We were excited to put the Lance to work on its first ministry flight! On February 11, James and Shannon (with Timothy) flew to Port Alsworth, AK to attend a “Hearts Going Towards Wellness” conference. HGTW was developed by InterAct missionaries Alan and Linda Ross and is offered by Alaska Freedom Journey as a tool to disciple Alaska’s Native people. The conference was a great opportunity for us to build on some relationships that have already been started and beginning other relationships with some of the Native Alaskan young people who attend the Tanalian Leadership Course held at Tanalian Bible Camp.
One particularly good lesson for us is the value of simply listening to others share their story. Most of us bear wounds of the heart from something or someone, but hearing stories from these young people helped us understand the depth of wounds that come from abuses of all kinds. As children suffer from abuse, there is no one to turn to for help and no one who is there to help bear the burden. These wounds, then, get buried deep in the heart. As we listened to their stories, we learned that we could “bear one another’s burdens” simply by offering a listening ear. We also learned that the benefit to bearing other’s burdens is that we are given a bigger view of God as we see Him working in the lives of His people.