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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Emergency in Remote Alaska

Emergency in Remote Alaska

Our skin is a pretty remarkable organ.  I just read that we have 19 yards of blood vessels, 95 oil glands, 650 sweat glands, and over 19,000 sensory cells in ONE INCH OF SKIN!  Wow.  Did you know that the average adult’s skin covers an area of 22 square feet?  Now that is a serious amount of vessels, glands, and cells!  And did you know that our skin renews itself every 28 days?  Our skin is like a really cool…

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Update From Port Graham

Update From Port Graham

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…

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On a Wing and a Prayer

On a Wing and a Prayer

When I was younger I loved roller coasters.  Spin me, twirl me turn me upside down–the scarier the better!  Now that I am older than 20, my brain and body continue to spin, twirl and turn upside down long after the ride is over, and for some reason, it is not as enjoyable as it used to be. So last Saturday when we awoke to blue skies and sunshine over Homer, I wasn’t the least bit concerned about our 1:00…

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Do Life BIG!

Do Life BIG!

Let’s face it—someday we’ll all be standing before the Big Man upstairs.  And on that day, as you and He look back over your earthly resume, what will your conversation with Him be like? “Congratulations, you lived a safe life.” Or “Wow, eighty years and you did what?”  Or worse yet, “Looks like a you spent a lifetime chasing everything except Me.” Like it or not we’ll all have an exit interview with God.  Compared to eternity, your appointment with…

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Alaska or Bust!

Alaska or Bust!

After 8 long months of preparation, we’re officially on our way to Alaska–Praise God!  With 2,700 miles between Oregon and the remote Alaskan village of Port Graham, we’re all set for the long road trip to our new home. Thank you to everyone who helped with our endless hours of packing and preparation, for the many warm good-byes, the gifts, and the prayers.  We feel so loved and will treasure our time and memories with all of you.