Dear Family and Friends:
Well, I suppose you have been anticipating this newsletter after l shared with you in our March newsletter that Gwen and I have returned from Guyana and are considering a transfer to Alaska. We just returned from our site visit to Alaska.
On March 31, Gwen and I left home and flew out of Fayetteville, North Carolina, headed for Alaska. Our first stop was Washington, DC, then Seattle. We arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska at 12:03 AM. Yes, it was cold. Jim Kincaid, the AWA project manager for the Alaska met us and provided a warm vehicle for travel.
Jim and Linda Kincaid had another missionary family, who has a unique radio ministry sharing the Three Angels’ Message to the native population, visiting with them from Nome, Alaska. So, Gwen and I spent our first three nights at the military lodging facility on the Fort Wainwright Army Post—“Artic Warriors.”Sometimes, having a military I.D. comes in handy. Jim had planned to fly us out to a couple of remote villages after church on Sabbath, but the weather prevented it. Instead, we planned for Sunday morning. Then, at about 2:00 AM snow started falling in Fairbanks and really blanketed the place. By noon the weather cleared nicely, so Jim, Linda, Gwen and I were able to fly out.
Ok, before I say more, take time now to get your Alaska map so you can locate the villages I’m about to mention. Our first village stop was Shungnak, with a population of 350. There we spent a short time with missionaries, Tony and Irene Sherman, a young family of six. These young people are giving of their time and energies to befriend and minister to the needs of the people and are foster parents for two native children; they have two children of their own. Then, we flew on to the village of Selawick, with a population of approximately 900. We toured the small building that is used for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and living quarters for the missionaries, Dennis and Judy, who had left the day before to return to the lower 48 states on furlough.
Our next stop was Kotzabue, with a population of 3,200, a pretty busy village with lots of charter planes,and activity. Kotzabue is located by the Arctic Ocean and about 150 miles east of the Russian border. We spent the night in Kotzabue, and by 1:00 PM Monday we were on our way back to Shungnak to have a delicious dinner with Tony and Irene. After dinner, we flew back to Fairbanks, arriving at 10:00 PM.I must tell you that each of those villages were very cold and windy, but the people were friendly. Flight distances between the villages were long, so I was able to get some good flying time over the icy snow tundra of Alaska.
As we all know, the harvest is plentiful, and the laborers are few. So, as Gwen and I listened to Jim and Linda Kincaid share the needs of the Inupiats (Eskimos), reviewed the culture, and talked about how we could work together, Gwen and I felt like our work in the ministry in Alaska would be a good fit.
Our first movement to Alaska is planned for sometime around the last of July or first of August. We will occupy the home of Dennis and Judy and continue the ministry they were involved in until they return from furlough; other details are being worked out.
The other exciting piece is that Jim Kincaid wants to work with me to have more flying opportunities. Opportunities exist for Gwen to minister in the villages as a Nurse Practitioner. We thank God that we can continue to work with AWA in ministry and we tremendously thank you for your prayers and financial support. God’s work goes on and on, and He places each of us where He needs us most. Please continue to help us hasten the Lord’s return; it will not be long! We love you and ask God’s blessings on you.
Blessings to you,
Vonzell and Gwen Chancy