Greetings my brothers and sisters in Christ! It is a wild time to be alive! We are in the planning and preparation stage of our mission to the kids in Anchor Point Alaska. Our team is keeping a close eye on the travel situation and praying that everything works out for our mission. My name is Luke Lilienkamp and this will be my 7th opportunity to be sent, by my wonderful congregation of Campus Luther, to serve the children and community of Anchor Point Alaska!
As the date of departure draws near, we are all very excited and anxious about our mission this year. As of today our plans have not been changed, just slightly altered. Our mission will require a few extra precautions than normal this year. One such precaution is that we must all get tested for COVID 19, twice. For those who do not know what that entails, they have to stick a very long swab up our noses and tickle the back of our nasal passages for 10 whole seconds! (Hence the blog title) This will happen once before we leave and once after we land. We must come up negative both times before we will be allowed to travel through Alaksa. While we await our test results in Alaska we will not be allowed to travel, so we will have to stay quarantined in a hotel.
Another one of our precautions is that the Alaska Mission for Christ, has asked us to wear masks while we are in contact with the people that we are there to serve. Our team has also taken it upon ourselves to clean and sanitize, to the best of our abilities, the church between VBS days. The supplies needed to do this will add to our expenses as well as the unplanned hotel stay.
These changes, as well as the situation here at home in Columbia, have really stretched our funding for this year’s mission. With the stay at home order we were unable to do some of our normal fundraising activities this year, as well as some clever ideas that had been tossed around in some brainstorming sessions. That fact, on top of the other things I discussed, has left us short of our goal for the year. We are very blessed to have the continued support of our home congregation, as well as our family and friends outside of our congregation. We would ask that you keep our team in your prayers, as we continue to looks for ways to fund our mission, and as we travel to and from our designated mission field.
We pray that we will have a successful mission this year, and I very much look forward to giving a full report when we complete our mission. Until then, stay safe, love one another (from an appropriate distance) and keep the transforming love of Christ shinning in your life, for all the world to see.
Your brother in Christ, Luke Lilienkamp