The Warren Family
Greetings in the Name of the Lord,
The months of April and May passed by slowly, but they always do with the a breakup of the ice on the rivers seeming to take forever and a day. With my shoulder getting better, but still having to be easy on it, I got pretty antsy, praise God for a patient wife! I am very appreciative for your prayers for my health. I have managed to get by without a surgery so far, Thank God.
The months of inactivity have allowed me to reflect on many things, one thing being patience. It seems that the ministry has slowed down these last two and a half years, and it is easy to get discouraged… but all of the scriptures about waiting on the Lord came flooding back: Psalm 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”. When my expectations in the ministry, health, response of people to sermons, etcetera, are not met, I tend to get discouraged, but then when I remember that God has heard my prayers concerning these things, and that the goings on in my life are his answers to my prayers, my expectations change, they become focused on God and being content with where I am and what is going on. When my expectation is from God and not my own selfish desires from a worldly context, my soul is at rest. I know his promises in the Scriptures: Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”. Keep plugging away, all of you servants of the Lord out there!
As spring turned into summer and June arrived, things got a little hot out here, literally! Until the last half of June, it was as dry as cracker juice out here, with many fires catching up right around the church. The first one was set on the church property, but we were able to use 4 fire extinguishers, shovels, and buckets of water to extinguish the fire, it was within 30 feet of the church by the time the fire was put out. A wild fire started 3 miles from town, but it was burning away from town due to the wind, and burned out when it reached the Yukon River. The third fire was started by some kids in the abandoned store right across the road from the church, which a visiting preacher and myself were able to get under control for awhile, but due to tardiness on the volunteer fire department’s part, flared up again, and consumed the building, but thankfully the wind became calm, so it did not jump the road to the church, nor burn the homes right around it. Then the big one came: a wildfire started 25 miles up the Andreafski River from the village, and with the wind behind it and dry conditions, burned it’s way toward us. When it got within 5 miles of the village, Rebecca and the kids evacuated and flew over to the Village of Napakiak, to stay with her sister and brother in law; after they left, I helped fight the fire, clearing fire lanes and helping work on bulldozers to keep them running. After the fire jumped some fire lanes, it got within 2 ½ miles of the village, but then God changed the wind, and 100 additional smokejumpers and hotshots flew in, and were able to halt its advance and turn it back on itself. Thank God for his protection and your prayers! I had our boat loaded with camping gear, important papers, our valuables, and was ready to get out of Dodge, but just when it seemed all hope was lost, everything took a turn for the better. No amount of money could make the fire turn, but your prayers were heard by God, the Master of the Wind, if the wind hadn’t changed, everything would have been up in smoke. Everyone who attended church during this time seemed especially attentive to the messages.
In the midst of evacuating, Rebecca’s Granny passed away, and due to our chaotic schedule and lack of funds, she was unable to fly down for the funeral. Please pray for her and the family.
After the fire was contained in mid June, I flew over to the Village of Bethel, to meet up with Rebecca and the kids, then flew to the road system for doctor and dentist appointments. A supporting church, Immanuel Baptist Church, of Kenai, Alaska, put us up in their prophet’s chamber while we took a three day breather in the Kenai Peninsula, it was nice to take a little break after the passing of two relatives recently and fighting the fire. We are appreciative of Independent Baptist Church of Anchorage for letting us borrow their church van to use, and Immanuel Baptist Church for putting us up. While in Kenai, I was asked to preach at the church there.
While on the road system, we did a lot of shopping in preparation for our youth camp coming up later this summer, buying up things at prices far less than in the village, then hauling cargo to the airport to fly it out. A crew from some churches in Texas will be flying out to help with this endeavor.
In Christ, Israel J. Warren
The Warrens Cell: 907-438-6446 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: PO Box 143 Saint Mary’s, AK 99658
Sending Church: Ind. Bap. Church of Anchorage, 1801 E. 68th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99507 Phone: 907-562-3004
Support Address: Faith Baptist Church c/o M.A.J.D. (include missionary’s name in note on check) PO Box 329 Cropwell, AL 35054 Phone: 205-365-3165
NOTE: Please send any personal correspondence, such as cards and letters, directly to our PO Box. Thank you!