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Sunday, August 2, 2009

ALASKA!

It's been a bit daunting to me, thinking about sitting down to blog about our recent trip to Alaska. So much happened; between fun activities, hard manual labor, sicknesses, relationships, 3 hour long campfires....the list goes on. So I've decided I'll write about the trip in pieces. It seems more natural that way, like I might have had internet access all along and was able to blog as things happened... Though I'm not promising to stay in chronological order. Today I think it appropriate to start out with a cast of characters of sorts, to get you acquainted with each person involved in the story.

First, there's me.
You know me. ...Or else you've stumbled on my blog quite by accident and I apologize! But basically my role in this whole adventure was to shepherd my little flock from Grand Rapids to Chicago to Anchorage to Sutton to Anchorage to Seward to Anchorage and home again without losing anyone. In the meantime I got to worry about their health, safety, emotional well-being, whether they've been feed, watered, washed (more about this later), and where the nearest restroom and/or Subway is (not necessarily in that order). There's also the little detail of feeling completely inadequate to impact their faith lives, though with a little prayer, laughter, and some strong coffee the kids know I can handle just about anything.
Now that we've gotten my role out of the way, here is a little blurb about each of the other team members:
Josh & Alison -
Josh is my "intern." Though to be honest he does a lot more than your average YM (youth ministry) intern. He and his wife Alison worked in AK with Eaglecrest, the organization we worked through, for about 5 weeks this summer and where already waiting for us when we landed in Anchorage. Alison is a beautiful person and as addicted to coffee as I am. We really bonded on this trip and I'm so thankful for that!

Roger -
Roger was "the big guy on campus" at Camp Eaglecrest. His son Duane started the organization and Roger has been running the AK section for him for quite some time during the summers. Roger can be hard to read but he is one of the hardest working men I've ever met and he taught me a lot about framing, using a nail gun, a sawzall, and faith. Roger makes bad coffee- I'm sorry Roger, it's true.
Judy -
Judy is Roger's wife. She is an amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman. She obviously had 3 boys (and a girl!) as she'll take all the crap you dish out and hand it right back. She's also a great cook and spends most of her time in AK in the kitchen.
Abigail -
Abigail happens to be the younger sister of a friend of mine from High School and also worked most of the summer at Camp Eaglecrest. I knew from the moment I met her (and before I realized the connection) that I was going to love her. She's hilarious and you can't help but smile all the time when you're with her. We stole a little time one morning to go get Starbucks together and it was one of my favorite relational times of the trip.
Jason -
(I can't find a close-up picture of Jason, I'll add it later if I do)
Jason, like Abigail, worked at Camp Eaglecrest. Jason thinks I'm crazy and took pleasure in looking at me like I'd just said the dumbest thing in the world every time I opened my mouth(which let me tell you was a bit intimidating until I realized he was just doing it to get a rise out of me). I can look past that though and admit that he's a great guy to spend time with and I feel blessed to have gotten to know him. He recently got engaged and we had several discussions about his upcoming wedding where he asked me repeatedly for advice on romantic ways he could surprise his fiance. My favorite convo with Jason came at the end of the trip where I said something, he looked at me like I was nuts, I said: "I'm gonna miss you Jason." And he cracked up and said: "I'm gonna miss you too Krista." It made all the crap he gave me ok.

Hannah -
I don't have a picture of Hannah because we only met her 24 hours before we left for Seward. She came up to Camp Eaglecrest to work the last two weeks with the rest of the staff. Hannah has a great heart. The TCC youth group "introduced" ourselves by sitting around the picnic tables listening to 1990's Christian pop music by Take 5 and dancing like 5 year olds when she first walked up. I will forever have an image of Mike VanLaan grinning like a cheeseball and pumping his arms in the air like it was the best song he'd ever heard...oh my. Hannah took it all in stride and we spent a fantastic last day together working on the Aubrey's house. She immediately felt like one of the group and I'm indebted to her as she volunteered to launder all of the clothing we left behind to be donated! (that's really something considering we had been working all week in the same clothing)...
Whew! Since I want to give each person their due I think I'll end there for today and move on to the Aubrey's and the students tomorrow.

3 comments:

Tim said...

At first I thought you were hugging the glacier (like you hug all the Christmas trees we get) but then I realized you were praising the creator of all that beautiful stuff up there in Alaska. Cute shot.

Krista said...

:) My neighbor was the one who inspired the idea for that shot!

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