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Serving in Alaska with Camp McCall

Serving in Alaska with Camp McCall

Serving in Alaska with Camp McCall

Alaska, known for its breathtaking landscapes and extreme weather conditions, became the backdrop for a recent mission trip that aimed to bring hope and share the Gospel in a spiritually dark region.

For the third year, Camp McCall leaders and staffers have embarked on a journey to Alaska in March. Their mission involved contributing to the renowned Iditarod sled dog race and assisting the ministry of GraceWorks.

Having previously visited Alaska, the mission trip participants, which included four Camp McCall student staffers and two leaders, were no strangers to the state’s unique culture and challenging environment. Matt “Spinner” Allen, Director of Camp McCall, said, “We believe very strongly in the positive effects of adventure and adversity. And going to Alaska in March provides plenty of opportunities for both.”

Answering the Call

Some questioned why they would choose to endure the freezing cold to support Alaska’s largest event, the Iditarod. Phillip “Snoball” Jewell, Associate Director of Camp McCall, responded by asking, “Why not go?” He highlighted the importance of bringing light to a place that faces both physical and spiritual challenges. He said that Alaska is “just frozen in a lot of places, not just the tundra, but even the Gospel,” and that this was a motivator to go and provide assistance.

The mission trip aimed not only to serve the local community but also to cultivate a missions mindset within the participants. This mindset, fostered by the camp they represented, emphasized the notion that missions can occur anywhere, whether it be reaching unreached people groups or sharing the Gospel in regions with limited Christian influence. By immersing themselves in Alaska’s hardships, the missionaries hoped to make a lasting impact.

Assisting GraceWorks and the Iditarod

The missionaries collaborated with GraceWorks, a year-round ministry based in Anchorage. GraceWorks, under the leadership of Scott Kirby, assisted in organizing the start of the Iditarod. The team spent three days preparing for the race, setting up fencing, shoveling snow, and assisting with various logistical tasks.

Simultaneously, they worked on renovating the building that housed GraceWorks. By improving the facility, they aimed to enhance the ministry’s ability to reach people during the summer months. Their involvement exemplified the dedication to advance GraceWorks’ mission and contribute to the future growth of the ministry.

Providing Spiritual Support

Recognizing the need for organized spiritual content during the Iditarod, the participants proposed the idea of daily devotions and chapel services to GraceWorks. Each morning, the team led devotions, and in the evenings, they conducted chapel services. The inclusion of worship, musical accompaniment, and messages from the team members created an atmosphere of prayer, worship, and spiritual reflection.

Interacting with Alaskans provided an opportunity for the participants to share their faith and engage in meaningful conversations. Despite initial skepticism from some locals, such as Dan, a dedicated Iditarod volunteer, the participants aimed to demonstrate their commitment to service and faith. They understood that their purpose was to serve and share the life-changing message of the Gospel.

Missions at Camp McCall

Snoball said, “At Camp McCall, we’re going to continue to send. That’s who we are, our DNA is missions education.” Both staffers and leaders emphasized the pressing need of the Gospel and the importance of missions in sharing the Good News to the ends of the Earth.

  • SCBaptist Creative Team

    SCBaptist Creative Team

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