Tag Archives: Alaska

Alaska and My Very Best Friend

In 1997 my little church’s youth group went to an event by the group Teen Mania that did youth mission trips all over the world. I wanted to go to Alaska. My little church helped me raise money for the trip,  they gave me money, they helped me do a car wash, we sold food.  My grandparents, the same ones who took me to the little church, gave me a loan and I was on my way in the summer of 1998.

Going to Alaska for almost a month changed my life. I got focused.  On that trip I ate peanut butter and jelly almost every day for lunch.  I talked to Jesus and read my Bible every single day. I was surrounded by God’s beauty and traveling with a group that loved God.  Some of the friends I made on that trip are still part of my life even today. In Alaska I was awestruck by how much God loves everyone.

So many things happened during that trip that made it clear to me that God is real. A friend was healed of major back pain for the entire trip.  We prayed with runaways. We prayed with strangers on the beach. We saw a baby humpback whale and it rocked our boat.  We saw a glacier up close and saw blocks of ice fall into a lake. We climbed a mountain. We saw God working. We walked around praying for cities and people and sharing God’s love.

In those days Jesus became my very best friend.

 

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Day 1 of Lent – Giving Up Thanks

I have been thinking about what I am going to “give up” for Lent this year. I’ve decided that I am going to write down different circumstances that I am thankful for every day for the next forty days.

Above my television there is a 20×30 photograph of a mountain with six birds flying in the sky. I took the photograph in Alaska in the summer of 1997. It was the first time I had been away from my home, my friends and my family for any length of time and I went on a month long mission trip to Alaska with Teen Mania Ministries. For a month we traveled to different places doing a drama that was the story of Jesus, only with a king, his crew, pirates, and mimes. That month changed my life. I grew deeper in my personal faith. I made some wonderful friends, who I still keep in touch with today. I started journaling my prayers.  I witnessed a miracle. I didn’t watch t.v. for an entire month. God gave me a heart for runaways. I prayed with strangers. 

I’m thankful for that trip to Alaska and for all the things that I learned on that trip!

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