Cold Weather And The Stove

Tags: SEND North, Story

In the Far North ministry is lived out in real life and real life in the winter is spent on survival.  Here is a excerpt of a letter from one of our team mates.  May it help you pray more effectively for those out in the bush!

This is the first “cold weather” of the season. Twenty and thirty below (Fahrenheit) really isn’t all that cold for around here, but the first time you face it each winter it seems pretty chilly.

This morning, while making coffee (a decent cup of Guatemalan/Costco beans; not very fresh, but in the wilderness one must make do), my dear wife made a wishful request, to no one in particular.  ”I hope this cold weather breaks soon”.   At that exact time I was turning the valve on the stove, watching expectantly to see if the propane would ignite. A modest burst of blue flame followed by a slight drop in pressure and a sustained flame meant the 90lb. propane bottle outside was cold, but not too cold. The stove was working and the coffee on the way.

Snow on propane tanks (Photo credit: Ian BC North)

“It’s really not that cold; I use the stove as my guide”; an opinion I shared with the stove, the kitchen and a wife who probably wasn’t interested. “If the stove works, I figure it’s really not that cold. When the stove quits working…it’s COLD!  I’m told propane in the bottle is compressed and in a liquid state (lpg); a natural condition for propane at a temperature of around minus forty (much like water below its boiling point). So as northern temps are dropping and the chill approaches minus forty, the propane wants to stay put.  Minus twenty usually means the stove will work; not at 100%, but it works. Minus thirty means it’s very questionable; probably won’t work due to insufficient pressure, (the liquid propane doesn’t want to expand and take on a gas form, forcing it through the line to the stove). And forty below is just out of the question; plan on cooking in the microwave or on top of the wood stove.

So the stove is working and life is still good. Let’s hope it stays that way

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