Hello lovely readers!
I know, I totally neglected my blog after week three. We were so busy that trying to find time to blog was non-existent. Now that I am home and finally starting to get settled in, I thought I would put up one last post to recap the trip and mention some of our last weeks.
Alaska was a truly amazing place. There are so many things that I could tell you I miss about it (especially the weather), but instead of dwelling on what I miss, I thought I would share with you all what I learned. As some of you may know, I had a pretty rough year last year. There was just a lot going on in my life. Going to Alaska allowed me to finally let go of the heartache, hurt, and trials I had been through. I realized that instead of wallowing in my self pity, that I need to let go and let God. For he is the only one who can make me feel complete.
Weeks four and five of the trip were super great and also challenging, but I felt that I saw the most growth in week six. Not only did our group really come together and step things up, but I truly felt changed as a person. One night I sat in my room with three of my closest friends, until four am, sharing my deepest struggles. They really had to pry them out of me, but it was such a relief to share. In that moment I realized how much I love knowing and caring for other people, but I won’t allow others to do that for me. Being vulnerable is the hardest thing for me to do, but God showed me that it’s okay and that it will only bring us closer together.
Along with letting people pry into my life we were granted the wonderful opportunity to pry into other people’s lives at a local soup kitchen. Many of us said it was one of the best experiences we had on the mission. We worked alongside other volunteers, served the homeless, talked to them, and helped in any other way we could. It was such an indescribable experience to hear their stories and what they have been through. My one friend Alyxx said she talked to a man who spent all of his money to go on a trip with his wife to return and find out he was losing his job. They now live in a tent, but they live life as best as they can. These people may have so little, but they have so much power to change lives. They will forever have a special place in my heart.
After volunteering at the soup kitchen we invited our Cru recruits over for a family style cookout. Several of them came and it was a really fun time. We even achieved our goal of finding the five and the thirty to be a part of UAA’s Cru movement in the fall. At first I didn’t think we would be able to do it, but we did! Volunteering and the cookout were two of the wonderful ways to end our mission off on a great note. Staff returned that same night and helped us to debrief and Saturday and Sunday. From Sunday to Tuesday we all said our goodbyes and made our way home. That was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I bawled all the way to my gate.
Alaska was one of the best experiences I have had in my 20 years of life and I cannot wait to apply what I learned their in my life and on my own campus. I learned how to walk in the Holy Spirit, be vulnerable, pray better, and reach others. Along with many other things. I’ll never forget the people I met, the memories and friendships I made, what I learned, or how my life was changed. My Alaska summer mission was so beautiful, inspiring, and something I will never forget! #AKSM15