Friday, July 15, 2011

Final Day - Projects

Hello, from Kake.

Well, it's our final day and the team is pretty wore out. We've accomplished quite a bit and were blessed to have beautiful weather during our stay. We had a little bit of drizzle on Thursday but, other than that, it was perfect (about 65 and sunny)! It was also a blessing to have incredibly hard-working and talented team members. Most everything went very smoothly.

We replaced the majority of the skirting around the sanctuary and fellowship hall as well as improve the access to the crawl space underneath.

We built two picnic tables and stained them before we left. We also constructed some new stairs down to the beach from the church's backyard. These steps allow much easier access to the beach. Pastor Chang is excited as now some of the older people will be able to make the trip down.

We repainted some of the church's existing signs as well as creating a couple new signs advertising a "Peace of Kake" which is lunch and coffee provided by the church every Friday.

A new roof was built to keep the pastor's firewood dry. Kake is actually a rainforest and gets a ton of rain every year. Earlier this year, Pastor Chang spent $1,000 to heat his home just for the month of January. Since then, a new wood stove has been installed!

 We built a new fire pit behind the manse (parsonage).

We provided four new swings at the park across from the Church. It is a joy to see them getting used every day by the younger kids as well as the older kids.

We also repaired some damaged and missing siding on the Church, fixed Sylvia's car, repaired a grass trimmer, fixed the handicapped ramp to the church, and moved some furniture for one of the town elders.

Friday News

Culture Camp

Being a part of Kake's 23rd Annual culture camp has been such a blessing for our team!  Each morning we have been able to join the 12 junior high/high school campers in their survival training throughout the week.  We've seen them clean seal, halibut, deer, and various sea animals for food this week!  We've also been able to help in the afternoons with the 50 "day campers" that come in for a few hours.

We led games and crafts the first day and were invited back to do the same each day!  It's been such a joy getting to know the kids so well and play with them on the beautiful beach each afternoon.  This afternoon we had to say goodbye to the older campers that we've been connecting with all week.  They were sad to say goodbye and kept inviting us to stay for more activities. Vicar Gabe ended our time with a prayer for them. We were thanked for our help by the adults and teachers leading the camp.

While we were wrapping up our final day, a couple of us had the opportunity for an unexpected treat...a Tlinkit language lesson! Ruth, the Tlingit language teacher at the school, shared a few phrases and words with us. We hope to practice and come back next year ready for more! Tsu yei ikwasateen! (I'll see you again!)

Sports Camp

What a blessing it was to come back to Kake and play soccer with the same kids that were part of the ultimate frisbee last year. We saw new faces, tapped into adults who transitioned from the basket ball court to the soccer field late into the evening to make it 3 hours of soccer!! We had about 15 minutes of drills and then break for devotions with interactive dialogue. The devotions were engaging and we shared the message of  Jesus with them, which was awesome. To end the night, we would all play a big game and try to include as many people from the team that we could. It was lots of fun having Rick, John, Steve on the field to make the "big stops" and not let people run around them, while Kaitlin and Elise would trip and take people down. It is a blessed time and the number of kids that show up have increased from four on the first day to 10 kids waiting out side for the games to begin....gotta run!

Kids Zone News

Hello, as you can seem we have been so busy we have hardly had time to write :)  It has been a fun week with the kids coming a and going each morning for an hour of activities. We have had some that came each day, some that came only once and a few in between. They really loved the songs that Gabe and Melissa led us in- actions and everything! We climbed the tree with Zaccheaus, ate on the beach of the ocean like the 5000 Jesus fed and ended up in a "belly of a whale" like Jonah. They also learned a little about being kind and showing love to all the neighbors in Kake. They were eager to listen and participate, and we enjoyed their enthusiasm and joy as well. All in all it was a blessing to be with them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday & Tuesday in Kake

Hello from Kake!

It's been an incredibly busy two days for us in Kake. Thus, the lack of a blog yesterday.

The days are literally packed from sunrise until bedtime:
  • Breakfast at 7:30
  • Devotions at 8:15
  • Construction Projects from 9:00 to 5:00
  • Culture Camp from 9:00 to 11:00
  • Kid's Fun Zone from 10:00 to 11:00
  • Lunch at 11:30
  • Culture Camp from 1:00 to 4:00
  • Dinner at 5:30.
  • Sports Camp from 6:00 to 7:30
  • Women's Bible Study from 7:00-8:30
  • Youth Hang-out Time from 8:30-???

Women's Bible Study enjoying a campfire.

We had the opportunity to spend time with some of the women from Kake each evening.  Monday we talked about God's amazing grace--how He gives it to us and we, in turn, need to give it to ourselves and others. The guys started a fire in the new fire pit we had built.  We tossed pieces of paper on which they had written things for which forgiveness and grace were needed, either for themselves or for others.  Today we focused on the hope that God gives us through His promises in His Word.  We concluded with a prayer walk stopping at a number of places in town.  The women are united in their passion about starting a revival in Kake.  Their prayers humbled us and reminded us to pray passionately for our own communities.

Elise painting and designing a sign for the Presbyterian Church.

 Zach hanging fish in the smokehouse at culture camp.

 The kids running to culture camp from the dropoff area.

 Colin, one of the young boys at culture camp.

Halibut being fileted before being sent off to the smokehouse at culture camp.

Micah with one of the dogs across the street from the church.
Dozens of dogs roam free around town.

 Vicar Gabe can testify to how busy things have been. He needs some rest.

Lynne and Mitchell (Chuck), from Kake, enjoy watching the kids and their activities.

 We see quite a bit of Kenny. He's a great kid. Always smiling.

Pastor Chang and his wife.

 Mary Ann, one of the parishoners, watering some plants at the church.

 Kaitlin, Gloria, and Terri singing with the kids during The Fun Zone.

Stan and Sharon, M.V. Christian boat ministry serving Kake and S.E. Alaska

 John and Rick working on one of the two picnic tables they are making for the church.

 Tonight's soccer match at sports camp.

Pastor Chang's daughter, Lydia, watching the soccer game.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Sunday in Kake

    It was another beautiful day in Kake. 65 and sunny all day!

    This morning we enjoyed a wonderful worship service led by Pastor Chang. Today's message, "The Price is Right", centered around our indebtedness to Christ for his ultimate sacrifice and our need to be shining beacons to those around us. In the coming week, we will certainly strive to be shining beacons for those around us.

    After worship, we enjoyoed a great lunch in the church's fellowship hall with our team and the congregation.

    We also started the project to replace the skirting around the church and were able to repair some damaged siding. We've made some great progress in only one day. However, some of the team may be a little wore out. Let's pray for some rejuvination by morning!

    Some members of the team traveled down to culture camp to help raise a tent to protect campers from inclement weather in the coming week. Culture camp is held in Kake annually. The camp is for the children of the region to educate them about the local Tlingit culture. The younger kids attend camp for a few hours every day for arts, crafts, games, and other fun activities while the teenagers camp out all week and learn things like the native language, music, and dance. They will also learn about cleaning wild game (bear, moose, halibut, salmon, seal, etc.), smoking meat, and preparing food. Culture camp officially starts tomorrow and we will be on hand to help out with a number of activities.

    Our constuction projects will continue tomorrow as well as the other planned activities. Kid's "fun zone" in the morning, Women's bible study in the evening, and sports camp in the evening will keep us very busy.

    Probably the most notable event of the day......Vicar Gabe is terrified of bears (even baby ones)! I would anticipate his next sermon to incporprate some aspect of almost dying and the thought of never seeing his mother again. He will have to share the details of this on his own.

     One of the local dogs which is part wolf. Pretty interesting looking.

    Pastor Chang's daughters and a neighbor boy playing soccer on the church deck.

    Zach "horsing around" with one of the kids.

     This is the view from the deck outside the church. What a view!

     This morning's "demo" of the church skirting.

     Melissa and Kaitlin playing with Pastor Chang's daughters.

     Stan, our veteran painter.

    Yesterday, we provided four new swings. The old swings had rotted away. From this photo, you can see the new swings are getting a good workout.

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Arrived in Kake!

    Hello, from Kake.

    We arrived in Kake around noon today. We received a warm welcome and had generous help getting our cargo and team from the ferry to the Kake Memorial Presbyterian Church where we are staying. It was a pleasure meeting Pastor Chang and his family. They are in their first year leading the Presbyterian church in Kake.

    We've been able to get situated, assess some projects, do some work at the local playground, talk with some old friends, share dinner, and relax a little bit. This evening we are getting treated to some beautiful piano playing by Dominic, a teenager from Kake. He's never had a lesson or any formal music training. Listening to him play is unbelievable!

    It was a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon. The warmth and sun in Kake is somewhat rare! So, the weather was definitely a blessing.

    Taku, our ferry, at port in Juneau

    Our team spending some time out on the ferry deck during our journey to Kake. It was a little chilly. Not sure why Zach didn't think so!

    A portion of Kake. If you look closely, you can see the steeple of the Presbyterian Church.

    The port in Kake as we prepare to dock.

     Elise having fun with some of the local dogs.

    The state of affairs in Kake. This is one of the homes across the street from the church. Southeast Alaska is actually a rainforest which leads to some problems with roofs, siding, etc.

    Tomorrow, we will enjoy breakfast, worship together, work on some projects, and prepare ourselves to serve in the coming week.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Travel Day in Juneau

    This morning we are busy packing and preparing for our ferry trip to Kake. We depart this afternoon and, after our 20 hour ferry ride, we should arrive in Kake.

    We are all eager to arrive and look forward to seeing our friends in Kake.

     Our fine group on the rocks near Mendenhall Glacier. It was a beautiful afternoon!

     Group photo with Mendenhall in the backdrop.

     Beth and Elise on our hike.

     John and Megan at the waterfall near Mendenhall.

     A little chilly for Kaitlin near the waterfall!

    Please pray for safe travel for us today. The ferry ride is a great opportunity for the team to prepare for our time in Kake. Also, it will probably be our best opprotunity for good sleep also.

    No internet on the ferry. So, our next blog will probably be sometime on
    Saturday after arriving in Kake.