Adventure On

Well, it has been a good season for me up at Glacier Bay. I had to say goodbye to my Glacier Bay Lodgie family and that beautiful place. I have been blessed to have been able to serve there and am glad I returned for another season. I am now working in Olympic National Park. It is so beautiful here! I haven’t explored much yet, but I cannot wait to see what this park has to offer.

Before coming here I got to spend a few days with a good friend in Juneau named Deb! She is an awesome person who has a heart for others and loves God. One of the things I could not help but thinking about was persevering in everything that we do. Even when things are hard, keep going. I thought about a verse in John talking about Jesus overcoming the world (John 16:33). I thought about this verse before coming out here to Olympic National Park to finish out the season here. It was a reminder to keep trusting in God, but to adventure on. I will be leaving Olympic in a few weeks to go and visit Japan for two weeks. I have no idea what I will do, other than visit a friend or two, but I am excited. I cannot wait to go and see what God will do over there.

I pray that you all be blessed by God and experience the joy and love and peace and comfort that I do. Love you all and hope you keep adventuring on!!


PRAYER REQUESTS


  • Those affected by the hurricane, fire, earthquake, and other natural disasters that are happening in the US right now.
  • Remaining season here at Olympic National Park
  • Fellow Glacier Bay coworkers that they have safe travels
  • Japan trip coming up soon!
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Dreams of Old, Future of Now

HELLLOOOO READERS!!!!! Greetings my fellow readers! I hope you have been well! I for one have been very well as of late. So, our services are now concluded and I was the last one that spoke. Well, it was more of a discussion really, but that is okay. I talked about what community meant to me and my interpretation of what it looks like to our Christian group here at Glacier Bay National Park. I discovered that how our community was best represented was through the Body of Christ. Paul has written to the Romans and Corinthians about how although each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:4-5).  I learned how our team ministers to others differently. We each are able to connect with and learn and love our coworkers. I loved this about our team! I was so stubborn and blinded by that, I had forgotten what it was like! I remember spending some time with God and in my devotional that was the topic for that day. It was amazing! Needless to say my team appreciated my thoughts and were happy to forgive me for being stubborn about it (PRAISE!) 

I actually have been reminded of that, while staying at a hostel in Juneau. It is my first time staying here. ——side note—— I definately reccomend staying here, really cool place!—– Anyway, while here, I have met some cool people already. I met a guy from Taiwan who was showing us photos a friend sent him of his home so he can share with others about it! WHAT AN AMAZING CONCEPT! Imagine what it would be like if we all could do that! I have also met some guys who are from France on a vacation here! They actually were at Glacier Bay a few days ago and I met up with them here at the hostel! HOW CRAZY! God works in amazing ways to have us meet people and even love on people! I am here for another day before I leave tomorrow afternoon to go back to Glacier Bay. I got to see my amazing grandma for the day today and it was awesome!

While being here in Juneau, I have gotten to know the city a little better, not by much, but a little bit. One of the things I discovered here while walking down the hill from the hostel was a sign that says “Before I Die…” and it has three chalkboards full of answers. For me, I would like to travel the globe where I can. I have been a fan of traveling to places I have never been and places I have been before. And I am making my traveling the globe a reality. I am going to Japan for two weeks in late September thru Mid October. I had been praying about this and it has been an exciting journey just buying my tickets! I am still nervous, but I am confident God will provide all that I need. It is even mentioned in Philippians 4:19 it says “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” I am hoping that maybe I might even be able to do some ministry work while there, I don’t know yet, but I am excited and nervous none the less. I have to remind myself that God is always with me (Hebrews 13:5).


Prayer Requests


  • End of season strength! We only have a few more weeks left for our time in Glacier Bay!
  • Funds for flight home! I am hoping to make enough money for flights home and a little bit of money for Japan.
  • HOUSING IN JAPAN!!!!!! Prayers that I find affordable housing and connections work out with friends’ families in Southern Japan!
  • Winter Season job opportunities still! I hope to be hired in Florida soon!

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Sunshine and Quiet Minds

I want to just say I have been blessed these past few couple weeks and I am super thankful! For starters, I received an award during our employees appreciation day festivities, the “Front Line First” award. This was a complete surprise to me. I have wanted that award but I never thought I would get the chance. Our employees are actually the ones that vote for who receives the award and others as well. I was also chosen to be in our newsletter that is handed out to us once a week. I was asked questions about me so that my fellow lodgies got to know me better. It was fun answering the questions and seeing which ones were put in the newsletter.

Some other exciting news, we have finally been getting sunshine! Now it may not seem like a big deal, but for Southeast Alaska, it is a very big deal! We have been receiving a lot more rain this year compared to last year and not nearly as much sun. But these past few days we have been seeing the sun pop out and it has been incredible. Feeling the warmth and the suns rays has been a major blessing. A couple nights ago we witnessed an incredible sunset and I was able to capture the photos from it. The sky was on fire was the term used and it was true! The pinks, oranges, and reds were astounding. They helped bring an end to an already amazing day.

When I was looking at photos of the sunset, I could not help but reflect on the good that God has done for me. I mean, I got to come up to Alaska again for the summer, meet up with old friends and make new ones, go camping up bay with coworkers, and just make more memories. I began to pray and thank God for what He has done and just sat in the silence, but in His presence.  I did not hear him at all, but I did not need to. The silence and quiet of just being with Him spoke louder than ever before. I experienced a sense of peace and it was truly beautiful. I admit it has been a journey here, but I know God will lead me to where I need to go.

Around this time we start to plan for our winter seasons or school seasons. I have applied to work with ACMNP during the winter season again. I am very excited to be able to have this opportunity again. My options for winter placement are the Everglades, Big Bend, Virgin Islands, and Death Valley. I would love to be able to go to the Everglades, Big Bend, or the Virgin Islands. I will be praying about this as I do not know which one will be for me. I also will be working on going to Japan for two weeks at most! I will be visiting friends and family members of friends. I am very excited about this. I do need prayer though because I am still getting all the details down and making sure I am able to stay with my friends family in Nara, Japan. Prayers for God to guidance and blessings in this venture!

Blessings to you all and may Christ be with you in all that you do!


PRAYER REQUESTS


  • Continued prayers for our services! Reaching out to guests to have them come and worship with us.
  • Winter Placement options with ACMNP! I am hoping to be able to do this again with ACMNP!
  • Japan for two weeks! I am planning on visiting Japan for two weeks and need prayer for safe travels and connections working out!
  • Continued ministry outreach with our coworkers by being intentional with them and providing a safe place for them.

PEACEFUL BLISS

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1. This verse really speaks volumes out here. I thought of this verse when I was up bay camping. Camping in the wilderness. The wild Alaska that has God’s fingerprints all over it. Me and a few coworkers of mine camped at Scidmore Bay. It is a location that is not remote, but you feel you are. It becomes a new experience when you camp and are surrounded by the beauty of Glacier Bay. Imagine now, being dropped off by boat to go camp for a night or longer. There are no cell towers, no traffic, no people. Just you, a friend or group of friends and the nature and animals that surround you. I mean, you could just feel yourself becoming and feeling more at peace. There is something about being surrounded with nothing but the trees and the sounds of nature to bring you closer to God and to make you appreciate God more and how blessed you are to be in a National Park. It was wonderful getting picked up by the boat though. Do not get me wrong, I loved being up bay. I also was really wanting to get picked up and not be in the rain and wet anymore. Oh what peaceful bliss I felt! I just cannot get over the fact that I was just camping two days ago. I just had an amazing time! The colors were amazing, the scene was just majestic. Mountains towering high, covered with snow that creates the glaciers, shrouded in clouds and filtered sunshine, creating the blues and hues that surrounded us making it change minute to minute. Never the same, always changing. The waves crashed, the wind howled, the clouds rolled in. The feeling was the same though. Awe. Just awe. Blessed beyond measure and small in comparison to where we are, only to appreciate it even more than ever before. That is what it is like to camp up bay. The experience is always different, places are the same, but the landscape has something new to offer each time.


PRAYER REQUESTS


  • Guests to attend our services! We have had about one each service and want to see more guests attend!
  • Relationships with our coworkers. We want to be a safe place for our coworkers and good meaningful conversations with them.
  • WINTER PLACEMENTS!!! I am currently applying for winter placements with ACMNP and prayers for that would be greatly appreciated!

Fun Times, Time Flies

SORRY EVERYONE!!!!!!! I know I said I would be posting every two weeks or so and that has not been the case, but let me do a recap for you guys!

Okay, so first off, we started services! We had issues with getting a permit and we finally secured one for Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM! Really exciting stuff! We had our first official service this past Sunday and my team member Jess killed it! She did an awesome job. I am speaking the Sunday that is coming up and prayers would be greatly appreciated! We are very thankful for this opportunity and I am excited to see what God does this summer through us and for us.

So far, this summer has been awesome. I was able to return back to my favorite park for another summer, meet some awesome new people, see all the wild animals out here and spend time with God. All of these things are great, but being far removed does take its toll.

I will admit it is also hard to live up here. There is solitude, but with that there is less people. Now for those that do not know, I am an extrovert. I love being around people. Whether talking about things, watching a movie, sitting by the fire, or even playing some games, I enjoy the company and the presence of others. However, it is hard up here because there is not as many people. You become use to it after a while. You learn to adapt to being around less people. (The town of Gustavus has a population of about 400 people during the summer! o.o  )

So the animals, well, we have black and brown bears (more on them later), wolves, dear, moose, porcupines, orcas, humpback whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seals, harbor porpoises, minkie whales, and a bunch of cool birds only native to up here in Alaska! I went whale watching the other day and saw a two pods of orcas. There were a few males, females and calves as well! So cool to see that! They are pretty fast swimmers but it was so cool to see them! The bears here are cool to see. We have actually had a few black bears hanging around the lodge a couple weeks ago. They are young, about a year or so old, but they act like teenagers. I say this because they did not care about us humans trying to get it to go away. It was cool to see them the first few times, but after a while, they just became annoying. Yes I said that, annoying. When you are here and you start seeing the animals a lot more than you would think you begin to find it a bit dull and boring, but annoying if you have to try to get them to leave! Ah but to see them every once and a while is something special. It is like you are seeing it for the first time everytime. Now that is truly special.

My days here consist of work, eating and hanging out with my coworkers. I actually have been struggling with having some quiet time up here. I was good about it last year, but this year is hard. I just have been neglecting my Bible reading and my devotional since I left Death Valley actually. That was almost 2.5 months ago! Terrible for me! But, when we had our service, I played some worship music and it was so good to here it. I began feeling more at peace and more comfort. I have noticed that God has a way of knowing what we need when we need it, and boy did I need to hear some good worship music! It was satisfying to me and to my soul. My heart was beginning to ignite again! I am starting to get back into the groove of things with my devotion. I will be going through a book a dear friend of mine gave me titled, “40 Days with Bonhoeffer”. I looked at it recently to see where I was and I was at the half way point. 20 Days! It will be hard for me but I am praying that God will really use that time to speak to me and help me with getting back into the swing of things!

If you would like to I love receiving snail mail! It is always nice to get a letter or words of encouragement from friends! Here is my address:
Glacier Bay Lodge
c/o Jamieson Strople
PO Box 179
Gustavus, AK 99826


PRAYER REQUESTS


So I am going to start adding in prayer requests I have for the times I write my posts so you know what to pray for me and my team as we continue on with our summer!

  • Committing to my quiet time and reading my Bible
  • Quality time with our coworkers, locals, and NPS Rangers
  • Be a light in the darkness that is here
  • A safe haven for those that may need it

Home is Where I Am

I have many homes. I have my actual home in California, which is where I am from originally. However, I consider Utah to be home for me. I attended school there and got to know some awesome people while living in Utah. And Alaska, this was someplace I never thought would be a home for me, but it is someplace I learned to call home.

The saying “home is where the heart is” it rings kinda true, but how I see it is “home is where you are”. Alaska, specifically Glacier Bay National Park became a home for me last summer when I worked up there. Needless to say, I loved it so much that I am returning again for a second season. God worked on me in Glacier Bay a lot last year and I know He will be teaching me more this year.

Well, right now I am in Juneau, awaiting my flight to go over to Glacier Bay. To help you guys understand why I love this place I will be a bit descriptive. Okay so here it goes. The atmosphere is lively and wild in that you are in a city/town but you are immersed in nature at the same time. God’s creation is right at your fingertips, you need only explore for two minutes to see and be in it. I love this aspect of Alaska! Oh, and the rain, I cannot forget the rain. It rains a lot here. Glacier Bay is in a temperate rain forest. This means that the rain is cold, unlike the tropical rain forests, where it is a bit warmer climate than here. The wildlife and nature is surreal! I mean, we got black and brown bears, moose, dear, a variety of birds, squirrels, sea otters, river otters, sea lions, seals, and glaciers! Hence the name Glacier Bay.  And lastly, my coworkers. They were amazing last year. We had an amazing team who I worked with! We were like family. We lived, slept, ate, and explored together! We all had fun and yes we had our differences and sometimes would get into little arguments, but we still learned to really appreciate and love one another. Now that I painted a brief photo of why I love this place I will continue one as long as you are still reading this.

God, has blessed me and prepared me for this journey. I stayed with friends in Utah for almost two weeks. I was so loved and cared for and I even helped out with meals. I spent time at my home church to be in the community there. Friends upon friends were visited and had fun doing so. Utah felt like home again, for however brief, God blessed me with friends who were like family to me. Community can be amazing, especially when that community is a second family to you. I left Utah for Alaska and have been in Juneau the past few days actually.

In Juneau, I stayed with an amazing woman of God who I met last year at Glacier Bay. Her name is Debbie. (Another reason why I love Glacier Bay! You never know who you will meet and be connected with!) She has let me stay in her home and I cannot be more thankful. I love her hospitality and heart for others! She is someone who really cares about what is going on with people. Anyway, she and I went on a boat tour up to Tracy Arm and I got to experience the life there and it was beautiful! I got to see some black bears, marbled murrelets, and bald eagles! I got to see a glacier too and it was beautiful to see it again! I am truly blessed by Debbie and her kindness and generosity.

I think these places are like home to me because of who I am with, and where I have gone. The memories, the fun, the places, all of which have a special place in my heart. If you have heard Hillsong United’s “Closer than you Know” the lyrics speaks truth to me of heaven being closer than you think. I could not agree more! Peter and Paul have talked about how we are strangers here in this world. We do not belong here. Our home is in heaven with Jesus Christ! In Hebrews the author talks about this in Hebrews 13:14 in case you want to read it but I would read past it and a little bit before it to get a full picture.

Although these places are home for now, they are not my permanent home. I know where my heart longs for, but for now I am here and here to serve and love others. I cannot wait to see what God will do and share it with you all! Oops! Gotta fly! Until next time! May God bless you all and may you find joy and encouragement in this!