We first met Amy (pictured far right) by way of good friends in Houston, Texas. She has led a group of volunteers from her church on a mission trip to Alaska for the last two summers. They help with SEND North’s Annual Conference, a gathering of our missionaries from Alaska and northern Canada. The group provides an amazing VBS-type childcare program for our MKs (missionary kids) which is a highlight of our year. Here she and her family share thoughts on their most recent trip and how families can serve together.
What first interested you in this particular project (MK program for SEND North’s Annual Conference)?
We were excited to learn about what calls missionaries to Alaska and Northern Canada and the spiritual needs of the people there. We also love the Hall family and wanted to help them in any way we could. Our church has a heart for children’s ministry, so it was a great fit to be able to serve the Halls, the SEND families, and create a fun week for their children.
Briefly describe your recent mission trip to AK and the parts you most enjoyed.
Alaska is a beautiful part of the world, so we truly enjoyed getting to see the landscape and meet locals who live there. But I think we most enjoyed being with the SEND families and having fun creating relationships with the children. We loved seeing their faces light up when they returned each day excited to be a part of the children’s program. We still talk about and pray for the children we met.
What was the most challenging aspect of this assignment?
One of the difficult challenges of the trip was seeing children sad to be away from their parents when they were dropped off at our children’s program. We learned that some families live in remote places, and so some children are not used to being away from their parents. We tried to create fun and distracting experiences, but a few of the children cried and had difficultly engaging with other kids in the group.
How does your faith change/grow with each new mission experience?
It is such an honor to be able to serve God. But it is especially encouraging to be around people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to serving God on the mission field. It seems to be a big sacrifice to leave what is comfortable and to go live where you feel God has called you to serve Him. This encourages me to try to listen more for God’s directions for my life.
What advice might you give to someone looking into a mission opportunity (short or long-term)?
If people are considering a mission opportunity, our advice would be “GO!”. I believe there is no better way to hear and grow closer to God than when you step away from your daily life – – away from the “white noise” of our lives. I haven’t met anyone who comes away from a mission experience unchanged in their faith walk. Mission changes your perspective and helps you to see the world a bit more as God does. I think there is no greater joy than being even a small part of what God is doing in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to jump in?