When I first thought about going on the Alaska mission trip, I have to admit it was probably for selfish reasons. I was thinking it would be an opportunity to see Alaska, a place I have wanted to visit for some time. Then, when I learned it was a highly relational trip, I was ready to go beyond my comfort zone to discover how God could use me.
God used our group of eleven GFC members to bring the light of Jesus to Anchorage Alaska, a spiritually dark area. Here we ministered to children and adults of varied ethnic backgrounds in very special ways. In June, our team with multiple ages and skill sets came together, quickly bonded in friendship and worked for one common purpose of sharing the love of Christ.
I prayed to discern if this was God’s will for me and if so, prepare my heart. Things began to fall into place, even though the fear of the unknown still crept into my head. Then when the day came to depart on June 17, I was excited about the unknown trusting that God had called me and our team for something special. When we touched down in Anchorage, we were met by a young and fun couple from Tennessee, who turned out to be our Grace Works hosts for the week, so we found comfort in them immediately. When Monday morning arrived, we were ready to go to work under their direction and leadership.
The week turned out to be so much more than expected. It was such a good mix of work, play and building relationships. The week afforded us time to serve through community service projects, spending lots of time in an assigned neighborhood park hanging out with children and some parents, hosting evening block parties as well as experiencing the sights of Anchorage and surrounding areas.
Loving on children at the park was a huge part of our week. We were met each afternoon by young smiling faces so excited to see our van pull up. We piled out ready to engage in games, Bible stories and crafts and boy were they ready to participate. We came to be known as the “church people” and they loved seeing us come. We soon discovered the children had much more Bible knowledge than we expected.
I believe now that our one big purpose of this mission trip was to plant and further water seeds. Seeds that previous Grace Works mission groups have sown, and seeds that God will use and allow others to continue watering in the future. I encourage you to be a part of something bigger than yourself by stepping out of the boat and joining a future mission team either in Alaska or somewhere else where you can invest and pour into the lives of people, young and old, and make a difference for God’s kingdom. Speaking for our team, it is totally worth it.
Posted on Wed, August 15, 2012
by Jan Jacobson filed under