Meeting God in the Alaskan Wilderness
For over 45 years Avant’s Echo Ranch Bible Camp has been demonstrating the life and love of Christ to families in Southeast Alaska. The camp’s primary focus is to reach out to the youth of Alaska, demonstrate the love of Christ and connect them to a local church. Bob and Mary joined the camp staff in 2009 and as they connect with local churches, they continue to hear stories of how God has used the staff at Echo Ranch to make a difference in the lives of Alaskan youth. The story below is one they recently heard.
While we were visiting a church in Juneau we were blessed to see the influence that time spent at Echo Ranch had in the life of one young lady. It was the baptism service for four teenagers. As we read their testimonies, we were excited to learn of the role that Echo Ranch had in the story of a high school girl named Anna.
Here is her story…
While I was at Echo Ranch, I was a little intimidated by everyone always talking about Christ. I had never been around people like that for an extended period of time. As a result, for the first time in my life I was homesick. I felt out of place.
During that week, my counselor Emily took me out for a walk on the beach. That morning at devotions I had discovered I was one of three girls in our cabin who hadn’t accepted Christ into her life. After Emily explained what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus, I was excited to try it. As we prayed, I thanked Him for His sacrifice and asked Him to guide my life.
I went back to my cabin with a huge grin on my face. When I told my cabin mates what I did, they were all so excited for me. My homesickness was gone. And while at first I might have made my decision so that I fit in, I quickly realized that I had changed my life forever by accepting Christ as my Savior. I felt happier, friendlier and my mind was clearer. I knew I did the right thing. Now when something challenges my faith, I remember the feeling I got that first day of my new life with Christ at Echo Ranch.
During the service, we discovered we were sitting next to Anna’s parents and learned that they were planning to send their son to Echo Ranch the next week. Afterward, Anna told us how excited she was that Echo Ranch was represented at this special service and assured us that she will be attending the senior high camp. We are excited about the role that Echo Ranch is playing in the lives of this family and are praying that Anna’s brother and parents all come to follow Christ just as she has.
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