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.


  1. Em & Josh, I looked online for where Kotzebue is and was amazed how far north you are. So glad to know Josh likes his job and Em has found a good one, too. It is very special that you have been warmly welcomed at the Baptist church and it has so much activity you are interested in. It is disappointing that you don't have weekends together but with your positive attitudes, you'll make it. It seems strange to order most everything you need shipped to you but you can adjust to that, too. Wonder what God is preparing you for after living in Kotz! We'll watch for more info and pics! love you - Aunt Deb & Uncle Vernon

  2. Hey (old) neighbors! I saw your blog link on Rebekah Bergren's blog. I can't believe how far north you are, CRAZY!!! Josh graduates in 1 or 2 more semesters and have no idea where we'll be. Well, I guess you'll have a white Christmas (: It actually sounds like a fun adventure. Good to "see" you two are well