Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, served in Alaska with Go Now Missions.
It has been just over a week since my return home from Alaska back. This last week has been a whirlwind emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
I have slowly begun to process the changes in my life since spending a summer in Alaska. I have often thought about how I could impact the people of Anchorage, but what I did not expect is how much of an impact they would make on me.
Since leaving Alaska, I have noticed how much the Lord changed me as a person. One of the biggest ways this happened was God improved my work ethic. There were so many days where I wanted to sleep in, but every morning, I would get up and start a 14-hour workday - or more!
In my natural selfishness, all I wanted to do was refuse to work, or at the very least complain the whole time. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to serve with a positive attitude. Titus 3:1-2 says, "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone." Through this, I was able to see that my attitude during work affects not only me, but also those around me. By serving with the attitude I have been called to, I can help lead others to the kingdom of Christ.
Where I find joy
I also have seen a change in myself in terms of where I find joy. Before, it was easy to sit down and watch TV for a couple of hours and think nothing of it. However, now as I sit down, I realize I don't enjoy myself anymore. I am now taking more opportunities to go out and spend time with the people around me. I have more interest in building strong relationships rather than sitting around. My heart truly wants to love others the way Christ does. It is a beautiful thing learning to invest in the lives of God's children.
I also have seen the Lord transform my heart into being so thankful for all that I have, whether it be big or small. I am so incredibly blessed to come from a loving Christian family, but it is something I quite often take for granted. I met so many children who either had abusive parents, a father in jail or no father at all. I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to love on these children and tell them about a Savior who loves them unconditionally.
Hope to return
Part of my heart is left in Anchorage, and I can only hope to return one day. I praise God for the children who gave their lives to Christ and pray that the others one day will do the same. What an amazing summer it has been serving the Lord. I give him all the glory for this amazing opportunity. Please continue to pray that the Lord would move in the hearts of his people in Alaska.