Sunday, January 13, 2008

Proof Positive

We left Savannah Georgia on the 12th of December. Exactly 3 weeks later we arrived at Ft. Richardson, Alaska. Upon arrival we checked into the Army lodging and prepared for the required 6 year wait for a home on post. Buying a home here is not an option for us as our home in Georgia has not yet sold so we knew it would be an interesting wait until the housing office could find us a place. Imagine our surprise when I went in the next morning and they handed us the keys to a place for us to look at and see if we wanted to live there. Well, knowing that we are a family of 6, there is usually not much of a choice in these matters. So Tina and I headed over with the understanding that the next three years would be spent in a beautiful home built approximately 15 years before WWII. Typically, a home will only fit our family if the floor tiles are mix and match, creating something of a horrific plaid, and the bathroom is one big rust stain. This is the reality of military housing. However, knowing that we really had no other options, we swallowed hard and drove to what would in all likelihood become our home. The wheels of change move slowly but move they do. What we found is nothing short of miraculous...5 bedrooms a 2 car heated garage and space for all.

Once the tears of joy dried, the reality that we'd be living out of our suitcases for the next 200 months while we waited for our household goods to arrive set in. It's a nice home so we figured we would would have no problem living in a mostly empty house. Then the wheel moved again. Two days later we were informed that our stuff had arrived and was ready for delivery. The next day we had a million boxes strewn about. Still, we had our stuff and it seemed life would soon be normal again.

If I didn't mention it, we're in Alaska. It's cold here! Like Absolute Zero cold! Fortunately I don't have to walk far to work. Even so, if I do walk and leave the trusty Caravan for Tina, I can count on not feeling anything exposed and almost everything not exposed by the time I reach my destination 300 yards away. We shipped my little car the day we left Savannah and anticipated that it would arrive in Alaska on or about April 13th. But that wheel keeps moving. Only a couple of days later, my car arrived. So we drove the 5 miles to the pick up point and got it followed by a nice spin out on the ice resulting from a quick yank on the emergency brake while taking a deserted corner. I do not recommend this. It was, nevertheless, fun. And I have my car.

So our first week here has been nothing short of a logistical miracle. The Army does not move very quickly. But in our case it did. Many times I've told others that God is bigger than the Army. That He can do things the powers that be say can't be done. Like open a beautiful new home the day after arriving at a new post. Or like getting your household goods within a week. Or getting your car delivered 17+ years ahead of schedule. Now I have proof.


Popa Dave said...

When things were going that good when I was in the Army, it made me start to worry a little thinking what's just around the corner.

Ben said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,
I just wanted to let you know that I've been incredibly inspired by reading your blog the past few months. I've been thinking about a call to ministry during the past year, and your writing has helped me realize that Army Chaplaincy is something I want to take seriously as a possibility for my calling. I have another year before I finish my undergraduate degrees in Piano Performance and English, so thankfully I still have a while before seminary/divinity school. Thanks again for your great writing, and congratulations on finding a house so quickly.

skypilot said...

God is good and it is fun to watch Him work. Glad you are doing well, hope work is going as well

Liz said...

Glad you made it in and were received in such fine form. I hope your ministry in Alaska touches many. I'm sure you will be of much help with so many of Ft. Rich's Soldiers finally getting home. I wish you and your family the best.

Cami said...

Praise God! I'm soooo happy for you guys!!! It's been below zero here in Michigan, by the way. Yesterday I stepped outside to throw out some trash, and five seconds outdoors made the fabric of the shirt I was wearing feel frozen. I can be beautiful when it is freezing, the air is so pure--as long as you aren't too many yards, as you mention, from someplace that is heated!

Emily "Vertigo" Tang said...

Dear Father...

Thank you very much, first off, for your service. It feels as to me that with your job, it goes unnoticed and I would like to say thank you. I hope that everything and everyone in your family is well and not you are getting use to Alaska :)

I do have questions for you though and would like it very much to carry on some conversation with you. You can reach me through my blog. Once again, thank you very much, hope you've had a safe Independence Day.

Have a good day