Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Hello from Anchor Point, Alaska! As I’m sure you’ve already read, we arrived safely on Thursday, July 17th and have already received many lovely blessings.
Today, Monday, was the first day of VBS. We were all ready to go after the preparations of the day before and put on a wonderful Day 1 for 33 children. One of the blessings we have received for our mission trip is teenagers. Yes, teenagers. I know many of you may be thinking I’m crazy, but let me explain myself. For those of you that don’t know, pulling off a Vacation Bible School takes a whole mess of people. We have only five adults. Yes, we know we can do it and the team did a wonderful job this morning, but we were not about to turn down help.
A couple of our friends from Homer that participated in our VBS last year, Isabella and Garrett, came back this year to be Crew Leaders and they led various crews from station to station. We also had some of our other returning participants help us out in being Crew Leaders: Tapanga and Llena. They all did a fabulous job and we are very grateful for their willingness and enthusiasm to help.
We also had a surprise helper, Katie. Katie lives in Soldotna, Alaska, had participated in Weird Animals VBS in Homer this year and is my first Cross Story. Katie was in church, visiting her grandparents, at Faith Lutheran Church in Homer and met our team when we introduced ourselves to the congregation. Originally, Katie was only visiting her grandparents for the weekend and was supposed to return home yesterday. However, upon hearing about our mission, she asked if she could come and help us out with our VBS. Her grandparents agreed and she is staying in Homer for the rest of the week to assist us in spreading Jesus’ love to the children in Anchor Point. What an amazing blessing! It is wonderful to know there are children her age (12) that love our Lord that much and jump at the opportunity to share that love with others.
My second Cross Story surprised me when we were visiting the Spit in Homer today. I went into a store to purchase a hooded sweatshirt, (for those of you who may not know, it has not been as warm here as it was last year) and while I was putting my change in my wallet, the cashier asked me if I was from around here. I informed her that I was from Columbia, Missouri and that I was participating in a mission trip in Anchor Point by helping put on a VBS. Her face lit up and she said, “That’s awesome! Have you ever heard of YWAM?” I told her that I hadn’t and she went on to explain that YWAM stands for Youth With A Mission and her parents were the leaders of the organization in Homer. I replied to her that that sounded amazing! Finished with my task, I picked up my sweatshirt and told her goodbye and she said, “Thank you! Have a great evening!” The thank you was not for the purchase; it was for being here in Alaska to spread the good news of our Savior.
I’ve heard that a large percentage of the population in Alaska does not claim to be Christian, but I have high hopes. With friends like Isabella, Garrett, Tapanga and Llena; our new friend Katie and the young lady from the store, how can I not? It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and I believe that the spark in a young person is the strongest.
I hope that you are all doing well and that God is blessing you as much as He is blessing our team and our mission.
In His Service,
Hannah Lilienkamp

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