I hope this e-mail reaches you well. It has come to my attention that a few of you have stopped receiving my e-mails at different intervals. I haven't been able too find a rhyme or reason as to why, but if you are one of those who haven't received them and you receive this one, please let me know! As a reminder you can update your e-mail preferences at anytime with the link in the bottom section.
For those who are not on my Prayer and Praise Updates, you may not have heard from me since my "Happy Thanksgiving" e-mail, for that I apologize. I am still figuring this all out.
I want to take a moment and clarify what it is that I am doing in Alaska and why I am here. It is my hope that through these e-mails, each one of you would be able to answer the questions, "So what is it that Andrew does in Alaska? Why exactly is he there?" I hope many already know the answers. Yet, I have discovered that others may not fully grasp my calling behind it.
Q: "Who are you under?"
A: I am a self-supporting missionary under the covering of LightShine International Ministries (LSIM). LSIM primarily ministers in Alaska through building projects. My endeavors are a new branch of the ministry to further enable church growth in ways beyond building projects. All four of my mission trips to Alaska have been through LSIM.
I have also been sent by my home church, Hope of the Nations (HOTN). HOTN holds my ministry credentials. They also serve as an additional source of prayer support, accountability, and financial giving. LightShine does not provide funding for my endeavors/trips and I must raise all of my own support and/or work here in Alaska to make ends meet.
Q: "What is driving your calling?"
A: God. Psalm 37:4 "Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." You see, coming to and living in Alaska may have been my childhood dream. But I am a firm believer that God handcrafted that into my heart when He made me. My passion for youth & children ministry, camp, traveling, compassion towards the lost/broken/forgotten - all of it is a God given desire that He has placed in my heart. As I commune with Him and follow His lead, these desires have become my reality.
Q: "What compels you to make the sacrifices needed to minister in Alaska?"
A: The needs I see here as well as my love for this land, its culture, and its people. There are needs everywhere the Lord has taken me; across the country, internationally to Mexico and Ethiopia, even in my hometown Reading. My heart strings are often pulled. I dream, pray, hope, and ask, "God what can the church do here? How can we meet this need?" When a mission trip is over we go back home. The new stirrings of our hearts slowly fade away and we return to our daily routine. Since coming to Alaska in October 2014, I have remained stirred. There is such a need for the gospel in Alaska.
Did you know: Alaska is considered one of the highest "unchurched" states in America?
God has placed a compassion in me to reach the at risk youth in the valley. They have no youth pastors. The majority do not have a nearby youth group to attend. The examples of Jesus compel me to continue visiting people in their homes despite any shortcomings or broken family situations. The Holy Spirit enables me to be a living example. My life is able to encourage others the truth in following Christ, even when we fail. I desire to keep serving others by cooking meals, cleaning, and giving rides. All of these things, outweigh any sacrifices I have made or will make for the Kingdom's advance in Alaska. I want to show the youth there is something worth living for, and that together we can overcome the statistics of suicide, drug and alcohol addictions, physical and sexual abuse, or ending up in jail.
To get a better heartbeat of what God is doing here in Alaska, check out AKOneDay. I have had the opportunity to meet their leadership last week during my time in Wasilla. I was house/dog sitting. I was able to attend their evening prayer and worship services. They held services 3x/day Mon-Saturday during the 40 day fast which ended yesterday. Believe with us as we contend for revival in Alaska that will impact the rest of the United States.
In addition to these e-mails, I also have a blog. Through my blog updates I provide engaging content that is enjoyable to read. These blogs serve as a great way to get a more in depth view of what the Lord is using me to do in Alaska. It is also the home of my upcoming ministry trips.
02/10/2017 Tazlina, AK
Sunrise: 8:41am | Sunset: 5:12pm
High: 10 | Low: -10