Family Ties 

Well, our 2018 AMC VBS mission trip is in the books. The lessons have been taught, the games have been played, the crafts have been crafted, and the songs have been sung. We’ve shared meals, fellowship, running jokes, and God’s Word. How neat is that? Pretty neat!
I’ve been thinking a lot about family today. Today is my younger brother’s birthday. I called to wish him happy birthday from the weekend market in Anchorage. I also got to check in on the nieces and nephews. Growing up in Illinois, we didn’t have family close by. It was just my parents, my brother, and me. As a result, my home church became my extended family – surrogate grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Coming to Campus, that family extended even more. This was my sixth year serving as part of the Campus AMC VBS Mission team. Thinking about the families we serve there, I know that my extended family has again increased. The kids of Anchor Point and their parents have become ‘mine,’ just as our team has become ‘theirs.’ I think about my families throughout the year, and so many of the parents shared how much the kids look forward to hearing from us. Going back to Alaska every year is like going to a big family reunion. And, just like a biological family, some family members are closer than others, and some even stray away. It was even shared with us that while several of our Anchor Point families attend a church regularly, there are many that do not. We were told that those families, while they do not have a strong church affiliation for the majority of the year, for one week in July they prioritize attending our VBS. And, that the kiddos are the ones who are the most adamant about attending. How wonderful it is to be able to share God’s love and grace with children eager to hear the message, and to continue to grow the family of God.
So, until next July, God’s heroes, follow Psalm 34:14b – Do good, seek peace, and go after it!
Your sister in Christ –

Mary Anne

R & R

Today was a day of rest and reflection for our team.  We woke up this morning at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Seward, where we were kindly given floor space at last moment yesterday.  We cleaned up and got ourselves moving early to catch our boat to the Northwestern Fjord.  This has become a favorite for the Alaska team as they enjoy a day of sightseeing before returning home.

Captain Mike led us out and about in God’s creation.  He slowed the boat down to give us many opportunities to see otters, Eagles, birds, Dahl’s porpoises, Humpbacks, Harbor seals, Sea Lions, glaciers, and waterfalls.  What a wonderful creator we have!

Our time on the boat and the ride back to Anchorage also gave us a chance to reflect on our week in Anchor Point.  We discussed our interactions and impacts on those we’ve met and worked with since leaving home.  The bottom line is that we learn so much about others and the power of God’s love and grace in each and every one of our lives.  We will have the opportunity to share some of these reflections tomorrow with members at Beautiful Savior in Achorage and then with Campus Lutheran on August 12th at both services.

Praise God for all the blessings He bestowed on us this week.  Thank you for the prayers and support you have given us this week.