Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God's Blessings

Psalm 27:3-5
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:  
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

God is so good.  I want to share with you my family and friends a few blessings that God has bestowed upon me this last week.
I recently purchased a vehicle that was wholesale.  This means that the car came as is including a broken windshield (that's Alaska for you), a missing wiper blade, and 2 bald tires.  I don't think I really noticed how bald the tires were until a recent rainy day when I had to travel into the city (Anchorage).  My car seemed to hydroplane every time I hit a puddle or fall into the grooves of the road where water builds up.  If you know me at all, you know how scared I was.  God got me to and from Anchorage safely and I began to think of ways of how I could get my tire issue fixed.  I decided what I would do, to save money - b/c I don't have any, was that I was going to put my spare tire on - replacing the really bad tire I had.  I, not being incredibly knowledgable about vehicles, didn't think much of the tires when purchasing the car.  I just felt that God was telling me this was the one.
Anyway, the blessing comes this past Tuesday when I received a text message from some amazing people in my life who offered to purchase me new tires.  It was a text that came out of left field and left me incredibly emotional.  I was flabbergasted at the thought of someone wanting to do such a huge thing (for me that is huge) and as much as I wanted to say no, I let the Lord work in me through someone else.  God was using this situation to bless others for blessing me.  Praise God over and over again.
The next blessing came on Thursday when a conversation earlier in the week had taken place that I said something I didn't even know I had said.  You see, my sweet, precious, amazing, and wonderful dog, Kody had gotten injured.  I don't know how he got hurt but he began limping not using his front left leg.  It was so bad that he quit eating and just getting him to go to the bathroom was a chore.  God so graciously put it on someones heart to offer to let me take Kody to the vet to be seen and treated.  What an amazing blessing.  Come to find out, Kody has a soft tissue tear in his front left leg that required medicine to help him recuperate.  This news and medicine would not have been possible if God had not blessed someone else by blessing me.

I say all of this to say that despite our struggles and our circumstances - the storms or valleys in which we find ourselves, staying steadfast in our faith and walk with God is crucial.  God is here and wants to bless each of us.  So I refer back to the verses from above...

For in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling...

This isn't to say that life has been a piece of cake.  It hasn't.  I still struggle, but God has sent me friendly reminders that no matter what, He is with me through this storm.  It is much like the poem, Footprints.  When I only saw the one set of footprints in the sand it was when He was carrying me.
There are still only those single set of prints... I thank God that no matter what, I know He loves me, He has His best interest in mind, and that ALL THINGS work together for HIS GLORY, not mine!  Praise God!  Praise God! Praise God!!!  It is He I seek!  It is He I live for!  It is He that gets the glory!
 
Thank you, Lord, for the people and blessings you have given me since coming to Alaska.  May you bless them abundantly for their service to you!

May you seek the Lord with all your heart today and always!

With Love,
Anna

Monday, October 7, 2013

UNCOMPROMISING FAITHFULNESS

1 Corinthians 10: 13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

If you are looking for butterflies and daisies, then you have come to the wrong blog.  I want to get real with you.  I am going to attempt to put my heart and emotions on the line and share with you the truth of my journey of moving to Alaska since May 24th of this year.

I had dreamed for years of moving to Alaska to do God's work.  I remember the day I told Him I was ready; ready for wherever and whenever.
I admit, even today I feel the exact same way.  
On my flight to Alaska from the lower 48 (or as I have learned - "America" - that's what locals call lower 48'ers) I was ready to turn around on my last leg here.  I was scared of the unknown.  I missed my family and wanted the comforts of what I knew.  I didn't want to be so far away from everything and everyone who held me close to their hearts.  I obviously didn't jump or leap out of the plane, but rather I  stayed because I am still here - in fact, I have since acquired a home, car, and a church family (yep - I didn't mention a job b/c i am still without one).
The very first week I was here I endured some heartache.  I allowed the devil to manipulate my heart and mind which brought about the, "open mouth insert foot" problem.  This was only the beginning of that issue... This heartache began my questioning of whether or not I was really suppose to be here.  I did my best to put it behind me and I dove in with my focus on God and the people He placed me in front of.  I enjoyed week in and week out of not only amazing teams from across the US, but also the amazing, wonderful, beautiful, funny, energetic, awe-inspiring people of Kenai and Wasilla and Palmer. 
After 5 weeks, I had a week off where I learned that someone very special to me had lost his life.  I spent 2 days (including the 4th of July) trapped in my room inside of a church.  I cried.  I felt lost.  And again, I questioned whether or not I was suppose to be here in Alaska.  
I mustered the strength up to get through that week and again, trusting God, put my best foot forward headed to Wasilla/Palmer to serve.  It was while I was here in the Valley that I realized, yes - I am where God wants me.  I was again put in front of some of the greatest summer mission teams anyone could ask for.  In fact, I would say that I have met some life-long friends from this trip.  Not only did I meet some really cool "Americans," but I also had the amazing opportunity to engage with some incredible kids. Kids I would say probably wouldn't be given a chance in many of my Southern Baptist Churches back home.  Yes - I just said that.  It is true though.  How often do we (and I am including myself) look at someone and immediately make a judgment call.  Do we REALLY know that person enough to make a judgment based on a person's looks?  These kids, I do believe, are one of the reasons I am here.  Not just them, but all these people in the state.  I don't know what THAT looks like but I trust God will give me the strength and the knowhow to respond to the call that involves these people...
....
After GW finished, I was allowed to stay in the Church I am now a member of here in Wasilla.  They graciously opened their doors and even their vehicle to me.  In fact, the Preacher's wife even put me in contact with a lady who needed some nannying help.  I graciously took this job because to be honest with you, I had no other income and needed the money.  
Over time, my emotions began to get the better of me.  My job prospects, although multiple I qualified for, were disheartening.  I would apply for job after job after job only to get an email that said, 
"Thank you for your interest in the position but after reviewing your application 
we feel that someone else would be a better fit."  
This has happened week in and week out.  I have gotten even desperate, that despite a prideful heart of knowing what kind of education I have, I succumbed to applying for minimum wage jobs.  Not that a minimum wage job is bad, it isn't... but I had/have pride.... And oh boy, God let me know that wasn't a good thing.  He took me to a passage that told me I needed to swallow my pride and humble myself... That I am no better than anyone else just b/c of my pedigree.  Well, I did just that, I began applying for all sorts of local jobs: Wal-Mart, Target, Joann's - just to name a few... Then, I received a message from Joanns that I was looked over b/c I didn't satisfy their wants for a team member... 

So, with all of this and exactly 2 months out of GW summer ministry, I continue to find myself without a job.  My finances are dwindling - if you could even say that... I am not sure I have any money...  I am struggling.  Each day is a struggle.  The devil is working overtime in my heart and mind and making me question myself daily.  However, I trust God.  No matter how hard the devil works at making me question my worth and where I belong, I KNOW that God brought me here to do HIS work!
I have dove into work at the Church.  I am busy with different tasks such as outreach/visitation, Missions, and the Youth - just to name a few.  What I need from you though, is PRAYER.  Pray without ceasing for me.  I can't do this without you.  I need you today more than ever.  I do believe that God has the PERFECT job for me here in Alaska.  I do believe that God will bring all things together that will GLORIFY Him and not me.  There needs to be so much more of Him than me.  So please, continue to pray for me... Pray for the mission ahead.  I have not given up.  Pray!  That is all I ask... Pray!    
I am not asking for money, but if you feel that God is leading you to financially back me, I thank you for that.  Heed God's call.  It isn't always easy, but when we have faith in God, we trust that God will bring us through it, to it, and into His glory!  I trust that!  Do you?


1 Corinthians 10: 13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weeks 6-10, Palmer, Alaska

Hello my brothers and sisters.  I have added a vlog to cover the last 5 weeks of ministry here in Alaska with GraceWorks.  Please check out the video and then check out the pictures that highlight these weeks.  God has been so evident here.  Please continue to pray for the ministry ahead.  The harvest is plenty but the workers are few...



video


Week 6
Skit put on by kidsfor the kids

Lunch Program

Puppet ministry

Crafts

Puppet ministry at Park Party

Puppet ministry for Park Party


Cardboard testimony for kids
Kentucky group


Week 7
Ministering to teenagers

2 crazies being crazy

Prayer walk - met a lady who we prayed with

Park ministry

4-square is always fun

My 2 newest friends - joining the church

Awesome kid - given the gift of a simple yo-yo

Service Project - cleaning up Palmer, AK

Awesome Group

Park ministry with teens - guitar and pizza

Sweet precious kid who has my heart

Sight see Day to Portage Glacier


Week 8
Volleyball

Clinic night - Science experiments

More science experiments

Car ride to the park

Cheating at arm wrestling - Teenage ministry

Teenage ministry

Fun times with fake moustaches

Crafts and Bible study

Park ministry with teens

Awesome girls - getting faces painted at Park Party

A time for music

Final Park party - all 3 groups


Week 9
Sharing the Gospel w teenagers

Relationship building

Relationship building

Love this kid

Kid who has stolen my heart - she comes to church with me

Love this kid - I think our first hug

Sharing the gospel -  what its all about!

Service Project

Group prayer time

The ever famous "Anna Bomb"

Love this kid

Being silly

Group Photo - last park party

Week 10
Headed to the park

Down time before heading back out to park

Good times with face painting

Sweet moment

NO!  Not another photo bomb, Anna!  :-)

Ok, last one, I promise!

Hanging out on top of the world.

Are they too old for parcorp?

Such a sweet smile!  Love this lady

Aww, teddy bear love.

Nothing but smiles

Sweet angel who has my heart

Great group

Ok, more fun

Last day of park ministry


My sweet baby girls, how I love these kids so!
Fun times in the fireweed