Mission Report from the Alaska Team
By Ken Lang
In June 2018,Tom Brewer went to Grayling, Alaska, a “bush” village located on the Yukon river, several hundred miles west of Anchorage. The only way to bring heavy supplies is via a river barge. Flying in a small plane, Tom’s team spent over a week preparing tree trunks for footings and jacking up the heritage village lodge to place supporting beams on the tree trunk pilings. Their goal, to stabilize the foundation of a to prevent further deterioration of its structure and foundation.
A second team (Ken & Mitzi Lang, Greg & Brenda Hill, and Ben & Bridget McGuire) arrived In Palmer, Alaska on July 22, 2018. After a three-hour flight delay in Denver for a repair, their later flight arrived in Anchorage at 10:30, keeping up with the sun going north and arrived in bright sunshine!
It was wonderful to see Steve and Jill Horsman again!
Beware entering the campus as there is a runway on your right side and moose sightings on this are not uncommon.
We delivered the knit goods provided by Faith church’s Knit-Wits group: mittens, sweaters, scarves, and baby outfits for InterAct Ministries to distribute through their various connections.
The largest project was the completion of a privacy screen for a "sweat house". This is used by indigenous Alaskan's to cleanse the body, and, as you might guess, involves heat, hot rocks, water, and sweat.
Greg and Ken added weather protection to the plywood tops so that they would be less subject to ice expansion and water damage. To that we added layers of roofing material. Everyone had a hand in the building.
Mitzi and Brenda worked inside with a general cleanup of the conference center. It was heavily used in May and June and needed some TLC. They also made lunches for the team, a typical spread shown awaiting to be devoured.
Ben started the second major project with replacing the outer door in Jill and Steve's house. It was one of those jobs that will require a "few" modifications to make it fit. The door replacement was difficult: many modifications of the frame, door and opening. The heavy donated door took three to handle.
The floor tile in entryway needed to be replaced. The opening, frame and door all required adjustments. We had to work around rain and put up a canopy to protect our materials. The door was completed with all hardware and outside trim installed, and of course it fit! It all depended on the correct alignment and finishing with a nail gun.
We converted the house basement to become Steve's workshop during the colder months of the year, so he doesn’t have to work in the unheated shed/garage in below-zero weather. The base tile is vinyl-asbestos and needed to be covered with a floating tile floor. Longer term, this will involve repairing the plumbing, adding a utility sink, building a work bench, fitting a new commode, and a few other things. We completed the tile and moved the old commode out of the way.
One of the benefits of a short-term mission trip in Alaska is that after working 8 to 10 hours, there is still plenty of daylight to go exploring. We had visited this beautiful pass last year before it was open to the summit and wanted to see what it looked all the way to the top. Wild flowers in profusion, magnificent vistas, gold mining history and great fellowship, made for a wonderful end of our day.
As we look to build teams to go back to Alaska for future short term mission trips, please pray about whether God may be calling you to join a future team. There are many projects to be done on the campus and don't worry, it won't be ONLY work, there will be one day of rest to see some of Alaska's beautiful scenery!