"For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11
Dear Friends and Family,
The wind is howling outside, compliments of our extreme terrain in a land of extremes. 100+ mile hour winds have knocked out power in a number of locations and forced the road south of Anchorage closed due to rock slides.
Thankfully I am seated inside a warm house with the Christmas candles flickering invitingly with strains of classical Christmas music. Since you are reading this, Steve and I have had some connection to you, or through your church. Christmas always makes me pause and remember our rich heritage. Many of you reading this have been a part of our Christmas memories. Perhaps the connection is from Arizona where you helped Steve celebrate the birth of our savior even before we were married. Perhaps the connection we share is from Illinois or Wisconsin. Maybe our connection is Alaska or British Columbia. Whatever our connection, we love thinking of all of you, especially during Christmas!
Comfortably seated inside a warm home in Alaska is only possible because so many of you have invested in God’s work through us and our shared ministry. We can’t help but remember, with smiles on our faces, the people whose names are on these letter labels or email addresses. You have encouraged and supported us, and so many of you have been our close friends for so many years. We both wish you could drop in for a Christmas cookie and warm mug of coffee. Thank you for your friendship; it is cherished warmly! Thank you for years of partnering in our ministry!
Someone recently asked us if we have family! Oh, what a fun question. Mom (Steve’s mom) and Les made a big move this year from Tucson to a senior apartment in Mesa. While they greatly miss their church and friends in Tucson, they are enjoying being closer to family. Their apartment is beautiful and we are so thankful for all the help they had moving, and to everyone that came to celebrate Mom’s 90th birthday this spring.
Sarah and her family live in Wasilla, about 15 minutes from our house. She and Jeremy own a steel construction business in the Valley. Ryley (her eldest) is married to Olivia and their little guy is almost 2. In March they will welcome baby boy number two. Josiah is attending Hill Song College in Australia and will be missed at Christmas. Isaac will graduate this spring and is looking toward his next adventure. Anna turned 16 this year and is already registered for Junior Iditarod #2, as well as leading youth worship and being 1st chair violin with the Mat-Su Youth Orchestra. Birkey is taking piano lessons and is involved with her youth group. Mae keeps everyone smiling and is also taking piano.
Nathan and Elizabeth also live in our area, about 15 minutes from us. They have seen God’s hand sustain them through some grief and loss this past year. Jayna, their eldest daughter, has an incredible voice and is involved with youth worship at their church. Quaid is a gifted guitarist. Jayna and Quaid helped lead a night of worship at our mission conference this year. Roanen enjoys rock climbing and is involved with his youth group. Avelyn was excited to participate in a play at their church, and Conlan also participated earlier this year. Devlin is their youngest and is excited to finally be doing school and snow boarding!
Ruth and Jeremy live in Colorado, near Rabbit Ear’s Pass. Jeremy was in a serious vehicle accident and has had reconstructive surgery on his foot. Kaylie (their eldest) was married to Stefan Skovrinski on November 23 here in Alaska. Jacob just lettered in football and is already starting his wrestling season. Wyatt played football this year in elementary school and keeps everyone on their toes! Owen is their other son, who lives in a group home. We are thankful for his stable health after some medical issues earlier this year.
Steve and I finally took the plunge and purchased a home in Alaska. Steve had quite a challenge this August when he got a staph infection in his knee. It has been quite a long trial of pain and swelling. However, we are so thankful that he received a call from the doctor yesterday and the infection appears to be completely cleared up. For the first time since August 17, he will be able to stop with antibiotics! He is at the doctor's right now to see what can be done for the swelling and pain. It has made this a challenging fall!
Ministry is rich and fulfilling as Steve serves as the Alaska Field Director. We love the variety and ministry opportunities it presents.
Thanking God for each of you and wishing you a very,
Serving God in Alaska,
Steve & Jill
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We DO send out monthly newsletters as well as this quarterly newsletter:)