My Life Is Crazy Too is a series of reader submissions. Your life is a story. This is your opportunity to share about loving big in marriage, family, and faith to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face in our every-day life. If you would like to submit a story to this series, please email me at connect on the blog. Today’s guest is, Rachel. (and…thank you for making the new graphic image for the series!)
I didn’t know what to expect during my mission trip to Alaska. I’ve been on two mission trips before to Haiti where I completely fell in love with serving the orphan, the widow, the desolate…the VOICELESS, where God is so big and so present and so precious that it is undeniable that every breath taken, every meal eaten, every hug given, every song sang, every spirit filled is SOLELY given by God. The Mighty, Sovereign God.
Because Haiti breaks me to pieces and makes feel whole all at the same time, I wasn’t sure if Alaska would live up to how Haiti makes me feel.
Well, not only did God show up just as big and just as present and just as precious in Alaska, He taught me, stretched me, and grew me even more in the Spirit than I could have ever imagined. Alaska refreshed me. Alaska refueled my desire to do missions. Alaska filled my spirit up.
My passion for a life of serving God bloomed and blossomed with every passing minute of sweet sunlight Alaska has to offer (which is quite a bit in the summertime)!
I traveled with a team of 19, myself included, to Wasilla, Alaska to serve at a girls camp for a week. I have never once been to a camp, not as a kid or a counselor. So, this was an exciting learning experience for me. We served at Laverne Griffin Youth Recreation Camp which was just a breath of fresh air.
This place exudes hospitality, comfort, fun, adventure, and kindness. The camp directors were some of the nicest, sweetest, & humble leaders I know. They are Sherry and Walter Chastain who are originally from Georgia. They fell in love with this camp several years ago and felt called to run it. Their mission is to provide people the opportunity to come to know Christ and to build a relationship with Him in a beautiful camping environment.
They are the real deal and they don’t even know how much they inspired me to go after my own dreams to serve the Lord even if it looks unconventional or crazy to other people.
During the week, our team taught on Galatians 5:22-23. The “fruits of the Spirit” was our theme and center focus as we shared Jesus with these sweet girls. Some of these girls already knew Jesus, some were just acquainted and some didn’t really know what to expect from Jesus.
As our team prayed during the week it was our job to show each of the fruits of the Spirit through our actions and words. This theme was such a blessing! It gave us each as counselors so many opportunities to share about Jesus and His love for us all. We had 52 girls attend camp so, you can imagine how hectic it may have gotten when they were lined up for a meal in the dining hall, played on the swing set, or brushed their teeth before bedtime devotional.
These were all important opportunities God gave us to remind, teach, and practice the fruits of the Spirit.
By the end of the week the girls had all become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Not only did the girls grow in the fruits of the Spirit, so did my team and I. God united us all as a team and was our strength when we were weak and vulnerable.
For the entire time leading up to this trip I couldn’t figure out why God asked me to go. To be perfectly honest, I struggled with preparing myself for this trip. On the plane ride over to Alaska, I specifically asked God to put 1 child in my path, 1 child in my life to connect with, bond with, form a friendship with, and to share Jesus with while serving at the camp. He did indeed…an 11 year old BLIND girl.
Ask and you shall receive!
I immediately connected with this little girl. It happened so fast before I knew it she was by my side at all times. I felt responsible for her, for her safely, as well as, for her happiness. I wanted her time at camp to be fun and memorable. This girl absolutely amazed me. She was a firecracker, smart as a whip, and could memorize a room’s layout in a heartbeat. She was witty and funny. She was sweet and kind. She paid incredible attention to detail.
My favorite time of day was music and worship. I loved to watch all of the girls sing, but to see this little blind girl sing loud praising the Lord just brought tears to my eyes. After music and worship, we dove into the Word. While the Word was being preached she would ask me what bible verses we were on so, I would find them in my bible and rub her hand over the passage.
She would smile as if she knew what it said (I think she did)! The camp’s first blind child and He chose ME to serve her and love on her! I wasn’t the only one giving this girl lots of love and care, but I definitely know in my heart that God put her in my path for a reason.
It was an unforgettable jam-packed week with awesome God divine moments tucked in between everywhere. The moments He uniquely creates for each of us to know He is right by our side leaves me in awe. We had 16 girls profess their faith in Christ and 6 girls baptized!!! I can’t put into words what a glorious and divine moment that was to see!
I will never forget my time in Alaska, I hope I can return to serve at another girls camp next summer. Alaska is a majestic and wondrous place. #campalaska14
- my personal blog: www.walkbyfaith127.blogspot.
- my photography blog: www.onetwentysevenphotography.
- instagram: rachelleigh127
- Laverne Griffin Youth Recreation Camp: http://www.lgyrc.org/
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23