Meet the Alaska Team 2008!
Trip Start Dec 26, 2008
42Trip End Jan 16, 2009
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Though some of us had never met until recently, we all live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and most of us attend Friends Community Church. You may learn more about our church at their website of http://www.friendschurch.org/, and you may learn more about Partners Relief Aid & Development at their website of www.partnersworld.org. To view the travels of a couple of previous Alaska Teams, visit the websites of http://mytripjournal.com/AKTeam2006, and http://mytripjournal.com/AKTeam2007. Now, to learn more about the Alaska Team 2008, continue reading for our individual introductions.
Alaska Team 2008 Introductions:
The Family of Keith, Kathy & Kameron:
I work as a grant-manager at the University of Alaska, and have a seven-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter that also keep me busy. In my spare time I enjoy crafting or running. After observing the travels and presentations of the previous two Alaska Teams, I knew we would go on a trip someday. I hope to gain a better understanding of the situation of the refugees, and I hope to give myself to help them in whatever ways I can.
I own and operate a local window-installation business, and have volunteered at fund-raising events with the Friends of Partners group for a few years. I learned about this trip from an announcement at our church, and I hope to give hope and love from Christ to others.
I am seven years old, and will be in the second grade. I like to go swimming. My job is to take care of Gauge, our dog, make my bed, and set the table each day. I am interested in helping the Burmese people. I learned about them at our church. I hope to teach them survival skills, and how to build shelters.
The Family of Ken & Allison:
This summer, I am working for Princess Tours, and in the fall I will return to my job with the School District. I graduated from the University of Alaska in 2007 with a degree in Elementary Education, and am pursuing a full-time teaching position. At our church, I volunteer as a pre-school teacher and also a middle-school youth-group leader. I have always enjoyed working with children, and I love to travel and be in the outdoors hiking and camping. In 2006, I participated in the Semester at Sea exchange program through the university. I traveled to ten countries by ship over the course of 100 days, all while earning college credit! I participated in many service projects in the various countries, such as visiting Mothers Theresa's Orphanage in India, various schools in Vietnam and Burma, and distributing food in South Africa. I also had the opportunity for 'home-stays' to get to know the people. Burma was one of our ports-of-call, and for me, this is where it all clicked. The scope of what I was actually doing fell into place. My experiences during Semester at Sea caused my faith in God to grow exponentially. I recognized how I can funnel God's love through me into others. Those four months abroad changed my life and focused my faith. When I returned home, I learned about Partners and the work they are doing for the Burmese people. I knew then that someday I would be going back to Burma.
I work as an electrician at a gold-mine, and enjoy hunting, fishing, snow-machining, and four-wheeling. This past winter I learned about Partners through my wife, Allison. Seeing her excitement made me excited about it. On this trip I hope to show the children God's love and that people love and care about them. I hope to gain a perspective of the refugees.
The Family of (and our team leaders) Terry & Jocelyn:
I own and operate a floor-installation business, I REALLY enjoy coffee, meeting people, and making a difference in life. I observed the change in the lives of my wife, Jocelyn, and son, John, when they returned from a mission-trip to Thailand in 1998. I thought they had gone bonkers! They were constantly looking at their photos and crying! I agreed to travel on a trip to be able to relate to my wife and son. I thought I would go to see the impoverished refugees, but instead, I observed my own spiritual poverty. This will be my eighth trip to work with Partners, and I have discovered that I need to continue to go for a "reality check". When I am confronted with the situation of these Burmese people it helps me to not be so 'whiney'. To sit and hear about the goodness of God from a joyful, thankful, IDP (internally displaced person) who may not even have a tomorrow, gives me a right perspective. What is important? Is my faith real, or is it just words out of my lips? Whenever I give a piece of my heart away, God fills it back up with a little extra added. THAT is major fun and living large! Scrooge is right --- at the end of the story, he does indeed have the most fun. It is truely better to give than receive!
I am an accountant for the University of Alaska by trade, and enjoy hiking, sewing, reading, photography, and gardening. I have become an adventurer at heart, though this was not always the case, as I was very timid and quiet. God has taught me courage (in Him), and stretched me to do many things that I would have considered impossible (such as speaking to large crowds, or crossing very high, very long swinging extension bridges). God introduced me to adventure on my first trip to Thailand in 1998 when I joined a group of six from Fairbanks to build a church in a remote village, and experienced a life change in the matter of fourteen days. Three months after I returned home from that trip, God made it very clear that I was to return back to Thailand, and take others with me. Hence the birth of the Alaska Teams! This will be my ninth trip to Thailand to work with Partners, and I am often asked if I ever get bored with the trips. My un-hesitant answer is always, "Absolutely not, because each trip is a unique God-adventure!" I am looking forward to re-visiting old friends, making new ones, and adding another God-adventure to my experiences.
So there you have it. You have met our team. Now have fun with us as we prepare for and journey through a mission-team trip to Thailand!