Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On A Wing And A Prayer(s)

"If nothing is going well, call your grandmother."
~Italian Proverb

Here in the Dairy State
Sorry to have been so distant everyone (quite literally). I’m back in Wisconsin on a wing and a prayer. My Gram had a second stroke last Monday 12/8/2009 morning and I was flying home by Monday night though it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Monday after I got the call at school my wonderful principal Eric directed that I immediately went home, tried to collect my thoughts (that didn’t work) and book a flight out (that didn’t work either). We have had very strong winds in Quinhagak lately due to a monsoon in Hawaii and our Bering Sea winds, so the bush plane companies weren’t having much luck at getting into Quin. The Doc was not hopeful for Gram said she probably wouldn’t make it through the night and all I could do was talk to my fam, cry and wait. Thankfully Sherry and kids came over to guide me along and keep me company, I am surrounded by the most wonderful people, I wish I could get everyone together to meet each other. God is so incredible you guys, He’s so willing, able and wanting to be there for us. I was sobbing to my mom a few hours after I got the news and was still holed up in Quin waiting, when Mom suddenly gasped “SHE’S AWAKE AND...SHE’S SINGING!!!” I could hear family and friends in the hospital room laughing and crying. “Can I talk to her?” I cried. Mom held the phone to Gram’s ear I heard her singing “Gram I’m trying to get to you but the wind...The wind is really strong here Gram and the planes can’t fly in.” “Oh” she kind of mumbled the first stroke had paralyzed the right side of her body “Da, Wind da wind da wind, end da wind, end da wind, and da wind.” was her response, she knew what I was saying! We had to hang up but as I was sitting on my couch, with my dear friends Steph and Sherry (did I mention how beautiful my Quin family is, Steph and Jim took Ani right into their home while I've been away) I was staring out the window at a leaf or maybe it was a feather, stuck under the tin roof of my neighbor’s house and it was whipping back and forth in the wind. As I watched it I tried to will it to thoughts were”STOP!!! JUST QUIT MOVING! STOP!” Then I felt like I heard God say “Just ask me. Why don’t you just ask me?” Duh? I agreed and as I turned to ask Steph and Sherry if they would pray with me when my phone rang. It was my brother informing me that Gram, worn out yet miraculously awake from her 2nd stroke had, in her slurring speech just prayed that God would stop the wind so I could come home. I hung up stunned, shared it with Sherry and Steph and we prayed. Within and hour there was a plane on its way from Bethel as the winds died down just enough to get us loaded up and airborne. The take off was like a roller coaster but I didn’t get nervous for a second. I knew Gram’s prayer was getting me home. In Anchorage they were able to move my flight up via a layover in Salt Lake. That put me in Minneapolis about 2 hours before the first major winter storm of 09 hit Minnesota and Wisconsin full force. Just enough time for my cousin and I to drive that last leg, the homestretch making it into Hayward just as the snow was picking up. I was hugging my Gram by 6 pm Tuesday night thanks to all the help from my family in Quin and I am absolutely certain the prayer of my Gram. She has been up and down these last few days, seems like when one thing gets better something else happens but praise the Lord she’s a fighter and our family has been able to be together through it! Today we had to move her into the nursing home, that was not easy at all, we tried to decorate it. We are all praying and hoping that her stay can be temporary as she works through her rehab there. This is totally a miracle, she wasn’t supposed to make it through Monday night. Apparently Gram had a big old conversation with God and He informed her that her work her isn't done yet! God is Good you guys no matter what happens, in the end, when all is said and done, He is Good. That is exactly what she was singing when she finally came to from the 2nd stroke. She just kept repeating it, my brother called me and left it on my voice mail, “And God is Good, And God is Good, And God is Good...” I agree. I’m still shocked that I’m here but I know its in His hands and plan. THANK YOU to SO MANY who have been PRAYING. God is answering. May He bless you all immensely.

Back in Quin
I hear someone got a Beluga whale. Good work and congratulations. The village will use all of it and everyone will benefit. It was divided up and gone by the next day.Thank you all in Quin for praying and helping me out....Eric-Sherry and Family, Steph-Jim and Family, Fannie and Family, Pauline and Family, Tim Sherman and Family, Jerilyn and Family, Mac, all of you I know my not being there causes you to carry a heavier burden, I'm praying it doesn't feel that way. Thank you so much, I miss yas lots.

Quyana and Merry Christmas My Friends and Family!
Hey Eric this one's for you! With Love, Ani

"While he was still talking, some people came from the leader's house and told him, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?" Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, "Don't listen to them; He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader's house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: "Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn't dead; she's sleeping." Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn't know what he was talking about.But when he had sent them all out, he took the child's father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child's room. He clasped the girl's hand and said, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, get up." At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, "Give her something to eat." Mark 5:35-43


  1. Thanking our Lord Jesus for his mercy and provision. You and your family are in my prayers. Kathy Mc

  2. So glad to get the update. I asked Jackie Pederson if she had heard anything from Eric. Anxious to get more news. The Cantata went well. All 3 performances were well attended.It would have been fun to have you attend! Everyone did a super job. We had such a good time doing it. May God bless all who came. Pray for our daughter Leslie. Her baby was due yesterday.

  3. Rach, I've been having "heavy" thoughts of you for the past couple of days. Now I know why. You and your family are in my prayers.


  4. Hey Kid, I have been worried about you and I kind of figured what was going on. You will have to e-mail me your phone number and address. I tried to find your phone number in Wisconsin,but it didn't work. I'm glad everything worked out. Just goes to show you prayer and positive attitude are very helpful and also that God is good all the time!!


  5. Rachel,
    I'm glad your grandma is doing better. Thanks for your friendship with Steph and Jim. You are a prayer answered.
    Susan Stoppkotte, Steph's mom

  6. Hey everyone. Thank you for the encouraging prayers and posts. Little by little. And thank you so much Susan, Steph and Jim are an answer to prayer for me too! They're family.

  7. Rachel,
    So glad that your grandma is doing better! How wonderful that God answered your prayers so you could get home. I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers. We'll have to get together sometime while you are here.

  8. Buddy used to be a cool dog!

  9. Hello from North Carolina!
    First of all, I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season!
    I know that this might seem a bit random. However, I was hoping you might help me since you just started your teaching career in Alaska. I am currently a MAT student in special education at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. I will graduate with my degree in May 2011. Ever since I was a girl, I always wanted to work in Alaska. I was hoping you could provide me with information about how you became a teacher in Alaska. Are there any tips you would like to share? For instance, where did you find your job? How did you apply?

    Thank you for everything!!! Although I will not graduate until May 2011, I want to be as prepared as possible. My email address will be provided below for you to respond (I do not have a blog.). I would also love to talk to you on the phone sometime about your experiences applying, etc., if you feel comfortable doing so. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    meghan harter

  10. P.S.
    I'm glad everything is well with your family! :)


  11. Rachel, it was so good to see and hear you yesterday. You're amazing in how you're letting God guide your steps. You make me smile. God bless you, Rachel. Your grandma is in very good hands, isn't she? Love, Sue (Bartz)

  12. Hello Beauty...You never cease to amaze me at how you let God work in your life. You truly inspire me. Tell Grama she has lots of people praying for her. Can't wait to see you tomorrow!! Love you to the moon and back...Heather

  13. So frustrated! I posted a comment a couple days ago- but it didn't show up. Anyways, stop in the store if you have time- I have something in there for you. If you don't have time, I'll mail it up

  14. Just to let you know our daughter gave birth to Lydia Kate today. I drove to ILL on Sunday and brought my granddaughters back to Marshfield with me yesterday. Our son and his family are here as well. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  15. Hey! Just wanted to say Merry Christmas (I'm sitting here watching ani and bela run around in circles, literally) Just got done watching The Nativity Story with the Pederson's and was thinking how I hadn't talked to you in a while. Miss you tons, can't wait till your back
    ps Sherry and I have gone for 2 runs (to the beach and back) in the last couple days, yeah for us :) Hope things are going well, tell your family hello and hope you are getting some rest too. Talk to you soon

  16. hey rach, your gun works well. call and i'll tell you about it. jim

  17. Hi Rachel, wanted to send a note from the "Innkeepers with Attitude", in Hayward.
    We had read in the church bulletin that you were serving in Alaska, but did not know how all of this had come together, and why. Because you shared your story in a recent church service, now we know more. Thank you for sharing and doing this work, sacrificially,
    to say the least. (does Sarah Palin know this?)
    Anyways, God bless you for your service and love of the people in this remote village.
    Greet them for us when you return to Alaska.
    Have a blessed and prosperous new year 2010!
    Horst and Elisabeth Braeuner

  18. Hey everyone! I'm on my way back to Quin tomorrow to begin the new year. Gram is doing well, thank the Lord. Sorry I haven't been in touch these last few weeks. Our family has been incredibly blessed and humbled by all your love and prayers. Thanks for all the beauiful encouraging posts. Sue and Elisabeth it was so good to have the opportunity to share about Quin with everyone. Joe I'll send you my number soon. Meghan check our LKSD in Bethel, Alaska! I'll fill you in on more soon. Jim I want some Caribou jerky:) Steph thank you for mothering my pupperoo! I can't wait to get home to run with you girls. I Miss You!!!!! God Bless Us EVERYONE! WITH LOVE FROM DOWN STATES BUT NOT FOR LONG! Rach

  19. Hey Katie I'm so sorry I didn'tstop in, I didn't go anywhere.

  20. So good to hear from you. Thankful that your Grandmother is doing better. Have a safe trip. Hopefully it is warmer there than here.