S: First Baptist Youth Mission Trip 2012
BC: DEPARTED | ALASKA | 15 JULY 2012
1: ANCHORAGE | ALASKA | ARRIVED 8 JULY 2012 | *586,400 Square Miles *2 times the size of Texas *29 volcanoes *33,000 miles of coastline! *1,400 miles North to South *2,700 miles East to West *Over 1/2 the world's Glaciers *55 miles east of Russia *The only state to have coastlines on three different seas. Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. | 50 students and adults set off on a trip of a life time. They flew from Atlanta to Houston, Houston to Seattle and Seattle to Anchorage to embark on a trip that would change many lives. Grace Works Anchorage had prepared a week full of Mission work with groups of children around the city. Throughout the week, students and adults would experience Christ through their testimonies and through the awesomeness of His creation! | My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring. --1 John 3:18
2: I can't believe it!! We are actually visiting the outer edges of the US. What a majestic place! This hike up Flattop Peak was the first on this journey. Only to realize later that this beautiful scenery is only a tiny glimpse of what Alaska has to offer. | Our first hike up to Flattop Peak. A prayer time begins our trip.
4: THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jrn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957. | Just so you remember...YOU ARE NOT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN UP HERE! | Scratches on the trees are evidence that bears are here. We were able to see trails in the tall grasses where they had walked. Glad we didn't meet one on our hike!
5: Campbell Airstrip--The Loop Trail follows taxiways and tank trails dating back to World War II, when Campbell Garrison served as a satellite field to nearby Elmendorf Field in the early 1940s. Remnants of WWII aircraft parking pads, foxholes, and defensive earthworks can still be seen today. It also serves as a portion of the Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod Trail
6: GOVERNMENT HILL AND WILLOWAW PARKS - Two of the three parks in which we did backyard Bible clubs. The children were from Hmong, Somalian, and native Alaskan Backgrounds. | Me and Kallie--I finally got her to take a picture with me. | Elton--he loved to draw and paint. | Me and Luevas | Zachary and Demitrius--Fishers of Men | Elizabeth and Alanis during music.
7: We taught the children songs, games, Bible stories and crafts. We could tell that the children were thirsty for attention, love and the word of God. We touched their lives, but what's more is how they touched ours! | Me with Luevas and Lukeas--twins | Nashell and Nakaya-sisters who knew the difference between heavenly and earthly treasures! | Blowing bubbles with Irwin | Elizabeth with Lisa Jue blowing bubbles with Zachary | Misty and Kayla under the parachute
8: WILLOWAW PARK | Will and his group visited Willowaw Park outside Anchorage. I was glad that he didn't have me around so that he could be himself and experience this great week for himself. He had wonderful stories of Vincent, a little boy striving for attention. He touched Will's heart. Another child, Nevaeh--Heaven spelled backward, touched the entire group. She was homeless, living in a tent, but knew from what her parents had taught her, that things were going to get better because they trusted in God. Nevaeh really showed the group love for people and not things!
9: Making Memories
10: WILLIAMS REINDEER FARM | Palmer, Alaska | 12 July 2012 | A family farm home to 150 reindeer, 35 elk, 13 horses, 1 bull moose, and 1 bison.
11: BONDI BEACH is one of Australia's most famous beaches and among the world's most well-known beaches. The beach is roughly a kilometer long and is located on the east coast of Australia and is a suburb of the city of Sydney. | Two heads are better than one!! | Tom Williams grew up on this Colony Dairy Farm in the mid-1950's. In high school he learned about reindeer herders in Scandanavia. Reindeer are a natural fit for the ALaska climate and are considered the "Cattle of the North." In 1987 the reindeer farm became reality when the first herd was brought in from Canada. | Our group on the beach...it was the coldest day of our trip!
13: Alaska | Mount McKinley, or Denali, in Alaska, is the highest mountain peak in the United States and in North America, with a summit elevation of 20, 320 feet above sea level. Measured base-to-peak, it is the tallest mountain on land. The picture to the left was taken from the church where we stayed. Mt. McKinley is 100 miles away from this spot...WOW!! The pictures to the far left (insets) are of the beach at Anchorage. Alaska has the longest coastline of any state in America, but is not known for its beaches like California or Florida. Why not? They are cold and the shores are much rockier than the other coastal states. The larger picture was of the city of Anchorage from Flattop Peak. It amazes me how you can be so immersed in nature, yet so close to the city. Anchorage is an amazing place with something new to view at every turn.
14: Portage Glacier
15: Looking like waterfalls and mountains from North Georgia in winter, we cruised Portage Lake to the face of the glacier...it was freezing and the "waterfalls" were melting ice flowing to the water below.
17: Our trip has been amazing!! Portage Glacier is one of Alaska's most popular attractions. We visited the sheer awesome face of a mighty Alaska glacier just minutes from downtown Anchorage. We cruised across Portage Lade on the mv Ptarmigan and stood 300 yards from a relic of the Ice Age and watched a fracture of ice break off the glacier and crash into the water below!
18: The Byron Glacier Trail offered an easy walk for everyone in our group. It allowed a close-up view of a glacier with rugged mountains in all directions. The alder/cottonwood forest was lush with ferns for a serene beginning to the hike. Byron Creek is a cascading, whitewater, glacial creek. Snowfields from the previous winter's snowfall supplied many snowballs for us to throw, as well as great hills to sled down. There's nothing like a snowball fight in the middle of July!! | BYRON GLACIER
21: Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.
22: Adonis is a gunshot victim found near a remote village in Alaska. His wing required full amputation. He has lived at AWCC since 1995.
23: THE ALASKAN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION CENTER | The AWCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife through conservation, public education, and quality animal care. The AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality animal care. Animals that can't be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center. It is home to many bears (black and grizzly), moose, coyote, bald eagles, elk, musk ox, wood bison, caribou, and lynx.
24: Farewell Alaska...until next time.... | The vision and strategy of GraceWorks Alaska is to use visiting volunteers and mission partnerships with the lower 48 states' churches strategically and intentionally to help reach Alaska for Christ. GraceWorks targets high density housing areas and does summer mission campaigns with the goal of reaching people for Christ and starting small growth groups in the communities in which the missionaries work. Most of the communities are multi-ethnic including Sudanese, Samoan, Hispanic, Native American, Korean, Hmong, and others. The belief of GraceWorks is that the Great Commission is not just for the World to go to the church. It is for the Church to go to the World. GraceWorks brings "Church" to the people where they serve. First Baptist Church is just one of the many churches that was honored to be a part of this ministry. | Farewell Alaska...until next time... | " Jesus said, 'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it, 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs, everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22:37-40 (The Message)