Tuesday, October 27, 2009


After we got back from England, we only had about a week to move out of our apartment, put our stuff in storage and move in with kind friends before we headed out again. We flew to Big Lake, Alaska for seven days where William candidated at a church there for a youth pastor position. They were very gracious, and we grew to care for them a great deal.

The pastor and his family took us out on the lake for a spin…

…and for some target practice. They love to shoot things out there.

We then stayed with another couple from the church, and they gave us a ride on their plane. Many Alaskans use a plane for transportation.

This is me very excited about being on the plane :)

This is Jim our host and pilot. He and his wife were very kind and generous to us.

That is our shadow…

Jim flew us to see some of the glaciers. They are so beautiful!

This is the famous Big Lake.

Some people live on little islands like this and in the winter time, they drive across the lake!

Ahhh, this is Prince Charming an Alpaca on Jim’s Alpaca farm!

Prince Charming is unusual because, he is the only alpaca who always gives a kiss to everyone he has not met yet.

Everyone gets a kiss, even prince William! Alpacas are not usually known to be social.

Jim and his wife Janet then took us out on the lake on their Barge.
It was beautiful.

This is their one room getaway cabin. They took this picture so that we could tell people that it was our new home. It was very cute.
William and I then had a nice talk while we paddled through the lake.

We then went with a couple of men including Pastor Ethan to the bush. It was a three hour flight north to a camp being built to teach the Bible to young people who live in the villages there.

I got to sit in the front with an excellent pilot who even let me drive (or fly) for a while. What a privilege!

William decided it was time for a nap.

There is the other plane that came as well. The planes only hold three or four people at a time.

There were so many beautiful scenes that I could not get enough pictures taken.

The plane we were using was an older plane, and I believe was built in the 50's. As we were about to land, the engine sputtered so that it failed. The real pilot took over and expertly did this and that and after a few tries eventually got the plane working so that it could land without crashing. Praise the Lord for his protection!

We landed on a runway that was mainly built by the church members. It took a great deal of work to accomplish this! One of the unique things about the bush is the mosquitoes that could be more accurately described as dinosaurs. Not only were they huge, but there were so many that hundreds, if not thousands, immediately attached themselves onto us as soon as we stepped off the plane. I have never loved bug spray more. It is like gold liquid out there!

This is my very first time driving a four wheeler. The men had gone to fuel the planes when they were needed back at the camp, so one of the workers suggested that I drive it up there to get Pastor Ethan (on the back) and William. William could not believe that I was driving, so he had to take a picture. Liam did not seem to mind the ride…thankfully!

While we were there, Pastor Ethan and his family drove us and Darren (music/ temp youth Pastor) on a sight seeing trip. The landscape is marvelous!

This ocean-like body of water actually drains everyday so that people can walk on it. Walkers beware, because when the water comes in there is no outrunning it. There is actually a schedule book for the times it comes in so that people can avoid drowning. This phenomenon is God-made and not man made. Incredible!

Here are some more glaciers.

Isn’t it strange that it is warm enough to be in shorts and see the glaciers at the same time??

We ate some lunch then looked for bears through the binoculars. We did see one, but he looked about the size of an ant.

They then threw us a barbeque so that we could get to know the youth a little more. After lunch, they gave the kids rides on the speedboat, and pulled kids on tubes.

Of course, William and Darren had to try it.

It is very hard to hold on.

Then there was the taco tube…

So far so good!

I chose to ride in the boat.

…and there they went!

It was a lovely time.

This is the famous moose. Moose meat feed many families here in Alaska. We even got to try moose meat lasagna!

We loved getting to know Pastor Ethan and his family.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

English History

We visited Rugby School an elite public school reserved only for the wealthy. This is Peter and Ruth. They are dear friends from Rugby Church. It is regarded (Wikipedia states) as one of the UK's leading bording schools and is one of the oldest public schools in England. Rugby School was founded in 1567 as a provision in the will of, Lawrence Sheriff, who had made his fortune supplying groceries to Queen Elizabeth I of England.
According to Wikipedia, It is one of the nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868 and one of a handful of prominent English Public Schools that can be said to have created the ideal of the Victorian gentleman and the importance of public schools as the training ground for service in the Empire in the nineteenth century.

The influence of Rugby and its pupils and masters in the nineteenth century was enormous and in many ways the stereotype of the English public school is a reworking of Arnold's Rugby. Don’t you just love Wikipedia? This school is full of history.

Before indoor plumbing, all of the students had to come out here to wash up. Talk about cold mornings!

This school is still known as one of the best in the country and seen as a leading innovator in education.

Look at that doorway!

The famous Dr. Arnold.

What a view...

Before they graduated, all the students carved their names on their school desks. They would have gotten in trouble if they got caught, but it was something of a tradition among the students. Some of these students became famous.

What a beautiful classroom!

This is where they hold chapels, and that is the organ that I am looking at. Wow.

Here is William imitating William Web Ellis (1806 –1872) who people claim invented the game of Rugby. He is said to have been tired of kicking the ball, so he decided to pick it up and run with it. That was the beginning of Rugby. He must have had a lot of influence to just change the game rules on a whim!

…and that is William being tackled by Frans.

What a stud-muffin!

This is John Wycliffe’s Church. The Catholic Church hated him so much that they had his bones dug up from his grave, burned them, and the ashes were thrown into the Swift River. Wow, that is a lot of hate. Good thing we don’t have to fear what man can do to our body. Wycliffe’s was with the Lord at that time.

Of course, they love those pulpit pictures. The architectural structure in this building is amazing! A ton of work went into building it.

There I am…climbing again. Don’t you just love stairs??

We climbed up to see where the bell is rung. It used to be rung manually by ropes, but it is now mechanically run.

We then climbed up higher…

...to the roof!

Another great view!

There is William next to the steeple.

At long last, our visit was over, and the church people gathered around us to bid us farewell.