Life In Kotzebue

This is our second Saturday - 11th day :o)

We don't have internet yet at our apartment; so I have had a hard time figuring out how to get online and update people, etc. Right now, I'm at Josh's working using the maintenance shop work computer. Anyways....we did move to Kotzebue, the Northwest Artic Borough! I never imagined this would be a part of God's plan, but I see God's work and we have so many answered prayers. But life is different up here, not bad, just different. We flew out to Kotzebue on July 13th - no roads lead here :o) THe city is actually on a peninsula on the northwest coast of Alaska - pretty remote.

Josh is enjoying his job at Bering Air. He works 10-7pm on Thurs - Monday. Weird schedule for now until he is completely trained - possibly a whole year before he might get a real weekend. He seems to click well with his boss even though he's not a Christian and can work well with the other employees as well. He enjoys the structure in this maintenance shop and learns a lot each day. I already have noticed that he comes home in better spirits than when he had to commute and deal with other issues at his previous job. It's definitley a mission field though. His boss let us borrow his 4 wheeler and we got to go out and explore the peninsula and see some of the beach - lots of fun!

(Most people up here have either a 4-wheeler, snow machine, bike, boat, vehicle or all of these items) I'll mainly be walking everywhere and Josh is using his bike for now. I've enjoyed getting exercise that way everyday. It's weird seeing kids driving four wheelers all over town. You can basically take the Drivers Safety Book and through it out the window as well as the other traffic laws -other than stop signs, people don't buckle up and you can park anywhere and drive even if you aren't 16.

Our apartment is nice and we are mostly settled in. THere is one more tub to go through and some shelving to organize, but otherwise it feels like home. We are located on the nicer side of kotzebue as well and a 5-10 minute walk from Bering, my job, church, AC grocery store, bank, and post office. We've already gotten mail and netflix up here! THe P.O. will be an exciting place since most of our food and supplies we'll order instead of buy here where the prices are jacked up. Maybe 75% of the days of been overcast with some rain, but we have had a couple of really nice weather days - like day. I'm wearing a t-shirt, its sunny! Yet, probably by August/September, we'll be having freezing weather - makes for a really quick summer.

We've been amazed at how people have treated us - Bering Air has been helpful and the church we visited on Sunday set us up with some great contacts. But in general, people recognize that we are new and want to know what brought us up here, but we feel welcomed. We visited the First Baptist Church and found so many answered prayers - a large group of young adults, a young man who has a plane and loves to hunt - and wants to hook up with Josh, woman's Bible study, young adults game night, sunday school class - some great opportunities for fellowship and helpful resources as we learn about life in Kotz. Already, I went to the woman's Bible study on Monday and Tuesday night - a missions group from Mississippi was there to lead it (it was weird to be on the receiving end of a missions team, but I felt greatly blessed by the ladies who came on the trip and enjoyed their southern accents); we went to the adult game night last night and had a great time; tonight, after Josh's work we are meeting some church people at the beach for a hot dog roast. So we feel really blessed by the contacts God has give us already.

For my job, God helped me get an office assistant position at the city hall. (thank you also to those who were my references!) The 15th and 16th, I spent a lot of time filling out applications at the job center. I turned in the city hall application on the 16th and was requested to interview on the 19th (monday). THis wednesday, I was offered the job. I had other opportunities with the school district and the DA's office as well as the native association here, but I had some reserves about waiting for those jobs. The city hall job would offer me a lot of experience plus the benefits we had been praying for - so I accepted and started work this Thursday! My job is 8-5pm on mon-fri. In just two days of work, I learned a whole lot about how the city runs and how to enter bills and do sales tax, etc! There is still a lot to learn, but I know God is with me. I also like the people I work with. Most of them are new to the city hall too. Again, another mission field.

One thing to pray about, the city is opening a liquor store this coming monday. As part of my position, I'll be handing out applications for permits, etc. Those who work for the city are excited about the store and getting a permit. But, I see how many people here who do not need that type of temptation and need God desperately. They are putting limits on who can buy the liquor - must pay $50 for permits and pass background check, etc. So things might be different in the next few weeks, but God is ultimately in control.

In my down time, I've enjoyed journaling our experiences and knitting, reading, going on walks, and watching an occassional movie from netflix. Josh hopes to get some hunting and fishing in as well as flying. It's all adventure to him :o) I look forward to the slower pace of life here and the opportunity to have some great friendships in a small community. (As well as paying off our debt!) I hope to get some pictures emailed or blogged when we have internet at home.


Fun Pictures at Eklutna Lake




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Texans Must Like Alaska!

I recall when we first made the long trip to Alaska from Texas we saw a lot of other vehicles with "TX 2 AK" or "Alaska or Bust!" and they had Texas license plates :o)

These past few weeks, we have had a few friends visit us from Texas! Josh's friend J.P. got to visit us for almost 2 days. He had spent two weeks with another LETU friend south of Anchorage, but on his return trip to get back to the Anchorage airport, J.P. got to hang out with Josh. They went out to the Moose's Tooth - a must if you ever visit Alaska! And they went kayaking on Wasilla Lake. And J.P. even had the priviledge of visiting our church :o) Let's just say that the greeters did their jobs and made it clear that they wanted him to come back! J.P. was commissioned into the Marine Corps this May. Please keep him in your prayers as he serves our God and country.


This last Sunday, we had the priviledge of visiting with Mr. and Mrs. B at our apartment in Alaska! They also were visiting LeTourneau contacts and enjoying the sights of Alaska. They were great mentors to us both in college and have been lifting us up in prayer faithfully! We definitely are grateful for their insight and friendship. We hope they enjoy the rest of their visit! And summer vacation! It's truly been a blessing to see our friends from Texas :o)


On Monday, Josh and I took the afternoon and went to Eklutna Lake and kayaked! It was beautiful! The water looked tropical torquois, but chilly to the touch. After paddling around, and enjoying a snack as well as reading a good book on the lake, we decided that we should head back. Lucky for us, the wind picked up :o) I wish we could have had someone recording our return trip. Josh was a machine! The wind was blowing against us at 30 kts but Josh was fighting back at 60 kts and I felt like I had a motor behind me! Every now and then, I would laugh because I didn't know which side to paddle on -- Josh was too fast! After kayaking, we also enjoyed skipping rocks and walking around the creek that flowed into the lake. It was the perfect day at Eklutna lake!



Josh found out today, that TOMORROW at 6AM, he will fly out to Kotzebue for the day! I am also expecting an interview call in the next day or so. Thank you for your prayers!
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Walking through Open Doors

We have been praying for open doors concerning how God would have us get out of debt! To update you, God recently brought to our attention an opportunity in Kotzebue, Alaska. Bering Air posted an add in the newspaper for an A&P mechanic. Josh gave them a call and learned that he fit the criteria and the benefits that they offered were exactly what we've been praying for. He submitted his resume and cover letter last Thursday. On Tuesday, Josh received a conference call from Bering Air as an interview. And now, we are waiting to hear back on what day Josh can visit the city.

In the meantime, I have applied for various jobs around here but for reasons that are in God's hands, nothing too promising has surfaced for this summer. After researching Kotzebue out, I also checked for jobs. There are a lot of job opportunities in the bush for people with experience/education. I applied for a state job as an law office assistant for the District Attorney. I submitted my application last week and just received an email yesterday concerning an interview that should happen next week.

So things are happening. Thank you for your continued prayers. I will do my best to keep you posted. It's exciting to think of experiencing life in the Artic, but at the same time, we know its going to come with its challenges. But if we are ever going to be adventurous like this, now is the time to do it!

Check out Kotzebue
Here is another link :o)

What do you think? Our brother-in-law says, "The colder with more snow - the better!"

Thanks for sharing in our journey!


What a sweet sound! the Lullaby of the Little Susitna River.

As we drove out of the park, Josh took pictures of the Little Susitna River. We had a great day exploring! Josh decided that root beer would be the perfect last touch to the day :o) I treasure these moments with you honey!




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After some lovely Bruises....The Jeep was a pleasant sight!

Despite the fact that the trail only had a few tricky places, I ended up with 3 major bruises - I'm talking some dark purple with green and yellow traces! By the time we turned around, my tired muscles were calling it a day. And we learned that biking by water in the evening against the wind, is calling for many encounters with bugs! Luckily, we both wore our sunglasses which helped, but I seriously spit out a bug or two! I learned to tuck my head down and breathe through my nose :o) But we survived and were glad we took advantage of our time there. All for only $5 parking fee! We definitely recommend checking it out!




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What a Beautiful Place to Make Your Home....Mr. & Mrs. Beaver Did!

Along the way, we stopped by a beaver dam and watched a couple of beavers and ducks. I was amazed to see how well they made their dam and home and how loud of sound it made when they hit their tail on the water.




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Next up, Biking in Hatcher Pass!

Josh loved the sight and sound of the rushing water. The bike trail followed the river for a few miles. The path was relatively flat with some shade. My type of bike trail with the perfect scenery. We loved it!




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The Muscles BURNED all.....the....way....up! And quaked all the way down!

As you can see, the second peak on the left is where we reached the top. It was nice to see the jeep!




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But since we were already at Hatcher Pass, we decided to go for it and bike as well! And I'm glad we did!

The Throne Greeted Us at the Top!

Luckily, when we finally reached the very top, a throne awaited us. Trust me, it was nice to have a seat. Some creative person had pieced together different stones to make a chair with arm rests! A beautiful sight up there! Before it got too cold, we headed back down!




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Up, Up, Up We Go! And Look At The SNOW!





False Summit?...There is MORE!

Now, the whole time, I thought the trail ended at this point! Nope! It was about the halfway mark! I think this mentality also applies to our walk with God. If we knew exactly how far and where He wanted to walk with us, we might just give us where we stand. But since He only gives us glimpses of what's up ahead, we hold His hand and walk in faith to the next mark along the way. For that I am grateful too!




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This is turning out to be a much longer, steeper hike! But Beautiful!

The mountain sides reminded us of the Sound of Music with beautiful wildflowers growing. We also saw a man parachute off the summit! Now that's my way to get down! It's rather smart to save your knees too!




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This was one of those trails that if I would have known how long and how steep, I may have said, "Maybe another day." But sense your mind doesn't know exactly how hard this is going to be, we are in luck! Let's take that next step and that next step! And as we kept going, it got a bit chillier with even snow up top!