Changing Course…

For seven years now, Campus Lutheran has been sending a volunteer team to Anchor Point, Alaska to lead Vacation Bible School.  In 2016 my daughter Norah and I served on our congregation’s Alaska Mission Team as a father/daughter duo and planned on doing so again as part of this year’s team.  However, due to recent surges of Covid-19 and the risks associated with this pandemic, none of our team members will be going to Alaska this year.

Norah-Kent_AK2016Less than a month ago, with encouragement from our host community and appropriate Covid-19 safety measures, our team was still planning to travel to Anchor Point.  However, as our departure date drew closer and Covid-19 risks did not decrease, our team decided to cancel our in-person VBS in Anchor Point and provide a virtual VBS in its place.  Protecting the safety of our friends in Alaska and our team members is the most responsible way we can serve God and His people right now.

So, what’s next?  We will still provide VBS for the Anchor Point community.  Our team is currently preparing “Virtual VBS” kits that will be shipped to Anchor Point families.  These kits will allow children to experience Bible lessons and songs via video and will include materials for hands-on projects.  Thankfully, we live in a time when technology allows us to connect with one another even when we can’t do so in person!

Norah-Rocky Railyway 2020Our Alaska Mission Team is also already planning to return to Anchor Point in 2021.  Team members will be able to apply the value of their airline tickets toward next summer’s travel.  We give thanks for all of your prayers and support!  Stay tuned for future blog updates to learn more about “Virtual VBS” and how we will continue to serve Christ and His people in Alaska.

Serving Jesus with you, Pastor Kent

Swabbing for our Savior!

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


Alaska mission trip update

Greetings Brother and Sisters in Christ, from the Alaska mission team!
We hope all is well and that everyone is staying well. I can’t believe that it is already the month of June. Our mission trip to Anchor Point, Alaska is planned for next month. We are looking forward to returning and seeing everyone again.
I’ll introduce myself, I’m Amy Zimmerschied. I’m sure I have met you at one of the worship services. This is my second time participating on this mission trip.
We are still planning on traveling to Anchor Point and hosting Vacation Bible school. This is a very exciting event to host. Currently, the two week quarantine period in Alaska will be replaced by a COVID test instead.
We are very grateful for your continual support and prayers.

Amy Zimmerschied


Meet the Team & our Backup Plans

Hello from quarantine! On behalf of the Alaska mission team, we hope that you and your families are doing well and staying healthy during these trying times. There have been lots of big changes in the last few months, and new developments continue to happen everyday. We are keeping a close eye on the status of travel to/from Alaska and will continue to keep you, our church family, updated on our mission trip.

As for right now, we decided to let each team member take a turn writing the weekly blog and have a chance to introduce themselves. Last week was Bryan Ross. This week is me, Jenna Bohler.

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When things are “normal,” you can usually find me in Ellis Library at Mizzou or working at one of my three jobs… At Campus Lutheran, I have served on the Belize mission team (Dec 2017-Jan 2018) and the Alaska mission team (2019). This is my second year on the Alaska team. I have also acted as secretary and treasurer for LSF. Next time we can all gather together in person, come say hi!

Now back to our Alaska trip….as I was saying above, things are changing every day. While we are desperately hoping that we’ll be able to fulfill our mission in person in Alaska, we don’t know if that’s God’s plan for us. So we must consider what to do if we can’t travel.

At the beginning of this year. Alaska Mission for Christ had 50 teams lined up for summer mission work. Now, only 10 teams remain committed to traveling. We are one of those 10 teams. Bryan has been in contact with those teams that aren’t going to Alaska. Just like Campus Lutheran, they don’t want to completely cancel Vacation Bible School. Instead, those teams are doing a virtual VBS with the Alaskan kids. Whether it be live on Zoom or pre-recorded, they have all committed to putting in maximum effort from a safe place at home. This is our contingency plan. If extenuating circumstances prevent us from traveling this year, we are going to do the same with our Alaskan community.

In the past, our team has divided into different roles for in person VBS. These roles include being in charge of craft, snack, opening/closing, games, and more. We have already decided our roles and are beginning to create our plans. If we end up doing a virtual VBS, we will keep the same roles and adapt our plans for an online environment. We are also working with the Campus Lutheran VBS team to coordinate filming and sharing decorations/props.

Please keep us in your prayers as things are up in the air. We are posting and updating weekly prayer requests on Church Updates ( Thank you for your continual support for the last 7+ years that we have sent a team to Alaska. And thank you for your support especially this year, as we navigate mission work in the era of COVID-19.

God’s blessings to all.

-Jenna Bohler

Mission Work in the Era of COVID-19


Our host church in Anchor Point

In July 2013, Campus Lutheran Church made a commitment: to send short term mission teams to the village of Anchor Point, Alaska for three years to host a Vacation Bible School for the children in the community.  That three year commitment has since grown into an annual outreach, with the families of Anchor Point welcoming us back each year to their town, into their homes, and into their hearts.

In the seven years of this mission work, 24 different members of our congregation have heard God’s call to directly serve Him in Anchor Point, and countless others have joined us as prayer and financial supporters.  Each year there have been returning team members, and members who have never served on a mission team before, with one member of the congregation who has served on the team EVERY year (way to go Mary Anne!).  But more importantly, there are the children of the town who have come to hear God’s word.  Well over 100 children have come to our Vacation Bible Schools.  And like our team, some are the same familiar faces every year from families we’ve grown to know and love, and others are new friends that we get to make each July.  All of them are God’s children, and it has been our privilege to serve Him in this way.

Now, it is May 2020 and our nation, our community, and our church are all facing a new challenge.  As I write this blog entry this evening, there have been over 1 million confirmed cases of COVID 19, resulting in 81,000+ fatalities, and that’s just in the United States.  There have been confirmed cases here in Columbia, Missouri and there have been confirmed cases in Anchor Point, Alaska.  No corner is unaffected.  However, the community of Anchor Point has asked us to please return again in 2020 to provide our teaching to their children.  To that end, we at Campus Lutheran Church have assembled a team to continue to carry forth God’s word.

Over the next nine weeks our team will continue planning our mission trip and want include you through this blog.  Our team meets weekly on Thursday evenings (via Zoom) to plan VBS activities, map out logistics, and figure finances.  Following those meetings, we will post updates here, as well as introduce each of this year’s team members.  We are also including our team’s prayer requests on the church’s weekly updates (, and starting next week will be posting our financial goals and progress.  I want to thank everyone who has supported us in the past, and those who are supporting us now.  We have not been able to do this work without you, and that is especially true this year.

Thank you, and God’s blessings to you.

Bryan Ross

closing group photo

Anchor Point VBS, July 2019

Returning Home

Tuesday, July 23

Our Lord Jesus gave us the Great Commission in the Gospel of Matthew, instructing us to go out and make disciples of all nations.  But like the mission activity we read about in Acts, our time in Anchor Point each year is limited, and we have now returned home.  Each of us landed safely in St. Louis yesterday and made our ways to our respective homes, tired but filled with the Holy Spirit and re-energized to continue doing God’s work.  Our departure from Anchor Point may have been tear-filled (many of the families there now call it our “second home”), but there were promises to keep in touch via email and social media, and there is the anticipation of Campus Lutheran members coming again next summer.

Following Anchor Point, we drove to the town of Seward, where our previous blog post mentioned the sightseeing we were able to do.  We are grateful for Resurrection Lutheran Church in Seward for graciously allowing our team to spend the night at their church.  We learned that the church no longer has a cleaning crew to help care for the church, so as a thank you to them, we all pitched in that evening and crossed off many items on their congregation’s cleaning sign-up list!

Sunday morning we were back in Anchorage, worshiping with the congregation at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church (who, with Anchor Lutheran School, acts as our host while we are in Anchorage).  We were then able to return some of the supplies we had purchased the previous weekend that were unused and return our rental van.  That left us a few hours to walk around the downtown and the local craft fair to pick up some last-minute souvenirs for loved ones back home.  Then it was off to the airport to catch our late-night flights back to St. Louis.  And while there was some lack of sleep, and a short connection time at one of the layovers, our travel went well and without any incidents or hiccups.

The six of us, and the people of Anchor Point, would now like to extend a heart-felt THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and encouraged our team.  For each of us who traveled to Alaska, there are many more behind us who also took part.  Whether it was in prayer, fund raising, making phone calls, giving of their time, donating supplies, giving us rides, or any other activity, they put aside a part of their lives in order to help spread God’s word to others.  This mission work could not be accomplished without the support of the community of believers to which we all belong.  May God bless each of you.closing group photoIMG_0460IMG_0478IMG_0475IMG_0463

His servant,

Bryan Ross

God’s Creation

Hello Brothers and sisters in Christ!
Today was the Alaska Mission team’s treat day because we wrapped up Vacation Bible School yesterday. Earlier in the year we booked a boat tour of Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward Alaska. It was a treat that we are all thankful for. It was an eyeopening experience of God’s beautiful and abundant creation that He created. We were blessed with the opportunity to see several animals and landscapes. One thought that stood out to me is that God’s Creation of everything is truly amazing and breathtaking. I was able to see things for the first time including sea animals, mountains, glaciers, and the ocean. I truly realize that not only did God create the heavens and the earth, but he created them in a way that reflects His wonderful and loving being in a special way presented to us to see and be thankful for. But you don’t just need to look at these specific examples to see it. You can see these things in little ways such as when it rains, seeing the seasons change, and in seeing little acts of love and generosity.
In Christ’s love,  Amy ZimmerschiedIMG_1861IMG_1877IMG_1888IMG_1921IMG_1923

Sharing God’s Goodness

Today was our final day at Roar VBS in Anchor Point. It was filled with excitement and anticipation. The kids were so full of energy, that if they wanted to start a mutiny we would have been done for. We had 49 participants, as well as 4 youth helpers. We actually had so many kids this week that we started running out of supplies, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast learning about God’s everlasting love and goodness.

Earlier in the week, we told the children that we would be taking donations to help the Alaska Mission for Christ. We made it a competition between the boys and the girls, and they were overwhelmed with excitement to see who won. At the beginning of VBS today we asked the kids if they had any God sightings from the last day. Like most days many of the children said things such as, animals, parents, siblings. But a number of the kids said that our VBS team was their God sighting. That made all of us feel very special. I told the kids that one of my God sightings was all of them, and their excitement to bring donations to help the AMC send more teams like us out to places in Alaska to do VBS with othe kids.

Finally, it was time. The wait was over. Durring the first day at VBS, we used a balance scale to demonstrate fair and unfair, and that if we change our perspective, God’s goodness will outweigh all of the unfair things in life. In the demonstration we used a bucket of rocks to represent fair and unfair. We also used an overflowing bucket of rocks to represent God’s goodness. Every time we had an offering update I would remove rocks from God’s goodness and add it to the guys and gals buckets, to help show the kids that they were helping to spread God’s goodness to all the children in Alaska. As I moved stones into the bucket and placed them on the scale you could feel the excitement growing to see who would win. The group as a whole brought in just shy of $400.00!!!! The guys ended up winning by less than $7.00! It was awesome to see just how generous the small community of Anchor Point can be. It was a great reminder of our Bible point for the day, “When life is good… God Is Good!!!”

Another person that really sticks out to me as a generous giver of their time and talents while we are on our mission, is our friend Gretchen. She used to be the DCE at Faith Lutheran in Homer. They did not have a VBS this year, but Gretchen was a huge help to us this year at our VBS. From making extra copies of CDs, helping Hannah with registration, bring us last minute supplies that we needed, even staying behind after VBS today and helping us clean up the church! She was an awesome God sighting this week and I pray that God would continue to bless her with a generous giving heart. She never misses an opportunity to spread the love of Jesus to anyone, and I am thankful for her each and every year!

Your brother in Christ, Luke Lilienkamp

Jesus Day

July 18, 2019

This morning started off a little slow as we were all tired from yesterday’s walk on the Homer Spit. Around 8:40am, the first kid showed up to the church for VBS. We quickly got into gear and waited for everyone else to arrive. Today we had 49 kids! God has truly blessed us this year with a high number of kiddos.


Today at VBS, we talked about Jesus’ death and resurrection. In past years, the team dubbed today as “Jesus day” in reference to so. We talked about sadness and bad things that have happened to us, but then reminded the kids that God is more powerful than any obstacle that we face and that He is GOOD!

After VBS, we ate lunch at the church. We then headed to a super secret location with Gretchen, an amazing woman who has been helping our team since our first year in Anchor Point. She showed us how to pick wild Alaskan blueberries. We picked for an hour and collected about half of an ice cream bucket’s worth. Back at the church, Mary Ann cooked some of the blueberries and made syrup.

After berry picking, we all headed to the home of the Baker family, who have also been at VBS with the team since the first year. They have a big family and we all enjoyed playing with the kiddos. Mr. and Mrs. Baker made a delicious dinner for us.

Finally, to complete our day, we went back to the church and enjoyed some ice cream with the blueberry syrup that Mary Anne made.

Its 12:30am here and most of the team has gone to bed. Tomorrow is our last day of VBS then we head to Seward in the afternoon. It’s hard to believe this week has gone by so fast, but we are already talking of plans to return next year! God is good!

-Jenna Bohler

Trusting God

July 17, 2019

Vacation Bible School is in full swing at Anchor Point.  This year, the theme of God’s goodness is being displayed through the Israelites and their captivity in Egypt.  After 400 years of slavery, God raised Moses as the person who stood up to Pharaoh to demand the Israelites be freed.  Through the unfair treatment they received as slaves, to the fear they must have felt during the plagues and being chased to the Red Sea, and then the change and adjustment they had to overcome by wandering in the desert, we’re learning that God remained with the Israelites the entire time.  Trusting God was the answer the Israelites needed then, and is the answer that we need today.  The stories leading up to the Exodus are familiar ones, and trusting God is a lesson that is reinforced throughout the Bible.

However, the message of trusting God was rapidly reinforced later in the evening during our daily devotion.  Today, I selected Luke 13: 1-5.  When I first decided to use that verse, it wasn’t trust that was on my mind.  Instead I was thinking back to earlier in the day when our foam board backdrop fell over, and Luke made a comment afterwards that we should have been teaching about the fall of Jericho.  So I thought, why not use a verse about a falling tower on the same day we had some of our scenery fall?  But later on, I was reminded about an individual named Tad that Luke and Mary Anne met yesterday who has been struggling with the death of his wife.  In the first five verses of Luke 13, we learn that sometimes bad things just happen.  When the Tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people, Jesus tells us that those men who died were not worse sinners than other men in the city.  We live in a world that is under the curse of sin, and bad things are going to happen.  Whether we are faced with the death of a loved one like Tad is now, or natural disasters (Alaska is suffering from a drought and wildfires this summer, while back home we’ve had tornadoes and floods), or illness, or any other problem, our first inclination may be to be angry.  And sometimes that anger is directed at God.  But instead, in all things we need to be trusting God.  He sent his Son to be our savior, to rescue us from the ultimate calamity of eternal separation from Him.  Though we may endure temporary hardships, we know (and can trust) that the Bible tells us that the final victory is God’s, and as His children, we are co-heirs with Christ.  That kind of trust should brighten our own hearts, and give confidence to the children here in Anchor Point.

Serving Christ,

Bryan Ross