Sunday, May 19, 2024

Our Family's Experience @ Impact Alaska 2024

Impact Alaska was one of Josiah's favorite events to participate in at ACF. This event began "some years ago" and has grown until there were six different church bodies, representing numerous campus' participating this year.  Basically, it's a planned day for the church to get out in its community and simply love and serve. Those who serve meet back at the church for a meal at noon. The Impact Alaska website says it best. 

Impact Alasa is a day of service to communities all over the state of Alaska. It's a day where churches from all over Alaska join together to cancel their regular Sunday services to go out into their communities to serve the needs of people in the name of Jesus. Every year, the churches in Alaska mobilize together in unity and go out of their door to serve their communities in many different ways. Over the years, it has looked like community cleanup projects, free oil changes for single parents, gas buy-downs for the community, making gift baskets for first responders, minor repair projects in people's home, and so much more. 

The hope is to make it in Alaska as in heaven by the way we serve and love people. 

I believe Josiah and Carrie had participated for four years. The rest of us were always a bit envious when Josiah and Jamin talked about Impact Sunday. This year we looked forward to joining, because we believe in the vision AND to do something Josiah loved as a way to continue to honor him and his legacy. 

As the day approached everyone was signing up for various teams. Luke was in high demand with his plumbing skills. Jared led a team which helped a shut in with some projects around her home. Larissa watched children at the church.  Jamin and Krista joined Jared's team...and then Krista traveled. SHE HAD A RAKE. 

Jared, Jamin, Krista 📷from Krista

Carrie, Jess and Liv provided hospitality at the church for the oodles of oil changes they gave away to the community.  
Carrie, Josi, Liv and Jess 📷from Carrie

Our household had a hard time finding a fit. We needed something which GG could do or where he wouldn't be bored and wander off.  It began at 0800 in Eagle River, and that created a few obstacles with getting everyone up and on the highway in time.  The entire family worked on a solution...would one of us stay home with GG and the rest go, could we get him comfortable for 4 hours? We weren't coming up with a good plan. 

CoRielle and children signed up with a local church which was participating in our community. They had several projects going on.  Joining a team in the valley would cut down our commute time and make it more doable, and we loved the idea of serving our community. In the end the girls were coming off a horrendously loaded week at college, Michael didn't feel 100% and they all slept in on Impact Sunday. I joined a team in our community with Church on the Rock.  The team leader was welcoming and it was the same one CoRielle had volunteered to help. The team picked up garbage and leaves at a favorite local park.  Arielle, the boys and I got involved in painting the park structure. It was four hours of FUN. My only regret is wearing a new hoodie as I didn't know I'd be painting. The girls tell me the paint is a, "whole vibe."  OK - lots of photos as I took some and Arielle sent me a bunch. 

Freshly painted

Charles & Danny help Arielle pick up garbage

Ellie was an angel @ her 1st Impact Event

Filling in the holes under the swings....raking out wood chips 

Kids play here! 

Arielle and me

Arielle snapped this Bachan ever, painting with infant in hands. LOL 

Benny, Bachan and Ellie 📷from Arielle

Go Danny! 📷from Arielle

Everyone enjoyed helping. It was quickly apparent I would provide more hands-on help for Charles. 
Charles & Bachan - 📷from Arielle

So MUCH fun! 📷from Arielle

Here is some info shared from ACF - remember we were ONE of the churches participating. Communities across AK were impacted. 
We 💛 Alaska! God worked through every single one of you today to remind this community that they are loved and valuable! Here’s some of what we are celebrating…
- 115 oil changes
- Chugiak Senior Center landscaping with 100+ serve team members
- 117 cars through the gas buy down
- 700+ serve team members mobilized
- ARCH Youth Center project with @youthculture_acf
- Mountain View Elementary project in Anchorage
- Churches from all over the state joining
And so much MORE!!! We are so thankful to get to be a part of seeing it be in Alaska as in Heaven.
This was a great day! There are obvious benefits for the community - but so many for participants as well. I enjoyed chatting with the other members of my team and sharing the meal afterward. If we'd gone to Eagle River this would have been a way to make connections with our church family. It felt GREAT, however, to be meeting a need in our local community!!! It made great memories for the kids...they will remember serving when they play at this park. I believe it is beneficial for generations to serve together and I am thrilled to have made these memories with our grandchildren. 

Could it be done at a time other than during Sunday morning service? Sure.  Is it just a big church gimmick? NO!!!!  The event provides a clear image of the FACT the CHURCH was never meant to be a building filled with nicely dressed pretty people which gathers at 1100 (or 0800 or 1030) on Sunday morning. The church is us, people, loving and serving others.  The act of leaving the church building to serve and calling it WORSHIP is powerful!  I believe it sparks something which has created the culture of serving and love which we've benefitted from these past 7 months at ACF. 

This can be fairly "cheap" or it can be a significant budget item for a church...gas buy downs, oil changes aren't cheap....picking up garbage, doing yard work for a shut in is budget friendly. There were small churches and largish churches participating. 

Our family has helped our community in unseen ways before this and will continue. I also know that for many, this was the first taste which will lead to continued service throughout the year.  I could hear people talking about other projects a group their size could tackle in the valley. We talked about how good it would be for a life group to have a community project once a quarter. It's good to put hands and feet to the doctrines we profess to believe, and this is one of the ways several churches in Alaska have chosen to do this. 

Stacia and I topped the day off by going to Eagle River to spend the night with Carrie and the girls. Larissa and Noah dropped by for a visit. Look at sweet Noah plant a kiss on Josi. 

Noah is 1 yr 4 months

Hello, Willow. 

Any day that ends with baby smiles and snuggles is a great day - this one was extra special. 
Josi at 3 1/2 months

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