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
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