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Adventures in the Routine

Over the years, people often tell me they want to do something significant for God. They don't feel their lives have made an impact in the way they hear in mission stories or evangelism reports. They feel they have not done enough to advance the kingdom and would like the adventure of doing something great for Jesus.

I used to feel the same way. Until I came to Alaska — the land of adventure, the Last Frontier. When I first arrived, all I could think of was the adventure of living and ministering in this legendary place. But after I moved here, I realized the land of adventure was full of the same routines just like anywhere else. Even more amazing, the people who live here told me they wanted to do something great for God because they did not feel like they were making an impact in their lives.

It got me thinking about what Jesus really asks of us. He certainly wants us to do great things for His kingdom. After all, He instructs us to make disciples out of the whole world, but every minute of every day of every week is not filled with adventures. The minutes tick away in everyday living. I have come to understand it’s in our daily lives where the adventures begin and the great things take shape. It’s being faithful in these seemingly small and incidental chores that build the foundations to conquer the world.

When I do get away from my routines to go visit our pastors and mission volunteers in the bush of Alaska, this point is driven home to me again and again. Whether it’s replacing heaters in the Gambell parsonage, replacing the septic system in Bethel or fixing a wrecked four-wheeler in Togiak, the mundane must get accomplished to support the efforts of taking the gospel to these remote places.

The pastors and mission volunteers who live and minister here know what it means to plug away in these routines while bringing Jesus to those who watch them live it out. Paul and Joan Marlow, in the midst of heater issues, provided the families of their village handheld radios so their neighbors could hear the broadcasts of the little FM station in Gambell. Vecous and Loretta Waite in Bethel, in the midst of septic issues, organized a special concert for the village in preparation for prophecy seminars to their community. Tony and Airen Sherman spent seven years in Shungnak living, helping and growing friendships in that community. Living and working in rural Alaska is an adventure full of routines.

These are only a few of the examples of people I can share with you who live the adventure of Jesus in the midst of everyday life. We all have our routines, but we can faithfully do them and build the foundations of great adventures. Many people support the bush adventure, known more formally as the Arctic Mission Adventure, through their prayers, financial support and even taking part in a short adventure to help with projects. It takes all of us "routine people" to carry out something as extraordinary as the Arctic Mission Adventure. Ask Christ Jesus to help you faithfully carry out the routines and see what kind of adventures He will bring your way.

Featured in: December 2017