Saturday, 31 May 2014

Our First Week in Alaska

Hey everyone! So sorry I haven't been able to post anything for the past week. We didn't think that we would be able to have wifi at all, but it is such a blessing that the camp has set up a computer for us to use occasionally.

Hello Gentle Shepherd, Family, & Friends !

This has been an amazing first week in Alaska. I would love to go over everything but there is just so much to say! All of our flights went very smoothly, we first flew from Toronto to Vancouver, BC. Then we flew from BC to Anchorage, AK. From Anchorage we took a charter plane right through the mountains to Port Alsworth, Alaska where are staying now. The charter plane was VERY VERY small. I was terrified as we were taking off, but it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It did shake and move with every wind so that was sort of scary. I can't even describe how amazing it is to see mountains and the bright blue water. It just goes to show how amazing our God is. Something like that couldn't have just happened by accident. So clearly designed. Anyways, after a few short flights we arrived a little tired but excited.

We met the camp director Mark McGee, and his assistant James Bodolosky. James has a wife named Jennifer and 9 children. All of which who are lovely. Every day we talk about how unbelievable it is that all 9 children are so polite, and act so maturely at such a young age. They are a missionary family, all of them great at remembering names and eager to meet new people. The youngest is 7 months old and the oldest is 17. Jennifer,  the mother to all these children, is one of the most godly women I have ever met. We were blessed by hearing their testimonies as well as Mark's and his wife Andrea. Mark has 3 kids and they are great too. We met all the young adults we would be working with, so far there are about 25 of us in total, more to come by Monday. It has been great but very overwhelming to meet so many people at one time. Being able to have an hour or two break every day just have some relaxation and prayer has been a huge blessing. There are many people who just stop by TBC (the camp) and to see everyone it is a very small, but tight community. About a 3 min walk down the gravel road from the camp is Port A's first general store where there are few items the citizens can buy without having to worry about ordering them in themselves. Everything here has to be flown here so it is a huge blessing to have this store. It also has coffee, and will start having a variety of restaurant food/beverage items.

Our days are pretty routine, breakfast at 8am, then we have chapel. Usually following we work outside or do some sort of team building activity with everyone.This usually happens until lunch, then we go outside and work around the camp, have more discussion about what we will be teaching the campers when they come, and more training for our responsibilities for next weeks.
The past couple of days we have practised riflry, archery, variety of games,  canoeing, and were taught how to teach the campers these activities. Then we also discussed how to approach the gospel with different age groups.

It has been cold and rainy the past 3 days, but surprisingly we all sort of enjoy it. Yesterday we sat back and all watched a movie together. All of the kids here are so loving, they just jump on your lap and tell you about their day or ask you about yours. So we were surrounded by kids, babies, adults, youth, you name it and just had a relaxing day together after days of hard work. There have been many laughs. 

God has been amazing. I had been praying about my identity before I came. I wanted God to show me who I was and what I was supposed to be. Then as soon as we got here the Camp Director announced that the theme for the camp this summer would be IDENTITY in Christ. Crazy right? I couldnt even comprehend it. I just sat there stunned. It was one of those , "Whoa God is real!" moments. God knew exactly what I was going to go through and exactly what I needed. I love it here in Alaska and would stay here all summer if I could. So not only will the campers be learning about who they are in Christ and developing a deeper relationship with him, us as staff will learn a lot too.

Here at camp we rotate responsibilities, this first week I will be on Kitchen Crew, the second week I will be counselling highschool girls, and our final week I will be helping run the outdoor activities (paintball, gaga ball,basketball (omigoodness there is an outdoor basket ball court that has a perfect view of the mountains!), riflry, canoeing, hiking trail, kayaking, water tubing/skiing etc etc.).

There has been a 10hour bug going around, thankfully I havent gotten it but it has taken many of our staff down. We have had to quarantine the sick ones in separate cabins hahha. Prayers for health will be great!

Thank you all so much for your prayers! I will update when I can. Love you all so much! xoxox

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