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I can't wait to see what God has in store!

I started 2018 with a thankful heart amazed at what I saw God do in 2017. My desire in 2018 is to ask "big asks" of God with an expectant Heart, believing He will be glorified in mighty ways. Here's is a quick look back and look ahead for 2018!

Lighthouse Young Adults
"N" laughs easily and is up for any adventure! It was such a blessing to connect with her in 2017 through Lighthouse events and hear her heart for the Lord. She went from an early childhood in the Congo to growing up in Alaska, and her next adventure is the Navy! Over our last lunch together before she left for Basic Training, she said that she had freely asked God to do with her life whatever He wants. The smile she said that with was a true picture of peace and readiness to obey. This is a world changer, y'all! Please PRAY for her in her journey! 
Looking back on Lighthouse in 2017, I saw...
  • The ministry launch with a commitment on the Word and building healthy community that bore fruit in lives throughout the year.
  • A young woman who used to rush out the door after Bible Study, now taking extensive notes and asking questions.
  • Understanding dawn in a 19-year-old as he moved from talking about his faith to living it out in practical ways.
  • An answer to prayer as a young married couple in the church want to help lead the ministry in 2018.
Looking ahead, I'm asking God for...
  • Challenge!
  • Transformation!
  • Fruit!
Love Alaska
Looking back on Love Alaska in 2017, I saw...
  • Divinely orchestrated encounters that led to open doors and new opportunities.
  • Answered prayer as God provided a mentoring partner who has become a dear friend.
  • A 15-year-old girl in crisis paired with mentors, but run away from her foster home and not be seen again. While this is heartbreaking, WE STILL PRAY! This girl now has a team of prayer warriors with her for life, even if she doesn't know it today.
  • The creative and administrative work of my hands bearing fruit as God used my knowledge and skills to help Kingdom Warriors fight human trafficking.
Looking ahead, I'm asking God for...
  • More clarity and opportunities to plug into the organization and its initiatives.
  • Growing relationships with other missionaries and local Alaskans fighting on the frontlines for justice.
  • Deeper community and connection as I serve alongside and pray with my mentoring partner.
  • The chance to love, serve, and model healthy relationships for a new mentee. Please PRAY for my new mentee, a single teen mom with a young baby. They are precious to me already!
My last Sam's run... they were already out of toilet paper when I got there. Oh well! The real challenge was pushing this cart across a parking lot full of snow, ice, and slush to my car. That was a workout!
When I got home from my Christmas break with my family, I anticipated starting Bible Study back up in late January. I received multiple texts and in-person questions from my group about when we would start up again, and I realized that these young adults missed meeting! They longed for community! So instead of waiting, I kicked off the new year on January 15. I presented some options to the group for what to study next. They surprised me by choosing a to read a book together that talks about following Christ in an Anti-Christian age. They want to see how the Gospel tells us to live in light of sexual immorality, poverty, and other social issues of our day. Talk about a challenge! In 2017, I kept the feel our study highly invitational—come hear, come see. I knew these guys were ready to amp up the challenge level in 2018, but I didn't expect them to ask for it like this! Already, we've had tough questions and seen much grace and love as we meet in a safe space to understand the Gospel, wrestle with the hard places of the heart, and encourage each other to take what we believe into the world around us. I cannot wait to see these young adults become world changers as God moves in their hearts! Please PRAY for us on Monday nights!
"S" is a vibrant, high energy young lady with a gigawatt smile. She is easy to talk to and quick to engage others. She loves the Lord and as a recent high school graduate new to Alaska, she's excited to be part of an adult Bible Study! I can see so many opportunities for God to use her as an instrument of grace in this state. I can't wait to see her bloom here!
Alaskan Life
Alaskan life is still taking shape, and I love all God lets me experience here! Here are a few things I've tried or learned lately...

Moose is delicious. I had my first taste of moose this month when my friend made moose fajitas! Moose are my favorite animal, so I'm feeling slightly conflicted about how good they taste. Ha!

Icy walkways are no joke. I learned all about shoveling fluffy snow last winter. This winter has been snowy, rainy, and icy, so I'm learning how to keep people from breaking their necks on the thick sheets of ice that daily gather on my front walkway:
  • Step 1 shovel snow; Step 2 pour salt over ice blocks that have formed under snow; Step 3 use a jackhammer if available (or the roofing tool that I bought at Home Depot that looks like a giant chisel); Step 4 shovel again; Step 5 more salt and more waiting for it to work; Step 6 scrub with deck broom and brush away as much melted ice/slush as possible; Step 7 pour on gravel for traction; Step 8 text everyone to watch their step when visiting me. REPEAT TILL SPRING.
I can sleep through an 8.0 earthquake. We had a huge earthquake here and tsunami warning, and my dog and I slept through it all. I awoke the next morning to texts asking if I was okay, alive, or hurt. What a confusing way to wake up! Thankfully, no one in Alaska had damage, and the tsunami didn't happen. I've since made sure that some of my Love Alaska teammates who live in my area of town will in the future check on me if actual damage or rubble is ever involved. They all woke up for it!

Sam's Club closing is a crisis. All three Sam's stores closed in Alaska, and people here (me included) freaked out. The majority of businesses here are small or locally owned, and many restaurants and convenience stores use Sam's as a major supplier. Plus, bush village and rural folks always stock up in bulk when they come to town. When the announcement came, lines to get into the stores to stock up one last time wrapped around the buildings. Some people came with vans and U-hauls! I sent Mom a picture of my last-run cart of supplies, and she asked why they didn't have hand carts for people like me. I informed her that everyone there was "people like me," and they were all out! Don't worry, though; we still have Costco in Anchorage. When the coffee and paper towels run out, I'll go get a membership there.
Copyright © 2018 Kerri Howell, All rights reserved.

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