Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska.
We arrived safely in Alaska and were greeted at the airport by Ruth and Glen, volunteers from ALASKA MISSION for CHRIST. We were able to sit down and enjoy dinner with them as well.
As the title of this post states, our team is on a Cross Cultural Mission Trip. Yes, we are still in the United States, but that doesn’t make the culture of Anchorage or Anchor Point like that of Columbia, Missouri. One major difference is that I am writing this post at 10:41pm Anchorage time and the sun is still up as if it were around 1:41am in Columbia. Though we are a bit tired from our day’s travel, sleep has not yet been inspired. The world outside the window I’m sitting by also seems to not realize the time.
Over the next ten days, our team of five will be experiencing a culture with the highest suicide rate in the nation, a culture where doubt of survival can at times be overwhelming, and a culture that is dominated by darkness for half of its year. But, when I thought about tonight’s post, my reflections kept coming back to the word “CROSS”. Hannah, Luke, Brett, Mary Anne, and I have come here to bring the story of the CROSS to the children and families of the Anchor Point area. We want to share hope, light, and faith with those we meet. Jesus came to earth to live and share His transforming love in a cultural very different from heaven. He did this all the way to the cross. Not stopping there, but rising again and blessing us with the Holy Spirit so we also can live and share the transforming love of Jesus.
Jesus blesses us in little ways that often go unnoticed. We’re calling these cross stories.
Cross story 1 – This morning, we were picked up from our homes and delivered to the airport in St. Louis by home supporter Bryan Ross. His wife, Becky, had left a gift for each one of us in our seats, a dozen of her fabulous chocolate chip cookies (for each person/not total) and a personalized bible verse of encouragement.
Cross story 2 – As we settled into wait at our departure gate after clearing security with our carry-on bags, which may have more mission trip items than clothes, the gate attendant announced that the flight was full and they were looking for 10 people who would be willing to check their carry-on though to their destination without charge. We quickly jumped on this opportunity to not lug 30-35 pound suitcases around.
Cross story 3 – All of those checked carry-ons arrived in Anchorage the same time we did.
Cross story 4 – The wonderful people at the car rental location had our van ready a day early and asked us to pick it up today instead of waiting for delivery tomorrow.
Prayer requests: Thanksgiving for safe travels and arrivial. Comfort for the families of the Mayalasian flight. For our waitress, Sandra and her father, for comfort, peace, and healing. For rest tonight and for preparations tomorrow for our departure to Anchor Point on Saturday.
~ Jen Pierce