Sorry for the time delay. We’ve been without internet access since Friday around 3.
Friday was our last day of Weird Animals VBS in Anchor Point. We were down a few kiddos due to pre-planned vacations, but we did get two new students on Thursday. Overall, the last day went well with only a few cases of The Fridays. It was our last day to collect money for Project Kid-to-Kid, with proceeds going to provide clean drinking water for children in India. Our goal for our kids was to raise $100. They exceeded our expectations by raising over $132. Their generosity was inspirational. Our final Bible story for the week was Ananias and Saul, and our focus was that ‘Even when you’re afraid…Jesus Loves You!’ It was such a comforting message to be reminded that God is always with us, even when we feel out of our element or in a foreign place.
It was a bittersweet ending to the week. From the CLC Team perspective, the week was very successful. We retained many of the students that we got to meet last year. In addition, we got to meet several new faces. The mornings ran smoothly, with team members and students sharing the message of God’s love in skit, song, craft, and games. There were no hiccups, and I think our experiences from last year helped this year run as smoothly as it did. Additionally, we are truly appreciative of the time and efforts of our local contacts, Gretchen, Ruhiyyih, and Pastor Steve. Without their support, we would not be able to run a VBS program in Anchor Point. I believe that the relationships that we are creating here will continue to strengthen and promote our mission to share the message of God’s grace and forgiveness.
Personally, it was harder for me to say good-bye to the kids this year. I feel as though we are starting to develop relationships with several of the students in Anchor Point. My station was the KidVid Cinema, which is where the students got to watch short videos about real kids in real situations that emphasized the daily Bible verse. In addition to discussing how the VBS students’ lives were similar and different from the featured child, we talked about God Sightings. These are ways that we see God work in our lives or reminders of God’s love for us. During these discussions, I was able to gain insight into the students’ lives and the area’s culture. They were tickled about my enthusiasm for things that they see every day (ocean, mountains, volcanoes, moose…), and were fascinated by a foreign land where corn grows by the mile and no fireweed grows.
Overwhelmingly, the students told us that they were sorry that the week was over and that they were sad to see us leave. Many students asked each of us if we’d be returning next year. Several of the older students made statements about how long it would be before they could be crew leaders/student helpers. There were lots of hugs (and I may have gotten choked up a time or two), but everyone left feeling good about the week we had shared together.
Once the students had left, the team started to tear down and pack up. We drove to Homer to return the sets and props which we had borrowed. Afterwards, the team headed back up the Kenai Pennisula, and then down the eastern side to Seward. Due to travel arrangements, we had some time on Saturday and decided to see a few extra sights. We camped out in the van by Resurrection Bay (hence the lack of internet). It was a beautiful ending to a wonderful day.
On behalf of the CLC Alaska Mission Team, I would like to thank all the people of CLC, and beyond, who have supported our mission work here in Alaska. Whether financially or through prayer, your contributions have helped us to share God’s message of grace and salvation to children who may not hear it otherwise. Our ability to be a part of the Anchor Point community for a week has allowed us to truly live and share the transforming love of Christ.
In Christ – Mary Anne