Life throws many interesting twists and turns our way but what happened today is uniquely Alaskan. This morning I flew across Kachemak Bay to a remote native village called Port Graham. Several of the students from ABI were performing a Christmas program for the village church and I went along to take pictures.

Our group was too large to fit into the small 4 passenger plane, so I agreed to wait for the second plane ride back to Homer. When the plane returned, however, the weather had changed for the worst. We quickly loaded up the plane and took off but after circling several times, our pilot realized that it was not safe to proceed so we were forced to land and wait out the weather in the village.

The weather did not improve but rather to the contrary, it grew progressively worse. We spent the day with one of the Christian families in the village. As though our day had not been eventful enough, this evening we noticed a sulfur smell in the air. There is anctive volcano in the area, known as Augustine, that has erupted and covered this entire area in ash before. Lately, it has been more active than usual and the state has been monitoring it closely. Therefore, the smell of sulfur in the village could only mean one thing: Augustine was restless.

The people of the village were tense and calling each other to keep up on the latest news about the volcanic activity. Some were concerned that we would have to move to higher ground and we were told to be ready. The people of the village eventually concluded that tonight’s strong winds merely blew some of the volcanic emissions all the way to the village. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief but there is still a growing concern about the activities of Augustine.

So that was my day. Welcome to Alaska. Okay, so it is not like this every day but there are certainly one’s fair share of unique experiences to be had here in Alaska! I just hope that I am able to get back to Homer in time to fly home on Wednesday!


Alaska? What Am I Doing Here?


Much to my own surprise, life’s often interesting path has brought me to Alaska. For those of who wonder what in the world I am doing in a place like Alaska, let me explain.

It all started last summer when an old friend from college visited me in Minneapolis and told me of his plans to teach at Alaska Bible Institute in the fall. Knowing of my love for teaching, he invited me to come up in the winter and to teach a few of his classes for a couple of weeks. Although I thought it more desirable to visit Alaska in the summer, it seemed that the opportunity to teach the Bible was well worth the trip.