|Sunset last night was gorgeous. King Ranch/Kingdom Air Corps is the light green patch along the river.|
After my last post, some of you may be wondering how the Lord is working in my heart. I merely hinted here and there that He was leading me towards missions in these far-north villages. For now, I'll just say that I'm starting to make steps in this direction.
|The Wickers visiting Kingdom Air Corps :)|
One of these steps was attending the SEND North Conference in Anchorage this week. It was really good to connect with the leadership and missionaries serving in Alaska and Northern Canada. Below are some excerpts from my journal of the conference.
Today was the first day of SEND North Conference in Anchorage. It was a really good experience for me as I start pursuing missions in northern Alaska. Spent most of the day with the Wickers, but also connected again with Brad Fox and others. Warren Janzen initiated conversation with me during the group picture and continued talking with me through lunch. I really appreciated his initiation to see where I was at and what the Lord is doing in my heart this summer.
It's definitely a different feeling here than at our Russia conferences. Perhaps because I don't know anyone, but for sure a different atmosphere. Each village is different with different cultures and different strategies/methods. I think it's easy for people to feel alone and disconnected more than other fields.
I also met Derek, who went to college with my dad. He said my dad was key for him pursuing missions through SEND.
Had another good day at Conference. Aaron, Tisha, and Oksana came today for the morning session. I was able to meet some more neat people like Steven who is in the media/fundraising side of things. He mentioned the need for help in that department, which I could maybe help with in addition to ministry. Video stories would be great to share with people in the lower 48 to raise awareness of village life and needs for funds.
Talked with Mark who is serving on Kodiak island. The people there are majority Russian orthodox influenced. Share many of the same struggles that we have in Russia.
The last day of conference was very encouraging. I appreciated the guest speaker's message about boasting in our weaknesses. His message was a huge encouragement to many in the room feeling discouraged in their ministry. He was very down-to-earth about the realities of ministry.
I talked with Don Ernst over lunch, who was really helpful. He is the director of ministry or something like that - he assigns people to locations and travels a lot to keep track of how each missionary is doing in their area. He has lots of wisdom and experience in village life in Alaska.
We played softball after lunch, and had a great time. I hit a couple homers and earned the name "slugger" from Brad Fox. Warren Janzen was also impressed and said, "After seeing the way you play softball I knew you were a SEND-er!" He was pretty impressive himself, and I hear he plays volleyball and basketball too. Would love playing with him sometime.
Overall I'm really glad I stayed for the entire conference. It was just a series of more steps of faith towards pursuing missions up north. I'm not sure what this next year will look like, but the Lord has been so faithful so far and I know He will see it through.
Please be praying for me during this time. I need wisdom and grace each day!
P.S. I finally got out fishing more today! Devlin, Tim and his dad, and I went to Bonnie Lake with a boat and caught a bunch of rainbow trout. I also caught a grayling!
|Holding up our spoils! :)|