Uncharacteristically clear and sunny but freezing cold. Breathtakingly beautiful. Completely different culture, but still a part of America. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I’ll let these pics speak a bit.
Petersburg Alaska is located on Petersburg Island. Located in the lower chain of Alaskan islands, it isn’t too far from Vancouver Island. Since it is only accessible by ferry or by air, that meant quite a few flights, including an overnight layover is Seattle. The economy is centered around the ocean…fishing, shrimping, crabbing, whatever is in season. Petersburg is a small town, around 3,000 souls, and of that, about 300 attend Petersburg Bible Church. It didn’t take long to get a tour of the island and town (since it really is quite small), but since it was unusually clear and sunny, Dan was able to see the mountains and get some amazing pics and testaments to the beauty of God’s creation.
It was his first trip there and he was able to represent RMI and share of the many changes that are happening in RMI. He ate every meal at a different home and was able to get to know quite a few people. They made sure he stayed warm, too. The weather reverted to it’s usual state by the time he left…it was socked in and blowing snow as he flew out.
Several of the pastoral staff of the church and a couple of their kids took Dan out to pull in some shrimp pots that they’d set out the day before (just for him). The catch then had to be de-headed, packaged and frozen. They gave it to him to bring home (knowing that the name “Shoemaker” is synonymous with “loves to eat everything from the sea”). I like that part! I got to at least get a little taste of Alaska. Just about everyone is involved in the fishing industry; many make it a family affair, going out for months at a time, husband, wife and the kids. Living on a remote island presents quite a few challenges, not the least of which is shopping for supplies. Frequently they buy in bulk from Costco and have it air freighted in! I’ll bet not much “retail therapy” happens there.
He then stayed a couple of days in the Seattle area where he had meetings with 2 Sister Churches and had a “Haiti MK” reunion meal with several MK’s that he grew up with who live in that area. Three days after he got home, he boarded a much different kind of ship and found seafood there also. But that is another story for another day.