Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our first Sunday Service...

...Well...first off...I love my sister. I forgot to post this a couple of days ago. But the first photo is when Kraig and I were flying to Alaska on Tuesday, we had a layover in Houston!!! Britt came to see us for about 45 minutes! It was so wonderful to see her. She has been such an encouragement to me over the past few days...she can not know how her random text messages of prayers and verses have come at exactly the right time for me. :) God is so good. She sent me this passage a few days ago and I thought I would share it with you all as well. On a side note...please keep her in your prayers. She has pink let's pray for a quick healing. Thank you. :)
Ok...1 Corinthians 1:21 - 22..:)
"It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand FIRM for Christ. He has commissioned us, and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised."
Now, I don't proclaim to be a Bible scholar or one who knows what the Bible means at times. So...I will put this to you the way I see it...I am probably wrong but this is what it meant to me the day Britt sent it to me and over the past few days as I have pondered it. goes, real quick and to the point...since we, as believers, have the Holy Spirit in us, we are to stand firm for Christ, unity. I am probably going to read more into this than there is but this is what it has meant to me. We are in this together. We are to labor together, fight together, cry together, love together, pray for each other, and stand firm for Christ together. Now, for some reason...when she sent that to me...I was really struggling with "being alone" out here in the wilderness of Alaska. And she (and the Word of God, of course) encouraged me to know that I am not alone, not only do I have Kraig in this with me but my sister and Lance, my parents, Kraig's family...and many other prayers from you all at home! We are so grateful! Thank you so much! We can definately feel your prayers. Now, again...I am not a Bible scholar and I know that there is more to this passage than I have wrote about... and I have probably taken this passage way wrong but for me, at the time...that's what God spoke to me about. And I want you to know that...if you send Kraig or me prayer requests...we you are not alone either. We even pray when you don't ask. :) Thanks for being so supportive. We serve an awesome God!
With that said...let me explain some of the pics. :) The first 2 are the pamphlets that I have been working on as we get ready for the 4th of July parade and the carnival on July 5th. And the 3rd pic is of the 40 days of Purpose campaign they are starting on July 18th. I worked on the poster for will be hung up in store fronts all over Wasilla. I hope I didn't spell anything wrong :)
Kraig has been the muscles behind the scenes all week. He pretty much demolished one stage..."It was a beast to take apart," he said...but he did it in one day when Mike thought it would take a team of about 4 and probably 2 days :) I am so proud of him. Then, he took the stage he took apart and moved it to the next theater where the church is meeting now, and Kraig and Mike put it back together for today's service. "It was solid" Mike said and he felt comfortable on it b/c it wasn't as rickety as the old one.
So...we had the service today! It went very well...and let me just tell you...mainly, this is to my mom!!! I have been up by 7 am since we have arrived here last week. And I have not been cranky :) But we got to the theater about 7 this morning to set up and clean up a little from last night's movie but we got everything out really quick and with a few minor glitches in the sound, we were ready to roll. Everyone was so nice and very welcoming.
Well...I guess that's all for's late. I will continue to take pics and post our updates this week. O...and it's been we have yet to really see the tops of the mountains. But it's not HOT so we will not complain about the weather at all!! We are just praying for sunny days so we can go hiking to see the Mat-Su glacier and stuff this weekend.
Please continue to pray for CrossCountry Church as well as the parade and the kid's carnival this coming weekend.
John 14:27...Love you all
Kraig and Ashleigh

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're HERE!

Well, we made it! After a beautiful wedding on Saturday, we flew home from Colorado to Georgia. We had one day to repack, clean, get everything organized and fly to Alaska. We accomplished all of that (at least I hope, I tend to forget things), and set off on our journey. We arrived Tuesday evening to chilly weather. We were so excited! We weren't sweating walking out of the parking lot. It was such a blessing!

Wednesday was a pretty laid back day. Mike (pastor we're staying with) allowed us to sleep in :) and get aquainted with the time change. We moved into our nice living quarters for the next month.

Thought you all would enjoy that. Mike is so graciously named it as "the Love shack" We do use the facilities in the house though so I am not completely roughing it so I am ok with that. :)

We went over to the church yesterday and went through the list of things that Mike wants to accomplish while we are here. When I say church, I really mean theater. The church is located at the local movie theater. So, we will be cleaning the theater up a lot over the next few weeks. Kraig did get started on that today by tearing apart the old stage in order to move it to the next theater. He did a great job and I missed a great photo opportunity b/c my camera died. I'm sorry! I will try to do a better job. Hunter worked on the song selection for Sunday service. He is singing the "Revelation song" and he put words and a slide show to the "You are Holy" song. It's been a really productive day. I worked on the bulletins for Sunday, as well as stuffing the inserts in them. I also worked on the Sunday School materials for the preschool classes. And I worked on the flyers for the 4th of July parade and started printing them.

Tonight we decided to make a fire out at the firepit by the Balos' house. Hunter had a great time trying to make the fire stay going.
In the background, you can see the side of the house...Kraig and Hunter have both been working on pressure washing it and when the next mission group comes up from TN, they are planning on painting their house for them. Which we have many other projects we will be working on and I will do better with taking pictures and documenting the different things we are doing. We are still a little jet lagged and getting adjusted to it being light outside all the time, but it is so worth it and we are already seeing God move. :) He has been so gracious and we are so excited to meet the church family on Sunday and plug in even more with the people.

Please continue to pray for well as for some of our friends and family back home. We have a lot of needs and burdens on our hearts for our family and friends. Thank you so much and I will do better with the pictures. :)

Love you all,

Kraig and Ashleigh

Thursday, June 17, 2010

John 14:27

John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

We made it to Colorado! And I must say it is beautiful!!! I will post pictures soon once I figure it out :) But for now, you will just have to take my word for it. It is BEAUTIFUL! We are staying in Beaver Creek, CO...there are still snow-capped mountains but were we are specifically, there are green, rolling hills all around us. We can look out any window of our room and there are mountains. Breath-taking!!! God is so GLORIOUS!

This verse was in my quiet time this morning. I must say it couldn't have come at a better time. God is so good like that :) I am so thankful He gave it to me today because my heart is very heavy. Tuesday night, we have a bible study with some of our very dear friends. We have been meeting close to a year now and we have grown very close. We have grown in Christ most importantly, but we have grown as friends as well. We have become very close and we share a lot of things and we pray for each other. So, this past Tuesday night, we had a very sweet prayer time. It got me thinking. It made me sad. In our group alone, we have so many hurts and struggles, and then outside of our group we know so many that are sick, hurting and just seeking God's face. So, we prayed. We prayed for everyone we knew hurting, we prayed for each other and we praised God for His provision and for His care. We know that no matter what is going on, He cares. So, Wednesday morning as we were boarding our first plane for Colorado, my heart was very heavy. I couldn't help but wonder why. Was it the realization that we would be gone for the rest of the summer? Was it because a good friend was having surgery that very morning and I couldn't get him off my mind? Was it because I was already homesick? I think I realized we would be gone and we would miss so many things.

Kraig and I have a heart for missions and travel! We love to see new things, we love to follow God's direction and we love to tell people about what God has done for us and what He can do for them. :) So, this summer, is our first big step in following God's lead. I think I am just realizing what it means. It means, missing our Tuesday night groups, missing friends and family birthdays, missing our youth group and trips, and missing being a part of all the hurt that is going on at home. We aren't able to be there for our friends who are hurting. The Lord is so good. He put this verse in my way this morning and although I can't help but wonder if I will always feel this way when Kraig and I leave to go off, I can know that God gives us the peace to know that we are doing His will, He will take care of our family and friends at home and all we can do is PRAY! Pray that our hearts will not be troubled by our lack of trust, pray that our fears will be releived, pray that we seek God's face in everything rather than doing what we want. He is so faithful and He will take away the anxiety I feel. I am so thankful. I know He will take care of those we love at home and I am so glad of that. I have the peace He gives.

I ask that you also will pray for our friends that are battling cancer, sickness, and battling Satan. I ask that you will pray for our family that is sick. I also ask that you will pray for us as we travel and do the Lord's work. That we will not be torn by being in Alaska and wanting to be home to help our friends and family. We know God wants us to go but Satan is working hard on my heart so please pray.

Thank you so much. We love you.
Kraig and Ashleigh

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My first blog :)

Well, I have succumbed to the blog world. It was a long and hard decision. I am not a techy person, I have trouble sometimes turning the computer on and off so to start a blog is a big step because I know very little about how to manuever through websites and how to start new things on line. It took me almost a week to start my facebook account and even then, I was asking my sister to do it for me because I could not figure it out. So, here I go. :)

I wanted to start this blog mainly because Kraig and I will be gone for a lot of the summer. We will not be able to communicate with a lot of you and we thought that a blog might be the easiest way to keep in contact with you all to show you what we are doing in Alaska and when we visit my sister in Texas and then as we come back to the Chattanooga area.

So, with that said...the Lord is so good and faithful. He has opened the door for us to travel a lot this summer. So, we will be missing a lot at home but we feel that the Lord is leading us to do different things and to step out of our comfort zones. We are somewhat nervous but more excited than anything. :)

First, I want to say that I (Ashleigh) hate to fly! It terrifies me. So, we start off on Wednesday flying to Colorado. Some very special friends of ours will be getting hitched! We are so excited and can't wait to see them. After that, we will be flying to Alaska for 4 weeks. We will be doing mission work in Wasilla and really, just seeing the Lord work in our lives and the lives around us. We are learning to just be flexible and available. Then, we will fly to Texas for a family vacation!

So, over the next few weeks especially, please keep us in your prayers. Pray that my (Ashleigh) nerves are calm as we fly, that the Lord would work through us and that we would be open to His will. We are so excited for the journey ahead of us. I hope to update this every few days with pictures and our activities of our days.

Thanks for reading and we are so thankful for your prayers.

ashleigh and kraig