Greetings, in the name of our Lord.
Things here at VFCM have been quite hectic this month. Terrie and I have just returned from a trip to the lower '48 where we met with a number of churches and supporters and picked up a van load of donated building supplies. It was a great encouragement to meet with some of you and it is our hope to visit as many of you as we can in the coming months and years. We thank you for your prayers for VFCM over the many years.
We were only gone for a month and it is simply amazing how the foliage has taken over in such a short time.
Just as the plants and bugs know that the summer is short and accelerate their activity, we too are attempting to pack almost a years worth of work into just four months. Come June 21st the days start getting shorter and we begin to hear that voice in our mind whispering; "Winter is coming". By the time August rolls around, it becomes a shout.
Lord willing, we will be able to finish repairs to our transmitter building in Nenana and install the standby generator systems that were donated to KIAM and KAGV before the snow flies.
The KAGV power situation has always been a problem, with frequent power outages that last for several hours. Our previous generator caught fire last year and so we have gone off the air quite a lot since then. A replacement unit was given to us last month and a volunteer in Big Lake has offered to help us install it. God is so good...
At KIAM we have had a new (to us) generator for over a year, but the installation is somewhat more complicated so we have not gotten it online yet. Pray that God will give us the time and wisdom to complete that project as well.
The old KAGV generator after it "ran away" and caught fire.
It had failed to automatically start during a power failure when there was no one at the station. The next day a station volunteer manually started the generator at which time it severely malfunctioned. We never did find a reason for it not to have started the previous day, other than God had prevented it.
We are so thankful that God protected us from what could have been a significant disaster. The generator is only a few feet from the KAGV studio and without someone present to shut it down and extinguish the fire it could have burnt down the building.
Another project we are working on this summer is the renovation of one of our missionary houses. The house had sustained significant water damage from frozen pipes and has been sitting vacant for seven years. God has provided through the generosity of several folks, everything needed to complete the project and it should be done by the time winter sets in. This comes none too soon, as the only other house we were using is no longer fit for habitation and we have decided to close it down for good.
The housing situation in Nenana is something that has been a matter of concern for us as of late. On our other fields such as Big Lake there is an ample amount of decent housing for rent. As well, in Bethel through the generosity of our supporters we were able to build a nice duplex next to the station about ten years ago.
However, in Nenana there is really no decent rentable housing available. Nearly all the good housing is rented up by the school district or social services personnel and seldom comes up on the open market. What is left is quite substandard, being rodent and mold infested and often has been flooded out at some point.
When VFCM was founded in 1983, we needed quick and affordable housing for our missionaries. So, the mission obtained a number of 1960's vintage mobile homes which were then placed on our properties and added onto over the years. Unfortunately, after over 30 years of exposure to a climate for which they were never designed these "houses" are at the end of their life and cannot be salvaged. Out of the three mobiles we still have, one has partially collapsed, one is not far behind, and the remaining one was never finished or lived in due to its poor location and condition. So this leaves us with only one properly built house for our Nenana staff which, thanks to God's provision, we were able to renovate.
Do be in prayer for VFCM and our board of directors as we look to God for a solution to this problem. Just as we are trusting that God will send us more people to serve here, we also are trusting that He will provide a place for them to live as well. God's timing is always perfect and we know that He will supply what we need at exactly the time we need it.
On a personal note, June marks the one year anniversary of my appointment as the Executive Director of Voice for Christ Ministries. It has been a great honor and privilege to serve and to witness God do so many miraculous things during our time here. I look forward to seeing what God will do in the next year as he builds His church here in this great land.
One other thing that I wanted to mention is that all of our current administrative staff, myself included, serve as unpaid volunteers. We have retirement or other income that allows us to minister here. What that means is that the mission has no paid staff overhead that we need to fund. So, 100% of what you give to VFCM goes directly toward the operational expenses of VFCM, the stations, or the missionaries that you support.
As always, we thank you for your faithful prayers and support. It is such an encouragement for us to know that folks are praying for the people of Alaska and for VFCM.
Blessings in Christ,
VFCM Executive Director.