We are excited to welcome Brandon O’Neal as our new principal at Portland Adventist Elementary School (PAES). He is joining our school family for the 2017–2018 school year all the way from Texas. Here is what he shared with us recently:
Camp is one of the best evangelistic tools the church has for reaching young people with the message of Jesus. Camp is a place where we combine our faith, fun and friendships in such a way that children are willing and able to hear the voice of God for themselves. Teaching Jesus through classes, activities and everyday interactions is how we best reach young people through the camping experience.
Twelve-year-old Monica was devastated by the news that her parents were splitting up. She was normally a happy, energetic young lady, but this news destroyed her world.
During their spring break, students from Tappahannock Junior Academy in Tappahannock, Va., and Columbia Adventist Academy in Battle Ground, Wash., gave up their valuable week off from schoolwork to converge on southcentral Alaska’s Camp Tukuskoya (Camp Tuk) near Big Lake.
Camp Tuk is located about two hours north of Anchorage and is off the road system. Since 1956, junior, teen and even multiaged blind campers have enjoyed the boat ride across Flat Lake to this remote camp.
It’s a cold, crisp day in Togiak when we arrive. The bay lies frozen over by the extreme cold of winter, the sun oblique in the sky is making its ascent towards summer. Most of the students were on their first trip to bush Alaska and one had experienced her first airplane trip. Our group consisted of two seniors, one junior, a sophomore and two freshman from Amazing Grace Academy in Palmer.
As part of a community initiative to foster improved health and wellness among the women of southwest Alaska, the local women’s ministry team in Dillingham marked the beginning of 2017 by sponsoring a full-day retreat in January. Coordinated under the direction of Anita Alers, women’s ministry leader, this is the second consecutive year that a special event “A Healthier You” has brought together congregational and community volunteers dedicated to advancing positive physical, emotional and spiritual health throughout Bristol Bay communities.
God has grander plans than we can ever imagine. A 2014 conversation led to Alaska's Wrangell Church doing a Vacation Bible School in Bethel, Alaska. Little did we know where this would lead. Fast forward to 2017 and five VBS programs later (three in Bethel, one in Wrangell and one in Ketchikan), and the church is considering doing three more this year — in the communities of Craig, Bethel and Wrangell.
“Go faster to finish in 20 minutes!” exclaims Ryan McCutcheon, principal and head teacher at Alaska's Sitka Adventist School, exuberantly, as students pedal briskly to reach their goal. Their goal is located across town in Mexico City, a place they might never travel in their lives, and it is simple: bike 2 miles within 20 minutes.
The Spanish congregation in Anchorage, Alaska, can look back on the year 2016 with a deep sense of gratitude for what can only be described as a year of unprecedented and unexpected blessings. A number of providential occurrences allowed members to experience a faint idea of what it means for God to do “exceedingly, abundantly above” our loftiest aspirations.
It never ceases to amaze me how God uniquely works. Mary Klein’s story began in 1959, and my memories of my grandmother are still vivid and clear as if it was yesterday. When I would visit her, the aroma of fresh bread and caribou stew would fill my nose. After she came to hug and kiss me, I’d hear, “Go eat, beebe!” with her thick Native Alaskan accent.
Love poured from my grandmother to my mother, Cecelia; her two sisters, Marilyn and Linda; my cousins; siblings; and me.