A play called Red.

I grew up in an isolated village in “bush” Alaska called Unalakleet. To lead a healthy life in High School I participated in Volleyball, Cross-country running and Basketball. Every day, except on Sundays, the school opens the gym for recreation. I loved being active. A lot of girls on the basketball team were mean to me but that did not stop me from trying my hardest. The ones who thought they were better than everyone did not try to make others better instead they made fun of girls like me. I gave up basketball in middle school because of misconduct so I wasn’t as talented as the girls who spent a lot of time in the gym. My determination to be the best I can be led me to “good sportsmanship” awards at the state basketball tournaments. When the older girls that were mean to me graduated I blossomed in basketball. Not so much my offensive skills but my defense skills were unmatched. I was a fierce defender and always encouraged girls who others were not nice to, to keep at it. My coach was also my teacher, youth pastor and later in life my College Professor. He made up a play called “Red.” This play was made specifically for me. It was only used as a last resort if we were loosing by a few points in the end of a game. My four team mates positioned themselves in each area of the corner of the key and guarded that area. My job was to be on the ball, no matter who had the ball, I followed the ball and did what I was best at, defense. Our coach always told us offense wins games and defense wins championships. We didn’t win a State Championship but every year we made it to the state level. It was a bigger court and we had to work very hard as a team. I always kept in my heart that there is no I in team. Perception of the game instills ethics in life subconsciously, as a coach you are tasked 1. Don’t take the love out of the game it is not about winning it is about having fun and competing in a healthy manner 2. don’t ever tell a team they are better than the next because when a game is started it’s the same playing field 3. Build a team up in unison and they will respect and love each other, not one player is better than the other but there are people with natural born talent, use it.

We learn a lot from the people we grow up with or at least I take the best of each person I know and apply that to my life. I like to see the very best in people and when you stop looking for faults in people, your mind heals and your heart grows. Be nice to children and always encourage them. Life is not a sport it is a gift and we all should treat it as such. Bless and be blessed.

C.O.R.E.

Christs Own REvolution. We completed our training course in Bethel. Our team was packed up and ready for our first missions trip to the reputable Hooper Bay. Don was our pilot on the MARK plane. As if destined to defeat any obstacles from the start what seemed to be a hiccup was more of a blessing. As the airplane was accelerating for take off, the pilot window, yes the cockpit pilot window, opened. Suddenly we are taxiing back to the hangar just as we were about to make it the left engine completely failed. The wait was worrisome as they fixed the same craft that hours ago, if not for a strange miracle, would have had engine failure just after lift off. We didn’t have much of a choice but to trust the mechanic and through prayer we flew on. Hooper Bay was to be one of five villages we would spread hope and love and the lust for life and joy in our savior Jesus. Mark and Jeff were the interim pastors living in Hooper back when it was a one truck town. The descent was reminiscent of wolves circling their prey as the two Hondas approach our plane. When we came to a stop they circled us four or five times before speeding off. We were excited and I know I wasn’t intimidated, I felt brave, in my mind my comfort was “if they hurt me, He will heal me, if they kill me, I will be with Him.” After all, I was ready to change the world. Being in Hooper Bay was like traveling to another slightly known third world village. The shanty boardwalks added a rugged look. The suicide rate was high here, strings of deaths occurred at a time and time again, we were up against darkness that made a once powerful people feel hopeless. This was the first of its kind, a bunch of high school kids who had the same love for Jesus spreading the gospel to hurting villages. Our weapon of choice: a basketball. Go to any village… literally any village, in Alaska… no doubt, basketball is second to subsistence. Ok, basketball is a way of life in rural Alaska. We held tournaments, shared our stories, sang songs but most of all we were ourselves, we had fun and shared our love for life and that became, Lord willing, rooted in the hearts of God’s beloved children. I related to most, if not all, these girls here. I was a victim of sexual abuse. A voice is rising in our generation and nothing will silence it because it is time for healing and first He heals us through Him and we are able to be used to help heal others. It’s a journey we start from birth. It’s our destiny fulfilled by living a life of love. That was our mission to spread love. I felt the hurt. I cried myself to sleep the first night. The vividness of my dream, it was a revelation. I had to choose between two tunnels. The first was scary, it had roots hanging from the top, visible spider webs, and straight up looked like a animal dug it out. The next one wasn’t scary to me at all. It was simply a tunnel of red bricks, clearly man made. I proceeded down the brick tunnel and became sluggishly hot, perspiring heavily. It became dark before the fiery red glow started to appear. Oh man I made a clear mistake. I was going, literally, to hell. I turned the heck around and ran out as fast as I can. I have never been more scared in a more vivid dream until that day. I ponied up and went down the tunnel I thought was scary. I could see the light of the sun but more radiant, more bright. The songs of nature in unison. I felt gleaming rays of love and all my fears were washed away and I never felt more free, more happy. I awoke before slightly seeing the entrance of the exit. Glorious. I shared my dream in my journal. I wouldn’t have to do that because it’s one of many dreams significant to me that changed my life.