by: Natalie Bowman
As I stepped off the plane, thrust into an unknown world full of wildlife, mountains, and flannel, I wondered how many others would have turned around before their feet touched the tarmac. All the questions that loved ones had posed prior to my departure came flooding back. “Are you sure you’ll be safe? What about the bears? Can you really see Russia?” Despite my passion to minister in “The Last Frontier,” uncertainty began to surface.
Looking back now, I am so thankful that I didn’t let my worries keep me from spreading the Word in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Yes, the snow-capped mountains are transformative, the turquoise glaciers pierce your soul, and the wildlife isn’t nearly as scary as one would think. However, the thing that keeps me going back are the loving hearts and neighborly spirit that fills the countryside and cities alike. It’s the comradery. It’s the people coming together to live, survive and thrive. It’s home.
I remember one particular church I worked with, called Pioneer Baptist. They were scheduled to partner with one of our teams, so I decided to visit. Hymns of praise filled the room and the Word came forth, strong and flowing. Afterwards, the pastor and people I met began sharing their stories. Their passion for the upcoming week excited and humbled me. The next week, our missions team ran a VBS, doing ministry alongside some of the congregant members. On one of the last nights we held a prayer night, and God’s presence was palpable. I began interceding on behalf of one of the people there. God had rarely spoken to me so clearly. I was reminded of the people hurting and the beautiful hearts surrounding me. Suddenly, instead of strangers, I was surrounded by family.
In Alaska, you will probably feel moments of awe and wonder. You may feel moments of boldness and bravery. You could feel moments of flannel fatigue. Most importantly though, you will feel like you just came home.
The greatest past of our Alaska experience was spending it with the most articulate, bright, beautiful ministry guide, Natalie Bowman. Gems like her are placed in our lives not frequent enough and are appreciated far to little. She represents Thirst missions, Alaska and the creator of that beautiful landscape with such grace and charm. She is special!!! Great article!!!
Should say part instead of past. Ty
What a great reply. We really appreciate her too! Thanks for sharing.
What an unexpected feeling I walked away with after visiting Alaska. The air is so clean and the sights are so magnificent it is hard to explain! The magnificent artistry of our Lord and Savior is so evident in Alaska. Not only the sights and sounds but the people we encountered were very hospitable and helpful. Having Natalie as our guide was invaluable. She knew exactly where to take us so we could truly experience Alaska and all it has to offer. I encourage anyone reading this blog to visit Alaska with Thirst Missions, you will never regret your time in there. With Natalie as your lead you will experience great ministry as well get a refreshing from the Lord through his beautiful creation!
Hey Angela, thanks for sharing. We let Natalie know how much you appreciate her. God is doing great things in Alaska!