Winter is supposed to be slow here in Alaska but for some reason we haven’t been able to slow down. It was great to have Adam’s folks up for the holidays, Grandparents are great baby-sitters! Adam and his Dad were able to get a lot of projects done that have been on the list for awhile and Randy was a guest on The Bluegrass Hour for a couple of weeks too. Deborah and Bonnie were a big help to Lyndy and Sabrina. It’s nice to have family close by even if it was only for a short time.
The Bluegrass Hour is going great and Adam’s Dad has quite a fan club. Listeners really enjoyed what Randy added to the program based on the letters that have come in. Christmas day there was a two hour “Bluegrass Christmas” that also received a lot of response. Adam and Randy shared the Christmas story and played a lot of bluegrass music and of course talked about the music and it’s background. Sorry that VFCM’s internet feed has been turned off, I know many of you have mentioned that you miss not being able to listen in. By the way there has been no new developments with getting it back up and running.
AWANA and Sunday School continue to go well. We had the largest crowd so far this week at AWANA. It’s wonderful to hear the kids quoting scripture and knowing the answers to basic doctrine questions. Some of the kids do not attend church anywhere and it’s neat to know that the parents are helping their kids learn the material.
Adam is helping with the Annual Inspection and engine change for VFCM’s airplane. What started out as a simple inspection has turned into a BIG project. We found that the engine’s camshaft was close to failing and with only 200 hours before overhaul it was determined that now was the time to fix it. While waiting for the rebuilt engine to get here from the “Lower 48” other items were found that needed attention; corrosion under the paint here and there, patching damage where the battery box had leaked and corroded a hole through the skin, replacing the baggage door, etc… It has been nice to have a hangar to work in although it’s in Fairbanks, the hour drive each way beats working outside in the cold.
Speaking of airplanes, the latest word from Maule is that things continue to progress. The next step in certification is the landing gear and we should know by the first part of February. We hope to have a M-9 (higher gross weight) but the M-7 is a great bird too. Continue to pray that things will be finished up soon and that there are no more hold up’s, also pray for patience. I don’t want to look back on this and say, “if we had only waited another month”. We really need to have a plane by this September, we are chomping at the bit to get out and start what God has called us to do.
One final note. Some close friends of ours that live in the “bush” had tragedy strike their family this week. One of them was in Fairbanks getting ready to travel internationally and was involved in an auto accident that took the life of his nephew. Colin was eight years old and accepted Jesus two years ago so it’s kind of a bitter sweet time for the family. Pray for the Turner family.
Hopefully by now you have received the paper edition of The White Pages with our yearly picture. If you haven’t, e-mail us and we will get one on the way. We are always surprised at how long it takes to get the almost 300 letters in the mail. It reminds us how grateful we are for the internet!
February was a busy month. Lyndy has been helping with the statistics for the local basketball games that are aired on the radio. It’s a great way to see the games for free! We both continue to help with AWANA and our weekly commitment at the radio station. Adam had the opportunity to preach at church one Sunday as the Pastor was “outside” visiting ill family members. Adam also helped get VFCM‘s airplane back in the air after an extensive annual inspection and engine change. Now that their plane is flying Adam has helped fly to several villages with VFCM staff for maintenance of the remote translators. It’s been great to get back in the air and see some friends scattered around here and there.
On the subject of airplanes, Maule tells us that things are still progressing. We have yet to hear how the landing gear test are going. Please continue to pray that testing will proceed quickly and that Maule will be able to start production on our plane. We really need to have it here in Alaska by this September at the latest and we may have to settle for the lighter useful load model (M7 vs. M9). Many of you have asked what our plans are for a hangar. We have several plans in the works all with varying price tags, so far we still lack sufficient funding for even the simplest shelter. Hangar construction is the major project planned for this summer, we will keep you posted.
We have on opportunity to go and visit some close friends that live in the “Bush” this month. They own an airplane and we will hitch a ride with them on a couple of their freight runs. We plan to spend five days visiting and helping with “projects”. It will also be a great test run for us and how things will work when we get our plane up here. Pray for safety and a great time of fellowship.
An update on Sabrina. She is walking and almost talking, getting into everything and is a great joy to have around. It’s amazing how fast she is growing and how quickly she learns. God surely is able to teach us so many things through children and it is neat to see from a new prospective the parent child relationship that is so often brought up in scriptures.
Spring is in the air!
We hit +40f today, the snow is melting, the sun is up longer and we haven’t seen -30f in almost a month. Although it still gets below zero at night from time to time for all practical purposes winter is over!
We have had the opportunity to get out of town a couple of times and visit with folks we have meet through the radio station. You ask how did we get out when we don’t have the plane? Well we were able to hitch a ride to the Turner’s place in their airplane on a couple of freight runs. It took two trips to get us and all of our stuff for a week out to their place. (Perfect example why we need our Maule) We were able to drive out to visit some other folks. These trips have been an opportunity for encouragement, answering questions, Spiritual growth, and continuing friendships for everyone involved. This has been especially good for us because we were feeling a little discouraged about not being able to get on with what God has called us to do.
I know all of you are wondering what the latest is on the Maule. They hope to finish certification by August, and we still hope to take delivery before winter, this is still very tentative. The wings are done and they are certifying the fuselage now. Please continue praying for a speedy process. Another prayer concern is the cost of insurance both for the airplane and for our lot at the airport. Since Sept. 11 the aviation insurance industry has had major rate increases. We just received word that our property insurance jumped over 25% this year and it appears that “full coverage” insurance for the airplane is not financially feasible. Please pray for wisdom.
We are expecting the arrival of baby #2 October 5th! Lyndy is doing great and we are excited about the new addition to the family. I guess this is one way to see how many folks use our web-site to keep up on our latest news.
We are excited that spring is here. The river is flowing almost ice free now although there are a few reports of flooding down river it’s been a relatively easy “breakup”. The birds are on their way back; swans, geese, sand hill cranes and the like. Lyndy and baby are doing good, she says this is the easy part and that sometimes she even forgets that she’s pregnant. We will keep you informed as to their progress. Oh, and Adam and Sabrina are OK too.
Many of you have asked some of the same questions so we will update you on several of them.
The insurance for the airport lot went up 10% vs. 25% after some negotiating, still hard to swallow though. They said it is a result of the post 9/11 world we live in.
On the Hangar front: We are still a long way from being able to fund even the most basic shelter for the airplane. We are getting close to the cutoff point for this construction season.
An update on the airplane. The following is an excerpt of an e-mail from the folks at Maule.
The engineer we are working with in Albany (GA) is formulating a drop test program, and that we will be doing that soon. Then we have to do a flutter test, and then we must formulate a flight test and do the flight program. We still have a little ways to go, but I will keep you informed as we progress. Please pray for favorable test results, favor with the FAA, and favor with the engineer.
We haven’t received an updated delivery date. Keep Praying!
With the new addition arriving in October some have asked about housing and “ground transportation”. We plan to move the cabin this summer and it appears that we will not be able to put it at the airport (many factors involved) so we are looking for a city lot with water, sewer, power and phone to purchase. The loft can be extended to form a full second story allowing for more room (including a bathroom). As for the car situation we are rapidly out growing the truck and Subaru. The Subaru has a bad turbo and it appears that it is not cost effective to repair it so add that to your prayer list too please.
AWANA is over for the summer. We really enjoyed the chance to see how well the kids have hid God’s word in their hearts. The break will be nice but it’s worth all the effort.
We are still plugging along, we have had several positive contacts with folks concerning the ministry and meeting new folks regularly. Sometimes we think things are happening so slow and that we are not having much of an outreach. Then God will show us something we didn’t even know was going on and we realize how foolish we are. Thank you for your part in our lives and thank you for your prayers.
Well it’s definitely summer time in Alaska. There is 24 hours of daylight and the bugs are out in full force. Matter of fact the bugs are so bad that several communities are buying Mosquito Magnets, fancy propane powered traps that claim to collapse the mosquito population in a matter of weeks. Adam went out with a friend to his bear bait station a few days ago and the bugs were so bad that the only way not to lose your mind was to wear head nets and even then if you stopped for more than a few seconds they would swarm to the point that you couldn’t see where you were going and the noise was deafening. But that’s Alaska in the summer time.
Speaking of Alaska in the summer time we are having a rather bad fire season up here too. To give you an idea of how bad, 31% of the total acres burned so far this season in the U.S. have been in Alaska. A few friends of ours in the bush have lost cabins and others have been threatened by the fires. Even though Alaska has had more acres burn than any other state so far we have been fortunate that most of the fires have been in unpopulated or sparsely populated areas, the fire service has let most of them burn with very little intervention.
Michael Williams, a friend from Georgia, was up to visit and help a couple of weeks ago. He and Adam got a lot done at the airport, building a work bench in the container and servicing the truck and car and generator. Michael also helped us with the VBS that our church was having each morning. There were an average of 40 kids each day and several of them talked with adults about becoming a Christian. It was encouraging to see almost 10% of the total population of Nenana attending VBS! On Friday we had a cookout for all the kids and their families, Adam and Michael cooked over 180 hot dogs and 150 hamburgers! It was a great time for the families to see what their kids had learned during the week. Pray that we will have opportunities to follow up with those who attended. Thanks Michael for all the help!
We were recently invited out to a friend’s cabin for a “fly-in”, we were able to drive. A group of Kitfox owners (small two place home built) from all over North America were making a flight to Alaska and arranged to stop in for a visit at their place. It was fun to see these folks and hear stories of their adventure. Adam had the opportunity to answer some of their questions about flying in Alaska and help them pick the best routes to get from here to there. While on the subject of flying; Adam had the chance to do some more flying for VFCM last week. Their construction project in Bethel is almost complete and they needed tools and extra materials brought back to Nenana. Adam also had a chance to fly a Maule not too long ago. He had to get his biannual flight review this month and we found a guy in Fairbanks that does flight instruction in Maules, what a great performing airplane! (Adam is still grinning from ear to ear) That flight let us kill two birds with one stone. Adam is current for another two years and he also logged some Maule time that chips away at the type training required for insurance when we get our Maule. Speaking of our Maule the factory now says that they hope to have the certification complete by Thanksgiving. Please continue to pray for speed in this whole process, we really need to get our airplane up here soon! Also pray for patience during this time of waiting.
We won’t be building a hangar this summer. There is not enough time to finish something before winter even if we had the finances. We still plan to move the cabin to a city lot we anticipate purchasing with personal money. That will give us a lot more stability in living arrangements down the road and it won’t be dependent on the good will of the city like living at the airport would. We will have city water and sewer with power and phone which alleviates some of the concerns for the airport lot.
On other fronts:
Lyndy and the baby continue to do well. We went for an ultrasound last week and it appears that we have another little girl on the way.
We have had an answer to prayer! We have been given an ’89 diesel 4X4 Suburban, the catch is it’s in North Carolina. We are trying to figure out how to get Adam down there so he can drive the nine days back to Alaska before the end of summer. The cost of the trip is far less than buying something comparable up here.
Adam is teaching the adult Sunday school class at church for the summer and continues to do the Bluegrass Hour on Saturday nights.
Lyndy is doing children’s church and getting to know some of the ladies in town with Sabrina.
Well, where do we start…… The easiest way not to forget anything is to go chronologically.
Adam flew almost 30 hours for VFCM in July. That included two trips to Bethel and flying to several villages in Alaska’s interior over a two week period. There was a group of ladies from Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth TX that came up to help the radio station with some outreach trips. It was a wonderful time to get out and meet a lot of folks that have listened to the radio for years but Adam and the others had never met face to face. The trip also fanned the desire to get out with our own plane and follow-up the radio stations ministry. Dave Horning of VFCM took a lot of pictures and we encourage you to take a look at them.
Lyndy attended cake decorating classes in July taught by a lady that came up to help with the church this summer. Adam has enjoyed the “practice” cakes and says thank you Vicki!
We are getting closer to moving the cabin. As we mentioned in the last update we are buying some property in Nenana and hope to have things finished before the baby comes in October.
We had a chance to be tourists one day a couple of weeks ago. A couple of guys up helping the radio station and the church for the summer wanted to see Denali National Park so we all went down and rode the shuttle bus four hours into the park (8 hours round trip) and enjoyed the sites. Sabrina did great all day and enjoyed seeing the caribou, bear and other wildlife.
Last week we helped with Crossfire, an evangelistic basketball camp hosted by the church. 20 kids from all over the state and 35 from Nenana came for the free three day camp. It was great to see kids get excited about learning more about basketball and Christ. Pray that there will be opportunities for follow up with those that accepted Christ.
There have been several new developments that are newsworthy. We may have an airplane sooner than we can deal with! Yep, you read it right we could have an airplane as soon as mid-October. We are still trying to figure out logistics for getting it up here. After talking with Maule we will be taking delivery of an M7-235B. The M9 project is continuing to run into delays and after Maule does it’s part, more certification by the float and ski manufactures needs to be completed. As you may know we will be on wheels less than 10% of the year so it’s vital that we have an airplane that we can put on floats and skis. The useful load difference (weight you can put into the airplane) between an M7-235B and an M9 is expected to only be around 200 pounds.
We still plan to get the Suburban up here before the baby comes in October. On the way home Adam will be stopping in the St. Paul area of Minnesota to get the airplane’s floats and skis. Picking them up directly from the manufacturer will save thousands in shipping costs even after buying a trailer to haul them on. Thankfully both facilities are within a couple of hours of each other. You know us, trying to kill as many birds with one stone as possible.
Lyndy and the baby are both doing just fine and Sabrina likes talking to her mom’s belly saying hello to her sister. Pray that things will continue to go well with the pregnancy and that we will have the house moved and set up in time.
We all head south tomorrow. Lyndy was able to find tickets for all of us out of Anchorage just a fraction more than the price of one ticket out of Fairbanks! We will pick up the Suburban and spend a few days in North Carolina at The Master’s Mission. We plan on being at Covington Christian Sunday the 25th. Adam will then head down to the Maule plant the first part of the week and finalize the plans for the airplane and picking up the floats and skis. We then plan to spend a few days visiting friends and family before Adam and his sister drive back on September 1st. Lyndy and Sabrina will use the return portions of the tickets and stop over for a couple of hours in Seattle before returning to Anchorage on the 9th. Adam and Bonnie hope to be at the airport to pick them up, pray that they make it on time!
Well, 4,900 miles and 93 hours of driving later we made it home! Were did we go you ask? We were able to fly down and get the Suburban as well as check on the progress of the plane a few weeks ago. While in the “lower 48” we stopped by TMM and took the opportunity to catch up with friends there as well as pick up the Suburban. Adam went to the Maule plant and had a chance to see our plane in production and finalize plans for it’s completion. We’re told mid-November is when we should expect the plane to be done, please pray for wisdom about deciding on bringing up the airplane in the winter or waiting. We want to all go and visit with you along the way home but with a new baby that’s not feasible until Spring. On the other hand, we would like it up here as soon as possible so we can start using it.
From Maule we all met in Savannah, GA were Adam’s folks are moving and enjoyed the beach, but not the heat, for an afternoon. Then it was back to Covington to get the Suburban and trailer ready for the long drive home. As we mentioned in a previous update we were able to save thousands of dollars by picking up the floats and skis ourselves even after buying a trailer to haul them on. Adam and his sister Bonnie left Sunday, September 1st with plans to pick up the airplane’s floats and skis along the way and meet Lyndy and Sabrina at the Anchorage airport the evening of the 9th. “The girls” had a chance to go to the Atlanta Zoo and see some of the sights in the mean time. It was wonderful to see a lot of you and we apologize to those of you we didn’t get a chance to see. It was a quick trip to say the least.
The drive North was not without some excitement. A blowout in Illinois and crates for the floats that were a lot bigger than we were told. A curious Policeman in Canada that wanted to know, “what’s in those boxes ay?” (September 11th right around the corner and all.) And amazingly very little trouble getting back into the U.S. after Customs saw the paperwork for everything. We even made it through Whitehorse, Yukon without troubles, every time we’ve been on the Alcan (Alaska Canadian Highway) Whitehorse has been a place of mechanical set backs. Adam and Bonnie made it to Anchorage with six hours to spare before the girls arrived. We spent the night at a friend’s and did a bit of shopping before heading to Nenana. Adam and Bonnie worked on the foundation for the cabin before she flew back East (only to be gone 30 days before coming back up to see the new baby.)
Lyndy is now seeing the doctor every week and things look good, everyone faired well with all the heat and traveling. We just hope that the baby doesn’t decide to come early! We still plan to have the cabin moved and set up with water and sewer before then. We are scheduled to move the cabin September 25th, the baby is due October 7th, so as you see we don’t have much time.
The Cabin is loaded on the trailer and we are ready to move tomorrow. Things went well today, we had plenty of help. Keep checking for updates and pictures on the Cabin Move page.
We made it over to the new lot today without any problems. The weather was excellent and things went faster than I anticipated. Tomorrow we will move things back in and get ready to hook up power and water. We hope to move back in before the baby comes, Lyndy is due in two weeks. Take a look at the pictures for today.
We know everyone is anxious to know but there is no baby yet. The Doctor said if nothing happens by Tuesday the 15th they want to induce. Pray that this will not be necessary and that Adam can get the cabin projects finished. Adam and a friend will be putting in the water and sewer tomorrow and it shouldn’t take much more time to finish everything else. Sorry for no new pictures, we are a little busy with the move and getting ready for the baby.
Well as you can see the Airplane is nearing completion and we are excited about getting it up here. Seeing the picture of it almost complete has kind of made it sink in that we are really getting an airplane to use to get out into the bush. A lot of folks are wanting us to come and visit and it wont be long before we can actually talk face to face instead of through the mail and over the radio.
The water and sewer project has been quite an adventure. We kept having cave-ins and the sewer line was deeper that expected. However we are hooked up to city sewer and should be hooked up to water in the next day or two. Everything is ready to be covered up after the city taps us into the mains. The house is livable again but there are a few things that Adam needs to finish up before it will be fully functional but that’s going to have to wait for a few days because…….
We are going to the Hospital Tuesday morning (10/15/02) so they can induce Lyndy, we should have a baby soon!!! There are no problems other than she is way past her due date and the Doctor doesn’t want to risk anything becoming a problem. It will be difficult to update the web site in Fairbanks so we will have to wait until we get home to post pictures and stats. Please pray that things go well and that there will be no complications.
Check back in a few days for all the info on the baby!
Miriam Grace White
10-15-02 11:40 PM ADT
Now that all the figures are known we’ll give you the rest of the story.
Things went slowly at first, Tuesday. We arrived at the Hospital with Lyndy having contractions most of the way to town. After we got up to the room and all the necessary forms and releases were signed it was decided to see how things would progress on their own. And things were not fast enough for everyone so they tried to break Lyndy’s water to see how that would change the pace, didn’t work. Then they tried drugs and then things started to pick up. Around 9:00 PM the nurse actually broke Lyndy’s water and it was the home stretch. They say your first delivery is the hardest, and from my perspective (Adam) I would say that held true, you better ask Lyndy though.
Miriam has dark brown hair and a lot of it! Long fingers and toes and for now has brownish hazel eyes. We’ll see if she can keep that much hair and eye color. She sleeps and eats and loves to look around and watch her big sister. Sabrina is doing well and adjusting fine to the role of big sister.
We checked out of the Hospital Thursday and due to the bad weather we decided to stay in Fairbanks one more night. We didn’t want to be that far away from town if we needed to head back for some reason. We finally made it home Friday evening and wow is it good to be home. The cabin is not ready to live in yet, soon we hope. Adam is working on it every moment he can so for now we are still in the camper.
To paraphrase Mark Twain; “The rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.”
We are about 40 miles north of the epicenter of the 7.9 earthquake that hit last Sunday. There are still aftershocks, some as big as 5.1. We are fine and there was very little damage here in Nenana. There was however a lot of road damage and the Pipeline was shut down. Check these web sites for more detailed information and news paper articles from Anchorage, Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute and for good pictures of the damage click here.
We are back in the cabin! We have running hot and cold water, a tub/shower and a toilet and all of it indoors! That may not seem like that big of a deal to most but we have lived with out those “basics” for over a year and a half.
Things are as busy as ever. We are still adjusting to having Miriam around and not having the help of “Granny”. Adam’s mom was up all last month and his sister and dad were here for a short time to see Miriam and help finish the cabin. Thanks for all your help!!!
We are anxiously awaiting news that the airplane is finished. We will update the web site when we hear more news and hopefully have pictures too.
Winter should be here by now but it seems to be taking it’s time. We have very little snow and the temperatures have been setting records on the high end. We are not complaining too much, like an infamous Alaska bumper sticker says…. “Alaskans for global warming“
Miriam continues to do well and is growing fast. She gained over 2 pounds her first month and is starting to interact with us more everyday. Last week the church held a baby dedication service. It was a wonderful time of committing to raise our children in the ways of God and a time for the church to voice it’s commitment to stand with us.
The airplane is getting closer to being done! It’s in flight testing right now and should be done any day. We hoped to be able to go down as a family and bring it back up before Christmas but Miriam is too young for that long of a trip in a small airplane. So it just going to be Adam and with the holidays rapidly approaching it seems prudent to wait till the first of the year to make the trip. Keep checking back for more information and pictures, we will update the web site when we get new information.
The “Bluegrass Hour” continues to generate a lot of listener response and is a pleasure for Adam to do. It’s also a wonderful way to introduce folks to the Gospel and God’s love.
AWANA is going strong and it is such a pleasure to see kids memorizing God’s word. Last week we had a boy accept Christ, pray for his growth and for his family to make the same decision that he made.
We are trying to take advantage of every opportunity to catch up with folks when they come to town. Tomorrow we plan to meet up with some friends that we have never meet face to face. They enjoy Bluegrass music and all play instruments, Adam hopes to get a few songs recorded for the program before the visit is over.
Lyndy continues to be a part of the ladies activities at church and their outreach to the community. It’s neat to see all the participation from the ladies in town.
Adam continues to have a small but faithful Sunday school class every Sunday. 1 – 6th graders are quite the sponges and it’s encouraging to hear them tell you all the details of the lessons from the past quarter.
Sabrina is learning many things from the Bible stories we read to her. It’s so neat to see her make the connections with things she has learned from the stories to things she sees in real life. Every fish she sees is “onah” and every picture of a baby is “beby esus”. Children are truly a blessing from the Lord!
We have received word from Maule that the finishing touches on the airplane are almost complete! The plan is to head down and pick it up the first week of January. Keep checking for the latest news and plans. Feel free to look at a few pictures of the airplane.
The airplane is finished!
We have wired the final payment and Adam is making plans to head south by mid-January. Keep checking back for details of the trip.
We are sending out our year end letter and traditional family picture, look for it soon. If your not on the “snail-mail” list and would like to be, send us an e-mail. Those of you who have requested that we send you our “paper letter” via e-mail you will get this letter through the regular mail so you can have a copy of the picture too (suitable for the refrigerator or dart board).
We pray that you had a wonderful Christmas. We have had an enjoyable time visiting with friends and spending Christmas day at home. Adam did go to KIAM for “A Bluegrass Christmas” for a couple of hours Christmas day. It was requested that he do another Christmas special this year, listener response has been picking up recently and it’s an encouragement to Adam and the folks at KIAM. What a great opportunity to share the true meaning of Christmas all the while listening to great Bluegrass music.
Winter has finally come to Interior Alaska. We are having subzero temperatures and we have a little more snow. We still need another foot or so to make it easier for traveling in the bush but the cold is good for the trappers. After all how can you say it’s winter when your above zero?