We recently sent out an update letter through the mail.  You can view the letter by clicking the link below.  If you would like to get future mailings from us, send us an e-mail and we will put you on our mailing list (and send you a cool magnet too!) 

If you are looking to see where we are in our fundraising process for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year click here.
summer_2012_support_letter.pdf
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_ About a month ago, I (Sean) lead a group of two staff and two students traveled to the village of Elim and helped CYAK (Covenant Youth of Alaska) lead a high school retreat for village students.  We helped lead small groups, assisted in the worship service as well as games and activities for the students of Elim and the surrounding villages.

Just to add some perspective, Elim has a population of around 300 people and is located on the Norton Sound of Western Alaska.  There is no pavement in the village apart from the concrete pad for playing basketball outside.  Even the runway was dirt.

Visiting the local store, prices were a bit higher than in the lower 48.  A package of Oreos costs $8.19, if you want a 47” LCD TV, it will cost you $2,000, and if you need gasoline, you have to drive your 4 wheeler over a mile out of town to the fuel storage tanks.  

High school retreats are a bit different in the village as well: everyone sleeps at the local school; we prepared food and ate in the school cafeteria, and the student who were not from Elim had to fly on a plane to get to the retreat. 

It was good to be in a native village and see firsthand where many of the students at Alaska Christian College come from.  While apart from playing basketball, going on hikes, and bonfires at the beach, there was not much to do.  Yet on the flipside, it was very peaceful.  I found myself being able to relax even surrounded by 50 high schoolers.  Village life is just a bit slower and less hectic than the hustle and bustle found in many of our home towns.

I think the highlight of the week was sitting with the students one crisp night at the bonfire on the beach.  We were staring at black sky littered with stars.  Then looking towards the mountains, the northern lights were spread across the sky.  The beauty was breathtaking and you cannot help being caught up in God’s creation.

They are experiences like these that we look at where God has us and are extremely thankful for the way He continues to work in our lives.

 
 
Today was Shannon's first day of school and Thursday is Sean's first day with students back.  While this is an exciting time of year for us, we find that we are putting in long hours at school and are very exhausted getting things prepared.  We would covet your prayers during this time.
Thanks so much!
-Sean
 
 
Here is an article from the local paper highlighting one of our former students.  It is such a blessing to see how her life has been changed because of Alaska Christian College.

http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2011-08-01/homecoming#.TjdPVPSkv_w.email

-Sean
 
 
Hey-
Thank you for all who voted on Facebook for Alaska Christian College on May 20th in Toyota's 100 Cars For Good Giveaway. We received the most votes, and will be getting a new Toyota vehicle for our campus! We believe that it will either be a Sienna Mini-Van or a Highlander Hybrid.
Again, thank so much for voting for us; we are super excited about being able to serve our students with a new vehicle!
-Sean
 
 
This will only take 2 minutes of your time...

Toyota is saluting do-gooders (like Alaska Christian College) by giving 100 cars over 100 days to nonprofits.
Voters like you decide which one gets a new ride every day. Today Alaska Christian College can win a new Toyota Vehicle!

Voting for Alaska Christian College is open on Facebook today only, Friday, May 20th, from 6 AM to 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time.

To Vote, please go to:

http://apps.facebook.com/carsforgood/

Please vote for Alaska Christian College!

Thanks!
-Sean
 
 
Here is an article about some of our students in the local paper.  I thought you might like to see it.  Sadly, many of the other students' stories aren't much different than this one.  But thankfully God is a healing God and is in the process of restoring hearts and lives!

http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/stories/041111/new_813620862.shtml?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4da33a8d8a814c5d%2C0

 
 
This week in Chapel, the president of the college spoke to the students and asked a very poignant question, "Where would you be today if Jesus had never been born?"
Personally, I didn't have a quick answer for that question--I didn't know.  Christ has been such an integral part of my life since elementary school, I didn't have a clue what my life would look like without Him.
While my thoughts were spinning, one of our students answered the question audibly.  He stated "If Jesus had never been born, I'd be dead."  While there is a theological truth in this statement, he didn't mean it that way; what this student was saying was that he would be physically dead if it wasn't for him having Christ in his life.  And knowing the story of this students life, he wasn't exaggerating.
While it is kind of a morbid way to look at the holiday season, it also gives me a new perspective.  if 2000 years ago there wasn't a baby  born in a stable, where would I be today?  Where would my purpose come from? Would there be a point to my life at all? 
I probably wouldn't live in Soldotna, have met  Shannon, or work at a College.  My life would be different, it would be lacking true joy.

A baby born in the manger 2000 years ago changed my life.  Christ is truly the greatest gift of this holiday season.

 
 
As Thanksgiving is over, we look forward to the end of the semester and the start of Christmas break.  Students are finishing up their studies and it is cool to see the sense of accomplishment they are starting to feel as their first college semester has nearly come to an end.

Shannon also is wrapping up her first semester of teaching at the local elementary school.  It is fun when she comes home and recalls the innocent but humorous comments that her little ones make.  I believe it was Bill Cosby who had the show “Kids say the Darndest Things” and that still holds true today.

Apart from work, Shannon and I have been doing well.  Shannon has joined a group of coworkers who p90x after work, and I continue to play and referee hockey in the evenings.  We have been involved with a local church plant in the area and find that we enjoy living here more and more.

The biggest news for us is at the end of February, we are planning on moving out of our apartment and will be renting a three bedroom home that is 2 blocks from the school Shannon works at (currently Shannon has a ½ hour commute one way to work).  Our friends own the home and are moving out to one of the villages, so they asked us if we would like to rent from them.   We are looking forward to being closer to Shannon’s job, but are not looking forward to packing all of our stuff up again (we have done this every 8 months since getting married)!  

Thanks for reading…more to come later…:)

 
 
When we think of Thanksgiving we have a certain meal in mind.   Usually it consists of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, and pies.  There are usually other things in the mix as well, but that is a stereotypical American Turkey Day.

Our students, who are Americans as well, have a very different view of Thanksgiving.  They often share a community meal at the local school or church.  Have you ever had muktuk (whale), dry fish, caribou stew, seal oil, or aguduck (eskimo icecream) at your Thanksgiving Dinner?  For our students, these are some of their Thanksgiving staples. 

As I have been helping plan a Thanksgiving dinner for our students, I have been reminded afresh of how a simple meal like Thanksgiving has different connotations even for Americans.  Just some food for thought. :)