Good morning from 34,000 feet!
As I type this, our #DSSDoesAlaska team is officially in the air (on the most turbulent flight of our lives), escaping the Snowpocalypse in Denver and headed for the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington. We will spend today playing tourist, eating yummy seafood, and doing a smidge of “team building” before we head out for Alaska tonight where the real “hard work” of the Journey to the High Places Conference will begin tomorrow.
This morning as I peeled off my coat in the security line at DIA, I caught a glimpse of the words from Galatians 5:1 that I had tattooed on my arm last winter—
“It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery”
My prayer this morning as I look around this plane and see our kiddos in various states of sleep and nervous energy is rooted in this verse and twofold:
1) That this group of students would experience True Freedom over the next week and choose to continue to walk in Christ’s love and freedom once they return to Denver. (For the majority of our crew of kiddos, this trip represents freedom in so many ways:
- It is many of their first opportunity to experience the freedom of flight…
- Today is the first time most of our students will experience the freedom associated with leaving Colorado and seeing what life outside of Aurora looks like….
- This trip allows our students freedom from their larger toxic environment, difficult relationships, and the substances they often depend on to cope with their trauma….
- And more importantly, this conference and trip provides freedom for these students to process their trauma in a safe environment, and hear the truth of the gospel spoken over each of their stories.)
2) In Exodus 5:1, Moses petitions Pharaoh as he is seeking to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness’.” As Gary preached through this verse Sunday at Park Church, my heart began to plead those same words. Today that verse feels like a petition to the enemy who is keeping our students enslaved through fear, pain, resentment, and addiction. But those words have also become my prayer to the Lord, begging Him to allow our students to taste freedom, so that we can spread a feast and glorify Him in the physical wilderness we are about to enter.
While things have come together insanely smoothly for this year’s Alaska trip and Journey to the High Places Conference, the season of preparation that has brought us to this day hasn’t been without battle. The reality that there is a war going on for our students’ hearts has been insanely evident this quarter as we have faced some of the wildest days I’ve ever had in my 11 years at DSS. (I feel like I write that in every newsletter, but this last month has really taken the cake.) Yet throughout each battle and rough day, our staff at DSS has tried to call our students’ attention back to the One who promises to free the captives, the One who reigns victorious over sin, brokenness, and death, and we will continue to lean hard into that same mission over the next week.
So many of you generously (like, insanely generously) partnered with us financially to make this trip a reality, and OH MY GATOS, I am so thankful. But today, I am begging you to continue to partner with us in prayer over this next week as we head into the wilderness with our students in search of freedom and adventure.
The majority of our conference sessions will start at 9:00 AKST (11:00 MST); if you would like to join the tribe of people who are setting alarms on their phones to pray for us as we sit down to dig into Truth each morning (tomorrow through March 20th), we would be forever grateful.
I’m stoked to tell you all about what the Lord has done in our time in the wilderness someday soon!
Until then, sending all of our Alaskan love,
Kace, the 2019 #DSSDoesAlaskaTeam, & the TLC/TBC staff
*For our kiddos to have soft hearts & open minds as we explore Truth this next week
*Boldness & clarity for each of the amazing conference speakers in Port Alsworth who will be sharing their difficult, but glorious testimonies with the students
*Patience & grace for our staff members as things are guaranteed to get interesting once our kids’ hearts & bodies begin to withdraw from all the things they usually use to numb their minds…
*Sweet soul rest for each of our insanely dedicated teachers who are giving up most of their spring break to go on this adventure with the kids
*Eyes to see opportunities to love our students well
*Protection from spiritual warfare in all of the weird ways that tends to crop up