Teen Pursuit was simply amazing. I think I could write a very lengthy blog post for each day I was in Alaska. I will refrain through. I left Illinois on May 31 and made it to Anchorage just after midnight. I was able to stay with a camper I had met last year and her family. It was wonderful seeing a familiar face and making some new connections in Anchorage. They were extremely hospitable and I am so thankful for the generosity of families in Anchorage!
Friday morning I had my flight scheduled to Port Alsworth at 10:00am, so after breakfast we headed to Merrill Field to catch my flight. But this is Alaska, so we waited until about 11:30am for all the passengers to arrive, then switch passengers due to the fact that two people brought dogs and it’s company policy that no more than one dog is allowed per flight. Oh Alaska, you’re one of a kind.
I arrived in Port Alsworth just in time for lunch and was greeted by an entourage of old and new friends. It was wonderful to see so many people that are dear to me. I spent Friday & Saturday day catching up with Heather and learning things about the Port Alsworth community. I thoroughly enjoyed staying with them and learning from Heather what to expect during my first winter in Alaska (just assume that I will blog often about new experiences in Alaska), cooking dinner with Heather, and just enjoying the beautiful weather. It was in the 60s and sunny almost everyday! It was wonderful.
We also had our first official TLC staff meeting with everyone present. It was wonderful to have us all together! God has brought together an incredible staff and I can’t wait to see what He does this fall.
Camp started officially on Monday morning and I was so excited about my cabin of girls. I had five 18 and 19 year old ladies in my cabin. It was a joy to get to know them and hear about what God is doing in their lives. We had many deep conversations and challenged each other in our faith. I learned new things about Native culture from them and I so looking forward to continuing my relationship with them. Two of my campers will be back as students at the Tanalian Leadership Center in the fall! I also got to meet two other girls that are planning on coming in the fall too. God is definitely at work and excitement about the program is spreading!
The week was packed with so many things to do with the campers, but also a lot of down time just to get to know each other. Monday was a great day of reuniting with old friends and meeting new people. Girla, the female student from TLC this spring, shared her testimony and was baptized after chapel in the evening. On Tuesday we went to Pebble Beach for a picnic, rappelling, tubing, shelter building, and just hanging out on the beach. Wednesday was Team Adventure Challenge day on the low-ropes course and waterfront day; including water skiing, knee & wake boarding, and more tubing. Thursday we had each team build a Rube Goldberg Machine as their team challenge (this was the example we gave). I had the privilege of being one of the judges, so I got to see all the contraptions come to life. It was impressive what some of the teams came up with. One team used a live puppy (don’t worry, no animals were harmed in the challenge) and another even flung a burning taxi into the air with a skeet launcher.
Friday we loaded up our packs and headed for Lake Kontrashibuna, which is about a 4 mile hike from Port Alsworth. It was actually a great day for a hike, even if I did have to start out the day with rain gear on. God was definitely at work in the students this week and much of what God was doing came out during the camp out. Throughout the week a different counselor shared either their testimony or a story about what God was teaching them at the time. By the time we were out on Lake Kontrash, students were ready to let the walls down and share what God is teaching them.
Lives have most assuredly been changed by God working through Tanalian Bible Camp this past week and I know that more will be changed throughout the summer. Many students rededicated their lives to Christ, shared about struggles and asked for prayer, some even shared that they are not ready to trust in Christ as their Savior yet, but have asked for God to give them faith. I feel incredibly blessed to have been part of the Lord’s work at TBC and can hardly wait to be back there in August (Lord willing!)
I left Port Alsworth on Monday morning and my flight to Chicago wasn’t scheduled to leave until 8:15pm so I had a lot of time to kill. So I had quite the adventure exploring Anchorage. It’s almost unreal how quickly we become accustomed to life in the bush and normal daily things like locking car doors becomes foreign. (Side note: I now have an Alaska cell number and would be happy to pass that on. Just send me an email at Alaska.Megan@gmail.com and I can get that to you.)
Being in Alaska was great and I’m looking forward to many more adventures in my new home in the near future.