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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

Archives - July 2017

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.

 

 

 

 

Prayers:

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.

Prayers:

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.

07-26-2017 – Friends, Fish, & Fun

July 26, 2017
By Grace & Owen Swiggum

Last night, Henry and Marcia, a couple from the church who lived next door, had asked us if we wanted to see their fish wheel and watch them clean fish. They said we could watch them this morning but not before 7:30am. First thing today we went over to see him clean fish and he even gave us enough salmon for our dinner!

 

Today we continued our work at the Copper Basin Pregnancy Center. Our main focus was painting the outside of the building.  At first only the adults painted but soon they let the kids join them.

Other than a few paint spots on our clothes (the center also has a thrift store so they gave us “painting shirts” to protect most of our clothes) the morning was a success.

 

 

 

 

We headed back to the church for a quick lunch and then we were off to basketball camp.

The attendance today was 19, a little bit less than Tuesday. At basketball camp today we did drills, games and actual basketball games (tournament style)! We also did devotions, and crafts for the younger kids.

When we got back from basketball camp we started a big game of hearts while the girls went off to make a dance routine for our “theme song” Give Love.

For dinner we ate a feast of salmon and a few of us brave ones even tried salmon eyes (a delicacy up here)! Thank you Henry & Marcia for your generosity!

Today has been successful because of God’s generosity and compassion. And we hope for another fun and exciting day tomorrow.

Prayers:

Father God, we thank you for this wonderful day that you gave us. Please help us be helpful and generous to the people around us. Please help us all get a good night’s sleep and have another good day tomorrow.  Amen.

07-25-2017 – Basin, Basketball and Billy, Oh My!

July 25, 2017
By Andrew Barton & Daniel Porisch
Sue, the volunteer coordinator @ the pregnancy center

Today we went to go work at Copper Basin Pregnancy Center. We had jobs from organizing clothes to weed-whacking and scraping paint. The goal of the pregnancy center is to make God number one and to not let bad influences affect people’s lives, like an unwanted pregnancy, or if that happens to love and equip the new parent(s).

We worked there for around two hours before heading back to church for a quick lunch. An hour later we were packed and ready to go to basketball camp.

When we arrived at camp, we got a pleasant surprise. Our attendance had gone from 13 to 24 kids. It was very nice to see that older kids that were good at basketball still would go to camp even though we knew that they could take it or leave it.Our girls doing the intro - skit

 

 

 

We got to play 5 on 5 together with them. The really cool part was that while our play was competitive, it was still incredibly friendly and encouraging.

 

For dinner, we went to Grizzly’s pizza, a local restaurant.

We ate dinner there, and talked to Billy, the owner of the restaurant. He told us about the decorations there, life in Alaska (and how it’s changed since the 60’s) and sang some songs for us, some of which were his own, and others that were Christian.

 

 

We concluded our evening with a devotion and dance party (Brian won). Another wonderful day that God gave us in Alaska, and 4 more to go, but who’s counting.

Prayers:

Dear Lord, we thank you for another wonderful day in Alaska. We pray that whatever you have planned for us tomorrow you help us do to the best of our ability. We thank you for your marvelous creation. Please bless us on our next day in the last frontier. Amen.

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.

Prayer

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

07/23/2017 - Church & Copper Center

July 23, 2017
By Elizabeth Barton, Elle Porisch, Karis Schmidt, & Grace Swiggum.

Today has been a very busy and fun day filled with meeting new people and making new friends.

Church this morning was a great way to start our day. The adults had a bible study and the school age kids and toddlers had Sunday school. The sermon today was about why God allows believers and nonbelievers to live together until the last day - because God is patient and wants all to be saved. Afterwards we had a potluck with the congregation. We got to try moose, caribou, and salmon from the Copper River, it was great.

 

After the potluck we went to Chitina (an Athabaskan village about an hour away). We arrived, did a craft, had a Bible story, ate a snack, and played outside with the kids at the park. The best part was being able to build relationships and just listen and have fun with some really cool kids.

 

On the way back from Chitina we stopped at Liberty Falls, a very rocky waterfall that flows from Liberty Creek. We had a blast climbing on the rocks to get a closer view of the waterfall. Most of us got our socks and shoes wet, but . . . we had a great time.

We had a great day. Once again, thank you for all of your prayers and support. Hope to see you soon and tell you all about our trip.

Prayer:

Dear God, Thank you for this day. For the warmth and the fun. For friends and nature. Thank you for this wonderful day that you have given to us and we pray for many more wonderful days like today. We pray to have a great day tomorrow as well. Amen.

07-22-2017 – Parks and a Picnic

July 23, 2017
By Lisa Porisch

This morning began with our final trip to Sam’s Club for supplies.  We then hit the road north to Copper Center.  God provided abundantly with space for this leg of our trip.  We not only had the 2 mini-vans and our 12 passenger van, but we were asked to drive up ANOTHER 12 passenger van to Mt. Drum church for Alaska Mission for Christ. 

We had the opportunity to see the glory of God’s creation on our drive.  We visited Matanuska Glacier and had a picnic lunch.  We also took a short hike following lunch.  We journeyed further north and visited Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the United States and at the crossroads of three great mountain ranges.  Twice as large as Denali and 6 times as large as Yellowstone!  We were able to get an overview of the park from a Ranger and see a movie that gave even more detail of its vastness. 

We arrived in Copper Center and were able to work quickly as a team to unload all the vans and set up “camp”.  We finished our day with dinner and devotions (as well as a skit from the girls).

Prayers:

                Thanks be to God for the beauty of His creation and the vastness a reminder that He is greater than all things.  Our Bible verse tonight was Ephesians 4:1-6, which talked about walking in our calling, and walking in unity.  Please pray for us to be worthy of the calling we have received and to serve humbly with gentleness, patience, and love. 

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.

Prayers:

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.

Prayers:

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!

Prayers:

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)

CV+AK+BBall=

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


Prayers:

  • 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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