VM Alaska Project

Introduction to Galena

Hi!  My name is Tricia Hayek.  My husband, Jeremy, and I are the Village Missionaries in Galena.  I am new to the whole blog scene, as I just have never had time to try it, so I hope this will work.  We have 5 boys ranging in ages from 10 years down to 18 months, with another baby due in October.  We have been in Galena for a little over a year.  Life in Galena is different.  We are “off the road system” which pretty much means you can’t get here from there (at least in a car).  We have to fly anywhere we want to go.  So there have been many adjustments to make during our year here.  But we are enjoying the quietness and the slow pace of life up here.  But for the size of the community, it seems like there is always something going on.  There are around 700 people in Galena.  I would say there’s a pretty even split between whites and natives.  Many of the natives live on subsistence – meaning that instead of working a job, they hunt, fish, trap and other things to provide for themselves.  Still many do work around town.  As for the whites, most of them work for either the city or the school.  We have a city school here, that has grades K-12, and a boarding school that has 9th-12th grade students from around the state.  Last year, the boarding school had 120 kids enrolled.  Our church has around 40-50 people that attend.  Summer is the time when attendance drops down to around 25, as many leave town for the summer, help out at the Bible camp upriver, or head out to fish camps to start preparing for the long winter. 

We just recently had our Vacation Bible School.  A group has been coming up for the last few years to run VBS for us.  The leader, a man and his wife, were missionaries here in Alaska for around 40 years.  They now live in Texas, and recruit teams to come run VBS for many villages in the bush.  The teams are assembled for the most part of students from Bob Jones University.  We had a total of 49 kids that attended VBS total.  There were only between 27-30 on any given night, but the kids would alternate.  It was a great week.  I thought the group did a great job, and my oldest two boys really enjoyed themselves. 

Jeremy and I are looking forward to a trip into Fairbanks in a little over a week.  We will be going in to do our barge shopping.  We have found that we can send things out on the barge for 14 cents a pound, opposed to the 50 cents a pound by plane, or  $1.00 or more a pound by mail.  So we will be leaving the kids at home with a couple from the church, and buying all of our dried goods, and anything else that we can ship out on the barge.  We purchase all of our things in Fairbanks, and then drive down to Nenana to put it on the barge.  It takes a week or more to get it out here, but we have found that the wait is worth the cheaper shipping rates.  God has provided some friends from high school that live in Fairbanks.  They have been so awesome to let us stay with them whenever we’re passing through town.  They feed us, and even let us borrow their vehicle when we need to.  They have been such a blessing to us!  And, of course, we are also looking forward to some time alone together.  Times like those are scarce out here in the bush.  We have a few people that are willing to look after the kids, but not a whole lot to do!

I think this introduction has gone on long enough, and hopefully was not too difficult to read.  We will add more blogs as we can.


One Response to “Introduction to Galena”

  1. Donna Joplin Says:

    I am a member of another VM Church in Oregon and we have a group of women who knit hats and scarves for kids. We had sent them to places like Romania. Guatemala, and recently Argentina. I was wondering if there was a need for the local children that you work with?

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Seemingly forgotten, many with no access to roads, 135 remote villages are home to fewer than 1000 people. There are only 54 evangelical churches...read more.

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