Monday, March 19, 2018

Our Blessings!

For the last 13 years, we have been raising our 5 children on the mission field which is the only home they have ever known. When we first arrived to Greenland, we had little ones in hand while we tried to survive and navigate this country & culture without the help of anyone.
My wife and I did everything on our own. With 4 kids five and under, it would take us 40 minutes just to get all their winter gear on and out the door. No car, no babysitters, no friends, no grandparents, no uncles or aunts, no Walmart, no fastfood, nothing but bare necessities and hard work! Now we have teenagers! We used to be told “just wait until they´re teenagers” accompanied with eye rolls and sighs. We are there now…And loving it! 
My son spends hours shoveling snow, setting the church up for services, children´s club, etc., helping with building projects, carrying plywood in minus 40 degrees, painting, visitation, etc. Our daughters spend hours cleaning up the church, baking (from scratch) for church activities & prison, serving people, babysitting so parents can hear the Gospel, etc. Our children have become fellow laborers in the work, NOT ONCE have any of them complained. We are blessed! We have some real servants and I know God is going to use them for His glory. 
Not only are our children hard workers, but they are a lot of fun to be around. They have become our best friends! My wife and I just pray that their future mates will enjoy living in Greenland! 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Rest of the Story. Mattaliina's Birthday

Seven years ago, today, our youngest was born! Happy Birthday, Mattaliina Joy! You have brought us lots of Joy in these short 7 years.
Here is the rest of the story that we've never shared before…During her pregnancy with Matti, Carole´s blood pressure was dangerously high. The midwife sent a blood pressure machine home with Carole, so we could frequently check her blood pressure. We begged the midwives to ask the head physician to let Carole deliver the baby in town this time. In Greenland, a pregnant woman never sees the doctor, except in the case of emergency. Sadly, the doctor said no. So once again, Carole had to fly 400 miles south to the capital city in the middle of winter. Yes, March is the middle of winter! Anna went along with Carole, but the rest of us stayed behind. We could not afford tickets & lodging for the whole family plus we were alone and had to keep the ministry running.  

Carole and Anna went to Nuuk. The hospital there has a separate building for housing patients from around Greenland. It is called the Patient Hotel. This is where Carole and Anna stayed. Anna was not free, because she was not the patient. Only the patients get free airfare, lodging and meals.
As most of you know, we lived in Iceland for nearly 2 years before moving to Greenland. While there, we met a missionary family and became close friends with them. The missionary wife was a retired navy nurse. She along with her teenage daughter flew to Nuuk in order to be with Carole. They tried to plan it just right so they could be there for the delivery. They bought one-way tickets. They ended up being there for 2 weeks.  

We thank the LORD for his provision in allowing them to be with Carole. Because of the missionary wife´s medical background and personality, she made friends with several of the doctors. As time went on, Carole´s blood pressure continued to rise. Our nurse friend suggested to the midwives that they induce labor. The midwives became annoyed with her and would not induce labor. Our friend was concerned for Carole and the baby. Unbeknownst to us, she had called her husband and told him to be prepared to fly up to me in case Carole did not make it. She also tried to prepare Carole in the event our baby did not make it. After several days of the midwives seeming ignorance of the situation, our friend found one of the doctors and told them how serious Carole´s condition was. Since she already had a rapport with this doctor, he immediately moved to action and informed the midwives to induce labor. 

When the patient hotel found out that Carole was not returning, they moved all of Carole and Anna´s belongings (including a laptop) out of the room and into the hallway. They had been staying there for 4 weeks. The midwives informed Carole that someone needed to get their things and bring them to the hospital. This did not help Carole´s blood pressure! ☺︎ Praise God, a few hours later, Matti was born and Carole was on the mend. Our friend and daughter were planning to catch a plane that night back to Iceland, but the midwives informed Carole that Anna could not stay in the hospital. They were adamant about it and were going to put Anna in the custody of a local family. Carole wanted to leave the hospital, but they would not release her because of her blood pressure. Thankfully, our friends postponed their trip and took care of Anna.

The hospital released Carole 3 days later. Carole, Anna & Matti got on a plane to head home, but still had to make three stops before reaching Ilulissat. The temps outside were 40 below zero and Carole had to walk with a newborn from the planes to the airports. If you have visited us before, then you know exactly what I am talking about. The planes do not pull up to the airports!
You will never know the joy of that moment Carole, Matti and Anna arrived to the airport. It had been a month of separation and worrying, not to mention how hard it was to be apart from my wife when she needed me. There were lots of hugs and tears as the kids reunited with Mommy and met their new baby sister.

Months later, we received a bill for Anna’s time at the patient hotel. I wrote and asked for a discount since Anna was so young and shared a bed, pillow and blanket with Carole. The same doctor called personally and erased the bill completely.  

We will forever be grateful to our friend for making the sacrifice to visit Greenland during the worst time of the year, for braving several blizzards and for trudging through many feet of snow during countless walks to the hospital. It is very likely that Carole and Matti would not be here with us today, if it weren´t for our dear friend!  

This is one of many examples of how God has protected us over the years on this remote pioneer mission field. So many times, we have not understood why God was leading a certain way, but looking back we see that He always had us in mind! It no longer surprises us that God meets our every need, but it still amazes us how much He cares for us.
With God All Things Are Possible!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Arctic Living

We haven´t had eggs in town for several weeks, because the supply ship can´t get through the ice. I saw on Facebook that one of our two local stores flew some in. I jumped in the car and hurried to the store. I was so glad to see there were still some remaining. Only one pack allowed per customer. It was funny watching others run into the store towards the dairy section and to see their relief when they saw eggs on the shelf. There were 15 eggs in a pack and they cost almost $10. I have a happy wife and daughter as the eggs arrived just in time for a birthday cake.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Wright Update

Well folks, Baptist History is being made again in Greenland! JR and Cheryl Wright spent several hours at the Danish Embassy in Houston, Texas yesterday. At first, the Embassy Officials had no idea what to do with them, since JR and Cheryl were the first Americans they’ve ever dealt with applying to live in Greenland. The Wright family had to wait while the Embassy made phone calls to other Danish embassies around the US and calls directly to Denmark to make sure they followed correct protocol. Thankfully, everything was figured out and the paperwork has been sent on to Denmark for processing! Pray all goes well and there will be good news to report in the near future!

Friday, March 09, 2018

The Wright Family - Missionaries to Greenland

Please pray for JR & Cheryl Wright as they travel today to the Danish Embassy in Houston, Texas in order to apply for residency in Greenland. Their target date for moving to Greenland is July. We are counting the days!

If you don´t support a missionary to Greenland, then please consider the Wright family. You won´t find a more needy mission field or a more qualified family!