Alaska: Satisfying physical and spiritual hunger

It is hard to believe I have now been serving with Alaska Missions in the Last Frontier for almost two months. There have been many up and downs, but through it all The Lord had moved in miraculous ways. After spending a week serving in Kodiak, Alaska, our team took a ferry back to the mainland, eventually settling in Anchorage. This is where we have been serving for the last 6 weeks and will be until August.

We spend our mornings doing service projects in the community, which include light construction and a lot of cleaning. I would not typically choose painting a strangers office as my first thing to do in the morning, but the experience has been rewarding. We do not serve the people of Anchorage for a warm fuzzy feeling or a sense of pride for helping someone in their time of need. We serve because it brings glory to God, the very reason we have been put here on earth.

Just before lunchtime, we split into assigned pairs and head to a park in Anchorage. At these parks, we serve children by meeting needs physically and spiritually. From 12:30 to 2:30, we run a government-sponsored program called the Summer Feeding Program. For children and teens aged 18 under, we give out a free boxed lunch. This is designed to replace free breakfast and lunch children would normally receive during school. While this shelf stable food doesn't look particularly tasty with its turkey sticks and super pasteurized milk, it meets the needs of children in the area. Without this meal, they may not be getting a nutritious meal all summer. After 2:30, we put away all food and any indication of the government program.

Following the lunch program, we begin a time of bible story and crafts. Each story has a specific purpose in showing the children how God has loved His people from the very beginning. These have been a great way of starting conversation with kids about their faith. We had a young girl named Jasmine who asked, “How are people made?" This question allowed us to teach her about how God created the world. We have Jasmine a Bible and she is so hungry for the word that we at times find her reading it by herself.

It is wonderful to see how the Lord is using our lunch program to allow conversations about God come up naturally. When we pray for opportunities to share Christ, He will provide. It is our responsibility to be bold in our faith and tell how God showed us His love by sending his only son as sacrifice for our sins. As I continue in my service here in Alaska, I as for prayer that my relationships with the children would deepen. Pray that what God needs them to hear would come from myself and the others serving in our park. Thank you for your continued love and support!

Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin University, is serving in Alaska as a Go Now missionary.

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