What a day! We kicked off the day with breakfast at McDonalds in Anchorage. On our way to church this morning, we had plenty of time in the vans with an absolutely beautiful drive through the mountains. With mountains on our left and ocean on our right, everyone was in awe of God’s creation! We couldn’t stop taking pictures! We drove through the longest tunnel in North America, which took us UNDER a massive mountain. It took a total of 7 minutes just to get through it. It’s a one way tunnel where you can only go through with access at certain times. Every half hour they let cars go through one way, then every half hour they open it to let cars go through it the other way. After being in such a dark tunnel for several minutes, the bright white snow definitely made us squint.
We arrived in Whittier around 10:45am, just in time for the 11:00 worship service. We attended church which is located in the basement of an old World War II fort. It was so sweet to worship with believers in Alaska and see what they do for their Sunday morning gathering together. Logistically and contextually it looked way different than what we know as “big church” at FBCO, but singing worship songs like Cornerstone, reciting the Lord’s prayer hand in hand, and opening Scripture to 1 Corinthians 3 was extremely familiar to us all.
After church, we had our sack lunches on the 15th floor of this tower which over looked beautiful Alaska scenery. Fun fact: about 80% of this community lives inside this tower!
We spent the afternoon at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where we were able to literally get up close and personal with buffalo, elk, brown bears, wolves (including a white wolf that totally blended in with the snow!) and of course moose! We warmed up by doing some souvenir shopping in an authentic Alaskan gift store. We made a quick pit stop to Walmart where the team got to pick up some snacks and any items they needed.
After heading back to Calvary Baptist Church (the church we are staying in this whole week) where we had homemade jambalaya made with reindeer sausage! So cool and so yummy! Our kitchen staff is an incredible team of volunteers who are not only passionate about ministry, but they see it as their own personal ministry to create an environment where ministry partners feel valued.
We closed the day with team time in the chapel of Calvary Baptist…where the 30 of us got to sing songs of worship led by Pax, and Dan shared with us the testimony he heard from Pastor Brian (the pastor of the church we attended this morning). Today was a really fun day, and we are ready for a week of ministry starting tomorrow (Monday).
Ways to pray for the team:
– continued health and safety for the 30 of us
– pray for the VBS ministry we will be leading at Grand View Church Monday – Thursday
– pray for intentional conversations where Jesus is made known
– pray that we are a united team that joyfully and authentically desires to make Jesus known (by working together)
– pray for our ministry leaders at GraceWorks (Traci, Scott and Cherish) that they would have energy to continue leading our group this week
– pray for rest tonight as we are all a little jet-lagged and thrown off by Daylight Savings Time…on top a full day of travel!
We are so excited and so thankful to be here!