Day Creek

From Alaska, with love
By Stacy Stone
(posted 2.7.10)

Greetings from the Stones in Alaska!

As I write this letter, I am looking outside, where we have a foot and a half of new snow since yesterday and it is still coming down. On the stereo I hear the song, “White Christmas.” I just smile…

I will backtrack to how we ended up in Anchorage, Alaska. Just over a year ago, the Lord moved us to “let go” of all we knew as normal and wait with expectation for what He had in store for us. He had been working in us to truly let go of “me” and “stuff.” We had to be willing to let go of our home and be willing to go where He directed. To be honest, this took a few months of prayer and the Lord’s nudgings.

We both got to the point when we could say, “Okay, Lord, whatever you ask, we wait with great expectation and excitement for this adventure with you. We are yours; use us.”

In my mind I was still thinking Washington—funny, huh? For months, nothing happened and I remember saying to Bill, “Maybe God just wants us to be willing.”

We had our superintendent as a guest speaker during Pastor Rick’s sabbatical, and we were talking about people we knew and how they were doing, including the pastors in Alaska. We didn’t know until that moment that they were transferring back to Washington. (This is where God let us know He was a little more serious than us just being “willing.” I love “God-cidents,” don’t you?)

We agreed to pray about Alaska, desiring it, but not wanting to go just because we had always desired to visit. Then God got really serious: I did you not, everywhere we looked we saw Alaska licenses plates and articles about Alaska; we even met a few couples from Alaska. We had three different people say, “You should go to Alaska.” Did I mention we had told no one of this prayer process? God is so inventive!

We flew to Alaska last March to check it out, in a blizzard. It was my second flight ever, and such a rough landing that the pilot announced upon arrival, “Wicked landing! Welcome to Alaska!”

We rented our car, got out the Mapquest directions, and saw that all the street signs were completely white with snow. We finally made it to the parsonage and church, and knew we were home. Everyone was so kind and welcoming; God had been very serious about stepping out and going with Him.

We put our house up for sale and it sold in a very depressed market. We paid off everything and started packing. Our beautiful church family at Day Creek, along with friends and family, helped us load our 2,000-sq.-ft. house into a 27-ft. barge trailer at the end of June. The moving company also loaded our trucks onto a trailer. Watching it all drive away, we found ourselves thinking (spiritually, of course) man, oh, man, what are we doing? As we hugged our Day Creek family goodbye with tears and smiles, I remember thinking, Oh, Lord, this is so hard, but we can do this with you.

A week or so later, as we stood at the airport hugging our kids and our newest “grandperfect,” Evie, only three weeks old, I remember thinking with panic, oh, God, I don’t know if I can do this! As I looked back at our daughter, I felt the Lord say, “Face forward with me; I love them also; they know me.”

Since we’ve been in Anchorage, we’ve felt very much at home, honored and loved. We are learning and stretching daily, but loving the Lord more deeply each day.

We pray that you are at a point in your walk with the Lord that you can say, “God, whatever you ask, I will do.”

We tell you from experience He is wait-ing for willing hearts and humble spirits.

May He bless you as you walk with Him, mindful of his gentle nudging in the direction He has for you. May you have ears to listen to His voice, eyes searching for His face, and a willing heart.

Bill and Stacy Stone are lead and associate pastors, respectively, at Anchorage Free Methodist Church in  Anchorage, Alaska. They are former staff pastors at Day Creek Chapel.

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