Yesterday was another great day of ministry here in Anchorage. We are beginning to establish a routine that will vary only slightly for the next few days.
Before I go on I must tell you…the struggle is real…Mosquitos are most likely going to carry one or two of us away before this trip is done. As I type a small contingent of 42,000 of them are surrounding my legs to see if they can transport me back to their base. I just wanted to leave some record of my struggle. These bugs mean business.
Yesterday began with a level hike in one of Anchorage’s many parks. We passed through old air strips that were used in WWII as defense against Japan. We also were able to walk along park of the route used on the Iditarod Trail, the thousand mile dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome. We ended the walk by wading in a stream of water that makes the Frio River seem like a hot tub! It was exhilarating, until,we realized that in 4 days we will be white water rafting in colder water….
Each day we focus our hearts with a combined chapel service for all those participating in the program. Yesterday a church planter spoke to us about being on mission. He challenged each of us to take this idea of being a missionary home with us, and to consider living like we have been called to be light in our own world, not just far away.
We continue to learn more about the kids who come to us for our VBS in the parks. Each day we play games, make crafts, and share a story from the bible. It is a great blessing to see our students lead in this way. We have been praying for some time that we would learn the names and stories of these kids, and that we would somehow add to their story. Last night during devotional time, I challenged our students to become part of the narrative of these kids lives. To borrow from Walt Whitman -that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. Although we may only be here a short time, we can contribute in an eternal way to their story,and they can contribute to ours.
We ended the day by walking through Earthquake Park. This is an area of Anchorage that was devastated by an earthquake in 1964. It is a lush park now, but remains a tomb and memorial for many. Amazing to see how God took devastation and brought back life to that area. We used this park as the spot for our evening devotional, led by Wimberleigh Johnson and Ashley Anderson. Each student will share part of a devotional all week.
More hiking, at 10:30 at night, or whatever they call it here, and then home to bed.
Dr. Seth finally landed and got to the church at 1:30 AM. Our world traveler is back with us.