The Great Equalizer

The Great Equalizer

It is a cold and snowy December afternoon when the small plane pulls to a stop on the village runway.  Many villagers have gathered to welcome home one of their own, but this is not a joyful reunion. We stand at a distance and watch as the family disembarks and then turns to wait silently for their 2-year-old son to join them.  Moments later a small wooden casket emerges from the belly of the plane.  Their son is home. As…

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In the Beginning…

In the Beginning…

Klaira’s Thoughts “In the beginning God created the Heavens and Earth.”  A few months ago I started reading a really fascinating book about creation by an organization called Answers in Genesis. And then God put on my heart to actually read Genesis itself. At first, I had no idea that Genesis would play such a large role in my relationship with God but the more I study it the more clear it becomes that Genesis is a crucial part of…

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More of You

More of You

The Ristow girls with the new owners, Amy and their dog Zepplin. It was one year ago today that we handed the keys to our beloved home over to its new owners. Tears burned my eyes as we strolled through the empty rooms and down memory lane one last time.  A small sob escaped from my lips and echoed throughout the halls.  It was time to go, time to close the chapter. As we drove away from our home for…

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Great Ball of Fire

Great Ball of Fire

I’ve never been a sun lover.  In fact, since moving to Alaska I’ve discovered that I’m really a snowman trapped in a human body (and all those years I thought I was sweating—turns out I was actually melting!). But here in Port Graham where the mountains rise higher than the sun for three months out of the year, even a non-sun lover like myself can begin to feel the negative effects of sun-less days… weariness, sadness, depression, and a feeling…

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Earthquake!

Earthquake!

When we moved to Alaska, we were on an adventure to experience God.  Little did we know that would include a taste of His power through a 7.1 magnitude earthquake!    Early Sunday morning, we were jolted awake by a loud “Crack!” followed by a whole lot of rattling, rumbling and rolling.  For over a minute (which seemed like an eternity) the ground beneath us shook, shimmied, and swayed, and then it stopped as suddenly as it had started. The next…

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Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

A few weeks ago I discovered a treasure at the local store.  I found some of those battery operated tea light candles (it’s the small things!).  Candles of any sort are a little hard to come by in the village, and these little tea lights were going to put the finishing touch on one of my decorations.   With great anticipation I opened my package of candles and flipped the power switch to “on”.  Expecting the warm glow of candlelight to…

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21 Lessons Learned

21 Lessons Learned

1. When learning a language be sure to verify the pronunciation of new words before trying to converse. If you don’t, you might mistakenly call your host another name for a donkey when you thought you were asking for a cup of tea. Oops. 2. People over productivity – Opportunities to spend time building new relationships always trump getting things done on the “To Do List”. 3. Which is scarier? Large animals outside the church that go bump in the…

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‘Nough Said

‘Nough Said

This morning when my computer entered the cyber highway, I was greeted with a giant sign that read, “San Bernardino Tragedy Proves God is Incompetent”.  Wow.  The irony is stunning.  This country removes God from everything–schools, courts, Pledge of Allegiance, liberties, basically America in general–and then tragedy strikes and we immediately point the finger at God, label Him “incompetent”, and conveniently forget that we dethroned Him from our nation a long time ago. “If I shut up the heavens so…

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Super Glue Blessings

Super Glue Blessings

Here in the village oral hygiene is not a priority, and the closest dentist is a $172-roundtrip-airfare away, so you can imagine my distress when part of my permanently cemented retainer popped off my tooth. My quick-thinking (and very thrifty) husband immediately advised me to call my dental assistant friend for advice. She gave me two options: super glue it or remove it.  Neither option sounded too appealing as they both included Steve’s bull-in-a-china-shop hands tinkering in my mouth. After…

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A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

There is something about anniversaries that makes us very reflective.  It was a year ago today that Steve and I stepped off a tiny bush plane into the unknown world of Port Graham, Alaska.  The streets were deserted on that frigid Monday morning and my spirits felt as dreary as the weather. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I found. Understandably, the villagers we met that day were kind but cautious—was this just another white…

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