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 "Roeske"

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.

07-25-2017 – 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.


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.


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.


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.


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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