Egg-spidition

When we grew up, each spring our family would go look for and gather eggs. All different types, every day for a couple of weeks was like Easter. Seagull eggs are green with brown dots, most bird eggs share similar characteristics with varying shapes and size. Duck, geese, swan, ptarmigan, arctic turn, and the small eggs we came across that we did not eat, we did not touch, it wasn’t allowed. When a human touches the eggs of birds in the wild, and does not gather them, the mother will abandon the nest.

I was always sure to carry a stick and wear a hoodie. Mother and father birds are fierce protectors of their nests. We had to be fast and nimble and in a sense cunning. Knowing what to look for on the flat tundra with many lakes. Myself and my four siblings were all very competitive when it came to who found the most eggs. I can remember where all the hot spots are. One summer our family went, what we call egg hunting, down the coast. We camped in a white wall tent on an island and it took maybe a day to cover many ground. I was running from lake to lake as fast as I could run. I was pretending to be in the Olympics hurdling event jumping over tall groups of grass. When I jumped over a good patch a ptarmigan flew out and I was so surprised, startled. I found five eggs. See, as soon as a birds nest becomes empty, they quickly lay more eggs. We do not gather eggs near the end of egging season, so that the chicks have a chance at surviving. We ate all the eggs boiled, sometimes my mom would make wild egg cakes or bake with them. The taste of fresh wild gathered eggs are more rich than chicken eggs. The consistency is rubbery for the whites and the yolk is creamier.

As spring nears month by month I miss harvesting fresh nutritious bounties. The first time I saw an ant was egg hunting. The first and only time I came across something amazing and unexplainable was egg hunting. It was a rock inlaid circle path, very old and very small on a tiny mound on the tundra. I showed it to my mom after I looked and admired this creation. It was a perfect spiral. I grew up believing it was made by the Ishigaqs, or what our culture refers to as small people. In our oral tradition we pass down legends of old. Most teach respect for nature and people alike. When I showed my discovery to my mom, she grabbed my hand and we were all of a sudden in a hurry to leave. Everyone had to go back to the boat to go hunting in a new spot. I hope to find it again one day and take a picture, of course only with my Moms approval. I remember the relative location of where it was.

I hope all of you are truly able to reminisce about good times in your life but never forgetting that each day is a new day for memories to be made. So we make the best of each day, for tomorrow is not promised. Love and be love ❤️

Inupiaq

IMG_1637IMG_1695IMG_1909IMG_2272IMG_2273IMG_3380I grew up being called an Eskimo and guess what? It has never bothered me not once. This is not a derogatory term, it simply means “eater of raw meat.” I eat muktuk, which is the part of the whale skin and blubber, raw. We also eat quaq, which is thinly sliced frozen fish. We dip that in seal oil, which is seal blubber rendered into a clear oil. I am Eskimo, but I prefer Inupiaq as it is more identifiable to where I am from, Unalakleet. The sod houses on our beach date between 200 B.C. And 300 A.D. A lot of people move to Unalakleet but my mother’s side is originally from the area, unlike  a lot of families who do not originate from there. I loved growing up at fish camp, my mom would tell us oral legends and all these were passed down through the generations. One of my favorite is of the link between Orcas and Wolves. Long ago they would say when a wolf was near death they went into to ocean to transform to the killer whale, and vice versa. Mainly the point of that legend from my understanding is that a pack of wolves are so similar to a pod of orcas. We do not hunt killer whales. Our area hunts beluga whale and our family trades other Native food for bowhead whale from more up north villages. When I was growing up a fresh gallon of milk was five to seven dollars and I’m sure the price went up. It is too expensive to only rely on modern grocery stores, so we live a subsistence lifestyle. Most of my vivid nightmares, starting from a very young age, are of catastrophic events happening in the village I grew up in. I still live in Alaska but not in Unalakleet. I am Inupiaq, but we are all people and when people come together for a common cause, it’s pretty awesome. Love and be love.

 

There is no Honor in a Medal.

We rise, we stand in unison, we Indigenous. Our Creator will hear our war cries, to use Him against us is the work of the evil one. Actions speak louder than words and a word is just that, words. We act on love for there is no other way. -Tuvramu

Stuck up a canal without a paddle.

I was leading a sinful life, drinking to subside a inner pain of not having my sons with me. My sister and her boyfriend and my cousin and her boyfriend and myself went up the Unalakleet river. We were drinking and I jumped into the cold river. My cousin jumped in as well and we both warmed up and got ready to go back to Unalakleet. We were all drunk but I was very inebriated. We made it back to the slough and I tasked myself to carry my cousins boyfriends gun, he was also my classmate growing up. Everyone started walking back to the old house that my mom grew up in. We lived there after my cousin kicked us out of his mother’s house after my mom drunkenly balled out my Gram about her son who hurt children. Anyway I turned around back to the river and saw my cousin Jack who we call bumpy and Eddie Man who is my good friends dad. They were going bird hunting so I said I would go with them. I didn’t tell anyone I just hopped in their boat and followed them, we call that maliq- to follow. We were half way in between Unalakleet and the village south of us of St. Michael when I started to sober up. I snapped out of my drunkenness and then they told me we were going to canal. I had never been there so I was happy and excited. It was only going to be a day trip so I wasn’t worried about having no diguaq or what we call snacks for hunting or gathering. The boat ride was beautiful and it was years since I had traveled in the ocean. We traveled the ocean a lot growing up to gather eggs of birds and fish, herring eggs laid on kelp. We were approaching the village of St. Micheal and the closer we got to the shore the closer an armed State Trooper with an AK-47 came to us. We landed at the beach and he said we were in the line of sight of a shooter who was holding himself hostage in a home. We went to buy some smoke for our trip. It had been years and years since I was in St. Micheal. My fathers family had lived there but moved to Unalakleet after my Grandpa got kicked out of the village for misconduct. A disease and sickness passed on from father to son and the only way to heal is through Jesus. So we took off for the bird hunting grounds and Eddie man was driving his ocean boat and being sure to stay in the channel. Then when we almost made it passed all the dangers of the big rocks in the ocean it happened, we hit a rock. The lower unit on his engine went out. Only reverse worked so we had to go in reverse to the nearest land which was on the St. Micheal side of the canal. We were stuck, no way could we drive in reverse in the ocean. So we got ready to go hunt some birds. My brother Axel took me bird hunting once when we were very young and I caught three ducks. The gun I “borrowed” from my classmate was a bear gun so I couldn’t use it. They had an extra shot gun I was able to use. The first bird caught was a crane Eddie Man dropped, I watched it fall and knew the area where it was hiding. I showed him where to go find it. The crane was still alive and had some fight in it. It was amazing the stance and fierceness of the crane. The mighty hunter Eddie Man was not afraid, I was. He drop kicked the crane missed the first kick then the crane extended its wings and tried to beak him. He was wearing bunny boots which are heavy winter boots and the second kick was a drop kick to the head of the crane. It was out cold and would make a good meal for his mom. Then they were going to go sneak some birds and my cousin Bumpy, who was the first and only wrestler out of Unalakleet to win a State Wrestling Championship, he caught a goose. I caught nothing and I was hunting wrong. The 12-gauge rifle I was using wouldn’t work for the long shots I was shooting for. I didn’t want to sneak any birds so I picked some berries and ate them. We came back to the boat and the twin volcanoes were amazing to me, beautiful country I was so thankful to be a tag along. The first night we were stranded and hungry, we ate the goose my cousin caught. There was only one Monster energy drink and one vitamin water that they took along and the water all around us was salty so we picked berries to quench our thirst and shared the drinks equally. That night by the fire we slept on burlap and had just enough burlap to cover us. I got to stay in the middle and we were all near the fire. There were two white owls spooking me out and Eddie Man said to not be afraid they were just hunting mice. So I wasn’t afraid. The next day we waved down a small river boat. They were on their way hunting and we wished them luck and said we would get help eventually. The villages located on this small island have a reindeer herd, which are domesticated caribou, and we got to watch them run, I was impressed. We didn’t catch anything that day but we were in the wrong hunting area. We had to spend another night by the fire. We were getting dehydrated and I knew we had to go home somehow. I prayed for God to let us go home and that third day we were able to get a tow to St. Michael and catch a ride home from a group of hunters from our village. Now, I make a diguaq for even the shortest of trips. I made it home just before my mom was going to file a missing persons report. I was missing for two days and no one had a clue where I was. I was on the hunting trip of a lifetime with two awesome hunters. My mom said I looked like a wild woods woman and I believed her. I drank water which is something I haven’t ever liked drinking until that day, I was so thankful for water. I still am. The man holding himself hostage turned himself in and that ended peacefully, something I prayed about while we were bird hunting. You just can’t beat some hunting stories and we would have survived another week if we had to because we have the know how. That know how needs to be passed down and that is what I pass down to my children. God is good.

Unalakleet, Alaska and the great Awakening

IMG_1636Way up in the Northern regions of Alaska is a small Inupiaq and Yu’pik community of Unalakleet. Growing up I was told the meaning of our town is “where the east wind blows.” Our community has been a hub for surrounding villages for a long time. A major trading village in the days of old. The old town site is historical and my mom took me there once, fascinating to imagine old sod houses where the ditches in the earth are now covered with tundra. We did not disturb the old home sites just carefully picking cranberries around the area. The village can be a good thing or a bad thing and I’m hoping to shed light on some of the dangers of living in such a small, isolated community. Most of all to portray the goodness.

The village of Unalakleet is nestled in a valley at the drainage of the Unalakleet River where it meets the Bering Sea. Growing up the road to the hillside was along the airport road which aligns with the beach. This was after the old bridge was gone and before the new bridge was built on the Gwethluq slough. The dike separating the slough from the two lakes in the village was man made but built to help with flooding. This is a sand spit and eventually the village will have to relocate, something those who are capable are already doing by building homes up on the hillside. There used to be the old army hill where there were run down buildings from an old army base. A road travels 11 miles parallel on the left side of the river and ends at the old White Alice site. There used to be three towers there and the view from our cabin growing up allowed us to watch first hand the explosions that tore the towers down. The land used to be riddled and may still be today with PCBs. Our land will heal as our people are continually healing as we strive for a better future for our children.

Our Native Corporation store was once a larger scale operation than what it is today. The Post Office is now located in the old store building. The post office used to be near the Alaska Commercial Company store that is located “downtown” or at the point of town where the mouth of the river is located. Along with the fish plant and Brown’s lodge. Once in it’s hay day of civilizing our culture there was a boarding school for students called Covenant High. In the middle area of town there is “the Igloo” a snack shop and hangout for locals.

Growing up we had Bill’s video, that was a VHS rental in Bill’s home then was moved to the back of the Igloo. There used to be Maggie’s shop next door to the old house, she also rented out VHS tapes and had snacks and soft serve ice cream. Before there was peace on earth pizza there was a man who made pizzas out of his home, if I recall correctly his name was Dan Masters.

Near the airport side of town there is Happy Valley, a subsection of homes that are similar to hud housing. I liked to think of it as the suburbs but that was far from the truth. A lot of my cousins and friends grew up in that part of town. The Tiqasuk library used to be close to the Unalakleet Schools. There was a headstart program in the building that is now a coffee shop. My first teachers were Millie, Margie and Kermit. I would ask my mom for “potato soup” because that’s what I loved to eat at headstart. It took my mom awhile to figure out that I was actually referring to tomato soup. I had to go to school with a pair of dark blue Velcro shoes and I was not happy with that. Some of the activities I loved were building with brick looking cardboard blocks, the reading nook not to read but to look at pictures in the children’s books and going outside to do the dome game where we worked together to fill a dome parachute looking contraption with air and going under to create a dome. My teacher Millie always had beautiful marks on her face like my mom, beauty marks. My teacher Margie was a delightful soul always so happy. My teacher Kermit had one finger missing but I was never scared of him because he wore the same white tee shirts my Grandpa Johnson wore. There were substitutes here and there but I remember these three teachers very well. I thought of Headstart as a play program where I got to do cool projects, learn how to brush my teeth properly and actually not get my way.

The classmates you grow up with are almost an every day part of your life. We had a pretty chill class. In Kindergarten I would pluck out one of my classmates hair to tease him and say “I’ve got your hair.” I did not like nap time but I loved anything having to do with “it’s time to line up” I remember Mrs. Brown and Ms. Haugen and mainly being interested in arts and crafts or play time. I do remember a puppet in a tool box that I loved when Ms. Haugen would teach us lessons through him. The bilingual teachers would stroll a cart to our classroom for our heritage learning. Mrs. Mary Ann Haugen and Mrs. Charles. They both wore glasses so I tried to always be in the front so they could see me better, silly for thinking they couldn’t because that is what glasses are for. There was a day our class invited our siblings for part of our day and I was taken back at one of the girls making rough movements on the corner of her chair. I asked the teacher to help her thinking she had an itch or something. She was more than likely one of so many little girls who were molested. Something prevalent today in the rural villages. This will no longer be swept under the rug. Part of my testimony is that I am a survivor of sexual assault, sexual molestation and later in life rape. It’s a harsh reality to come to terms with, let alone to heal from. It literally has lifelong effects but there is always hope for a better future. To create change we must identify or expose the problem, then it no longer becomes acceptable or hushed behavior.

In such small communities I do not know how our women can sit idle. It happened to them and they don’t care if it happens to their daughters? That is the worst mentality to be occurring. We can create change and hope. Most adult problems and depression stem from early childhood trauma. This trauma can be overcome.

School was mandatory and so was summers spent at our cabin but that was the best part of my childhood. There is such a deep love for nature in my heart because my summers were spent in nature. We were poor, so we had to work very hard to gather enough food to last us through the winter. Five children is no easy task when it comes to keeping our bellies full for the majority of the year. One of our main staples was fish, every sort, caught during it’s run and cut and hanged to dry on our fish rack. Berries in the order of salmon or cloud berries first, then blueberries, raspberries, crow berries, cranberries and currants. With each coming in to season after the other. We put away masu in the spring and that is a root from the tundra, reminiscent to me of carrots but sweeter and of white flesh. Our greens gathered included Elephant ears we dipped in milk and vinegar sauce was always a special treat around the time we would gather sourdock leaves, something sour that my mom magically turned into something sweet called achathluk. Sura was a willow leaf collected right after bloomage and it was sour but nutritious. We stored the picked leaves in seal oil. Beach greens were so easy to gather and fun because we could look for sea shells at the same time. My mom would have us pick rosehip petals sometimes for jellies or to mix in with our ayuu tea. Our meats consisted of Moose, Caribou, Beaver, Porcupine, Seal, Ducks, Geese, Swan, Crane and Muktuk (whale). All these riches gathered by our hands from the land to help sustain us through the winter months. It was the good life.

There is an awakening occurring in the rural villages of Alaska where the sin of man will no longer be swept under the rug, and that is hurting little children and those who cannot fend for themselves. It is going to stop. We are the generation of healing and forgiveness, both go hand in hand. But the wounds must be ripped open as to no longer fester but to be cleaned through Jesus and to heal through Him. I am on a mission of Love and it is so very simple, all I am required to do is smile each day and all else will follow. We work with what we have and what all of us have that are saved is love and a smile. Please pray for the Rural Villages of Alaska. There is such goodness in the people but we are healing from the loss of our cultural identity and that identity will be restored. A learned behavior is hard to break, a lot of hurt and suffering comes hand in hand with colonization and our blood is not used to the effects of alcohol. Our bodies are allergic to it in a sense that we are basically infants trying to consume alcohol. All this is relatively new. Retaining our knowledge of the land and the subsistence lifestyle will go hand in hand with healing of not only the people but the land as well.

 

A quilt for my mom

IMG_6501.JPGGod was presented with quilts and each represented the life of the giver. The quilts were starting to look the same after awhile, each pattern repeated with straight lines and the quilts shared a similar structure. Then, He paused for a moment. To inspect this humble quilt pieced together in a mess of patterns. Looking carefully at the beauty of the quilt in all it’s madness. Not once did the little girl stop loving her Father in Heaven. The pain in the quilt, endless bottles of tears, but all beared truth to the love of her God. It was beautiful and He shed a tear. All her pains and worries were washed away. The quilt was not folded away for storage, but displayed for all to see.

My dream for Us

we will unite

the native tribes will stand in unison

it will not be a fight to the death

our weapon is love

you cannot combat us

our hearts bleed innocence

they have bled long enough

the streams of blood flow

Gathered at the basin of the dead

they will not consume us

we have stood idle long enough

we have been awake

your lies do not shake us

we shake the earth

hear our war cries

tremble in fear

our hearts will soar

carried by our eagle

the time is nowGertz

 

My Tributary to the Trinity

IMG_0280Be careful what you sow, and you better be able to reap it. Love evolves love. This is in part a book of hurt, but with hurt and pain comes healing and forgiveness; and that is a beautiful thing.

It started with a dream my mom had. She was told in her dream to dedicate her five children to God. She had us dedicated to the Unalakleet Covenant Church and sent us to Sunday School each weekend. I didn’t mind because of all the crafts we could do. This was when the basement of the church had sliding panels to make different classes. I liked looking out the basement windows because it was so cool to me to be able to see the view of outside from so low. I enjoyed it.

My middle school years were like my rebellion years. Very mischief group of girls I rolled with, but the way I see it, is I got to be a part of something. In the summer there was always a way for us to go to the Unalakleet Covenant Bible Camp, our week away from camping to go camping. I loved the trails of camp, they were well worn and I could run fast through the woods.

I drank for the first time after my eighth grade year. I was the reason we got caught because I tried to do the dishes and the water overflowed and made a mess into the cupboards and onto the floor of the old house. Now, my mom knew how to punish us and it worked. My older sister and I spent that entire summer indoors. Our cousin from Utah came up that summer and we weren’t allowed to go play out because of our actions.

I strived to do my best in High School because I knew my grades in middle school wouldn’t affect my high school grade point average. I knew that if I wanted a higher education I had to work for my scholarships. My freshman year I whole-heartedly accepted Jesus into my heart. I got a taste of Him through Sunday school and Bible Camp and I knew I loved Him. I was willing to give up the ways of the world to me and that was my basketball card collection and CDs from Colombia House and BMG. I bagged up my belongings and took them to the dumpster.

The best part of being a young Christian is the excitement I found in having Jesus in my heart, that led to a lot of opportunities. I went to a youth convention that year in Anchorage with my aunt Jean and our youth group. I remember it like it was yesterday because all my memories are like that. We went to worship at Abbott Church and I was taken back at all the young people gathering together to worship. It was powerful. We were blessed to be in God’s house singing to Him in adoration. I love to adore my God by simply enjoying nature.

There was another trip we went on that year to Shaktoolik. It was a Spirit filled trip. I was baptized in the shallow Shaktoolik river by Pastor Dotomain. Him and his wife were blessings in more ways than we will ever know. After those called to be baptized were, we went to worship at the Assembly of God Church. It was the one and only time I spoke in tongues. Sounds I’ve never heard or knew I was capable of making flowed from my mouth without control. I was frightened, a good fear. In middle school I paid very close attention to the unforgivable sin, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I knew not to question God in His works and wonders.

My Freshman and Sophomore year I maintained my 4.0 GPA. I did a stint of confirmation but got too busy to finish. I enjoyed a lot of one time programs through the Covenant Church in the summer. Including the Upriver Uplook Canoe Trip and Christ’s Own REvolution (CORE) trip. I was totally in love with Jesus and on fire for God.

My idea of being perfect was my own undoing. Later I would realize that Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He simply asks us to do our best in loving Him and in turn loving others. My junior year of High School I received my first B. I begged my Physics teacher for extra work, anything that would help me get an A. I was denied that opportunity and I walked home crying. I felt as if I wouldn’t get my scholarships for a higher education. No one understood me. It was silly to let a B change my way of thinking in a way of I no longer cared. I kept at it getting all As besides the Bs I would receive in that class.

One summer in High School I was able to be a part of a Missionary Trip that took place in the rural villages of Alaska. Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay, Mountain Village, Shaktoolik and Unalakleet. I met a single mother in Mountain Village with the last name Bean. I met her through her children who I love and they brought me to their home. A trailer mobile home, that was still to me, better housing than what I grew up in. I liked looking at the knick knacks the mom had saved that her children made. There was a struggle I saw in her that felt familiar. I prayed with her and her children and left their home with a sense of love and it made my heart happy. I liked talking to people who other’s overlooked. A simple smile or compliment. A simple act that can change one’s outlook on life.

In Scammon Bay I was in awe of the hill of rocks that seemed so close to the village, I wanted to climb to the top and jump from rock to rock. We played basketball with the youth and shared our love for Jesus. I stayed at the Mute’s home in Anna’s room and ate Musk Ox for the first time and only time in my life. It was a rich dark meat that reminded me of meat we eat at home, only more powerful. More filling. I love Yupik’s just like I love all our indigenous nations. That love extends to all nations of the earth. That is what Jesus told us to do, accept and love all.

I’ve stumbled time and time again in my life. I like to say I’m the best example of what not to do. There was one constant in my life I’ve had since the ninth grade and that is the love I have for God. Who sent His son Jesus to die for us all. I call it the love blood of Jesus. The most powerful thing in existence. A mother’s love will change the world.

I was told I’m a good writer but I just like to get what is off my chest and my mind just to try to make sense of things. I wrote letters to God my whole life, writing a prayer, reading it twice, something to look back on and willingly receiving His grace time and time again. The things I did not understand took time to make known the Truth. Jesus is the truth, the way and the life.

I ran, I ran in shame not wanting to give my burdens to God. He had enough on His plate and I felt unworthy because that is what we all are.. Unworthy. But given life by the Grace of God that is Jesus.

In Shaktoolik I talked with a gentleman who witnessed the suicide of his best friend. A testimony all in itself of how the evil ones seeks to destroy our people. By stealing hope, by lies told by non believers, tricks of the ugly one who doesn’t deserve any recognition but was overcame by the blood of Jesus. We are all set free, we all have free will. Jesus is Hope and Love and it is the best life, no matter what walk of life you come from, choosing Him is the best thing I’ve done for myself. The only thing that will save you from the depths of despair. A choice that has everlasting effects. It is never too late to repent and accept Jesus when you are alive, but without this, when you die YOU will go to Hell. There is no question about that because He clearly states that. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Dear God, Thank you for sending your son Jesus to be the ultimate sacrifice, the perfect example of love, my everything. I am nothing without Him. I am capable of anything through Him. Three waves of love will wash over the earth giving three chances for you to accept the Truth. There is only salvation through Jesus, the perfect gift to mankind. Cultures around the world know Him without knowing His name. We now know that name and that is Jesus. Holy Spirit I invite you, use me I come before the Trinity Humbled and Willing. Amen!

 

Broken Little Girl

I grew up in love. There were horrible unspeakables that happened to me growing up. The way I was able to heal from my memories was through a healing ministry powerful through Jesus and prayer. I was taken back to the first offensive memory that was holding me back in life, and that was when I was molested while spending the night at my aunts. I had taken a bath and didn’t have clean underware so she dressed me in big panties and a nightgown. I was sent to bed while the other girls got to stay up. I was asleep when I woke up in fright and pain. I couldn’t see my older male cousins face because I was paralyzed in fear. He took his two pointer fingers and middle fingers pressing them together and penetrated my vagina. I did not know what was happening but i knew it was very wrong. I assumed it was one cousin and grew up hating him for what he did, little did I know I grew up loving the wrong cousin who hurt me. I was taken back through this memory through prayer and healing and Jesus was right there. It wasn’t my fault. I had done not a thing but be a little girl unscathed by a man’s touch. There is healing in the name of Jesus. There is forgiveness in the name of Jesus. Through Him all things are possible and able to overcome great hardships. Before I gave my heart to Jesus I was a mean thing when angered and a nice thing when happy. A problem I still struggle with today, acting on sheer emotion. When I love, I love fiercly and grew up being told not to hate but to dislike. Don’t hate people, dislike their actions. If people were not capable of change and that is a change of heart when Jesus is King of your heart, there would be no hope. I found my hope in Jesus and no matter the struggle of my sinful ways I never gave up hope. I was blinded by my own selfishness my whole life. Thinking I could get what I want only because I wanted it. I was a daddy’s little girl and I knew it. I did get what I wanted even though we grew up below the poverty line. We were rich in love and that I also knew. My mother showed us through action the ends of lengths she would go to protect us.

After my second grade year I was playing at the playground. A cousin of mine pulled my pants down to my ankles in front of the entire dismissed school. Everyone saw my private parts and I was humiliated. I ran home crying. The first time someone hurt me I was too scared to tell but this time was different. It was in front of people, in front of everyone. I told my mom. She took my hand and marched me back to the school to meet with the principal Mrs. Stout, a little thing in my eyes. She told my mom there was not a thing she was able to do because school had already been dismissed. My mom called her on her authority. That next year my momma homeschooled us. That was by far my favorite year of school, at home. I was safe and I was able to do crafts and read cool books like the Diclopedia, half dictionary and half encyclopedia. Schools in the village receive funding based on student count. My mom withdrew three of her children based on the non action of the Principal. They lost enough funding that impacted the school in such a way that Mrs. Stout was no longer the Principal in Unalakleet. A mother’s love will change the world.

I was a tough little girl and I could throw fits like no other. I was walking past the graveyard one day and three boys tackled me down. Two held my arms and legs while one was rubbing my vagina. I cried and yelled and screamed and kicked. I was fighting for my life at such a young age. The wounds are there in my heart, but they were cleaned and healed through Jesus. That is the only way. I fought hard enough and yelled hard enough the three boys got scared and let me go. One asked for forgiveness later on in life and I did forgive, not only him but all three. I was taking a nap on top of my bunk bed at the old house a few years later and my cousin, who was one of the three assailants, tried to touch my boobs. I spoke fear and terror into his heart the second that happened because I was no longer the defenseless little girl they tried to rape at the graveyard. Memories are blocked by God as for a way to protect the mind from self destruction. God reveals memories in due time as a call to healing and forgiveness and that is only through Jesus. I remember everything and memories were never blocked for me. What I saw as a curse is more of a blessing because I am constantly being healed and forgiven.

In middle school I was shooting hoops at the gym and an older guy was guarding me. Each time he tried to take the ball playing defense he took a feel at my underdeveloped breasts. I thought the first was an accident and after the third time I ran to the girls room crying. I didn’t go back to the gym after that. I had to learn to be healed and learn how to forgive. And that is through Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. And each and every time anyone has ever hurt me He was there. He was watching. He didn’t have control over the boys because He didn’t have their hearts. There is room for evil in the heart only when Jesus is not a part of it. The things that were done to me are common in the villages. It’s a hurt passed down from generation to generation. We are the generation of healing and forgiveness. How we handle the wrongs did to us has the capability to change and right the future. This I pray and yearn for, little girls growing up without the fear or pain I lived my life in. That hurt and that pain was given to Jesus and I am healed through Him and Him alone. Not one single girl who has opened up to me had a life free of pain. We are being hurt and it is going to stop. Men who hurt little girls will face judgment on this Earth and will pay for their sins in Jesus name.

There is hope for forgiveness and reconciliation and that is through Our Savior Jesus Christ. Life to me is being alive and living my life for Jesus. I was given a smile and that is a beautiful thing because that is something we all share. A simple smile. A mother’s love. Being raised in both worlds of traditional knowledge of the land and growing up along with technology in a sense. Watching the world progress but through that progression of convenience there is a connection lost. The everyday interactions with people is lost when we give up our right by choosing a computer over real human connections. I have always said convenience will be the death of us all. That death is people no longer caring, no longer standing up for what is right and being idle. When the change we are capable of is in the home and that is where it starts. Raising our children in love. With love comes discipline because we all make mistakes, we are human. There is beauty in brokenness when the glue that puts us back together is the Love of Jesus.

We are all broken, shattered in different ways, missing pieces. The piece to the puzzle is Love. Jesus is our perfect example of love. You will never know this love unless you make the personal choice of accepting Him. It is awesome! He is the ultimate Awesomeness in the entire existence throughout eternity.

Our mission on this world is to love. It is so very simple. So very comprehensible. Literally, starting with the home. The foundations of who we are, are established through the age of seven. It takes seven years for a Salmonberry to germinate. One cup of salmonberries has the equivalent nutritional value of seven oranges. This super food is unknown to many, but those who do know it, eat it. There is beauty in God’s creation. We are all created by God and all play a role in this chaos we call life.

I was asked if I had a super power what I would want. I said I would choose not to have ever existed. Mainly because of the pain and hurt I’ve endured my entire life. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. To say that was wrong. Because I am created in the likeness of God as we all are. I see my faults and stumble daily. I’ve overcome a lot and never gave up on hope. That is a hope for a better future. Stand up for what is right. Stand up for Jesus. Give all the glory to God because He deserves it and Him alone.

My understanding of love is so very simple. It is literally deciding every single day, that no matter what I go through, I will put a smile on my face. When I smile I smile because Jesus resides in my heart. A simple smile, given freely, only in hopes to put a smile on your face. A smile creates hope. When I loose my smile I loose hope. I am a very happy go lucky type of personality. Gullible to the fullest and ever so trusting. I don’t like the actions of people and that is ok, that does not mean I do not love them. We hold no water when we try to judge others because that right is reserved for Jesus. So I simply do not judge. I’ve come to the understanding that some people just cannot love, that is only because they do not have Jesus in their heart. When you accept Jesus into your heart it is admitting our sins, acknowledging Jesus died for our sins and a call to love. He loved me first and I will love Him till my last breath on this earth. When I say I love you I mean it with every facet of my being, however imperfect that is only because I know in my heart of hearts that Jesus paid the ultimate price. He died no more for me than He died for you. Does not play favorites and accepts all. The only example of perfection, something we can strive for but never attain.

The innocence of the little girl. I was always so happy regardless of the home I ran into, in shame every single day. It alone taught me never to be ashamed of where I came from and to always, always be thankful for a roof over my head. It was seven different colors and written on the front was the tag #1. I really didn’t like the old house. It was falling apart our whole lives and us five kids had to share one room. It had two bunk beds and a queen in one room and my parents had the smaller room. We always had running water and a flush toilet. That is a luxury some villages still have yet to attain.

I always tried to have as many friends as I could because I liked people in general. I befriended a different classmate each to my own liking. My best friends growing up were Val-gal and Beatrice. They both have a joy about life that held my heart. I loved having picnics on top of the old shed or exploring the village of Unalakleet. Bea was able to play with us up at camp and we always had a blast. I remember playing bakery with mud pies in happy valley, the subsection of town where all the homes are alike. There are a lifetime of memories I hold so very dear to my heart and when I think back on my life I really don’t see how I could have been more blessed than to be the person God created me to be.

There is a love for learning and the yearning to understand. If I had a question I simply asked for the answer. If I wasn’t given an answer I searched for the answer. I wasn’t one to be left in the dark and my hand was always eager to be raised. My favorite teacher growing up was my mom. She taught me everything we needed to know to survive how our ancestors did. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to culturally identify with our loved ones who went on before us. I lack the ability to speak my native tongue, but I have treasured basic words I learned and I’m always willing to learn more. The willingness to do my best has always been there, not because I think I am better than anyone, I really just wanted to make my mom proud. Her true grit and passion for life lives in her no matter how hard she is afflicted by the evil one he will never snatch her. That is the truth. There is a spiritual warfare constantly occurring that we are unaware of. I do not fear any thing other than the fear I have for God, only because that is a fear out of love. Just as you hold your mother and fear her rod that is the same fear of respect and love we have for God.

I pray every single day and every single day I pray in a different way. I humbly go before my God and I thank Him, I adore Him, I miss Him and love Him. I pray for my children, for God to protect their heart, mind and body. The selfless act of a mother giving her children to God is the same act my mother was asked to do. It’s not giving up your children it’s putting them in God’s care because that is the best care in existence. My first born son has the heart of nations. His ideas are revolutionary and will change the world. It’s the same heart of mine that bleeds for children and the helpless. His idea of procreation is that there should be none, not until the children who have no parents are taken in by those capable. Giving hope and love where there is none. Literally holding back the selfish act of I want to make my own baby to there are so many babies in the world who have absolutely nothing. They die every second of every day through starvation and abuse. How can we sit idle. How can change not be created when we as a race are more than capable. We spend our lives running around in a cirlcle not really accomplishing anything. That is where I have fault in my ways of thinking. I want to care so much about the world in it’s entirety that I fail to care enough to hold my family together. Small steps, baby steps. Taking care of the home. You literally decide what you make your home. My home is love but I lack patience and understanding. When I see red and hear red that is my own rage blinding myself. It is selfish. Selfishness is hate. I only want love. God is love.