Each summer, a group of college students from across the country—and this year, from around the world— surrendered their summer to answer God's call to Alaska. The task set before them was intense: full days, long hours, physical labor, sweat mixed with a few tears, high standards, and even higher expectations... all coupled with the greatest charge: to love the least of these. Alaska Missions calls this Leadership Bootcamp, and it's not for the faint of heart. The summer of 2016 once again proved that God is doing wondrous things in the hearts and lives of young people, and He's raising up an army of servant leaders.
Nine as summer missionaries and interns came to Anchorage as part of Leadership Bootcamp and implemented our Mission Anchorage program. Over the course of nine weeks, this group led different short-term mission teams weekly in all aspects of the Mission Anchorage program. This included leading morning worship and devotional time for the teams to ready them for the day of service and teaching, spearheading work crews for morning service projects, administering the summer kids' lunch program, and serving as youth ministers in four city parks. Once a week, they also hosted a block party to connect with parents and families from the parks in an effort to build deeper relationships and share the Gospel.
"I appreciated the responsibility that the staff entrusted in us," said Mason Law, summer intern from Georgia. "It allowed me to grow and push myself as a leader, but primarily as a servant."
These summer missionaries and interns provided a consistent presence in the parks and deep level of connection to young kids and their families that have opened numerous doors for the work of Alaska Missions in the Anchorage community.
As a testament to the impact of Leadership Bootcamp, Alaska Missions has seen summer missionaries come back for multiple summers of service. This year, six of the nine students were returning missionaries, including Xavier Falls of Texas.
"AKMR always challenges us and loves us well. I enjoy every year that I have grown each week," Xavier said. "AKMR's ministry is being blessed by God."
"The one thing that I value and appreciate about this summer experience is the relationships that I have built, not only with other summer missionaries, but with the AKMR staff," said Kathryn Corr, summer missionary from Northern Ireland. "The opportunity to get to work with a complete variety of groups from all over the States has been a blessing and the opportunity to grow as I have pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone!"
As we look ahead to the next summer, join us in prayer for the stirring of hearts in young leaders to live on mission with Him through Leadership Bootcamp 2017.