Hey, everybody! What an awesome fall season it has been! As I go into my third year of youth ministry in the Yukon Flats, I am encouraged by the lives that have been changed and impacted, and the relationships that have been built with youth and their families. God has been encouraging me with Paul’s words to the church in Philippians 1:6- “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Everything that we do for God’s kingdom will have everlasting impact, so keep looking for opportunities everyday to change a life!
Okay, a little update on what I’ve been up to since mid-August. Near the end of August, we went on a 3-week itinerating trip to southeast Alaska. We helped Pastors Wayne and Jane Cowart with a youth cook-out at Haines Christian Center AG in Haines, and were blessed to visit their church and house. Next, we headed to Wrangell and I spoke at the youth service at Harbor Light AG. We also we able to spend some awesome times with Pastors Kem and Susan Haggard, as well as some members of their church, and we shared at the Sunday morning service as well.
After a great four days in Wrangell, we headed to Sitka. It was so much fun hanging out with Pastor Thad White and his youth staff, and having meals with him and his family. I had the privilege of sharing at Lift Youth Ministries, and we shared on Sunday morning as well. Pastors Ryan and Heather Gluth are doing an amazing job at Sitka AG, and we had an awesome time connecting with everyone over a five-day period.
After Sitka, we headed to our last itinerating spot on our trip: Petersburg. Petersburg was a special stop for me, having previously been the youth/associate pastor there at Lighthouse AG for two years. It was a highlight of the tripe for me, hanging out with Pastors Nathan and Mindy Lopez and their family, going fishing, staying at one of the church member’s cabins (which was amazing), and sharing at the youth group and Sunday morning services. After a week of awesomeness, we headed back up north.
As school has gotten back in session, I have been using an awesome curriculum for our Thursday night Reach Discipleship nights, as well as some cool prize incentives for doing various things either during the lesson or throughout the week. We have seen attendance at the Reach rise even above youth group nights on Saturday night since September. Also, In late October, we were able to take 8 youth to Alaska Youth Conference 2016. What a blast! The kids learned so much about living for God, had amazing worship experiences with God, and had a great time. AKYC is a very good discipleship event, and gives our youth kids a spiritual boost, as well as encourage them and show them that they are not alone in their walk with God- there are thousands of other youth in Alaska chasing after Him!
Now, we are getting ready for our yearly local youth conference, XChange. This conference has more of an evangelistic focus, and reaches out to all the young people in Fort Yukon. We have seen between 25 to 50 youth come to the XChange each year. We are also getting ready for the New Years Allnighter (always one of our biggest events of the year). Thank you for thinking of us and please keep us in your prayers as we continue building relationships and making a difference in Fort Yukon!