On this Sunday, 15th, Our Lord’s Day. I want to focus on our blessings, starting with the wonderful, faithful team of Campus Lutheran and their commitment to teaching God’s word to the children in Anchor Point, AK.
As the morning started, we had a visiting Pastor George Rakos and his wife, Carol. He gave a sermon on our blessed baptism and what it means for us and how daily we should think about the blessings we receive from the Holy SPirit and the blood shed by our Lord and Savior. What a blessing to hear those words.
And as our Pastor Gary and Family are on vacation, we were blessed with Sara who was visiting from Paler, AK with her son and volunteered to play piano, again what a blessing!
Then how the loving congregation of Faith Lutheran came together to put on a delicious potluck to welcome team Campus Luterhan. And furnished some of the needs for the team. As we all work together, we must stop and see the blessings of God and those around us to do His will…sharing the Love of Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers.
Today began with some fellowship time with two other teams heading out to villages only accessible by plane. Gretchen (formerly of Faith in Homer and support to our team) was accompanying one of those teams. It was very nice to see her since she will not be in the Anchor Point area during our VBS time. We all exchanged hugs, news, and blessing on our upcoming VBS experiences in our villages.
Once we had our Suburban packed, we headed off in the direction of Anchor Point. The day has been overcast and cool (low 50s), leading us thinned blood folks to wanting a different pace to boost our energy. We decided to stop in Girdwood and hike. We hiked on the Winners Creek trail which includes the opportunity to cross a fast moving (and I’m sure COLD) river in a hand-powered tram. With a 30 foot distance from tram to river, for some of us (me), that is a knee knocking experience.
Matthew 4:40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
No, I’m not just throwing in a random verse so this looks like a good Mission Trip blog. This verse was part of our Bible reading in our study yesterday which I was reminded of today. In Matthew 4:35-41, the disciples are in the middle of a storm and Jesus is sleeping in the stern of the boat. The disciples wake Jesus in full fear. Jesus says “Quiet! Be calm” to the storm. Immediately the winds end and Jesus poses those questions mentioned above. How would you answer? I know I struggle to come up with an answer I can be proud of.
Why mention this after the tram story? I have a fear of heights. This can cause me to miss out on experiences I would like to have because I struggle in trusting and letting of control. Yet, Jesus asks me the same questions. Granted, He doesn’t want me to do something that will completely endanger my life just because I have the choice to do so. BUT He does want to remind me that He’s got this. I don’t have to be afraid because He’s in control whether it is on the tram or doing Vacation Bible School in Anchor Point. Wow! How calming it is to know that He has got it for me.
Our Alaska mission team has landed safely! We’ve made it through our first day in Anchorage and are ready to make our journey to Anchor Point tomorrow. Most of us are old hat at this particular mission trip but sometimes you might still forget to pack something.
Our morning today started with a devotion led by Luke and my cousins, Darlene and Carl Lilienkamp. We started with this reminded, “Don’t leave home without IT.” We were asked what is IT? Faith? Hope? Courage? While all of these things are important, one trait we must make sure we have when serving is humbleness. A mission trip isn’t just about serving the Lord, but serving others through the Lord and in His name. This means put others ahead of yourself or helping someone without considering the cost of time or discomfort. LISTENING to others. Most of the time your biggest impact on someone is a surprise to you.
The devotion went on to discuss the story in Mark’s gospel about Jesus calming the storm. Carl talked about the gospel of Mark being full of action. ‘And then’ or ‘and when’ or ‘next they’ and so on. I thought this was appropriate considering the theme of our VBS, Hero Central. Superheroes are all about action and are also humble. Jesus was the disciples’ hero when calming that storm and He is our superhero today and every day.
I think our team is ready to be humble superheroes to the people in Anchor Point and anyone else we might meet along the way. We want to thank everyone for their generosity and support for this opportunity to humbly serve; for what is a mission trip without humble, super support? THANK YOU!
And remember… Do Good! Seek Peace! And Go After It!
Your sister in Christ,
This year’s team is packed and ready to go. Bryan, Mary Anne, Jen, Luke, Hannah and Matt are excited to get to Anchor Point, reunited with the community, and share the transforming love of Christ.
This year’s VBS is SUPERHERO CENTRAL, where the children will discover their strength in God. Our verse for the week is Psalm 34:14b – “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” or as the children will cheer “Do good! Seek peace and go after it!” while wearing the capes and masks.
We are scheduled to leave Columbia at 11am on Thursday, but we don’t get to Anchorage until 2am Friday. It’ll be a long day for us, but your prayers for our travels and transitions will carry us through.
Keep watching for updates!