Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Painting and roofing

 Dressed for cool weather, we tackled painting the outside of the cabins, and the trim. Later the chapel was painted and trimmed.
 The weather warmed up before we were finished. Morning temps have been in the mid 50s with afternoon highs in the 70s. I deal weather for outside work.
We don't believe in all work and no play!

 The interior and exterior of the dining hall received  new coats of paint, and window and door trim. Dale installed four ceiling fans rescued from the church roofing project. 
Ceiling fans? Yes, it gets hot here too. Last Saturday the high was 89 degrees.
 The church has received a partial new roof. We are no longer needed for hauling debris from the deconstruction.
From the sactuary, pulpit area you can see the old trusses and sky where the new trusses are being replaced.
Alaska weather is similar to Texas weather, you never know what to expect. This morning the temp was 50 degrees with rain. And the temp hasn't risen all day. The roofing project is at a stand still, however all our painting has been completed.
Last night seven summer missionaries, college students, arrived to prepare for the children who arrive tomorrow. We are ready!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


 Alaskan's say "the mountain is out" they are refering to Mt. McKinley or "Denali" as most Alaskans call the 20,320 foot mountain, the tallest mountain in North America. We visisted Denali National Park with the North Carolina VBS team but were disappointed that the mountain was hidden by low clouds and mist.

The park was not established to preserve the mountain but to protect wildlife. Six million acres are the home ranges of moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and grizzly bears. Again I'm having trouble up-loading pictures.

Visitors are able to drive private vehicles for the first 15 miles into the park. We boarded buses to travel for 8 hours into the park. In additon to the 36 species fo mamals, there are moe than 100 species of birds including the golden eagle which we saw. There is only one amphibian, a wood frog.  There are NO snakes.
 We saw the Big Four, moose, caribou, bear, and Dall sheep. This red fox appeared on the road and ran ahead of the tour bus for a short while.

There were several small flocks of Dall sheep high on the mountain cliffs. One group was close enough for us to photograph.

The gravel road into the park interior is winding and narrow as it follows the edge of a deep vally. When one bus approached a bus going in the opposite direction, we all prayed that the road was side enough for both. I seemed to be on the drop-off side. The road followed a braided river flowing with snow melt and silted water from the glaciers.

leaving Denali, we rushed the N. Carolina team to the airport for their return home. Returning to camp, and a well deserved rest, we spent this past week painting the inside and outside of the dining hall, chapel, and painting the trim. Then sanitized the bath houses, cleaned the guest house, and are presently working again at the church removing debris as the contractor is replacing the roof.

Summer has arrived. This morning's temp. was 55. Yesterday's high, 75. Tomorrow is summer solstice. Sun set at 12:15 a.m., sunrise at 3:13 a.m. 21 hours wwith the sun above the horison. However it's never dark now, only dusk.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vacation Bible School

In preparation for the North Carolina Vacation Bible team that was due to arrive by plane in Fairbanks, we cleaned the cabins,and made up the bunks with sleeping bags.  The Martins  picked up the 9 volunteers at the airport, loaded their luggage in to the church van and returned to camp after midnight. The "foreigners" were amazed that the sun was still shining.
With only a few hours sleep they were up for breakfast and Sunday School. the churches in Delta held a community wide church service in a large tent in the park. The N. Carolinians apprciated the warm coats and sweaters ssent by members of West End Baptist Church in Texas. The drizzle-rain stopped, but the overcast kept the temperature chilly. We enjoyed a praise band, lots of singing and an excellent message.
Hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill joined a pot luck meal brought by the community. The team was introduced and made to feel welcome. After a nap, we returned to church for a VBS meeting and to prepare our rooms for the following day.
Children of all ages, from the 5 month old daughter of a worker through sixth graders flocked to VBS on Monday morning. assisted by teens, the workers got everyone excited about the VBS theme, Awesome Wonders Aviation. The Bible study, missions stories, crafts, recreation and even the snacks were based on the them of God's wonders of creation: the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, Great Barrier Reef, Northern Lights and a volcano.
Many of my pictures would not load. This group is part of the 5-6th graders that I worked with. Later in the week i taught them how to tie-dye t-shirts. This project is one of the incentives that keeps the older kids coming back. Attendance for the week averaged 79 kids with a staff fo 40.
The kids are sitting in a mock-up cock pit for a Bible story. I painted the panel at the rear. The gentleman standing is signing for a deaf student.
The North Carolina team painted the interior of 4 cabins, and cut and hauled fallen trees in thier spare time. We were also able to take them on a short tour of a yak farm and a bison/hay farm. They also traveled to Summit lake to play in the snow.
On Friday after VBS and a hamburger-hotdog party for the kids, staff and families, we loaded the team and their gear into the van. Sleeping bags were stuffed into the RV and off we went toward Fairbanks. We made a stop at the historic Rika Roadhouse, at the Knotty Shoppe, and at Santa Clause House in Norh Pole. Yes, there is a North Pole, Alaska.
We spent the night on the floor of Faith Baptist Church. Rising at 4:30 Sat morning we loaded the vehicles and traveled to Denali National Park. the above picture is of the team and Texans as we wait for the tour bus for an 8 hour tour of Denali. My next blog will be of Denali.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Deconstruction of church ceiling

 I've been on the library's wifi for several hours now trying to send this blog. Appologies again for problems. The pictures of our work at First Baptist Church are out of sequence, again.
The picture above is of sawing the foam insulation from between the trusses. All the little dots are only a small part of the dust that was raised.
 I'm working a snow shovel to remove small fine particles of sheet rock from the carpet. We first had to remove ceiling tiles, then a layer of sheet rock and then the foam insulation. Of course all that stuff had to be removed from the floor!
 We're loading sheet rock into a garbage truck. Several dumpster loads have been hauled off. Bags of fiberglass insulation and blown in paper insulation were saved for re-purposing, by locals.
 This was to be my lead picture. Nick is on one end of the many pews that were removed and donated to area churches.
 Thirty years of Delta dust, the fine silt that is blown in by the winds from the Alaska range and across the Delta River, is falling from the ceiling along with fiberglass insulation and blown in insulation.
Nick is helping to take down the light fixtures while Monique is gathering up sheet rock from the floor. Again those spots are dust in the air. Notice our dist masks and gloves.
We're been working with members of the church for two weeks now preparing the ceiling and attic for the new roof. After the first week, once all the ceiling material was removed, the carpet vacuumed, and the log walls dusted, we set up chairs for Sunday services. Then all the chairs had to be removed again so work could continue this week. We are now waiting for the new trusses to arrive from the manufacturer.
No rest for us though, we are preparing for Vacation Bible School which starts Monday, May 4.