Hey friends and family,
I’m not sure if any of you will be checking in with our blog before we see you tomorrow afternoon, but just in case I thought I’d write a few thoughts.
Our day today was pretty nice and chill. We slept at Changepoint church in Anchorage last night – I’m certainly thankful that we are able to stay at Changepoint, though the floors are quite hard and it’s not always the best night of sleep. Luckily, I seem to be in the minority and heard from many others that they slept great . This morning was filled with church and packing up our stuff. Then we moved on to some souvenir shopping and dinner at a fantastic pizza place called the Moose’s Tooth. After dinner we drove through a park in the hopes of spotting a moose (no luck in that venture today) and then were dropped off at the airport.
So, that’s what we did, but what I really want to tell you is how today has felt. It’s pretty crazy to think that this is my fourth summer in a row of spending a week at Eaglecrest. Prior experience has prepared me for the pure exhaustion that today would bring, though everything was thrown for a bit of an emotional loop as the reality set in that this is my last trip to Eaglecrest for the foreseeable future.
This year’s team is an incredible group of human beings and I am so thankful to every one of you for lending your son, daughter, spouse, family member, or friend to this team! Our nightly leader gatherings were always intended to last half and hour or so and would instead stretch into an hour or more as we talked about the many moments we were privileged to witness of our students stepping out of their comfort zones, showing serving hearts, taking initiative, and rocking their roles at day camp. The leaders on this team are incredibly intuitive, caring, and generous souls and I’ve learned from each of them throughout the past week.
Eaglecrest is a beautiful place and I love the quiet moments of looking out over the river to see the mountain on the other side. To me, mountains are such a clear demonstration of God’s power and I cannot imagine a better setting to spend a week. Yet, all of that scenic beauty pales in comparison to the beauty I see in the relationships that are formed at camp. I’ve had the privilege of watching 4 teams of students bond with one another, 4 teams of leaders bond together, and 4 weeks of time to get a glimpse of the relationships that Jim, Lynnae and their kids are forming in Sutton, AK. The work that they do is hard, exhausting, and requires so much sacrifice, but to see the joy that happens in the moment when someone pulls into camp and just gets to say hi and chat with the Smith family – that is clear evidence that God is using them in such powerful ways. I have learned so much about relational ministry in my visits to Eaglecrest because of the authenticity and honesty of the example I see in Jim, Lynnae and every one of their kids.
So, as our trip officially comes to an end, I am full of mixed emotions. I am so excited to get home, see my husband and my dog, and I am really sad to be saying goodbye. Thank you all for your support throughout the many months of preparation and our last 9 days on the ground in Sutton. We will see you tomorrow!
Kelsey – as a family that has personally benefitted from your love and commitment to God, you will be so missed. You leave behind a group of kids who will be in good hands with your replacement; but for whom you can never be replaced. You leave them with a lovely example of love for God, for each other and for themselves. You leave them stronger and better able to face what comes next. God has and will continue to do great things with your life. As we wish you the very best on the next leg of your journey – I repeat you will be so missed. Thank you.
A- beyond excited to have you home!
We’re reading. ❤️
Always checking the blog for updates-glad that you wrote something.
Thanks to you Kelsey for leading a Blackhawk team the last few years. I’m sure you have made memories that will forever be in your heart.
I’m sure I can speak for everyone back here in WI who says they can’t wait to see their loved one in a few more hours. Safe travels.
Kelsey-Blackhawk has been blessed to have you as part of its team these past number of years. You have set an AMAZING example for our children! Thank you! Welcome back Alaska team!
Just love your heart and those so deeply involved in this incredible ministry.
Thanks for sharing, Kelsey! You have such an amazing heart for students and you will definitely be missed. We will see you soon!
YEAH!!! Sounds like a wonderful trip! I can appreciate the tiredness, hard floors at Changepoint and the exhausted excitement felt by the whole group. You have been a blessing to BH MSM! I know it’s hard to be on your last trip for a while but take great joy in the fact that each year has gotten better! Relationships have grown! Friendships have been made! God has been present in each trip to Sutton and the BH MSM teams have listened to what He has been whispering on the groups hearts!
It’s been a treat “watching” and reading the updates as this adventure and this journey unfolded through different eyes. I am happy for the safe travels for everyone.