Dec 8, 2012

It's gettin' dark out

Christmas tree lighting @ about 3 PM
While video Skyping with our sending church, Victory Baptist Church, last week I mentioned to them about posting a video of our 25-30 minute walk to church.  Well I recorded the video, but it didn't turn out as well as I hoped.  It's too dark (24 hour darkness now) and too shaky.  I did some editing on it, but I am still not pleased with house it looks.  SO, instead of posting a junky, dark, earthquaking video I will be waiting until we can get a sledge to use, strap our camera to that, and make a nice smooth, although probably still dark video.

Why do this?  We would like for others to see how we commute over here.  We don't have a car and rarely take a taxi (they're expensive, and honestly some drivers are just plain scary).  If we want to go somewhere, we hoof it on foot.  It can get very tiring, but that's how it is here.  Most people in Greenland don't own a car, so we are in the majority in that area.

We're looking for the place (or places) to go and order us our very own sledge.  Looks like prices range between $300-400 depending on which size we choose.  Our desire is to have one big enough to carry groceries home one and to transport the kids if/when they get too tired to walk.  We do NOT plan on getting any dogs though, so it will have to be the right size to carry those things, while still allowing me to push it.  Please pray for this.

The moon around 10 AM last week - we've gotten darker since then.
In completely other news, Masey and the kids got their approval papers in the mail the other day! YAY!  We're happy about that because that allows us to live and minister here until Sept 2013 (don't worry though, we'll refile for another extension before then).  Those that receive our prayer letters could tell that we were concerned with their approval.  I had heard several different answers from Immigration about their paperwork, but none of them decisive or in writing.  Mainly I heard a lot of "Keep waiting" or "We don't really know what is taking so long" etc.  So we thank you for praying for that and we thank God for answering how He did.

Keep checking on this blog, I'm hoping to do a series of posts soon about missions/missionaries.

Nov 9, 2012

We've moved!

Photo op in Sisimiut airport
We arrived here in Ilulissat, Greenland last Friday, Nov 2.  Since then we have been busy getting adjusted to the new town, the darker days, and serving in the new church here in Ilulissat. 

Lord willing, our container will arrive safe and sound tomorrow, and will be delivered and unpacked the next Monday.
Also Eryn had a birthday.  Our little baby girl is now 5! I told her that I remembered being 5, but I don't think she believed me. ^_^

Eli helping set up our cots
Thank you for those who have been praying for us.  We are excited about being here, and still a bit nervous.  Our family still has not had their paperwork approved, so please continue to pray that they'll get approved soon.

Oct 23, 2012

Boxing up our igloo

My bookcase is getting boxed up!
We are getting things boxed, bagged, and labeled for our upcoming move.  I want to say "Thank you!" to those who have been praying for us lately.

I finally decided on a container.  We will be going with a 20 ft container instead of the mini container.  This size did cost more, but after running some measurements through a 3D home design program called Sweet Home 3D, I found out that our stuff just wouldn't fit into two mini containers thereby negating the cost effectiveness of them.  It was either go with the bigger container or get rid of our couch and various shelving/cabinets, so that made the decision a whole lot easier! (^_^)

We will be loading our container on Monday, Oct 29.  We're not sure of the time, so we have to be on standby all day. (Stop by if you're in the area. ^_^ We'll let you help!)  Please pray that the container makes it to Ilulissat without any delays.  If all goes well we should be unloading it on Nov 12.  There is the problem of the ocean (or even the bay in Ilulissat) being impassible because of sea ice.  This happens every year for them, I'm just not sure if it happens this early in the year or not.

We will fly out from here on the following Friday, Nov 2.  Once again, please pray that we won't have any weather delays with the flights.  This flight isn't a direct flight to Ilulissat though; we have a short layover in Aasiaat, so we are hoping to get a few pictures of the airport at least.

We are excited to be moving up to work with the Shull family, but also sad to be leaving Sisimiut.  We still want to see a good, strong, independent Baptist church started in Sisimiut one day.  Not just Sisimiut only, we want to see them all throughout Greenland!  Whether those churches are started by us, another missionary family, or some saved, discipled, and sent-out Greenlanders, we want to see Christ taken to all of Greenland.

On another note, I have changed this blog back to the old style.  After tweaking and changing things in the Dynamic Views, I just didn't like it.  I still hope to get more personalizing done with this layout, just at a later date.

Thank you for the prayers for our family and for those who have sent notes, cards, monthly support, and special offerings to our family.  We are very grateful to be laboring in our little patch of ice for our Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Oct 4, 2012

The dog sledge is booked

Actually we're flying, not traveling by dog sledge.  I think Masey would end my life if we were to travel that far by sledge (about 175 miles).  I did purchase the plane tickets this past Tuesday, Oct 2.  We are scheduled to fly out from here to Ilulissat on Friday, November 2.  Please continue to pray for us as we have lots to do.
Dash 8 - We're hoping for this plane (it's the nicer of the two)

In order for our belongings to get to Ilulissat we will need to ship a container.  You might be wondering why we need to ship a container.  We cannot use a moving truck because there are no roads between here and there.  In fact, there are no roads that connect any of Greenland's cities or villages.  I have a choice between a 20 ft container or I could use two or three mini containers.  For those that may not know, a mini container is about the same height and width of a 20 ft container but it's about a quarter of the length.  It's also about a quarter of the cost to use a mini container. 

This looks the same size as the mini one we're considering

When we moved here from America we used a 20 ft container, but it wasn't packed full.  What I see as a draw back would be the cost of getting the containers to and from both harbors.  If the truck has to do multiple trips, that will eat up any money that we might save by using it.

Please continue to pray for us to have wisdom with these decisions and needs.  More specifically: (1) I need to decided something definite in about a week concerning the type of container to let the company know in plenty of time, (2) the approval of the rest of the family's paperwork, and (3) the rest of the money needed for shipping the container (or containers) which is about $1000.

We are so grateful for those that pray for us.  If you have any questions about this move, any advice, or just a note of encouragement, feel free to email me (email address is on the "Who we are" page.)

Oct 1, 2012

Up and down and up

This past couple weeks have been filled with ups and downs and ups for us. (Kinda makes me think of a roller coaster in that regard.)

On Sept 17 I called Danish Immigration on a whim, not thinking much would come of it. The lady I spoke with gave us great news, the paperwork had been approved and we could move to Ilulissat! In fact, it had been approved for a week when I called them.

We were ecstatic! I called the other missionaries in Ilulissat to let them know the great news. We set a date of November 2 to move to Ilulissat. I got a letter in the mail a couple days later stating that I had been approved to work as a missionary in Ilulissat. We were eagerly awaiting the actually residence cards all week, when last Friday a horrible thought struck me. The letter said that Marty Arnold (that's me) had been approved, but it said nothing of my family. OH NO!

Because of the time difference between Greenland and Denmark it was too late to call Immigration on Friday to check on our fears. I did go by our police department to ask them as see what they could find. I was told they would do some checking and let me know on Monday. Monday came and I never heard from them, so I decided to call Immigration on Tuesday morning to try and find some answers for myself.

The phone call didn't go at all like we hoped. The woman told me that I had misfiled my family's paperwork and that was hindering the progress. I tried to explain that I filed the same way this time as I did in 2010 when we originally applied and had no troubles then, but it didn't matter. I asked her why hadn't anyone told me before now, since the paperwork had been pending for over 7 months. She informed me that: (1) They never look at accompanying family members paperwork until the main paperwork (mine) is approved and (2) That she was now informing me that it was wrong.

From what I gathered while conversing with her is that Danish Immigration will let the paperwork stand for now, but the review process will be when they get around to it. Meaning that, although they claim it was done wrong, it will be ok. She flat out told me that they have NO time line for my family's approval.

This crushed us! Now what are we supposed to do?!?! I immediately called the other missionary family to inform them. We were praying for a miracle now. The police department here was still checking to see if there is something else that can be done while we wait, but they have not given any answers.

I called again this past Thursday to let them know that my residence card had not arrived yet. I was told that it can take 4-6 weeks to get them printed and then Immigration will ship them here. I thought I was going to pass out when she told me that. It seemed like more bad news for us. I talked with her about getting the card sent to Ilulissat since technically I had already been approved to move. Thankfully it doesn't look like that should be a problem.

I had her check on my family's paperwork again. We had been praying for a miracle. She told us that their paperwork looked fine and that the case worker had been looking at it. That was good news for us! Apparently they have changed the rules for some of the filing, but she didn't know if that was before or after we had originally filed in January.

I asked her if it would be OK for us to move to Ilulissat while their paperwork was pending. After some checking she told me that it should be fine to do that. She did caution us that if Masey and the kids were to be denied, they would have to leave Greenland. As I was getting off the phone with her, she was going to send a note to their caseworker telling her that I had called to check on the progress and asking her to email me if our moving would be a problem while the other paperwork is pending. Praise God, so far I haven't gotten any emails from them!

After praying about it we have decided to take a step of faith and go ahead and purchase the tickets for our original moving date of November 2. We will be buying the tickets either tonight or in the morning.

Please pray for us concerning Immigration. Please pray:
  1. That Danish Immigration will approve my family quickly
  2. That Immigration won't have any problem with us moving to Ilulissat if my family is not approved by the time we desire to move. 
  3. For us about this move. We have a lot of work that needs to be done in packing, arranging a container, getting the container up there before the sea ice gets too thick, and also paying for the shipping of the container. If I'm not mistaken we still need about $1,000 to finish covering the container costs, so please pray that this would come in also.

We have a place to minister and a place to live waiting on us in Ilulissat, now we are just waiting for the approval. Within two weeks we have gone from great happiness and celebration, to sadness and uncertainty, to where we are now: hopeful and optimistic. At times like these I can be so grateful that even though I have no control over the situation, God still does. Please pray that God's will be done, and if He sees fit, the family will receive approval swiftly so that we can arrive in Ilulissat on November 2. Thank you!

Aug 28, 2012

Blog changes and updates

I have been contemplating some blog changes for a while now.  This is the new design that I have settled on.  The things that I like about this design outweigh the parts I don't like, but I do plan to do some tweaking on it as I learn how.

Leave me a comment or shot me and email to let me know what you think of this design.  Just in case you haven't been here in a while, click on the picture below to see what the site did look like.

Thank you for praying for us.  Masey is doing a lot better.  She has been able to get back to her housework, which she has been wanting to do since I'm not a very good housewife. ^_^

I am getting ready to do our next prayer letter.  If you would like to get them by email, just email me telling me who you are and that you would like to be added to the list.

I want to thank everyone once again for the kind emails and the comments that Masey got on Facebook while she was sick.  They have been a great blessing to us!

Aug 7, 2012

A few hospital visits

Thank you for keep up with us through my sparse blog posts.  The past few days I have been talking with Danish Immigration and the police station here to try and find out more on our paperwork.  Denmark told me that the paperwork is hung up in Greenland and Greenland says that they sent everything to Denmark in January (which Denmark acknowledges).  So it seems to be a case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.  That leaves us back to playing the waiting game.  I still plan to call Danish Immigration at the beginning of every month until I get an answer.  Will that hurry them up any?  I doubt it, but it would help me to feel more productive. ^_^

I try to keep in mind that we were first approved in Feb 2011 I had called Danish Immigration that morning and they said they couldn't give me any certain answer other than the paperwork was still being worked on.  Later that day I received a call from the Danish Embassy in New York to let me know that they had the approvals and needed our passports.  With that in mind they could have sent an answer here 10 days ago and they wouldn't know because it takes two weeks for things to show up in their system.

For those that have been wondering, I did have the dental work done here and it went very smoothly.  I had three back teeth extracted (two wisdom teeth and one broken tooth) without a great deal of pain.  Which I am very glad for because the extent of the medication given was Pamol (like Tylenol) and Ibuprofen.  They were done a week apart and I have healed up just fine.

My wife, Masey, has been having her share of health problems.  A little over three weeks ago she started with a bad dizzy spell while cooking.  Since then she has had bad headaches, muscle aches, tight stiff neck, gets winded very easily, and stays tired.  We have had three trips to the local hospital, blood work a couple times, and other neurological tests which ended up in the doctor telling us that nothing is wrong with her.  Needless to say she is still about the same with good days and bad days.  We have also been talking with a doctor friend for ideas on things to watch for and reporting symptoms back to him.  While we still don't know what is causing these problems, we do know that God is controlling all of this and pray that He receives glory and honor form this.  A great big "THANK YOU!" goes out to those who have prayed for us during this time!

I have done what I can to help out around the house but I am no housekeeper or cook.  Thankfully the children have been helping some and Ramen Noodles were on sale last week.^_^

Masey was feeling a little better today so she hung out some laundry and walked to the store by herself.  She did good but came home very tired from all of the walking.  I jokingly asked her about taking a hike to a local water fall that we have been wanting to see but I doubt she will be up for that anytime soon.  When I went there alone it was a three hour hike for me because I didn't know the trails.  I told Masey that we could take it slow and make it a five hour hike, but she's still not interested right now.  ^_^

Masey also has a blog that she is doing (and quite well I want to add).  It is  She enjoys doing this blog very much, and she has some great thoughts on here.  Head on over there, read what she has to say, and sign up for email updates.

Our summer feels like it is ending.  We've been getting rain for over a week now and enjoying temps in the mid to upper 40's.  I must say that I'm looking forward to winter again.  Summer was nice, but with winter comes dark nights again, and that makes it easier to sleep at night!

On another note I am planning on doing some changing and rearranging to this blog.  If you have any suggestions for changes, you can leave them in the comments or email them to me.

Please continue to pray for us as we are FREEZIN'...for a reason.

Jun 27, 2012

Catching up

Things have been quite on the blog but that doesn't mean things haven't been happening here.  We have been plenty busy with just the everyday things of living here in Greenland.  The kids have been dealing with some sickness.  It looks like it is just some congestion, though we think Eryn may have had strep.  For those that get our prayer letters you'll know that I hurt my foot recently.  I can say that it is healing up nicely.  Though it wasn't broken, it sure was bruised and sore.  I was able to go on a three and a half hour hike yesterday and didn't have any trouble with my foot.  Also, pray for me because I will be needing some dental work done soon.  Going to dentists in America were a nervous ordeal for me, but going to one here makes me feel even worse. ^_^

We still have not heard "Yes" or "No" from Danish Immigration concerning our move to Ilulissat.  Please continue to pray for us about this.  Things are still continuing on with our studies.  I finished my Greenlandic classes at the end of April and gained some more knowledge of the language.  I have shifted focus for now to Danish, praying that I can gain more fluency with that language.  I have learned some more phrases in Danish and I'm working on getting better with my pronunciation.

I am preparing something of a "Religious Survey" to pass out to some of the people we know here.  I can do all the reading about the Lutheran church or the superstitions of the peoples here, but I believe to best way to understand the beliefs would be to ask them.  It is just a few very simple questions that I am translating into Danish.  I hope to see some good results to where I can better know what the people believe or don't believe.  I have noticed that when I talk with the English speaking ones they can converse with me until I get to Bible topics.  I lose them when I talk of things like sin, salvation, the Gospel, heaven and hell.  I know a few of these terms in Danish and yet they don't understand those either.  It seems like any work done here will take a long time in what we might call the simple, foundational truths of the Bible.

Please continue to pray for us.  We deal with many spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical strains, but we know that it is God that sustains us.

May 8, 2012

The Ilulissat Trip

Last week we got back from our trip to Ilulissat.  We had a great time there!  They have a glacier outside town with keeps their coastline surrounded by icebergs.  Not only did we enjoy the town but we had a great time with the Shull family, the other Baptist missionaries here in Greenland.

Eli loves the snow!
The boardwalk on the way to the glacier
Maryanna playing with her new friend

The kids had such a great time!
Eryn, Mattie, & me

Apparently 7 kids = 1 Marty

Eryn made a new friend at a kaffemik

The Arnold family & the Shull family

Your Arctic ambassadors, the Arnold family!
Our main reason for going to Ilulissat wasn't to see the town, though it was great.  It wasn't to fellowship with another Christian family, though it was much needed!  Our main reason was to see about working with the Shull family.  We have been in Sisimiut for a year now but we really believe that it would be the Lord's will for us to move up to Ilulissat and work with the Shull family!  While we have made friends and contacts here, our Danish & Greenlandic still are not at the level to be able to witness to them.  By moving we have several goals in mind, one of which would be furthering our language skills.

We are praying about moving up there at the beginning of September.  Please keep us in prayer as we still have much to do in preparation for the move.  We are sad to leave behind friends here, but we are excited to see how things will be in Ilulissat.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Mar 27, 2012

Running the Race

Arctic Circle Race

   Our town, Sisimiut, just hosted their 16th annual Arctic Circle Race. It is said to be the hardest cross country skiing race in the world. We had about 140 skiers from several different countries come here to compete. Our town hosted folks from a total of 15 countries. They came from Greenland, Denmark, New Zealand, America, Russia, Germany, and other countries. The racers were of a diverse age group also, the youngest being 14 and the eldest being 67 years old.

Click to enlarge
   They left the starting line on Friday at 10:00 AM. They had to travel a total of 100 miles in 3 days, arriving back in our town throughout the day on Sunday. We were able to go out Friday and watch them leave, cheering them on for this harsh competition. There was a big turnout and beautiful weather as they began their trek. Masey and I agreed that we would have died of exhaustion before the race ever got underway! They were doing something that we couldn't physically do and it was impressive.

   The racers started arriving back before noon and we were there to watch them arrive by about 1:30 PM. Some came back all alone and others in groups of two, three, or four. We got to see the only American in the race, Leslie Hale, arrive back. I was able to speak with her for a few minutes before she went to rest and warm up. The race was an utterly exhausting experience.
Flag wavin' Maryanna!

   There were a few upsets during the race. One of the main male contenders hurt himself shortly into the race and was out per doctors orders. Some others couldn't handle the race and quit. A few didn't even show up for whatever reason and were disqualified.

   You can view the professional pictures and articles at: Click "read more" to see some of the pics of the departure and arrival of the racers. Also below the pictures I have some thoughts from my observance of the race and how it relates to missions.

Mar 22, 2012

Meat & fish market

   Here in Sisimiut we have a small building between our department store, Brugsen, and the TelePost.  For the first few weeks we lived here I wasn't sure what it was.  It had cut out pictures of animals all over the outside, but I didn't notice a name or anything.  One day I got the nerve to go in there and found out that it is our local meat & fish market.

   Most hunters & fishermen bring the meat that they wish to sell here to have it handled for them.  We have found all kinds of meat in here.  They have had everything from rabbits, ducks, various birds to whale, seal, and I think walrus too!  Our kids love to go here and get muskox and reindeer for soups, stews, and roasts.  To me, the muskox and reindeer are just as good frozen as they are fresh, so we can buy the frozen there year round.

  They usually have plenty of fish, most fresh but some frozen.  We can get the things that aren't too strange like cod, salmon, and arctic char all the way to things like stone biter and rose fish.  You can also buy what we would call the innards (liver, roe, etc).

   One thing that we have yet to try is halibut.  They really brag on the halibut here and I hope to get to try some this summer (either buying it or catching it myself ^_^)

   They have hanging in the store is a long piece of whale baleen.  I thought that was really neat.  Click "read more" to see the following pics that I took today while browsing the store.

Mar 18, 2012

Ilulissat trip news

For those that receive our prayer letter, I mentioned prayer about a possible trip to Ilulissat.  For those who don't get out prayer letter, the other missionary family, the Shulls, have asked us to pray about moving up there.  We would be helping them with some new ministries in their church and both families would get some much needed fellowship.


The news that I wanted to announce was that we stepped out by faith and purchased the tickets! The purpose of the trip up to Ilulissat is to visit with the Shulls, see their town, and to better be able to pray about moving there.  We will be travelling the last part of April and are very excited!  We are REALLY looking forward to this trip!

Please be in prayer for us as we make these decisions regarding moving and working with the Shulls.  Loneliness is one of the biggest things that our family deals with here in Sisimiut and we would love to be able to work with another family.  We just want to be discerning and cautious in making decisions and doing God's will and not base our decisions on what we want or desire.

The Shull family has a blog, if you would like to check it out click here.  Thank you for praying for us about this decision.

Mar 2, 2012

Getting out and about

We have been very cold lately, which means that we are spending more time inside.  The other day we went out as a family to the Timersortarfik (Sports Hall) to get a meal.  We don't do this often so it was a nice treat for all of us.  Here are a few pictures of when we were there.

Eli is excited about his hotdog!

Our sweet, goofy girls 
Our kids are getting so BIG!  Eli is excited to have more teeth in, so he can eat more (or so he thinks).  To be so scrawny this boy can eat!  Some days he manages to eat more than me.  Maryanna & Eryn are still sweet, but goofy.  They love to joke and play around.  Some days they pretend they are mommies, on other days they are teachers or explorers.  We love our kids!

Masey's ginormous cheeseburger 

Good hamburgers are hard to find here in Sisimiut unless you make them yourself, but Masey really enjoyed her cheeseburger with tomato, cucumbers, and cabbage.

Beauty and the Beast! :)

Getting to sit by my wife.  After over 9 years or marriage, we still love each other!

Our main road - Aqqusinersuaq

Feb 2, 2012

Paperwork updates

  Thank you for praying for us concerning our kids homeschooling.  We still have not heard anything either way.  I am supposed to speak with the superintendent this week, but I have yet to hear from him or catch him in his office.

  Also please be praying for us about our paperwork.  We refiled a couple weeks ago and expect it to take a while to get an answer.  The first time we filed it took five months and we don't expect it to go any quicker now.

  Thank you for all the prayers, letters, cards, emails, messages, and support!