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epic 5

Wednesday, July 21st
I do some of my best thinking in the shower.  The key is to remember what I've come up with once the water is turned off.  :)  Today, I remembered my idea.  Thank God that "Plan B" moments turn out better than the original some times. 
The schedule had us down for a "light lunch" (which meant sandwiches) and a hot dinner.  I proposed to Larry that we switch these so that right after Bible Club time at the park, we could head north to Palmer and visit the Reindeer Farm.  If we had a hot meal at lunch, then we could make and take our sandwiches with us and eat them somewhere along the way after the reindeer farm visit.  He thought that would be a great plan and we should go with it.  I called after breakfast and made sure of their hours and was able to get us a group rate of $5 per person.  Things were falling into place for a great evening for us.  Now, I started praying hard that the weather would stay nice...
I love hearing about the contacts the team are making in Eagle River.  God has opened the door for some great contacts in Eagle River.  Two were made on the very first day the team went to pass out flyers in the neighborhoods.  Knocking on one door, they met a lady who had just lost her mother through the night...they were the bridge between her and Pastor Todd.  Another contact they made was with a family who was looking for a church in Eagle River.  Again, they bridged the gap between a seeking family and a church.  Only God knows how things will work out, but at least when there was a need, God used His children that volunteered to serve Him in Alaska in ways to meet it.
This morning for part of the service project for the ladies, they spent the morning in the kitchen making food for the lady whose mom had passed away and for another family they met on a service project yesterday.  The second family had a few things mounting on them...the husband/father was being deployed to Afghanistan soon, the wife/mom had heart problems requiring surgery...add a few children in who were experiencing all sorts of emotions and you've got a family in need of God's love and people's support.  It was a great way for the team to feel they were making a difference on their mission trip.  We had a good time together in the kitchen...I tended to what I needed to all the while listening to their stories and conversations.  You learn alot about people just by listening to them talk. 
They were excited to get to go and deliver the food, too.  One meal they took before lunch and the other went after lunch.  I was able to go with them after lunch to the house of the lady who had lost her mom.  She had tears in her eyes as the ladies spoke with her and gave her the food.  I believe that she was surprised someone would take time to care enough to bring food to a stranger.  She was very appreciative.  I hope the seed that was planted will continue to be watered by the local church people. 
We went to the park after that and had a good afternoon there with the kids and their parents.  It was a blessing to see how God had directed the right church for the Eagle River people and their needs.  There was a range of ages in the team and they all were used to bless people in the park at one time or another.  This was true on the service projects as well...people's skills and personalities were so perfectly matched to the tasks needed to be done.  God is good! 
The park at Eagle River wasn't your typical GraceWorks kind of park...more parents, less physical needs blatently apparent, fewer people overall.  But, again, by God's mercy He brought in the team that would be able to serve in His name effectively here.  He protected the team from the "roughest" of crowds that we've met in other parks, yet used their willing hearts to talk with the people who needed to hear about His love and the truth of His Word.  Alot of Mormons in Alaska, I've come to realize.  One lady I met today, Tiffany, was at the park with her daughter, Charlotte, who was two.  She and I started talking after SherylAnn told a Bible story to a small crowd of kids.  She asked who we were with and commented that her church used to do similar things when she was younger.  I asked her is she was attending anywhere now and her reply was that she was taking a break from church now that she was grown up and able to make choices on her own.  She was wanting to find a church for her daughter to grow up in however...a seeker!  I talked with her for a few minutes about finding a church with an AWANA program that would provide a great, safe environment for Charlotte to learn more about Jesus.  There was a longing look in her eyes, but Charlotte was wanting to play...I asked if I could go and play with Charlotte and that opened the door for Ruth to step in and continue a more indepth conversation with Tiffany.  Charlotte and I had a blast playing bubbles, hula hoop, and kickball...all the while I knew that Tiffany was hearing the Truth from a very Godly lady.  I was blessed to be at the park...God used the cook outside of the kitchen!     


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