Friday, September 4, 2009

Mountains of Savoonga

In mid August I was able to go up to the mountain chain south of Savoonga and climb to the top of one of the smaller ones. What a view!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sunday School has begun and This year we have Sivoy, Heidi and others excited to led the children in this weekly time of song, Bible Story, and craft.

Savoonga Youth Led VBS- August 2009

At the begining of August we were able to have the first Vacation Bible School organized and led by the Savoonga Presbyterian Church's youth group. What a blessing! They helped prepare and run the 5 days of VBS using the curriculum amd materials sent by Eagle River. This was a big step for our youth and we were excited to see some of them grow in their faith. We hade a time of songs, Bible story, crafts, coloring, games and snack. Each day we had from 35-48 children come and we made a total of 64 name tags.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sivoy, our adult youth group leader had a good time with Owen and Logan and being at camp again (his 11th time in 9 years!)
There were lots of fun activities in the lake that were good during the hot days of camp.

We all enjoyed games and activities in the woods surrounding the camp. This is the dinning hall that overlooks the lake where we ate wonderful food!

I am talking during morning chapel time in the camp chapel.

We had a wonderful time at Bingle Camp’s Adventure camp this past July 5-11, 2009. There were 18 of us all together who went from Savoonga. My family- Kami, Owen and Logan and I went with the 13 youth, Nick who stayed the rest of the summer as an adult mail counselor and Sivoy who is the Bingle Camp coordinator for Savoonga and our church youth group leader. I, Jacob, was the camp pastor who gave the chapel talks and devotional times. We could see where God was using the camp with its caring counselors to grow the faith of the youth who attended. We thank all the church’s and individuals who contributed money to enable us to travel to and attend Bingle camp near Fairbanks!

Every one was then divided into their age groups with their teachers for more Bible study, activities, and craft time. After that was a time for games, snack, and then our closing songs and prayer. Lives were changed forever by the power of the Holy Spirit working through this team of youth and adults!

Then they would act out the Bible story in an improvisational skit then Brian would share about the meaning of the Bible passage.

They would start with an exciting time of song and motions

We had a wonderfull time with the youth group from 1st Korean Presbyterian Church of Anchorage when they came to conduct outreach services and led a Vacation Bible School in our church (June 15-24, 2009)! There were 11 members of their team and they connected well with the youth and children in the community. At each day of VBS 65-85 children attended and the evening outreach services grew in attendance each night attracting many youth and young adults from our village. God used them powerfully to evangelize the Good News of salvation and life in Jesus Christ!

Above is the new school which is now completely finished and will open August 24, 2009. Many are excited for this new facility. Below is a picture of the new playground with the new school! Next to it is a basket ball court! What a blessing for the youth and teenagers in the community.

Below is a picture of the old playground.

This last March-May (2009) was a time of good hunting for seal and walrus. Meat is put in freezers or hung out to dry (in the pictures above and below you can see seal meat, walrus meat and breast meat from some of the birds that are hunted hanging out to dry.

Below you can see the carcasses of two walrus after the meat, tusks, teeth and other items have been removed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

(These pictures were taken June 2008) Traveling around Savoonga is done by foot, ATV ("Honda" is what the locals call them), or snow machine.
This is the front entrance of the church with the church bell and the surrounding homes in the older section of the village. The snow covered mountains are in the distance.

This is the front of the church building (these pictures were taken June 2008) and you can see my wife Kami and our twin boys Owen and Logan on the boardwalks which are very helpful when the tundra is wet and swampy.

How you get to Savoonga is by one of the above planes which leaves daily out of Nome, AK. This is Pastor Jacob Meadows with sons Logan and Owen.

This is inside the sanctuary of Savoonga Presbyterian Church during my ordination service in October 2008.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lucy Apatiki is one of the CLP's of Gamble Presbyterian Church in Gamble, AK the other village on St. Lawrence Island. She also helps those struggling with addictions in the village.
Barbara Kogassagoon has been an elder of the Church and was a midwife who delivered many babies in Savoonga over the years. She often gives testimony of God's power in words and songs during the worship services.

Sherrie Kulowiyi is one of our deacons and an active member of Presbyterian Women. The Holy Spirit has gifted her through her poems and words of encouragement.

Mary Ann Wongittilin has served as elder many times and has been a CLP for our church and active on Presbytery Committees.

On the left is Lane Rookok, who has been a elder and a CLP for the church. God has given him a powerful ministry of prayer and testimony to God's power. On the right is Pastor Jacob Meadows who began serving in Savoonga in September 2008.

These are pictures from my ordination service in October 2008. I am greatly moved and humbled by the powerful faith and testimonies of God's love and care by the members of Savoonga Presbyterian Church. In the picture above is one of our elders Reggie Wongittilin who plays the guitar and sings and Gertrude Toolie one of our deacons and song leaders. They both have written beautiful praise songs in Yupik and English and it is a blessing to have them sing during worship services and special events.
Above is another of our elders, Henry Noongwook with one of his grandchildren. He is also gifted at singing and participates in the traditional Yupik drumming and chant.

Reggie often shares from the Scriptures and from God's working in his life. Reggie is also a gifted carver of ivory tusks taken from the walrus that have been hunted around the island.

Russell Gologergen is another of our elders and active with the whaling and hunting crew of which he is a member.

Janet Noongwook is also an elder of our church who, with Gertrude Toolie and other women from the village were apart of a traveling song and comedy group who raised money for different causes in the village. She is a gifted seamstress of the traditional style of clothing on the island.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Surrounding Beach, Boats, and Mountain range

These pictures were taken in October 2008 before the Bering Sea iced over and ended the crashing waves.
The mountain range in the distance with the weather beacon at the left.

These are the aluminum boats used for whaling and hunting seal, walrus, birds, and fishing when ever there is enough open water throughout the the Spring, Summer, Fall, and occasionally winter such as Thanksgiving 2008 when Savoonga landed 2 whales a few miles from the village before the ice closed in.

It is May 30th, 2009, the snow is melting around the village and the sun is shining! Savoonga Presbyterian Church can be seen between the white fuel tanks and the gray water storage tank.

The volcanic mountain range that stretches south and west of the village.

The cliffs and the Bering Sea full of sea ice near the village.

This is the highest peek (just over 2000 feet) on St. Lawrence Island around 8 miles from Savoonga.

This is a picture of part of the village with the snow melting quickly in the end of May.