Monday, Day 1 in Seldovia, Alaska
Team – Sharon, Aaron, Tyler, Ken and Beth
Blog by Ken
We arrived here safely on Sunday evening, after a very rough ride across the bay (what was supposed to be an hour ride was 3 hours) but luckily the only thing tossed was the boat. Our boat pilot, Merlin, was a true magician maneuvering the wind and the waves.
We arrived at this small village and have not ceased to be amazed at the beauty of this place, with the snowcapped mountains, volcanoes across the bay, wooded shoreline, and the abundance of wildlife. Our village of Seldovia (population 250) is right off of the main gulf in a bay situated up across the hillside, and consists of a paved main street with a few stores, restaurants, gift shops and B&B’s. The entire community and its economy revolves around two things – tourism and fishing, and at the moment there is plenty of both. The salmon are spawning in the rivers right now and everyone is taking advantage.
This has been their warmest summer on record, with the days running in the 70’s and the evenings in the 50’s, and we have been comfortable in shorts and t-shirts most of the time. The sky darkens somewhat about 11 pm and then becomes full daylight again about 4 am as the sun circles the horizon, so our brains are always confused about time and direction.
We are having our VBS in a wonderful community center building located right beside their one K-12 school building. It is fairly new and modern and spacious and absolutely ideal for our needs. We were told they had 6 kids in VBS last year, and that is how many we had today. We had a group of 2 boys and 4 girls. Interestingly, we had two kids who are native American, but just happened to be here from Texas visiting their native relatives. The kids were a bit reserved at the start of things, but throughout the program became more comfortable and really got into the music and lesson and the crafts and ended up bouncing out the door.
A highlight for us was our youngest boy, Noah. Noah is going into first grade and is a very active little guy, requiring several of us to tag team him to keep up with him (I like to refer to his type as EGR’s – extra grace required). At the very end of our time together, Noah picked up a Bible and I thought he was going to tear the pages out, so I mentioned to him that he was holding a Bible. He suddenly became very serious and looked at the Bible with admiration. I asked him if they had a Bible in their house and he said no. Then I asked him if he would like to have this Bible and he looked at me in shock. When I told him the Bible was his, he bear hugged the Bible and became a whole different quiet and respectful person. He met his mom at the door, showed her his new Bible and raced out the door. Thirty seconds later he was back and asked me if I would write his name in the Bible for him. So I wrote –
From Mr. Ken
July 22, 2013
God’s blessings to you always.
I read him what I had just written, and he showed it to his mom, and then he jumped into the back seat of his car to take home his new trophy. His mom sheepishly asked, “How was Noah today?” (A dreaded question for her, I imagine). I told her, “He just made my day.”
We do not have lots of kids here at the program. But we were obviously sent here to plant seeds, not knowing what God has in mind for the growth and blossoming and future fruit bearing. So we are taking the numbers that God has sent our way and preparing fertile soil and planting Jesus seeds. Who knows, perhaps God has big plans for one of these six someday.
Thank you to all who are supporting us in prayer. We are blessed and sharing this blessing with some wonderful people here in the remote village of Seldovia.