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Jim and Linda Schulz
Missionaries Jim and Linda Schulz.

Missionaries in Venezuela, South Africa, Alaska, Belgium, India, Bolivia, Romania and more have benefitted greatly from the $200,000 the annual national Girls Ministries Coins for Kids missions giving program typically raises each year.

Yet, with new annual focuses every year, past years' projects can sometimes be forgotten. But in the land of the midnight sun, Alaska, the Coins for Kids 2012 giving project to help build a permanent building at a camp for children, has come to pass.

But it was more of a miracle in the making than anyone ever imagined.

The creation of Camp "Agaiutim Nune," which means "The Place of God," and is also known as Camp AN, began with a miracle. The pristine property was donated to AG missionaries Jim and Linda Shulz to create a camp for children.

Camp AN David Huff
Volunteer David Huff with wood beams traveling up the Yukon River to Camp AN.

However, Camp AN may also be a dictionary's definition of "middle of nowhere." Located on the banks of the Yukon River in Western Alaska, with no roads in or out, and accessible only by boat, Camp AN's nearest neighbor is a small village 17 miles away . . . the nearest city is 500 miles away.

But not to be detoured, the Schulzes have been operating the annual camp since 1996. Their focus is on demonstrating God's love and compassion to girls and boys, who are mostly from the Yupik Eskimo tribe, and introducing them to Christ.  However, with limited resources, the camp has had to utilize tents for church services, cooking, eating and sleeping, which had to be shipped in, set up, taken down, and stored every year.

Middle of Nowhere
Where is the "middle of nowhere"? How about Western Alaska, on the Yukon River, 500 miles from the nearest city with the only access being by boat? That is Camp AN!

In a more temperate zone, tents may be the ideal camp experience. But at Camp AN, the temperature sometimes drops below 40 in the summer. The building of a permanent multipurpose building that would protect campers and staff from nature seemed like the best of plans.

Yet even the best of plans hit roadblocks. After the strong giving effort through Coins for Kids to make the building possible, the Schulzes learned that barges couldn't navigate the river to their remote location — there was no way to transport the large, heavy steal beams or other equipment and supplies necessary to the building site.

But where barges failed, God prevailed.

"The very logistics of this projected indicated that it was impossible," Jim Schulz admits, "but God gave us wisdom, creativity, and sheer manpower to move and handle extremely heavy pieces of building materials without the use of heavy equipment."

Steel floor supports
Wood beams and steal floor supports are in place, awaiting layers of decking.

Schulz says that with the help of many volunteers and using their two relatively small camp boats, they transported 80 tons of building materials to the project site. From the ground to the locked doors, it took just 32 days to put the building up.

"Many men and church groups from both Alaska and the 'Lower 48' worked extremely long hours to accomplish the task," Schulz says. "So many miracles happened before and during construction that a brief statement like this could never begin to enumerate."

Volunteer David Huff, who attends Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri, learned about the Camp AN project through a Pentecostal Evangel article. He agrees with Schulz, stating that the miracles that took place for the building to be completed are too numerous to name.

Nearing completion of building
The building nearly enclosed.

"Even though I have a background in carpentry, this project was very unlike anything I had ever done, due to the remote location and lack of equipment," Huff recalls. "There were lots of challenges that seemed insurmountable, but God provided solutions at just the right time.  

"We had 10 very large and heavy beams and 26 large red iron trusses that we had to move by boat, and unload them without equipment," Huff explains. "At one time it seemed completely impossible, but God gave the answer how to move them." 

Huff even praises God for the weather, explaining that typically August is a very wet month in Western Alaska, but during the two weeks he was there, the building effort was blessed by only two short periods of rain. "It was really amazing and incredibly unusual," he says.

Enclosed building at Camp AN
Through the efforts of missionaries and many volunteers, the Camp AN camp building is built in just 32 days.

Schulz says that the new building will house the chapel, dining hall and kitchen. 

"We have used the tents for 19 years and they show much wear," Schulz says. "Now we will be able to continue with a safe, dry, warm facility to continue reaching and disciplining souls for Christ. Next summer we have some 'finish' work to complete — outside steps, windows, two side doors, electrical work and insulate. We are confident God will continue to help us with this as well."

To view additional pictures of the building project in different stages of completion, see the Schulzes' Camp AN Flickr pages. To learn more about Coins for Kids, click here.

 


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AG National Leadership and Resource Center restructuring to better resource churches, reach new generation

Thu, 12 Apr 2012 - 3:41 PM CST

The Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center in Springfield, Missouri, today announced a staff right-sizing as part of a strategic restructuring of its organization, including an ongoing transition from print to digital resources to more efficiently and effectively serve its churches and ministry partners. This process resulted in position eliminations and lay-offs affecting 47 employees at the national office.

"Knowing this difficult, but prayerful decision is the best course to build a foundation in support of the future viability of our worldwide fellowship does not dampen the difficulty of informing these valued employees, who have served the ministry well for many years," said Dr. George O. Wood, Assemblies of God general superintendent.

"We have always valued, and will continue to cherish the contributions of all our staff," Wood added. "This was a necessary business decision affected by culture and technology of which we have been aware for months, and hoped would turn around. But we are overstaffed and equipped in some areas, and this is a necessary step to reallocate resources for the continued positive health and growth of our mission and ministry services."

"The new structure will better support the efficient operations of the overall organization while facilitating the most effective process of each layer within the ministry working cohesively together. This is part of the vision of the National Leadership and Resource Center to become the premier and predominant resource provider serving the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal and Charismatic world; while also reaching into the Evangelical community," Wood added.

The Springfield-based Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center employs 830 individuals. The majority of eliminated positions are in the printing department, as the organization shifts from production to programming made necessary by recent industry and technological shifts from the Gutenberg to the Google eras.

"The Executive Leadership Team of the Assemblies of God is constantly looking for ways to be good stewards of the resources and opportunities God has given us," said Sol Arledge Jr., Assemblies of God COO. "This includes a shift in business priorities and services to expand the reach of our resources through electronic means as society is moving away from 'tree books' to e-books."

Recognized as a leader in the publishing field specifically for its Influence Resources and My Healthy Church, this reorganization will allow for continued growth and new positions as advancing technology shapes all aspects of society. With more than 39 percent of the Assemblies of God membership 25 years old and younger, leadership believes this will enable its churches to more effectively reach this growing demographic. This also includes greater emphasis on partnership with other Pentecostal denominations.

"The Assemblies of God is committed to ensuring all employees affected by this restructuring are treated fairly and equitably throughout their transition. This includes a severance package commensurate with years of service, two-month extended insurance coverage, pastoral care and outplacement support," Arledge emphasized.

The Assemblies of God is the world's largest Pentecostal denomination with more than 64 million members worldwide. The Church was organized in 1914 at a convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with 300 in attendance. Today, the Assemblies of God is the fastest growing major denomination in the United States with 12,595 churches and over 3 million members and adherents.

Authors: AG News

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