Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Heading Home

This is my last night in the village. I’ll be flying with my stuff to Anchorage tomorrow, spending a week with friends, debriefing myself with lattes, then flying on home September 6.

I am feeling very sad. I spent the day crying with people. There are a few here who are very sad to see me go. I’m glad I can grieve it. A year ago, no tears would come for anything. I’ve really grown (not aged, mind you) and changed in so many ways. Alaska has taught me to be independent and tough, while softening me to be molded in God’s hand.

I have no idea what I’ll do when I get home, or even where home will be. Still undecided. But then, I didn’t really know what I was going to do in Alaska, and God did amazing things for me. My dream of living and ministering in this village came true, against all odds. Remember, I was told repeatedly, “they don’t rent to white people in THAT village.” But here I am.

I went to the school today to say my goodbyes. There was much hugging and asking, “Why are you leaving, Miss Kim?” I blamed it on Leah.
“My little daughter misses me and needs me.”
“How old is she anyway?”
“Oh look, here comes Mrs. Johnson.”

Night before last I looked outside about midnight. There were more stars than I have EVER seen in my life. Too spectacular to describe. No moon, crystal air. With my binocs I saw the moons of Jupiter. Really. It was like a farewell present sent from above (literally). A final confirmation that God is great, God is good. And His revelation of Himself is not dependent on my “ministry”. All we have to do is look up and there He is, right over the village, right over everywhere.

I know there will be more grieving when I get home. But God will continue to be my comfort, my guide, my need-meeter in every way. I’m going to keep blogging, because……..

the real adventure is just beginning.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Matter of Trust

So I needed to go to town to buy some groceries and go to Michael’s for more mooelry supplies (mooelry is what I’m calling my jewelry made from moose parts. Don’t laugh, you’re getting a piece when I get home and you’d better wear it!).

I texted both Carol (in photo) and her husband, Brett, that anytime they wanted to drop by, I could use a ride. Carol texted back that one of them would be by for me that evening. It was Brett, with his son along, and we had a beautiful, smooth flight back to Anchorage.

Carol made a grand dinner (grilled salmon, imagine that) and the next morning I ran my errands.

The weather was starting to turn ugly: rainy, windy, foggy……the usual combination for canceled flights around here. I took my time getting back to their house because I was sure my journey home would be postponed (I’m used to this and I had brought extra everything and I was totally okay with it).

When I got to Carol’s about four, she was ready to fly me back. REALLY? (Was it something I said?) She had made some calls and was convinced the “moderate winds” were no problem. I think who she talked to meant “moderate winds considering we’re in a hurricane”, but Carol was undaunted. Let’s pack up and go. Who was I to question?

As I’ve mentioned before, Carol is an experienced pilot. So I started thinking about the issue of trust. Carol didn’t know what I was thinking, but she may have seen me starting to sweat. We fueled the plane, she made some more calls (these calls were starting to make me more nervous) and she smiled and said we’d be fine. So let’s go.

And I started thinking SERIOUSLY about trust! I was entrusting my life to a friend, when my instincts were telling me how sad my children would be when they heard about the crash. They’d say something like, “Didn’t Mom have enough sense not to go flying in a storm? It’s like bumming a ride with a drunk driver.”

But I trusted Carol. So I tightened my seat belt til I turned blue, whispered a prayer, tried not to look like a baby and off we went. Rain was pelting the windshield of the Little Biscuit and we were getting a little tossed. Carol kept reminding me that this was completely normal in these conditions. It wasn’t too reassuring. Flipping over and flying apart might also be “normal” in these conditions.

We hit a wind pocket or something and Carol actually bumped her head on the ceiling (but it’s probably not called a ceiling, but that doesn’t matter in this story). Something unanticipated was also happening. I was feeling sick. Dang it! I knew there were barf bags in the back, but if I reached for one I’d surely lose it. So I decided to focus on the horizon. But, of course, there was no horizon. Only fog and rain. So I just kept bobbing up and down and watching for moose. You can always spot a moose or two on this trip but I wondered if moose would be dumb enough to be out in this.

We arrived safe and sound. Al was there to welcome me home and drive me and my stuff to my house. Carol stayed a few minutes then took off again. I started to tell her to call me when she landed but it sounded too much like my mother and very uncool. I figured I’d hear if she went down. I’d be glad she dropped me off first.

Now I’ve been thinking: How is it that I could entrust my life to my friend Carol, even when I felt helpless and afraid. I just KNEW that she knew what she was doing. She’s been through it a million times and would NEVER put me (or herself) in harm’s way. I’ve only known her a few months, but I KNOW that about her.

So why is it so hard to trust the God of the universe, who has been faithful to me for 50-something years, with the simple day-to-day tasks of life? What’s with that???????