Today was our last full day partnering with Grace Works in Alaska…we have a full travel day ahead of us on Friday! (and part of Saturday…)
With today being our last day at VBS at Grand View Baptist Church and our last day working at the Boys and Girls Club, we stayed busy! 2/3 of our teams helped host a carnival in the gym of Boys and Girls Club. We had everything from face painting, a cake walk, a bouncy house, fishing, ring toss, finger nail painting, corn hole and fun music playing!! It was a joy to help Grace Works host this carnival which has become an annual event that the B&G Club adore and anticipate.
Today’s lesson at VBS was centered around John 3:16. Sherrie just told me that it moved her to tears hearing the children recite John 3:16 out loud, and seeing them begin to recognize what that verse means! We are thankful that these past four days partnering with Christina + Grand View has helped launch them into connecting with new faces in their community in Anchorage. By the way…the theme of VBS this year is “Game On” and the songs/motions that go with VBS are so much fun! Can’t wait for FBCO kids to experience it this summer. 🙂 It’s cool how the high school students on this trip have already memorized these songs and will eventually lead VBS once again for FBCO children this summer through in a few months.
We just wrapped up our last team time of the week with the sweetest and most vulnerable time of sharing. All 30 team members shared a little bit of what God has done in their lives this week and I am just amazed at how God is not only a personal God but such an intentional God! Hearing our students and adults share about how they have felt empowered to share the Gospel, challenged by the darkness of the people in Alaska, encouraged by the Christ-centered community of this team of 30 and inspired to go home and lead well just made me so thankful. We serve a God who knows us, loves us and pours out his grace among us daily.
It has been a huge blessing partnering with Grace Works this week.
Ways to pray —
– Travel safety tomorrow (essentially starting our travel around 5:00pm Central on Friday and getting back to FBCO on Saturday)
– That students will continue to pursue the Lord despite the every day distractions that come with being at home
– That students can make an impact in Auburn and Opelika just like they have in Anchorage
– For community to build amongst FBCO students (I can’t wait to come back and for the rest of the Student Ministry to see the leadership amongst these 30 students … especially our seniors!)
Thank you to each of you who have kept up with our blog, prayed diligently for our team, and supported these students financially to have this opportunity to serve God in a different context. The beauty of Alaska is a small but incredible reflection of the glory of our Creator!
We had a similar schedule today as we did yesterday. Our team had morning and afternoon rotations that involved working in a soup kitchen, mushing sled dogs, leading VBS, volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club, and partnering with C3AK church.
Ryan shared the Gospel at VBS and we had two girls understand the sacrifice of Jesus for the first time. Christina (the Children’s Minister at our partner church) was able to help counsel them. We are praying that these two, along with the other 20+ kids that are attending will continue to be receptive to the message we are sharing. Keep praying, seeds are being planted!
Tonight we ate dinner at The Anchorage Alehouse. We had some incredible pizza and enjoyed open mic night. The house band was very talented and the night ended with our own Paxton Brittle leading the entire restaurant in Sweet Home Alabama. It was a great way to end our night.
We have one full day of ministry left and then we’ll begin the journey back home on Friday. Please pray that we finish well on Thursday!
Tuesday was another full and productive day of ministry for our team. We began the day in three separate groups: one group worked at a homeless shelter; one group helped work on logistics for future mission teams with a partner church; and one group went mushing dog sleds.
The team working at the homeless shelter cleaned showers, bathrooms, and helped sort and fold clothes for giveaway. We also had a team outside (30 degrees) serving hot coffee and pastries to men and women who were waiting to get inside the shelter. This opened up the door for several meaningful conversations about why we are here and the hope we have in Jesus.
The team working with the partner church helped to organize and restock a trailer that will be used for mission teams that will be serving in Anchorage in the coming weeks. They also helped clean up the church and shovel snow. We are all much more experienced with snow than ever before!
The team mushing dog sleds had a ton of fun this morning. What a once in a lifetime experience! We will be rotating our mornings so that each team will have a chance to enjoy this unique opportunity.
This afternoon we had 2/3 of our group leading Vacation Bible School, and the other 1/3 at the Boys and Girls Club. Our students are doing such a good job of engaging children and teenagers with the love of Jesus. This group has been a joy to serve alongside. It’s been so encouraging to see them love others well and be the hands and feet of Jesus! Several students shared their testimony with kids today and spent time walking through scripture to explain the saving power of Jesus.
Tonight we had an “Ephesians 4:29” session where we all spoke truth into the lives of one another. It was an honest time of community and worship as we built up the body of Christ through encouraging one another with words of affirmation. It was truly a special night that no one on this team will soon forget.
Please pray for:
- Wednesday as we are sharing the Gospel at VBS with the children.
- Our teams in the morning as they serve in the community. That we would continue to have Gospel centered conversations.
- Continued safety & health for our team.
- Continued unity and patience with one another.
Today was another EPIC day in Alaska. We began the day with another legendary meal from our main man and chef extraordinaire Bubba. Truly the spiritual gift of full stomachs has been placed directly on our chef Bubba. We then spent a time of worship together and received an intensely challenging message from Tim the senior pastor of Catalyst Church a local church near Anchorage. His challenge was simple. Have faith in the power of Christ working through you and then be bold to obey Christ as He leads. And I can confidently say our team completed this challenge today.
The students killed it in VBS at Grandview Baptist Church. Playing games, singing and dancing to the (pretty intense) worship songs in the opening and closing rallies all the way to so clearly teaching God’s Word in the bible story time, VBS day one was a success. The other part of our team got a unique opportunity to engage with teenagers and kids at the local Boys and Girls Club. The students did a great job taking regular conversations and regular activities like playing basketball and air hockey and shaping them into a meaningful conversations about Jesus.
We closed the day with another great meal and one of the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen in a local park. And in spite of the fact the whole team INCLUDING DAN pinned me and Taymac down on the playground with a barrage of snowballs, it was a great end to a great day.
Tomorrow we begin our morning service projects along with continuing VBS and Boys and Girls Club activities and we can’t wait to see how God moves in this team.