Contacts, Ruthann, my expanding job, and a story from camp
Phone: cell (907)738-2215, office (907) 747-6024
Address: Sitka Young Life, P.O. Box 2046, Sitka, Alaska 99835
Email: email@example.com, OR firstname.lastname@example.org
My position will now include connecting to villages in rural AlaskaI have been working with the students at Mt. Edgecumbe High School while they are in Sitka, but the reality is that most students will be returning home to their villages. Students are only with us for only a short time and our goal is to have kids be disciples their whole life. We can walk with kids while they are here in town, but when they return home, we want to be able to encourage them in their faith. It is invaluable to for believers be able meet together and to have someone who is physically there. This is the problem that we have faced when working with MEHS students.
About a year months ago I met with the Brent Cunningham, the regional director of Young Life, and he told me of his desire to reach into rural Alaska. Alaska is big and has hundreds of villages and only 2 of these villages have Young Life. The last four months we have been praying for a vision of how Young Life could reach out to rural Alaska. During this time I have researched what ministries are already working in Alaska and I have found that there are dozens of organizations that have been reaching into rural Alaska for decades. Also, many villages have had missionaries start churches in that have been fruitful for many years.
Through much prayer, Brent and I have agreed that part of my position with Young Life will be to help to build support networks for kids when they return to their home villages. I have been contacting churches and other Christian organizations to see how Young Life can support the work that they have been doing in the villages. Our goal is that kids would not lose their faith when they transition to MEHS or when they transition home. For many kids home is a place of brokenness and abuse. God is the answer and we want to connect these kids with other people who will encourage their faith. These support networks take time and energy to build, but a life that is transformed by Christ can have a huge impact on a whole village. I would love to have Young Life in villages across the state (and hopefully we will in the near future), but the heart of the mission is that young people would come to know the transforming love of Christ through a relationship formed with an older person. These relationships are transformative and in Sitka, we can still help these relationships form in remote parts of the state.