Hello from the remote village of Port Graham, Alaska!
Remember us, the Ristows?! Contrary to the rumors, we have not been eaten by bears, carried off by giant Alaskan mosquitos (although they have tried!), nor have we fallen off the face of the earth. Thanks be to God, we are safely settled in the beautiful village of Port Graham. We miss all of you dearly and have been so appreciative of your letters, packages, phone calls, support and prayers.
We apologize for not updating you sooner, but we are fully experiencing what it means to be unplugged. For example, we ordered internet service on June 4th and our installation date was July 12th (last Monday) and still we have yet to be hooked up (we’re borrowing a friend’s internet service for this update). Our cell phones (as many of you know) are spotty at best and only work when we lift our left leg, point to the SE and hold a fork in our right hand. Amazon Prime (our new remote village “shopping mall”) touts of a fast 2-day delivery, however in remote AK it means a one- to four-week delivery, and that’s only if they agree to send it in the first place! All to say, we are learning to be patient and are fully thankful for any modern services at all. Thank you for being patient with us!
It seems to all of us that we’re living in a bit of a time warp. So much has happened, so many people met, so many lessons learned. Last July we asked God to radically change our lives…today, exactly one year later, we’re living in a church, people are calling us the “Preacher Family”, our girls are regularly catching giant halibut, picking wild chives and driving the ATV, and our world consists of living together with 150 native Alaskans! We thank God every day for the blessing of serving Him.
So what’s been going on the last two months? In a nutshell, lots of training, meeting people, moving, deep cleaning, painting, preaching, fishing, swatting mosquitos, and slowing waaaaaay down. The villagers attending the church are eager to grow in their relationship with Jesus and have kindly embraced our living among them. God continues to give us little treasures here and there in the forms of friends, kind words, and gifts of fish and food. Although beauty surrounds us, the spiritual warfare here is alive and well. There is not a day we don’t feel the eternal battle for this village. Thanks be to God for His armor, His Holy Spirit, His giving us the courage to stand for Him, and our ultimate victory through His son, Jesus Christ.
We have so many stories to tell you and look forward to when we have internet to keep you better updated. Again, thank you so much for your patience, your support, friendship and prayers…they mean the world to us. We too are praying for you and your families.
May God bless you and keep you!
The Ristow Family