Sunday, November 01, 2015

Ten Things I'd like you to know about my Field

10 Things I’d like you to know about my Field

1.  Greenland is the largest island in the world. 
Greenland is one and a half times the size of Alaska. Although it is the largest island in the world, it is one of the least populated countries. Only about 57,000 people live in the entire country. Many years ago while we were on deputation someone asked us “Why Greenland? There is hardly anyone there!”  Well, if you were a Greenlander wouldn’t you want someone to bring the Gospel to you?

2.  Greenland is a very remote place. 
People only live along the coast, because the interior of Greenland is nothing but mountainous ice cap.  These 70 plus villages are not connected by roads, so the only way in and out of town is by boat or plane.  This takes “cabin fever” to a whole new level!  There are NO Fast-food chains or American stores in Greenland.

3.  Greenland has 24 hours of sunlight during the summer months and 24 hours of darkness during the winter months.  In the summer, the 24 hours of sunlight is like an energy drink.  You never feel like going to bed.  How can you sleep when the sun is shining in the windows at midnight!  We use darkening shades to help keep out all that light.  Sometimes it is easy to lose track of the time.  There have been times that I thought, I better make supper now and when I looked at the clock, it was 8 o'clock in the evening!  The kids didn’t mind because they were having fun playing outside.  In the winter however, the darkness has the exact opposite.  It feels like a sleeping aide.  All you feel like doing is sleeping!  You wake up when it is dark and you drag through the day just longing for bed time!  No time for napping when you have 5 children to homeschool and care for. :-) I often joke that I can be like the Virtuous Woman in winter, She riseth also while it is yet night…”  

4. Greenland has really only two seasons, Summer & Winter or as we like to call them, Bug Bite and Frost Bite.  We have seen snow fall in 11 out of the 12 months and though we have not seen snow fall in July, we still have patches of snow. You would never guess that mosquitoes thrive in the short summer months.  They swarm around you and can take away the joy of the summer in the Arctic. The short summer brings with it many varieties of wildflowers and berries.    

5.  Our home is in Ilulissat, Greenland which is the native word for “icebergs.”  We live 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Our town lies just north of one of the most productive glaciers in the world.  The glacier dumps millions of tons of ice into the Bay every day which gives us an ever-changing spectacular view.  

6.  There are more dogs here than people.  The dogs look like Huskies, but they are their own breed.  They are not pets, but work animals.  For nine months out of the year they pull sledges for hunters and fishermen as well as give rides to tourists.  The dog sledge races are very popular in the late winter once the sun has returned.

7.  Everything has to be imported on a big supply ship that comes from Denmark.  It comes about once a week in the summer and then sporadically in the winter based on the weather and ice conditions in the sea.  Because of this, groceries are very expensive and the prices increase overnight in the winter months.  We have learned to stock up on the important stuff like yeast, sugar, flour, milk and toilet paper. Milk comes in boxes and has a shelf life of six months.   

8.  The Greenlandic People are Eskimos and still follow many traditional ways. While the Greenlandic children love candy it doesn’t compare to mattak (raw whale skin and blubber). They prefer it above all else. The Greenlanders love modern technology, yet still cling to their old ways. They love iPhones, Facebook, digital cameras, etc… and at the same time, fishing with harpoon guns, spending days at their summer huts (with no electricity or plumbing), berry picking on the tundra, dog sledging, seal hunting, kayaking, etc.  

9. Greenlandic is one of the most difficult languages to learn.  It is the native language of the Greenlanders.  A 2007 study in Norway declared Greenlandic THE most difficult language to learn.  While we aren’t sure if that is entirely accurate, we know it must be in the “top ten” :-) It is a polysynthetic language.  You start with a root word and then build upon it.  A sentence for us English speaking people may simply be one LOOOOONG word in Greenlandic.

10.  Greenland is a Pioneer Mission Field, We are the only Baptist Missionaries in the entire country.  I won’t lie and say Pioneer Missions is easy.  On the contrary, it’s hard work, a lot of hard work.  The only Gospel Literature in the Greenlandic language is what we’ve been able to write and translate.  Sometimes it feels that for every step forward, we take two backwards.  Being the first and only, we have experienced many setbacks, but we continue pressing forward in order to blaze a trail in this spiritual wilderness.  
The loneliness is hard, the isolation is difficult, and the ministry is time consuming, yet the rewards are out of this world!  We can’t imagine living any other life!   The good news is that help is on the way!  My Dad is coming this summer to help us launch our summer boat ministry to the outlying towns and villages.  Also another family is currently on deputation to join us on this Pioneer Mission Field! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed your brief visit to Greenland and leave knowing a little more about this country and its people. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Christopher is 14!

Matti was so excited to give "Chippy" one of her favorite books.


Christopher loves climbing, hiking, fishing, camping... etc...

Big Brother!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Exciting News!!!

New Missionary family coming to Greenland!!!

Introducing: JR & Cheryl Wright and their family, the Newest Missionaries to Greenland!

Most of you have been praying with us for years that God would send another missionary family to help us on this Pioneer Mission Field.  Thank you for those prayers!  God has answered our prayers "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”

Now the amazing part… The Wright family are already friends of ours!  Carole has known Cheryl since they were children!  JR and I have become good friends over the years.  We are thrilled they have answered the call!  Please be in prayer as they begin deputation.  They are looking for meetings.  If your church is looking to support a missionary to Greenland, please consider this family!  We recommend them 100%.  The sooner they get here, the better!

Each night in family devotions, our children pray for missionaries to come and help us.  Our daughter Emilia took it a step further and prayed that God would send the “Right" family.  God answered her literally by sending the “Wright” family. ☺︎

With God All Things Are Possible!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day 2015

Our kids are blessed with a great Dad! :-)

My Dad - I've been blessed with a Godly Heritage. We are so excited about him coming to help with the Boat Ministry! The kids love to call him "Pop-Pop the Sailor Man"

Chris's Parents - Love these people!  We're so thankful for all the boxes they send and the great times and memories we have with them!

My three men :-)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ten Years!

Today we celebrate 10 years on the mission field.  We have experienced many firsts and seen God do the impossible time & time again.  It has been a decade of adventure serving the LORD overseas!

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing several “10 Things” posts on things we have experienced, learned and seen God do on the mission field.

Ten Thousand reasons to Smile!

Today is our Ten Year Anniversary of being on the Mission Field and we received a wonderful gift!  Chris recently finished a three year project of translating another tract. The tract company sent us 10,000 tracts free of charge and paid for shipping! We are excited to add yet another tract to our slowly growing Greenlandic Gospel Literature Collection. This is not only a huge help to us but will also be a blessing to future missionaries to Greenland! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Gospel Boat

For those of you who have asked for pictures of the boat... We're just so excited about what God is doing in Greenland! We can't wait to get this boat on the water and reaching other towns and villages with The Gospel!
This is an excerpt from Steve Nissley, The Captain. "This is the First Baptist Church of Greenland's Gospel boat. We are getting ready to remove the plywood top, shrink wrap it and send it to Greenland. We are going to letter it before it goes. It will have the church logo on the sides and Ilulissat Greenland on the back".

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Monday, June 01, 2015

They're going to be here a long time!

Last year we were thrilled when we received our Permanent Residence permits!  However, the only fly in the ointment was it was only for us, not the children.  This year as we re-applied for them we asked for a 3 year extension.  Today we received our Children's Residence Permits.  Each child is approved for Residency in Greenland until they are 18 years old!  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

I love being mom to these five kids!  I've been so blessed.

Our Girls                                                                                      Our Boys

I've also been blessed with a great Mother-in-law.  She did a great job in raising her son!  She's a wonderful Grammy to our kids.  Our kids love anytime spent with Grammy and every box that comes from her!
My in-laws during their visit in July 2014

Thinking of my Mom today too.  Although I would have loved to have had her for many more years, I'm so thankful for the time we did have together.  We started our journey together as mother and daughter, but along the way we became friends.  I thank God for giving me such a mother as her.  I've been so blessed.