Since moving to Alaska, I travel to Pennsylvania twice a year. Despite a northeastern storm canceling my plans this past spring, I was still able to travel to PA twice this year. On my second trip, I had the intentions of driving back to Alaska with a van. After processing everything, my dad and I decided it was best to wait until the summer of 2019 when I will be home for a friend’s wedding. That same friend is my editor PJ, who I am grateful to have in my life.
Hitchhiking should not be a foreign concept to anyone. From movies, TV shows, and cartoons most people have seen a character put up their thumb on the side of a road as the universal hitchhiking sign. This concept remains in fiction for many, but the reality is different. People still hitchhike today. In Alaska, it remains a way of life. With all the hype around negativity in our culture, I can understand why people would be afraid to pick up a complete stranger and allow them to be a passenger in their car. The same reason people have hesitations on using Uber and Lyft but don’t have any problem riding a taxi. What fascinates me about hitchhikers are the stories they hold. Even on shorter drives of a few miles, it is unbelievable the tales they have to share.
May 2016, I quit my job at Chick-fil-A and decided to pursue being in ministry as my full-time gig. The avenue I chose for this was to be a missionary. My destination? Alaska. A missionary means “sent one.” Missionaries often serve in various different roles. Yet, what they have in common is the desire to overcome obstacles, dedicate themselves to praying and teaching the word, venture somewhere, and are sent by their home church. For a good biblical read on what a missionary is, bookmark this blog: Is Everyone a Missionary? During my first year in Alaska, I learned that some people don’t fully comprehend what a missionary means for today. If you would like to know more about what I do personally, read my e-mail update: Bringing Clarity.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
I am writing to update you on the leap of faith I took this past Spring. If you don’t know me well and are hearing about this for the first time, please read my short bio on the About Me Page. I have been traveling to Alaska on various mission trips for the past 2 years. I am on my 4th trip, experiencing the Alaskan winter for the first time. I am living in a dry cabin near Glennallen, in the Copper River Valley.
On October 31st, I started my journey back to Alaska from Pennsylvania. I had a great week prior to leaving as I spent my last moments with friends and family from the area. They all knew I was back east for a short visit and would once again be leaving to pursue my dreams of living in Alaska and being a full-time missionary. This journey has not been easy, and this past month I even thought about quitting and giving it all up. I have faced many odds and taken multiple steps of faith to pursue my dream. One thing that always keeps me going is that I know there are others watching me. I have discovered by pursuing my dreams, it can give others hope to do the same. I may not be doing anything grand; haven’t become famous, haven’t won any big competitions nor made newsworthy discoveries. However, I am doing something that has been in my heart since I was in 5th grade. You see, I did a state project on Alaska back then and discovered it is a beautiful state that is not always covered in ice and snow. I saw pictures of its beauty and learned of its tales. That moment, I knew I had to go. If I asked you, what you love, what puts you at peace, or where you would love to go, what comes to mind? Go ahead and pause and take a minute. This blog will wait…