Footprints in the sand

Hello brothers and sisters in Christ! Today is Sunday the 15 of July. Today we started off the day by attending the worship service at Faith Lutheran Church in Homer, Alaska. During the worship service we had the privilege to be introduced in front of the wonderful congregation. Following the service we were invited to the Fish Fry after the worship service. It was a opportunity that we are all thankful for. It was a time when we were able to gather with the congregation for welcoming fellowship and delicious food.

     Then, after a quick grocery store run we returned to set up and decorate the church in Anchor Point. It is now a safari themed church ready for the children to come tomorrow. Needless to say we are ready for Vacation Bible School!    

              Later in the day we headed to the beach in Anchor Point. We fortunately were able to see as well as the beautiful mountains, several eagles on the rocky beach shore. We took several pictures and collected a good number of rocks. As we were walking along the shore, I was reminded  of the poem Foot Prints In The Sand. It has always been something very special and meaningful to me. If you are not familiar with the poem it describes how even in our most difficult times that we are never alone. It paints this picture by after we join our Savior in His Kingdom we look back at the experiences in our lives. When we see the joyous times in our life there is a two pairs of footprints in the sand. One set is our own and the other is Jesus’s. When we see the difficult times in our life we only see one set of footprints. When we point out that in our most difficult times Jesus said he would be with us, we are alone. Jesus answers “My child in your times of hardship, there is only one pair of footprints for I am carrying you through them.” This should remind us that even in our difficult times that Jesus is carrying us through them all along and that is something to be truly grateful for.   -Amy Zimmerschied 

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Faith can move mountains, and so can glaciers.

Good evening all of my brothers and sisters in Christ! It has been a great day, and we have been blessed by all of the beauty that God has given us to enjoy here in Alaska, as we prepare to serve His name. The day started with trip to Walmart to get some last minute supplies in Anchorage, as well as some food for the road.

Soon after we left Anchorage, we stopped at a turnout to look over the Turnigan Arm at the mountains in front of us as well as behind us. Jenna and Amy got to see their first bit of wildlife, two Dall’s Sheep. One of the first reminders that God has made some amazing things in his creation and that He cares for every one of them. The Dall’s Sheep live high on ridges and can scale cliffs that I would not even dream of attempting to scale. They, without hesitation, walk along these steep cliffs, trusting the grace and dexterity that God has blessed them with. It makes me jealous to see such an amazing display of blind faith in the gifts that God has given them.

After getting to see the sheep, we loaded up and headed on down the road. We made a slight detour to go visit the Byron Glacier. As we approached the glacier, Gods beautiful creation was on display in all of its glory!

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We got to see how much the glacier has receded since our last visit, as well as climb around on some of the snow that was left from the past winter. After walking around on the snow, Bryan, Jenna, and I decided to try our hand at being Dall’s Sheep. We climbed around on a huge pile of mountain rocks trying to get a better view of the glacier, and a better view of all of the amazing things that God had blessed Alaska with.

Climbing around on the mountain rocks and the snow got me thinking about faith. It was very apparent, looking out at the glacier, that it takes an enormous physical mass to move a mountain. But Jesus told us that it only takes a faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain!

Which brings us back to the sheep. They wholly trust God to take care of them every day, and without hesitation, use the blessings that they have been given to keep moving. So then, I ask, why is it so difficult for us to just trust in God, with a faith the size of a mustard, and move mountain? Some of us are comfortable going out and wearing our faith on our sleeves, and sharing the good news of Christ with whomever we can. Others of us hesitate, and wish to stay in our comfort zones, sharing when its convenient, or when someone asks. I challenge all of you, next time an opportunity to share God’s amazing love with someone arises, think of the Dall’s Sheep. Just go forward with the many blessings that God has given you, so not hesitate, and you will be blessed ten fold.

Your brother in Christ, Luke Lilienkamp

 

One Down…

JULY 12, 2019

Sterling VBS wrapped up today. Time really flew!  Today’s story focused on Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. We talked with the kids about even though this was our last story this week this isn’t the end of the Story. Jesus promises to return. And, as our take-home point on Tuesday reminded us, God always keeps his Word. In the meantime, He has commissioned us to share the message of God’s love and saving grace.

As Hannah and I said good-bye to our new friends and headed back to Anchorage to meet up with the rest of the team, this story was an amazing way to reinforce our mission here in Alaska.  Reflecting on our week in Sterling, this story reminds us that sometimes what feels like and ending isn’t necessarily so. This story also helps to recharge us as we head into a second week of VBS in Anchor Point.  Stay tuned…

In Christ –

Mary Anne

Alaska Day 2: Here’s What’s New

Today is July 12th, 2019, the day that the entire Alaska team finally united in Anchorage! But before we get to that, let’s start with the beginning of our day.

Luke, Bryan, Amy, and myself woke up at the AMC facility in Anchorage around 8am. We showered and then hung out in our room for a bit until 10am, when Darlene and Carl came into our room for AMC orientation. Darlene told us about AMC and also what to do if a bear attacks us. Carl led us in a devotion from the book of Genesis.

At the same time in Sterling, Mary Anne and Hannah were enjoying their last day of VBS. After the final closing, they hit the road and headed to Anchorage.

While waiting for them to arrive, Luke, Bryan, Amy, and myself went to Moose’s Tooth restaurant for a yummy pizza lunch after picking up our rental van.

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The four of us then went to Walmart for supplies and souvenirs. While there, Mary Anne and Hannah arrived in Anchorage and met us!

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We all checked out then headed to La Mex for dinner. After dinner, we drove to Alaska Wild Berry Products to see the world’s tallest (3 stories) chocolate fountain and one of the original golden tickets from the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie.

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Most of us bought some more souvenirs there then we headed back to AMC for showers and bed.

Goodnight from Anchorage, Alaska! Tomorrow we head to Anchor Point.

– Jenna Bohler

Campus Lutheran in Alaska: Act 2

July 11, 2019

Last Thursday, our sisters in Christ Hannah and Mary Anne departed for Alaska to serve the community of Sterling.  Today, four more members (Jenna, Amy, Bryan, and Luke) left for Alaska to serve the community of Anchor Point.  We’ll be meeting up with Hannah and Mary Anne tomorrow, and then Saturday the six of us will depart for Anchor Point where we will be hosting a VBS program for the children there.

We learn in Acts, Chapter 2 in verses 42-47 how the early believers came together during Pentecost.  They ate, learned, worshiped, and had fellowship together.  But they also served together.  The six of us are six individuals, but together we are a team.  And like the early Christians in Jerusalem, we will be sharing meals with one another; we will be having devotions and worship together; and we will have fellowship with one another.  But more importantly, we are here to serve together.  Verse 47 closes out Chapter 2 by saying “and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  We pray that through our work here in Alaska, the number of those saved is increasing.  The time needed to prepare for teams from Campus Lutheran to come to Alaska each summer is about 11 months.  Those 11 months of preparation translate to only 11 days in Alaska for us to reach others with God’s word.  Our team will be making the best use of that limited time to grow God’s kingdom.

Serving Christ,

Bryan Ross

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Jesus Saves Me!

THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019:

Today at Miraculous Mission, MaryAnne and I were able to help 13 children learn about Jesus dying for our sins. The fun part was seeing the reactions. The children got to dress up and act out the story… and they were so excited to do it! They read with enthusiasm  they had facial expressions, and they were so happy that they got to wear costumes. We have taught this particular story almost every time we’ve come up here and we know why; it is the most important story. But to see these children absorb the lesson so wholeheartedly was enlightening. Jesus came to earth to save us all. Not just Christians, not just adults, not just children. Everyone.

We’ve enjoyed getting to teach and know a different group of friends and I like to think they’ve had fun getting to know us and Jesus as well. Tomorrow the children get to bring their families with them to VBS and I think they’ll be excited to show what they’ve been up to this week.

God bless,

Hannah Nacarato

Christmas In July

JULY 10, 2019

We’ve reached the midpoint of our week here in Sterling. Hannah and I can’t believe how fast time has flown!  I’ve loved spending time getting to know the kids during breakfast every morning.  It’s fun to hear about their lives and experiences and to talk about the differences between Missouri and Alaska…though the last few days temperature-wise have felt like we never left home!

Today we celebrated Christmas in July.  Our take-home point was ‘Jesus Came For Me.’ Our story was about how Jesus, the Son of God, was born a human infant and how a star lead the Wise Men to the place of his birth.  Not only is it one of my favorite stories in general, today during story-time we had a lot of fun telling it interactively (🌠🎵Twinkle, twinkle big, bright star!🎶🌠).   I loved seeing the kids really get into it with gusto!

After exploring the town of Soldotna some this afternoon, Hannah and I were invited to a community praise concert at the home of one of Bill and Roberta’s neighbors. We sat out on a picture perfect Alaska evening down by the Kenai River listening to the Lack Family Band sing songs of praise and tell stories of God’s presence in their lives.  The evening was a perfect way to put an exclamation point on the end of a wonderful day.

In Christ –

Mary Anne

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