Weather Permitting

Weather is an important feature of life in bush Alaska.  It is a feature of life over which there is no control for good or bad.  A bright day on the river fishing can be inspiring.  A day of snow and strong winds can defeat your best plans.  So, it was earlier this week in SW Alaska.  I flew to Bethel for a meeting of pastors and church workers living in scattered villages on the tundra.   The weather closed in behind me; bringing blizzard conditions and a wind chill of 45 below zero.  The flights from villages on the tundra were grounded before they could take-off.  Pilots in parkas were sitting at the airport drinking coffee hoping for a break in the weather that did not come.   What about the meeting that had been planned for months?  Well, we will try to meet again in April.  We were reminded once again that all flights in bush Alaska are scheduled…weather permitting.

So much of the ministry of AMC is dependent upon things we cannot control, weather being only one of them.  We are dependent upon the generosity of faithful people, the commitment of volunteers, and primarily upon the Holy Spirit to open people’s hearts to Jesus Christ.  We do not command resources, or have all of the answers for the needs we face.  Therefore, I am learning to make prayer  the foundation of our work.  Sometimes amid a seemingly desperate situation a prayer emerges in the space of a breath…Lord have mercy!

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
Psalm 127:1-3 

The following is a poem that is posted on the wall of many small airports in Alaska.

Way up in Alaska wherever you are
If you’re headed out close or you’re headed out far
When you go to the airport, you may need your knitting
For you’ll only be flying, weather permitting

There’s no use in fuming or fussing or snitting
You always face this, it’s weather permitting
So don’t get disheartened in the far golden North
Just learn to relax without fretting or quitting

And when the grim reaper comes I can see it all clear
I’m alone in my shroud, Happy Heaven is near
I’m coming, St. Peter, this old world I’m quitting
And I’ll be along permitting.