The Warren Family
Aplril/May 2020 Newsletter
Rebecca and Nathan made it back! Praise God! If you recall our last prayer letter, Rebecca and our one year old, Nathan, had flown down to Florida for her sister’s wedding, and while she was down there, all kinds of travel bans went into effect, and RAVN Airlines, the ones who had a direct flight from the road system of Alaska to the bush village of Saint Mary’s where we live, went bankrupt. These unforeseen circumstances prolonged her stay in Florida, but after several weeks delay, she arrived back in Alaska in mid April, and then had to quarantine on the road system for two weeks. Some friends of ours graciously let them use an apartment up on a mountain, which saved us thousands in motel bills. Some Christians we have never met learned through a mutual friend of my wife’s plight, and helped purchase tickets from the road system to the bush village of Bethel, and from Bethel to Saint Mary’s on a small plane. It was a great relief to see them step off of the airplane after her two week trip turned into a six week trip! She arrived back on April 29th. Rebecca wasn’t quite out of the woods yet, as she and Nathan still had to do another two week quarantine in Saint Mary’s! We are grateful to everyone who helped out along the way! God bless!
Due to RAVN going bankrupt, and the village council putting harsh travel restrictions in place so that private airplanes were prohibited from landing, for about 3 weeks in March and April there was no way to fly on civilian airplanes to the road system of Alaska, with the military sending out C 130 cargo planes and Blackhawk helicopters for life threatening medical emergencies, such as heart attacks for example, and for bodies of people who passed away, so that they could get them to the hospital or coroner, respectively. Mail slowed to a trickle, with food becoming very scarce in the village store, and mail ordered food becoming virtually unobtainable due to the large number of people in the Lower 48 quarantining and ordering food by mail as well. The Governor of Alaska even opened up an emergency moose hunting season to alleviate the food shortage in the bush villages on the Lower Yukon River. Several churches and individuals learned of the situation out here and sent boxes of food, which I know was a hardship due to the travel restrictions and lack of food during the Corona Virus lockdown. We were able to pass some of the food out to members of the church and neighbors as well, seeing their need was as great as ours. A big thank you to everyone who contributed! Praise God!
The new snowmachine arrived, and allowed us to pass out food and firewood to needy families during these past hard months; it has been a huge blessing! We are looking forward to using it in the ministry for many years to come. Jubal and Kezia, having been cooped up in the house with me for a month and a half, were ecstatic to finally get out of quarantine to accompany me on firewood cutting expeditions. I appreciate greatly those who helped purchase and ship it! God is Good!
As with many of our supporting churches, we have had to come up with unique ways to hold church services, spreading the rows of chairs far apart, having some people in the auditorium, with others in the smaller rooms, such as the utility room, office, nursery, foyer, and kitchen, doing church online and by phone, etc… we are praying for everyone to have patience during these times. Please pray for me to have wisdom, as we can be banished from the village for not following the ordinances laid down by the village council.
It is finally spring, with the ice in the Yukon River breaking up the first week of May, and leaves appearing on the trees at the end of the third week of May. Temperatures were still getting into the thirties occasionally at night as May closed. We were looking forward to several groups of people coming out this summer for special meetings and Vacation Bible School, but all of these trips have been canceled due to the Corona Virus.
Israel J. Warren