The Warren Family
Greetings in the Name of the Lord,
Six happenings of note occurred in January, February, and March: first of all, an old injury to my shoulder started acting up, with a torn tendon in my right shoulder. I helped pickax quite a few graves in the permafrost and rock this winter, and drove over 3,000 miles over rough terrain on a snow machine, and these activities caused the tendon to tear. It will take 8 to 10 weeks to heal up, so please pray for healing to go well and my shoulder to get strong again. In the meantime I cannot split firewood, drive a snow machine, lift heavy objects, etcetera, so Rebecca and Jubal are taking up the slack. Pray for me to heal up by spring breakup, as I will need to get firewood out of the river at high water right after breakup, and I will need to get ready for subsistence fishing with drift nets in late May and early June so we can stock up on salmon for the year, especially since there is a food shortage here on the Lower Yukon again, with the shelves being bare very often these last few months, prices for food going even higher than before, and the price of fuel oil for heating the parsonage and church sky rocketing. I badly need to level the building, and plan on putting trim up in the church auditorium this summer. We are praying I do not have to have a surgery, as I do not have time to sit around this summer!
Secondly, our Toyo Stove on the church side melted some of it’s wires, and quit working, which is related to the third happening of note in February, which is that the church almost caught on fire when the 100 amp main breaker and bus bars in the meter box melted due to a power surge! I just happened to be up at one in the morning and noticed the power on the church side of the building was off, investigated, ran out in the snow and yanked out the breaker before it could catch on fire! Thank God for safety! We still have power on the parsonage side of the building, thank God, and are able to run some extension cords over to the church to keep the Toyo Stoves going so the sinks and toilet don’t freeze. We are having to keep the water running to keep the water pipes and sewage pipes under the buildings from freezing, as the heat tapes which warm them don’t work right now. The Alaska Village Electric Co-op has told me that when they disconnect power so that the meter box can be replaced, they will not reconnect power until we move the location of the meter box from an eve side of the building to a gable side: this different location will create a lot of extra work, as a new service cable will have to be ran from the new meter box to the new 200 amp breaker panel in the church, and then a smaller service cable ran from the church to the 100 amp breaker panel in the parsonage, as well as a host of other modifications. W are thankful for those who have given towards this need.
The fourth notable event was a sad one: our next door neighbor, a young man named John, committed suicide, and I helped dig the grave and was asked to conduct the funeral services. Part of his family is Russian Orthodox, and part is Catholic, but neither religion wanted to help out due to his cause of death. So sad. I preached that if you had the second birth, there is no need to fear the second death, which no one attending had ever heard of before. Two weeks later, his 7 month old son died from suffocation, and I was asked to conduct this funeral as well. Pray for souls to be saved. Since the corona virus became a thing, the Russian Orthodox and Catholic priests have limited their trips to villages, and I have been able to minister to many families, preaching the Gospel many times as the opportunity arises.
The fifth noteworthy topic for January and February, is that I have been witnessing to several men who travel great distances at a camp I set up many miles away from the village, I call it the Covid Counseling Camp. It is a wall tent with a small wood stove, and you can get it above freezing most of the time, as long as it isn’t colder than 30 degrees below zero. Pray specifically for Jeremy and William to accept Christ as their Saviour.
Last of all, in March, my oldest brother passed away, and I flew down to Florida in time to help build the casket and conduct the funeral. I was able to make it out of the village between ground blizzards, as the 50mph winds let up for about 4 hours so a plane could land. It was easier to preach his funeral than most of the ones I preach in the villages, as he had a testimony of salvation, thank God! We appreciate all of the prayers for the family.
Spring breakup is right around the corner in May, and we are excited about starting up the youth camp this summer! As soon as the ice goes out, we are going to start making boat trips downriver to clear land by hand. The goal is to get two acres cleared for setting up the camp, playing field games, as well as having a good field of view so we can see bears and moose before they are right up in our business so we can dissuade them from getting closer and endangering the kids who come to camp. We are grateful for those who are helping out with the expenses of buying supplies for the youth camp and the fuel that will be bought to travel to and from the camp, as gas is $7.00 a gallon and rising.
Pray for the teens in the village, as the Corona Virus lockdowns have been rough on them. We started a teen meeting after Wednesday night services, and the teens that have been coming to church have been asking a lot of questions when they bump into us: one boy asked what repentance means, another girl has been struggling with depression, and talking to Rebecca. A lot of teens have been coming to our teen meeting, as Rebecca purchased a ping pong table with some of her babysitting money. It is the first ping pong table ever in the village!
Deacon Greg Jacobs and Brother Matt MacDonald, two men from our home church, Independent Baptist Church of Anchorage, flew out this past October, and helped level the building enough to get through the winter. While here, they assessed the poor condition of our foundation, which is thirty 6×6 pillars with ninety-six 2×6 cross braces. Deacon Jacobs, who has much experience in construction, got the ball rolling, and is putting together a system of screw jacks to go on top of each pillar, and cables for cross bracing. This will make leveling the building much easier, as I will not have to lug around six 20 ton bottle jacks and logs as long as 8 feet to put the jacks on to level the building, and will not have to take down and put up ninety-six 14 foot long cross braces. The cost of all of these materials and the price of shipping to have them barged out is $20,000.00, of which we have $3,000.00 in hand. We are praying the rest of the funds will come in before mid May, so we can purchase the materials, and get them on the first barge coming down the river in June, after the ice breaks up and goes out. There are a lot of verses in the Bible about having a good foundation, and if we are to get more years of service out of this building the Lord has provided, we must have a better system for leveling it each spring when the permafrost which has up-heaved under the building begins to thaw. Right now, there are places where we have one inch gaps between the tops of our walls and the ceiling. Please pray for this need to be met.
In Christ, Israel J. Warren
The Warrens Cell: 907-438-6446 Email: email@example.com 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!