For our faithful ‘Northern Highlights’ subscribers, Sean and I both realize that it has been way too long, since we have updated you on our lives and Alaska Christian College. We apologize deeply, but I believe sometimes life just sweeps us away. So here is our life in a ‘nutshell’ from the past few months that I decided to write as if they were headlines on a newspaper:
A New Years Day Road Trip
The holidays were very busy with family in Alaska and a New Year’s day trip to Fairbanks, 6 hours north of Anchorage, where we saw many of Sean’s cousins that we have not seen in a couple of years. We also took that time to go to Chena Hot springs, in which we sat in boiling water in -50 degree temperatures. It was the highlight of my trip making my wet hair stand straight as it turned to ice in the below freezing temperatures.
Almost a Master…
While in Anchorage, I also took the time, or better yet made the time, to take a week and study for my Praxis 2 test. With many hours of hard work and God’s grace, I am proud to announce that I have successfully passed my Praxis 1 and 2 tests! I could not be more thrilled, knowing that God has been so faithful in providing me with the ability to only have to take these tests once! I am soon going to be holding a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Liberty University at the end of my student teaching, come this Fall. Therefore, to finish my degree, Sean and I have decided to stay in Soldotna for another year, so that I can student teach at the Christian school in town.
Since the start of the Spring semester, Sean and I have seen God’s hand in the lives of our students. Many of them have come so far since the beginning of last year and we are thrilled at the growth in their lives. I am reminded of the scripture Isaiah 61: 1-3:
1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Many of them have come from backgrounds of deep hurts and scars in which we have seen many of them begin to heal and find God’s compassion in their time of need.
Say Some Prayers
Much prayer can be lifted on behalf of a group of our students. For many people in the villages, transportation comes in the form of a snowmachine (snowmobile) during the winter, and recently many of the students have lost loved ones in blizzards, in which they got lost and froze to death.
Sean led a group of students on a leadership retreat in the beginning of January to his parent’s house in Eagle River. These students were voted by their class to become class officers and have taken these positions with hearts to serve many of their fellow classmates. Sean and I both concluded that after a weekend of fun and hard work, God will use them the rest of the year to be positive influences in many of the other student’s lives.
Mom’s the ‘BIG 5-0’
Beginning of February, Sean left for the annual Midwinter Pastor’s Conference in Chicago, in which he spent a quick 4 days and then turned around again to go back to Alaska where he met up with the male students and attended another conference in Eagle River. I on the other hand went to visit my good friend from college, in Chicago for a week, and then went on from there to Ohio for another 3 weeks to hit my Mom’s surprise 50th Birthday (she was shocked), and a friend’s wedding! Time really flew while I was away! But I count it a blessing and cherish the time that I have with my family that is 5,000 miles away from me.
SHE’s ABOUT TO BLOW!
Mt. Redoubt, a volcano 40 miles from the school is currently on Orange Alert. We have been waiting with anticipation for it to blow and to be ‘ashed’ in for a few weeks. Pray that it does not ruin our car because we don’t have a garage.
So that was Christmas, New Years, January, and February thus far in a ‘nutshell.’ Thank you to all our faithful supporters who read this and really do pray for our ministry at Alaska Christian College. We are blessed to call all of you ‘friends.’
Shannon and Sean