helped by cleaning the church, serving a luncheon for the native elders, and helping organize records for summer missionaries.  A few from the team worked with children's ministries in a couple of the villages. We even had a nurse on the team that was able to help us with some of the regulations that we have to meet at the clinic.  Overall it was a great week together and a great encouragement to our family.  

In July, Russ' family came for a visit and we were able to go down to the Kenai Peninsula to explore.  Some of us, including Russ' mom, went on a boat tour and got very seasick!  The boys also got to go fishing for halibut and everyone got their limit of 2 fish.  We were able to visit Homer and got 2 sunny days there.  It is a beautiful place with a bay surrounded by snow capped mountains.  

In between, life has continued on here.  Russ has continued work in the medical clinic which has picked up some with the tourists that abound in the summer.  We continue to also minister to the natives in the area as well.  Yesterday, we actually had a visit from the governor of Alaska who toured our facility.  The team from Riverview brought some Christian literature that we are able to distribute in the clinic.  With funds from last year's VBS at Riverview, we were able to buy a DVD copy of The Saline Solution, a series made to help you incorporate your faith into a medical practice.  We have been going through this with the staff at the clinic.  We have been excited to see the mission aspect of the clinic continue to grow.  Sue and the kids have been involved in an outreach to children and teens in a village about 2 hours from here.  There is no established church in the village, but the missionaries have continued to work there, particularly with the children.  Sue and the kids have been helping to do a VBS type program with the kids and some members of the mission team were also able to participate during their time here.

Our next big focus is getting Luke ready for college.  He will be starting at Liberty in August.  He wants to major in computer science and he's had some great experience here volunteering with the computer specialists at the clinic and the local Christian radio station.  Sue and the kids will be traveling to Virginia on July 27 and Russ will follow in mid August.  The plan is to get Luke settled in college and return to Alaska in mid-August.  We had originally planned to have a doctor come this winter, but unfortunately that has fallen through.  We continue to pray for God's direction and a doctor to come in the next year to serve in the ministry here.

Prayer Requests
Praises for the time with mission team, for their safety, the work that they accomplished, and their encouragement to our family

The continued outreach to the native villages, particularly the children and teens, many of whom have to overcome difficult challenges.

For a physician to respond to the need to serve here at Cross Road in the next year.

For safety for our family on our trip, and that Luke's transition to college will go smoothly for him and the rest of the family.  We are very thankful for our family and friends in the area, who have volunteered to help however possible.

A good verse that I ran across during a trying time at work-
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and he knows those who take refuge in him.
Nahum 1:7

The Meltons

July Pictures

Russ' Family at Exit Glacier

The Mission Team From Riverview
A Float at our 4th of July Parade with a Fish Wheel
Halibut Fishing
Sam and Bridger at a Glacier
A Humpback Whale jumping out of the water
Sam and the Melton kids
Flying to a remote location to do a medical clinic
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