First of all, I want to say Alaska is amazing. I haven’t gone a day without being overwhelmed with wonder by the beauty of God’s creation. Missouri is beautiful in its own right with gently rolling hills and cornfields. However, the beauty in Alaska is sharper and more vibrant. This morning I stood by the doors of Faith Lutheran Church in Homer and enjoyed a view of snow-capped mountains as I ate my oatmeal. It is truly a blessing to be here.
This evening we went to the Spit in Homer where we walked along the coastline finding interesting rocks to take back home. Hopefully the airport doesn’t mind us carrying a few pounds of rocks on board with us.
The most important thing about today is the start of Vacation Bible School: Cave Quest Edition. Twenty-six children participated, and I was finally able to meet some of the youngsters I have heard so much about from the other members of the mission team. The little “spelunkers” were full of energy and eager to learn. The theme of the day was hope.
Hope is a very important element of faith. Without hope, our lives lose direction. A person without hope might wonder off the path the Lord has prepared because the future seems bleak. Hope is a light in the darkness, and Jesus gives us this hope. This is why Jesus is light of the world.
During the VBS session today, the children learned what it was like to sit in the dark.The power “went out,” only to be restored after much waiting. Even though multiple lights were brought to them, like glow-in-the-dark stars, candles (the flameless kind), and flashlights, nothing compared to the light Jesus brings to them.
There are many bible verses dealing with hope. The Gospels, Psalms, and even Job mention the topic at some point. I could pick any of these verses, and it would be relevant. However, when I think of hope, one of the first things that comes to mind is a poem by Emily Dickinson called “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers-…” I want to share a verse from this poem.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all”
I don’t necessarily think Jesus is covered in feathers, but I feel like a description of faith can be seen within these words. If I were to explain to someone what being a Christian feels like, the beginning of Dickinson’s poem would be how I would describe the hope that Jesus gives me through his word and sacrifice.
As the team continues with the VBS the rest of the week, I want to ask everyone back home to pray for the children who are attending. I pray that these children take something away from our time together that makes their hope never stop singing.
“Jesus gives us hope.”