Jesus is so so good!
Yesterday, College Missions Company officially expanded its mission field to preach the Gospel and to be the hands and feet of Christ to our brothers and sisters in Alaska!
The effort to preach the Gospel in Alaska became a reality when College Missions Company was asked to merge with fellow Louisiana college students who recently were serving during the summer in Alaska. We at CMC are thrilled, overjoyed, and anxious to see what the Lord has in store for this upcoming year! It's not about the company's status of expanding its mission field we are overjoyed about, it's the reality that we are working with such humble followers of Christ who desire that others may know that they are simply loved by an all loving and merciful God.
Thank you so much for your continual support and prayers, please read following article below by Kaitlin Davis, the leader of the Alaskan Missions for College Missions Company:
United in Mission Zeal
In the summer of 2014, I went on my first mission trip to the native Alaskan village of St. Michael. The mission trip was put on by FOCUS, and I had learned about the trip from FOCUS missionaries on campus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I had never thought about going on a mission trip before, and the missionaries encouraged me to look into them. The mission to Alaska intrigued me from the start, and ended up being the best fit for me at the time.
St. Michael is a village of about 350 people, many of whom are baptized Catholics and Christians. Their parish, like many parishes in their region of Alaska, is very isolated, and lacks weekly Mass and frequent catechesis for children and adults alike. There is also a lot of strife in the community, such as domestic abuse, alcoholism, drugs, and broken families. Some of this is due to poverty and lack of purpose. Some of it is due to wounds left behind by clergy abuse in the 1960s and 1970s that scoured the village. I spoke to several adults in the village who had been wounded in some way by the abuse, and they were still struggling with those wounds.
However, they did not blame Jesus or the Church for what had happened. In fact, they still thirsted to know the Lord and to have the Church as a part of their family and community. Despite coming face to face with despair, they still had hope that the future of Christianity in their village would be one of growth, peace, and healing. Especially for their children and grandchildren.
It was this hope that ignited the desire in my heart to return to St. Michael, in order to continue inviting the villagers into a relationship with Jesus, teach the children about our Lord and the Church, and to encourage Christians in the community to place Jesus more firmly in the center of their village’s life. In the summer of 2016, I returned to the village with college students from UL-Lafayette, LSU, and LSUE. We stayed twice as long as the first time I had gone, and I know that we made twice the impact, due to the relationships we were able to build with children, adults, and elders in the community. The mere presence of authentic Christianity in the village is half the mission. Immediately after returning back to Louisiana this past summer, I knew that I had to begin planning another trip, where we stayed longer and brought more missionaries, so that we could serve these villagers as much as possible.
I had heard about Janson Delaney and Hunter Mansour’s mission trip to New Mexico later that summer, and saw that it was much like the St. Michael mission in that it had started as a simple desire for mission and was rather impromptu in its inception. It was a testimony to the authenticity of their call to and desire for mission. When College Missions Company was created, I saw that it was a way to make answering the call to go on mission easier for young people, and that it was a way to broaden domestic missions.
At the beginning of the school year, Janson, Hunter, and I began talking about the reality of merging our missions together. In this way, we could pool our resources together and also by way of our testimonies, encourage college students to go on mission. Now, four other missionaries returning to Alaska, plus myself, are working as a part of College Missions Company to create opportunities for college students to go on mission and to expand the missions we are currently invested in.
We know that it is a part of our baptismal promises to be missionaries for Jesus, at home and abroad. We know that it is apart of our baptismal promises to strive for holiness. For young people, one of the greatest obstacles to becoming a disciple of Jesus is doubting that we are capable of living an authentic Christian life. In the mission field, though, that life can become a reality when we encounter people thirsting for Jesus, and in turn we learn to be Christ to others.
Alaska has been called the Last Frontier by explorers and voyagers in the past. However, while I was there this past summer, it occurred to me that the final frontier to conquer is really our souls, and that they must be conquered for Jesus Christ. When we are missionaries, we are not only setting out to bring souls to Jesus, but we find ourselves being conquered by His love, and we come to understand that we can truly do anything when we belong to Him.