Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Cold White North!

First Winter In Our Tiny Slide-In!
MOVED AGAIN!  We sure picked a cold place to pass the winter test!  We heard from someone it can get to -61!!  We believe it since -50 is not that uncommon according to Nancy's parents and cousin who lived in The Pas (2 hrs LESS north from here)!! It has snowed thrice and we are quite warm enough on just using half of the oil heater mode and that half mostly stays on snowflake or snowflake and a half!! 

Obviously we are not quite finished building as you can see we still need the trim on the outside but it is livable already.  Jacob's now working on the sink-side counter and under storage in the interior.  We need our convection microwave oven with a vent to be close to independent as long as we have electrical hookup until we can afford solar.

Our bedroom loft.  We are now working on shelving

                                            All we need for heating our house in Northern SK!!!

"Our" verse :)

Storage under the floor (quite a lot of space surprisingly!)

Christmas here in the "Cold White North" not far from polar bears and balooga whales ~lol
Inline image

We are now debt free after working for a year in Colorado and back in ministry working with a new Teen Challenge center in northern Canada!  For those who have time for the story, we attached a little note at the bottom of this letter in response to a friend who was SO surprised that we suddenly had such a drastic change in direction.  Our camera broke and we've hit the ground running so not many pics; but, at the bottom, we will "try" at some point to include a newsletter that the director's wife made up recently--along with explanations for those who desire to help out with donations.  For some reason it is not simple to attach.  In any case you may also find the information on-line at their website (which will be one of our jobs to help update) http://freedomoutreach.weebly.com/donate.html

CAMP PROPERTY OFFERED TO THE CENTER - "The Center," as they call it, exists to help guys 18 and older find freedom from addictions and a new life in Jesus Christ.  A guy with an addiction who wishes for change and comes to the program is asked to pay only $1000 for the WHOLE year, and they get to live and eat here under certain conditions.  Only 40% of them can even afford that $1000 and people who support the center donate money to cover those who cannot, but this is a tiny community here.  The Center has been given the opportunity to have a beautiful lake front camp for free!  The board is now discussing if they will take it on because they would have to spend money to demolish some (if not all) of the old moldy buildings on the property that are a hazard.  Jacob and I are praying they will be in favor of taking it and can see so much potential for that camp!  We are in limbo as to where we will be living and for now are parked in our boss's driveway until the end of October.  If they get the camp, we can live there, but it is unknown as to when/how that will happen.

FOOD FOR THE GUYS - This is a concern right now and I hear people discussing about what to do since the budget is overall low.  The guys are getting food enough to be strong but it would be nice if/when Nancy switches over to cooking P/T that she could order things that she needs for the recipes.  There used to be a grocery store that would donate a LOT of foods (including meats) to the Center but they closed down, so now the Center has to buy all the food for the guys.  (Staff are allowed to eat with the guys at lunch times).  There is some produce and lots of bread donated to the Center from somewhere.

OTHER SPECIFIC NEEDS - The guys do work projects and need a plow for winter ($3000); donation for making new cubicle type desks for the students because they have some new guys; air compressors ($500-$600 each); projector and laptop also needed for church presentations and also presentations shown in schools and reserves about the dangers of drugs and alcohol ($1800); steel toe boots and winter boots; other tools: circular saw, chop saw, socket set, screwdriver set, corded drill, cordless power drill and any loose tools. We received a fridge donation recently PTL!  The Center gives tax deductions. There is tremendous need for freedom in this area--and lots of crime (even little kids breaking into places and stealing things).

VEHICLE :) - PRAISE - someone is providing an older car for us that needs a lot of work but the guy is a mechanic and can help us fix it if we buy the parts!  PTL!  Presently, our co-worker and friend, Steve, is having issues with his vehicle.

*FUNDS FOR A SAW MILL and WOOD SPLITER WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL - The guys do work projects and have shingling jobs and lawn mowing, but if they could produce their own lumber here it would help TREMENDOUSLY with the building up of the camp and other wood working projects that could bring income to the Center.  There are trees everywhere around us and the government allows for us to have all the trees we want that are dead which is a LOT of potential right there.

UPDATE ON TRITTS - SO here's the scoop!  Everyone at La Garita Ranch in Creede is beginning to send out their resumes since the job there is finishing in April.  We had sent out a couple of feelers for potential jobs in Canada since Nancy has obtained dual citizenship Jacob desires to obtain his as well but we just didn't have a peace about them and were feeling rather frustrated.  Then OUT OF THE BLUE right when we were looking for a job in Canada our First Nation friend, Steve, asked if Jacob would like to work for a new Teen Challenge that has started up here in Denare Beach, Saskatchewan.  We both had a peace about it right away and began to point our ship in that direction and WHOOSH before we could say "pumpernickle" we were here!  Most of the guys here in the program are First Nation.

God really gave us favor with all the officers at the border crossing!  It helped that Nancy had established a trust relationship with both the US and Canadian border control officers before actually crossing :)  They laughed when they identified her because she called and asked them all a zillion questions on how to do things the right way. We actually ENJOYED our time at the border crossing!

We were told it can get to -60° here!!!  We assume that means Fahrenheit, not Celsius. We believe it, because this place is even further north than where Nancy's father and mother lived in The Pas, MB which they told her can get to -50.  Jacob has seen his first AMAZING display of the aurora borealis a few days ago.  Pretty breathtaking!  They occur here on a regular basis.  It will be quite an adventure living our first winter in our Tiny Slide-in up here!!!  We wish we hadn't minimized quite so much of our winter clothes now before coming ~lol.  We do hope to get an authentic pair of mukluks made here from leather if we can make good friends with one of the locals who can help us.  Apparently that is the warmest thing for your feet in this area; they say the winters are VERY dry here in the far north so you don't get soakers (a.k.a., wet socks, for you Americans).

Come visit the Center anytime!  We would love to show you the work God is doing here! 

PS: Teen Challenge pays Jacob a salary here of something like, $2000/month start up, minus the taxes which is more than enough to provide for our needs even if we did wish to rent.  We have decided for ourselves though, as you all mostly know, to live in our tiny home for the winter!  We are very excited about doing this and it is true we will still be saving as much as possible for buying the things we need for that and to continue to build up the inside.
The director mentioned if anyone does wish to donate to us in any way that currently there is no way for giving a charitable receipt to those outside of Canada and donations to us personally are allowed but they need to make it clear that it is a donation personally for us and not the center.  We will post the instructions in the side column of this blog/newsletter.  It is not our intention to raise support for ourselves though, especially locally, because we do not wish to rob the center of their support and when they are supported we are supported :)  THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH.  WE APPRECIATE YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS MORE THAN WE CAN EXPRESS!!

Some of the critters we've encountered so far.  The fox are spoiled like the mule deer in Lake City.  They will practically crawl right into your lap for a snack!  Someone was feeding one outside the restaurant we were at.

  • PRAISE: our truck broke down.  WOW, we  made it all the way here and PTL it didn't brake down between the States and Canada!!!  It sounded like the engine with a huge clunk-like explosion and then it wouldn't run.  However our friend Steve Sullivan and a new-found friend Marlow from the Mennonite church we go to came and found it was only the distributor cap and fixed it for $25 by getting the part from Canadian Tire!  PTL!
  • PRAISE: some new missionary friends who are going to the mission field will let us have their older car, that they realize needs some TLC so Nathan offered his mechanical services as long as we pay for the parts and he will help us fix it up!  It needs to pass the grueling Saskatchewan safety inspection
  • PRAISE: Marlow also is a great white hunter and brought us fishing in his boat one day and we ate pickerel to our hearts delight and also he gave us a duck and a snow goose to cook up!  He wants to get a moose.  It would be nice if we could get a moose shot for the center too!  We are getting our PAL licenses soon, Lord willing :)  SO that's another PR!!!
  • JACOB - as he works on special projects, ie. welding and carpentry for the Center
  • THE GUYS - for their overall spiritual health/deliverance and FREEDOM IN CHRIST!  AMEN!  New guy who just came and left, Cory, that he can find deliverance and freedom and that we managed to make a life-changing impact on his short time here.  Also for everyone's safety as new guys coming in need a little more TLC and are adapting to a drastic change in lifestyle.  HEALING for our co-workers Cris, Kandie, Cliff and Steve - a lot of physical pain in their body and a lot of back trouble issues.  Jacob said his back is acting up too and suddenly our directors wife is struggling with severe migraines, that have happened in the past.
  • MINISTRY - As we work together as a team and staff that we will always continue to assume the good first and that we will refuse to react to the lies/shocking news of the enemy and for healthy relationships and physical health all around.  PRAISE is that God has really given us a GREAT team staff and we are able to do this and be very real with each other and get along extremely well, not that we don't need your continued prayer support for that for sure!
  • PAPERWORK - tonze of paperwork still undergo; please pray that we can continue to keep this new ministry the priority, fixing our camper and the paperwork too without being overwhelmed