Alaska was an amazing experience and I am so grateful I went. I really enjoyed working at Glory Hole, a homeless shelter in Juneau. Glory Hole serves people who are trying to get back on their feet in a very complete way. I loved their rooftop garden. I also enjoyed meeting all the people at Glory Hole – both those who receive services and those who work at the shelter. It was truly inspirational!
– Madeline Weinkauf
One of my favorite parts about the Alaska pilgrimage was working at the Glory Hole, a homeless shelter in the heart of Juneau. I could tell that the people working/volunteering there were really passionate about the work they did through God. What they had set up was amazing. Inside the building, there were rooms for sleeping and downstairs, there was a kitchen, a pantry and big dining area where one could eat, talk, or play a friendly game of chess. Outside, there was a rooftop garden where fresh vegetables and herbs were grown for those who came to the Glory Hole. The St. John’s youth group helped the Glory Hole in numerous ways, both inside and out. While some were organizing clothes and defrosting the freezer, others were building boxes and planting. Whatever it was we were told to do, without hesitation or complaint, we got right to it and a good time was had by all.
– Michaela Allen
One of my favorite parts of the Alaska trip was when we got to sit and listen to Myrna and Willie share their knowledge of their history and see how much they want that to live on to generations. I also loved how we kept on seeing them around town. We probably saw them twice when we weren’t expecting it. Our trip to Alaska was eye-opening as we slowed down and looked at our surroundings.
– Rachel Clark
My favorite moment of Alaska was when we were settling for the evening and discussing our day. Right as we were starting our discussion, an eagle flew up to a tree and perched there for the entire discussion. I remember looking at it and seeing the sun giving it a beautiful glow. The scenery surrounding the eagle was beautiful as well. In that simple discussion there was a moment of wonder and magic for me. It felt like all the activities and projects that we did and all the time and energy it took out of us. That eagle just symbolized that we had done our part and that we were being recognized for what we had done.
– Tim Krall
One of my favorite memories was the kayaking day. We saw a lot of different animals. Also, I learned about this type of seaweed that was almost identical to bubble wrap. You were able to push on it and it would pop but it was super-slimy so after a while it got gross. The kayaking got a little tiring after a while but doing it with people who were fun to be around helped a lot. The Alaska pilgrimage was a lot of fun.
– Matt Richards
I was walking to my cabin with other guys when I thought I heard dolphins. I stopped. I said, as a joke – “That was a whale!” We all turned around and we saw it. We ran down to the water, but it was gone. We thought we had lost it…. then it breached right in front of us. I was wonderstruck!
– Eli Weinkauf
We got home after a long day in Juneau. It had been stormy for most of the afternoon, but the clouds were beginning to clear as the world quieted down for the evening. We ate a fabulous dinner and had our nightly talk about the day. After this, the group decided to go down to the rocks overlooking mountains in the distance to watch the sunset. Skipping stones and looking for sea lions, this was our evening routine. Down there, I saw one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. The sun was setting over the far off mountains, the clouds were just enough to have an amazing sunset but not enough to obscure the view, and the surrounding environment was so quiet that it seemed as if all of Alaska shut down in wonder. The sea lions and seals watched along with us as we all sat awe-struck with the deep purples and oranges coming from the clouds and snow-covered peaks. It was like you could see God right in front of you. We sat in silence and watched the sun go down.
To everyone who made this possible for our Youth