Sunday, July 9, 2017

Alaskan Adventures, Vol. 4

Not too much to share this week, but wanted to share a bit from July 4th and my upcoming trip to the Brooks Range Bible Camp.

July 4th at Glacier View in Matanuska Valley is quite possibly the most unique celebration in the country. The surrounding views can't be beat. You get Kingdom Air Corps to do flyovers in formation with 5 bush planes. A very redneck parade of beat-up cars (they'll come in later) and Alaskan style rigs. A conservative message and Christian prayer. Lots of food. And launching those beat-up cars off a big cliff. What a day!

Planes lining up for takeoff. Dwayne in the lead with the awesome retro-style Cessna 180.

Just after takeoff, looking back at King Ranch with Matanuska River winding up towards our destination.

Ben Lula piloting the Cessna 150 on the opposite side of the formation from me.

Joe Gerwig piloting the Cessna 182 in the center of the formation.

Dwayne at the head of the pack.

Great views over the river.

Joe peeling off during the "Missing Man" formation, to honor our fallen military troops.

Dwayne in the booth before his prayer for the celebrations.

Quite the crowd, quite the view!

Some nicely decked out vehicles.

Some Alaskan-redneck-style vehicles. :)

Like I said, literally launching cars off cliffs.

And crashing down the hillside.

Pretty decent view. :)

Later that night back at Kingdom Air Corps, we had a fireworks show in broad daylight. Not something you always hear about, but it was a great show!

This week Dwayne had me and Teresa Dehmel working on individualized thank-you cards for those who have donated airplanes and such to the ministry. It has been a fun project, and it's been good to put to use some design & layout skills. I've really enjoyed getting to know Craig & Teresa Dehmel this week through that project and the cabin extension project with Craig.

Sunday will be a day of preparation (packing for me) for Brooks Range Bible Camp. Pray for all the planning and execution of this trip to go well! There's a bit involved with taking 8 planes 400 miles into the arctic wilderness. Kingdom Air Corps finances this trip too, so pray for the Lord to provide for the ministry. Below are some pictures of where we will be going (I'm pretty sure).

Zoomed out view of our location in Brooks Range.

Perspective with Kingdom Air Corps' location compared to Brooks Range Camp.

Airstrip at Crevice Creek!
Here's a Google Maps so you can see where I'll be:

I'm pretty excited! The first week I'll be tasked with taking photos & video and putting together a video to share with the kids at the end of the week. I will likely be out of communication until we return from the two-week trip.

I appreciate your prayers! Pray for the hearts of these kids and their families. They need leaders to continue the gospel mission in their villages.

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Alaskan Adventures, Vol. 3

It's my third Sunday here already! Lots has happened in the last week, and I could probably post enough photos and videos in this update to break my blog. So I'll try to share the best ones with you.

On Monday, June 26 I was blessed to hop in on a flight of a lifetime. A television network media director from Wales had Kingdom Air Corps fly him over the Knick and Matanuska glaciers. He is on a holiday (vacation) and enjoys capturing photos/video for personal use.

The flight was truly one of the most thrilling, epic things I've ever done (and I think I've had some pretty good ones so far). Flying right through mountain passes and over glaciers is a unique experience to say the least. These pictures don't do it justice.

Beautiful views of the rivers and valleys

Gotta love the composition opportunities from the air!

Closeup of glacial river.

Flying low around the mountain bend.

Closeup of glacier cracks.

"Road to Freezer"?

Neat look at the Knick Glacier

Looking back towards our photographer passenger.

Pooled up "gatorade" water on iceberg.

For scale, note the small red plane in the upper left portion of the frame.

My favorite shot of the glacier details.

For my mom, strings of pink flowers scattered across the silty ground.

Cool view up a canyon on our way to Matanuska Glacier.

One of many glacier-covered mountains in the Matanuska range.

Rows of glacier-covered mountains.

Flying right over that pass on the left!

Black & White shot of more mountains.

Anyone else see the face on the mountain?

Lots of ice coming through that pass!

My favorite shot of the day, and favorite from Alaska so far. Love how the clouds hung over the mountains like that. Gorgeous sky too!

I'll call these "Moody Mountains"

More glacier pools.

Tuesday and Wednesday I did some bush trimming and raking around the property. Then Dwayne returned from his trip to Yakutsk, Russia on Thursday morning. I was able to meet with him that morning to go over his ideas for new promo videos and website changes. I was also tasked with compiling his photos and videos from his trip into a video to show at church on Sunday. It's great to have Dwayne back; I love watching him be so intentional and involved in everybody's life and ministry. His passion for the gospel and people is contagious.

Saturday morning we had a brief overview of Brooks Range Bible Camp coming up on June 10 (our departure date). After that Dwayne and four other pilots ran a practice of flying in formations to prep for July 4th. Every year, during the July 4 festivities at the glacier nearby, Kingdom Air Corps does a flyover in formation. I got to be in the rear plane to capture some of their formations; it's pretty cool!

Also on Saturday, Josiah (my roommate here) and I went with Ben & Chelsea on a trip to Hatcher's Pass. It's an old mining town up in the mountains with some broken down buildings and cool stuff like that. Josiah and I mostly glanced at the buildings and headed straight for a nearby peak. The view was so worth it!

I forget the name of this lake, but it was cool - a bit of ice still on it!

Old mining shack on the way up the trail.

Josiah and me at the top of the peak!

Old engine in the mining town.

Later we went to a pilot trainee's house for dinner. It was a blessing to meet his family. We sang songs after dinner and then played some Alaskan volleyball. Alaskan volleyball is basically volleyball with a lot of mosquitos thrown at you constantly. Keeps you on your toes :). We had a blast!

Dwayne's presentation at church on Sunday went well, and we had a great worship night at Kingdom Air Corps that night. Dwayne closed by sharing more stories and encouragement to keep on serving for the gospel. God is using Dwayne in many ways in so many people's lives on a daily basis. He has a great way of encouraging and seriously challenging your life at the same time.

Yesterday (Monday) I started helping the construction guys with a different building. We are putting an addition (bedroom) on a cabin for a long-term staff family here. Today I got up early to help finish put up all the drywall inside. Then I was literally dragged away by Josiah on a 4-wheeler to be taken up to the pilots' formation flight briefing. We took off for a noon flyover for the July 4 celebration. I might share some shots from that flight and the following festivities in my next update.

Thank you all for your prayers! I appreciate your support and service to the Lord.

God bless.