Alaska Blog

Welcome to our mission team blog!

God is so much bigger than just us. And this mission team is so much bigger than just the 19 individuals going to Alaska. Any mission endeavor includes "Goers", "Senders", "Hosts", and "Receivers".

Needless to say, there are so many people that God includes in His ministry to the world, and we are not only excited to be available to Him, but we're excited that you are a part of this, too.

We'd like to invite you to Go On Mission With Us!

You can go on mission with us. . . As we post updates of where we are on the journey God has set out before us. . . As we post pictures of our day and what God enabled us to do or learn. . . And as we post prayer requests.

Thank you for being a part of God's mission with us!

Alaska Mission Trip Blog

Posts Tagged "mission"

07-28-2017 – Glaciers, Games, & Get-together

July 28, 2017
By John Porisch

We enjoyed our final day in the Copper Center and Kenny Lake area!  Our day started with prayer and a quick breakfast before going south to the Worthington Glacier, a 90 minute drive from Mt. Drum Lutheran church.  The Glacier is one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers and had stunning waterfalls, a gradual climb, and cold drinkable water.   We explored this area for a while before driving back to the Kenny Lake School where we had a quick lunch before starting our final day of basketball camp.



We had around 25 Alaskan children at basketball camp today.  Thank you to all of your prayers and with the money you (Cross View members) provided to our confirmation student’s project, each participant walked away with a new bible (with tabs), and a new basketball.

(We even had extra basketballs that we donated to the Kenny Lake School.)   These were a hit!! 



After camp we hurried home to prepare a community meal.  Invited guests were from the basketball camp and the neighborhood around Mt. Drum Lutheran Church.  

From 6-8pm, we built relationships with around 30 guests.


Upon completion, we said our goodbyes and ‘thank yous’ to Pastor Todd and Kim Roeske, as we will be up early cleaning, packing, and driving back to the Anchorage area.






Lord, thank you for opportunities:  the opportunity to see majesty, the opportunity to build relationships, the opportunity to share Jesus with others.  Please bless our travels tomorrow.  Amen.


07-27-2017 – Helping, Hosts and Heaven

July 27, 2017
By Vicki Barton

We all slept well last night and enjoyed a leisurely morning of waking and breakfast.  We then spent a full morning working on various projects around our host church, Mt. Drum Lutheran.  We scraped and painted the wheelchair ramp and railing, weeded and picked up garbage around the grounds, and cleaned inside the church.  We were thankful for these projects that provided an opportunity for us to give back to those who have been so gracious and welcoming to us this week.

After lunch, we hosted another day of basketball camp at Kenny Lake School.  We arrived at the same time as the kids did today and immediately noticed a few new faces!  We were excited to see all of the participants from earlier in the week return today as well, bringing today’s total attendance to 25!  John led the kids through some basketball drills, but most of our time was spent playing games.  The kids had so much fun!

Our Bible topic for today was Jesus’ death and resurrection, with our key verse being John 3:16.  We talked about God loving each of us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us so that if we believe in Him, we will live with Him in heaven.  We had great participation, with several kids asking to read the key verse, and many of them excited about bringing Bibles home tomorrow!  The kids are so respectful – listening when others are talking and praying, answering questions when asked, etc.  It has made our role as camp hosts so enjoyable.

After camp, we went to Pastor Roeske’s house to help move some heavy items that required multiple people to lift.  Again, we were grateful for the opportunity to help his family, even in a small way.  While at the Roeske’s home, we were treated to bags full of fresh lettuce, turnips, radishes, spinach and onions from their garden.  (They made for a delicious salad at dinner!)


Our evening ended with Terry, a gentleman from the congregation, taking most of us fishing at Round Lake and Old Road Lake, two beautiful lakes just over 45 minutes northwest of Copper Center.  Terry was so kind, even bringing extra fishing poles and helping our kids to fish.  A couple of our kids caught (and released) some small rainbow trout, a few of us picked wild blueberries, most of us soaked our feet walking through the muddy marsh-like shore, and all of us enjoyed the adventurous evening.  We thank God for Terry’s kindness, time and generosity as he hosted us on this fun fishing expedition.


Lord, we thank you for the relationships we have built this week.  We pray for a great last day of basketball camp tomorrow – for attendance, for participation, for safety, for fun, for the Bibles and basketballs that will be sent home with the kids.  We pray for the community meal that we are hosting tomorrow evening – that You will provide an abundance of people, food, conversation, and relationships.  We pray for our hearts and the hearts of all we have met this week – that our last day of serving be a blessing to all and that our farewells be more sweet than sorrowful.

07-24-2017 – Building & Basketball

July 24, 2017
By Brian & Ali Swiggum

While we didn’t actually physically build anything today, our focus for this mission trip has been about building relationships.  We had the opportunity to begin our servant projects, commencing with a morning of yard work at the Glenallen Senior Center, which is 15 miles north of Copper Center.







Pastor Roeske has formed a relationship with the center through a church member.  Building a relationship with the senior center will hopefully open more doors for spreading the love of Jesus in the community.

After a quick lunch back at Mt Drum Lutheran Church, where we are staying this week, we loaded up the basketballs, Bibles, and our team of 19 and headed to Kenny Lake School for the first day of basketball camp.







We were so excited to finally have the chance to start this basketball camp today!  This was our main mission project that brought us to Alaska – to host a basketball camp for the area children.

Sports can connect us – either by watching it together on TV, participating in a sport, or learning how to be a team player.

Our hope in using the basketball camp was to help children in the area recruit Jesus onto their “team” and to further the relationships Pastor Roeske has in the community.  Having children from Cross View (over half of our 19 mission team members are 13 or younger) has provided opportunities for connections that can only happen with kids.

As adults, it has been a joy for us to watch our youngest “relationship builders” thrive at this task as they connect with their fellow peers attending the basketball camp.  The camp included basketball skills, drills, and games led by John Porisch, interspersed with Bible lessons led by Vicki Barton, which provided both a meaningful and fun time together. We are all looking forward to our 2nd day of camp and continued fellowship tomorrow.


Father, thank You for loving us so much that you would send Your Son to form a personal relationship with all of creation.  Please help us to continue to model our own relationships after You, with an abundance of love and care for everyone we meet.  Amen

07-21-2017 – Culture & Costco (I mean Sam’s Club)

July 22, 2017
By Caroline Charles

Today was packed with lovely scenery and lots of silly laughs!

Our day began with a quick orientation and devo with Alaska Mission for Christ representatives at Beautiful Savior Church.

Next, after a quick coffee [hut!] run, we headed to the wonderful Alaska Native Heritage Center where we learned about and interacted with native Alaskan tribes up close and personal!  We toured a village surrounding a beautiful pond with model dwellings from the five major Alaskan native cultures, listened to people’s stories, browsed Native American art and clothing, and danced!!  We learned to have open perspectives and listening hearts as we developed relationships with the people there as well as with our fellow team members.

After a delicious and long-awaited lunch of gourmet pizza at the Moose’s Tooth, the women and Pastor Toby went shop-a-lopping for supplies and food for the week, while the kids and rest of the dads swam and played at the hotel.

We concluded our day with a team meeting devo and quick dinner followed by a STUNNING scenic walk at Potter’s Marsh featuring gorgeous mountainous views, sneaking muskrats, slippery salmon, and soaring eagles.


Praise God for His amazing creation and the opportunity to soak in this glorious part of His kingdom!  Thanks be to God for wonderful ways to grow and laugh with each other as He prepares us to serve Him throughout the rest of the week!  Please pray for last minute preparations tomorrow morning before we head to Mount Drum and for our hearts to continually be seeking ways to serve others before ourselves.

07/21/2017 - We're on our way!

July 21, 2017
By Pastor Toby Schmidt
At MSP, getting ready to go through security

We got to our hotel at about 10pm Alaska time (1am MN time). Everyone is running of fumes at that point. All of our early preparation, double checking, and calling (up to our departure) paid off.

The flight went great, some turbulence but nothing major, and not for too long. All of our luggage made it. Yeah! (They had a great selection of digital entertainment for the whole family!)


(2 pictures from our flight, the first is flying out of MSP, and the second is flying over the mountains of Alaska)






The rental vans were next. Brian had called about 5 times to double check on the availability and reservation of the 3 minivans…and wouldn’t you know it, they only had two. With a little shuffle we got a free upgrade on the third to 12 passenger van. Wohoo!

We got to the hotel, no hiccups here. It’s a wonderful place to finally land for the night. The service and rooms are nice, clean, and quiet.

This display welcomed us off the plane, so funny.

It’s 6:20, time to head down to our free breakfast. Then we’re off to our first day in Alaska including orientation with Alaska Mission for Christ, grocery shopping, and a little sight-seeing.


Praise and thanksgiving for God taking care of our travel, luggage, vehicles, and hotel accommodations. Please pray for our shopping that we find all we need. Pray for our hearts and eyes to be wide open and see where God is at work in us, this place, and on this trip. Pray with us Philippians 2:1-11, our meditation for Thursday night, our first night on the ground.

07-20-2017 - Morning of Departing

July 20, 2017
By Pastor Toby Schmidt

At 5:45pm we'll be boarding the plan and on our way to Alaska! The days of planning, preparing, and packing are finally done...and now the onsite part of this adventure begins.

The kids have had their bags packed for about a week, some adults too. Others, like me, packed last night. My kids are super excited, each in their own way. My daughter has been counting down every day since our last team meeting saying, "I can't believe in ___ days we're flying to Alaska!"

We are so thankful for the opportunity to partner with, and walk alongside, Alaska Mission for Christ. We pray and look with eyes and hearts wide-open for all that God has in store for us and everyone!


Pray for safe travel. Pray for no issues with our luggage. Pray that all works out and no surprises with our housing in Anchorage, and the rental vans. And pray that God surrounds our team relationships and the work he’s prepared in advance for us to do with a hedge of protection. (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 91)


July 01, 2017
By Pastor Toby Schmidt

What does Cross View, plus Alaska,

plus Basketball equal?

A mission trip to Alaska to organize and
host a basketball camp of course!

We are so excited to head to Copper Center Alaska July 20-30 to support and participate with Alaska Missions for Christ (AMC) by doing a number of community projects and hosting a basketball camp for youth in the area around Copper Center, Alaska.

Cross View  has been supporting the Roeskes in mission for almost a decade, and now we get to walk alongside them and supplement their ministry to the community.

We are most excited about making ourselves available for God to do amazing things through us (and to us).

Here's a basic schedule of our activities:

  • AM - Community service as our AMC outreach partners identify needs in the community (we'll be assisting cleaning and other activities at a crisis pregnancy center and a senior center

  • PM - Organizing and running a faith-based youth basketball camp


  • Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."
  • That God would know our hearts and show us His
  • That God would show us where He is at work, and how best to join Him
  • That we would listen and be a part of healing relationships between people and God, and others, themselves, and all of creation.
  • That God would use us mightily and to His glory

Stay tuned for more updates!

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Recent Posts

7/28/17 - By John Porisch
7/27/17 - By Vicki Barton
7/26/17 - By Grace & Owen Swiggum
7/25/17 - By Andrew Barton & Daniel Porisch
7/24/17 - By Brian & Ali Swiggum
7/23/17 - By Elizabeth Barton, Elle Porisch, Karis Schmidt, & Grace Swiggum.
7/23/17 - By Lisa Porisch
7/22/17 - By Caroline Charles


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