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.