Whew – today has been such a bittersweet day. I’ll admit – I’m very ready to get home and sleep in my own bed and maybe not talk to anyone but my husband (that cool dude Brady who’s been in charge of the blog this whole week), and at the same time these last couple days have really reinforced how much I love this team.
We had an opportunity to spend some time last night talking through the lessons we’ve learned from our week at Eaglecrest. As part of that discussion we took some time to share some of our best, funniest and sweetest moments from the week. I thought that we’d have only a few stories to share, but I ended up having to cut off the team from sharing after over 15 minutes – there was so much laughter! I loved how many stories there were showing the change in our team over the week – from pairings of friends on our bus ride to Minneapolis to a true team where all members care deeply for one another.
It was raining in Anchorage today, but we still went out to enjoy the Anchorage outdoor market, and we stopped by a number of shops to find some cool Alaska souvenirs for our family members back home. Good fun was had by all enjoying both the awesome and awesomely cheesy souvenirs J After our time in Anchorage we took the entire team to a delicious pizza restaurant called the Moose’s Tooth. They have a TON of fun and unique pizza topping combinations and we are all sufficiently full to last for days (ok – maybe not days, but I think even Jack is going to be full for a few hours, so I’m counting the mission as successful).
After our late lunch/early dinner Jim and Lynnae dropped us off at the airport. We said our “see you laters” and went to get settled to wait for our flight. This was also the time where all the students got their electronics back – a full week away from their phones and it was almost like they didn’t even care for them anymore… ok – that’s a complete lie – you can see in the picture below that everyone was pretty excited to check all the things on their phones as soon as possible. It was both humorous and a great reminder of how important that fast from technology is for our team building and general experience as we served throughout the week.
This team is really special, and I am so thankful to each and every one of you who lent your son, daughter, husband, wife, or friend to this team for this entire week! Thanks for following our adventures and we are looking forward to seeing you at home tomorrow morning!
Here is a view from our seats today as we settled in to worship at ChangePoint Church. The worship style is similar to Blackhawk so the students didn’t feel any culture shock.
We are heading into downtown Anchorage now for some shopping and dinner before we head to the airport. Souvenirs, here we come!
This evening we said goodbye to Eaglecrest, well the camp anyways. We still have a staffer hanging out with us until we get dropped off at the airport. Here’s a short recap of the day.
The day started off well and the weather was looking good. Monitoring the weather was important today because we were going on a weather “dependent” hike. Meaning, if the weather was fair to good we were going to set out on the hike. Don’t worry, no danger if the weather is bad you just can’t see the amazing view overlooking two small mountain top lakes as you gaze out in the surrounding mountain range. We were all systems go because things looked good at camp so we set out on our last adventure of the trip. Only to find the weather was a bit different at the hiking location. First it was just fog, then the wind picked up a bit, which made it a bit chilly, and then the rain set in. Basically we had to run a few loads of clothes through the dryers at camp before we packed up for good.
After showering off, packing and deep cleaning the camp for the Eaglecrest staff (it’s the only time they let us do anything around camp, seriously, these staff members are amazing!) we took a group picture and said our goodbyes to the camp staff, the camp itself and the beautiful Crag Mountain which sits silently as it keeps a watchful eye from across the river. We they stopped in Palmer, AK for dinner and then made our way to Anchorage, AK. We are now bunked up for the night at Change Point Church in Anchorage. I’m sure you’ll hear stories about this building when your students get home. They have children’s area that was designed and built from the people at Disney. No joke!
Off to bed now. Check back tomorrow!
Yesterday was the final day of our day camp at Eaglecrest. It was so sad to see all of our new friends go home afterwards. After camp, all of the Alaskan kids and their families were welcome to a potluck so we got to hang out with them for a little while longer. Although it was raining and muddy, we still played 9 square and some gaga ball. None of the Alaskan kids seemed to be bothered by the rain or the like we were. It was super fun getting to know them and getting to hang out this week to build relationships with them. They are definitely the kind of people we will never forget and we hope will see them again and stay in touch with them.
Throughout the week we noticed some unique interests. Some loved being active, such as gaga ball or 9 square. Others liked making food like Alaskan s’mores or cupcakes or pizza. There was also a handful of kids who enjoyed making friendship and para-cord bracelets. One of the main highlights of the week was swimming at Victory. When we got there, kids were ready to jump in right away! They had a cannon ball contest to see who could make the biggest splash. It was so cool to see God in all of these kids’ lives just by the way they were so enthusiastic and happy about each and every activity. Several kids never wanted to leave and wanted to come back and stay longer.
We are so sad to see them go but we know we will never forget them and the way they have changed our lives. We hope to see them soon!!!
~ Lindsey & Yaritza
Last night the team went to Hatcher’s Pass. Hatcher’s Pass is an abandoned gold mine from the 1930’s. We all split into groups with at least one leader and went our own ways. It was a cool and foggy night as we climbed around the mountain. Some groups went to find gold flakes while others went to find snow. Our group in particular went to find snow and had a snow ball fight. On our way back we were going to photobomb a professional looking photoshoot, but before we got there and they offered for us to be in their photo! As were walking away we found out that we had just crashed a Vogue photo shoot! Due to the fact that we spent so much time with the models, we arrived late to the parking lot and missed the bus. In the end we had to walk an extra mile to meet the bus outside the closed gates. It was O.K. though because the view was “absolutely insane!” – quote from Kip Sullivan.
This morning is the last day of camp, and our devotional was about taking away what we learned in Alaska. We read the verses Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11. We answered questions about the Lord’s plan for our lives, and how we think Alaska changed us. The two of us know that Alaska will leave a lasting impression in our lives. We are so grateful to have had the chance to have this amazing experience, and we hope that we will have the opportunity to go on other mission trips. #YOLO
Payton and Kyra
Hello families our day camp is going well. All of our hikes have gone great with awesome views and lots of fun. We have one tonight to Hatcher’s Pass which I hope will go well. So far the meals have been great and no injuries have occurred which is good. We have seen God in so many ways up here and it’s so cool. Some ways we have seen God is how many Alaskan students have shown up this year compared to the other years. Along with that we were able to see the beauty in God’s work while we were hiking the butte and glacier. We have been having so much fun up here I think that it going to be hard to leave. Shout out to the Tuttle and Dahmen families.
-Peter and Quint
There have been a few sweet moments in the last couple days that have stood out. Yesterday morning there was a group of us that went out for a run. The weather was beautiful, and you really can’t beat the mountain views. Our turn around point on the run was a creek with gorgeous white stones lining the bank – we’ll have to remember to take some pictures when we go out again later this week!
It’s been fun to see our team putting into practice the topics we’ve been exploring in our devotional times this week. We’ve seen servant hearted attitudes, encouragement, respect, and open and real conversation. Today in our devotional time we dug into initiative. We read about God’s intentionality in giving us each unique gifts so that we can come together to serve. We’ve seen this already in play this week in every planning team, dividing roles and responsibilities according to our strengths. We’ve seen this in our hikes, where some are the adventures explorers, some are cautious and remind us to slow down and enjoy the beauty around us, and some are the encouragers – making sure the entire team stays together. I’m excited to see the way our time this morning encourages us each to recognize our own gifts and the gifts of those around us and to fully appreciate the uniqueness of individuals and the strength of our team.
Off to day camp now! Hope to check in with you all again later!
Today was absolutely fantastic! We started out with our one-hour devotional time. We waited excitedly for our Alaskan students to arrive while playing nine-square in the air and Gaga ball. We were greeted with many smiling faces. Our first game we played was called MINGLE, MINGLE, MINGLE! The objective of the game was to walk around singing a mingle jingle. Randomly an adult leader would yell out a number and we would get into groups of that number. If you were not able to fit in a group of the number called, you would be out of the game. After that we played a game where about seven people would stand on a tarp and try to flip the tarp onto the opposite side without stepping off. Then we learned about Alaskan culture from a very kind lady named Pat.
Next we packed lunches and headed to Victory Bible Camp to go swimming. Most of us jumped right in! We even had a chance to go boating in paddle-boats and canoes. We then came back to Eaglecrest and had free time to play games or make bracelets with the Alaskan students. We got a couple more students today! After all of the Alaskan students left we finished our games and ate dinner. Once we were finished, we sat around the toasty fire and talked about how the day went. We then listened to highlights of the day, God stories and some students and leaders’ faith journey stories. So overall, today was a wonderful day that was packed full to the edges with laughter, stories, and excitement. If you asked any of the team members, they would most likely say it was a successful day.
-Emily Davis, Ella Basken
I thought I would try to let the pictures do all of the talking in this post (with the exception of the captions). I hope you enjoy!
(View of Crag Mountain from the campfire at camp.)
(First view of the Matanuska Glacier – our Sunday hike. This glacier is the starting point for the Matanuska River which runs past camp.)
(Top of our Monday evening hike up “The Butte”.)
(Day camp day 2: The blanket game, a name game. We threw Peter a curve ball by putting this little guy in the ring.)
(Day camp day 2: Fire building challenge)
(Day camp day 2: Water balloon baseball, part A.)
(Day camp day 2: Water balloon baseball, part B.)
(Day camp day 2: More water balloon games!)
Stay tuned for more pictures to come.
Good morning Blackhawk Alaska Go Team supporters! We are touching base this morning after a break from technology last night-we did not forget about you all. After day camp with the Alaskan students came to a close, we spent time as a team connecting. We enjoyed a lovely dinner and then some team games of 9-Square, GaGa Ball, friendship bracelet making, card playing and more. Wrapping up the evening we were able to gather around the campfire to share God sightings (YEA GOD!) and our own personal stories of how God has worked in our lives. It’s been so impressive and encouraging to hear our students share their stories of how God has worked in their lives and brought them here to Alaska to be a part of this team.
The blessings of the campfire continued as a discussion of respect ensued. Jim and Lynnae, our camp directors, helped lead this discussion with our group during campfire time. We discussed (and perhaps debated) the concept, connection, and examples of giving and getting respect. We were guided through this discussion to be so kindly reminded that we should focus our hearts and eyes on Jesus’ when we think of respect. The Lord gave respect to all, regardless of the wealth or disadvantage that an individual may experience. This is important while we spend time in Alaska because each of us, although all a part of God’s family, is given different circumstances and experiences while on Earth. You can pray for our team, that our discussion and message from last night live true for the rest of the week-that we are God’s light in darkness and live out His love for all those to see.
We are starting the day with our daily devo time and today’s focus is Veracity. The two passages we are zoning in on are from Proverbs and Ephesians. Following devo time, we look forward to another day of camp. God has truly been at work this week through camp. The numbers of students coming to camp has been consistently around 10-and for that we are so thankful. Being a leader, I have had the pleasure to witness the outpouring of love that Blackhawk students are giving so generously. Each student, arrives and leaves with a smile on their face. I believe that means we are doing exactly what God has commissioned us to do on this trip-love, encourage and build up these children.
Today we will have an Alaskan native come and speak at camp-giving our students a break from planning skills clubs. I believe this will be super exciting; it is always beneficial to hear about life elsewhere firsthand. In the afternoon, we will be joining up with the library camp students and heading to another camp nearby. We plan to use the afternoon to go swimming, use boats and enjoy more of God’s beautiful creation. The Alaskan students from camp will also be joining us on our journey. As always, a busy day ahead.
We thank you so much for your prayers and support. I would encourage you to pray for continued enthusiasm for our students as they lead and share life with the other students-some are seeing firsthand the struggles of leading a group activity and working with different people. Please also pray for continued health and well-being. Send thanks and praise for the prayers that have already been answered and also that we as a team continue to grow in God, with and through each other.
In and with HIS love – Megan