Cold, Clean Fun

With warm hearts, heavy coats, and insulated boots, a group of nine students and three sponsors bucked the spring break migration of scores of Adventist students on mission trips to warmer climates to work in frigid Fairbanks, Alaska. Admittedly, the students from Richmond Academy and Tappahannock Junior Academy in Virginia and Tualatin Junior Academy in Oregon were drawn by the lure and mystique of America’s last frontier—gold mines, the Alaska pipeline, dog sleds, and the beauty of intricate ice carvings under a tapestry of northern lights.

However, this was not their only motive for coming north. The students were kept busy sharing their love of Jesus in programmed witnessing and practical work. They presented daily worships for Golden Heart Christian School and Vacation Bible School programming for the preschoolers of the Fairbanks Church. They also painted the church’s kindergarten room, mother’s room, and men’s restroom. They joined the local Adventist school students for recess and in presenting a program for the elderly residents of Pioneer Home.

Reactions were predictable. One Fairbanks student excitedly stated, “I like playing recess with the academy students because they are fast and it puts more challenge in the game.” One of the visitors said, “I can’t believe these kids go outside to play when it is down to 20 degrees below!”

Leader Karen Wolcott reported that it was just wonderful with students joining together from opposite sides of the country to share their witness and skills with new friends. As one of the kids stated, “This was cold, clean fun.” •

May 01, 2003 / Alaska Conference