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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 daily average temperature during camp is about 38 degrees. 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' Facebook page. To learn more about Coins for Kids, click here.

 


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Christmas Project 5 - inspiring efforts meet needs

Fri, 21 Dec 2012 - 9:56 AM CST

Christmas project logo

Several weeks ago, AG Churches, ministries and schools were asked to share what they were doing this Christmas season to help the needy in their communities as part of the fifth annual Christmas Project conducted by AG News. The inspirational responses ranged from the practical to the creative, and are featured below.

"I enjoy this time of year and hearing about the compassion being invested in communities in the name of Christ," says Dan Van Veen, AG News editor. "Some ministries have done some incredible things and touched hundreds and hundreds of lives, but even if a ministry only has the ability to help one family, or just one person, to that family or person, that ministry has become Christ's hand extended and He has been glorified."

Van Veen also salutes the Michigan District Council, churches and ministries for their unprecedented participation in this year's Christmas Project. More than half of the responses received were from the Michigan District.

The staff at AG News would like to wish all AG News readers a wonderful Christmas, a joyous New Year and offer the encouragement to continue to live lives filled with Christ's love and compassion. AG News will return on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

--AG News staff

 

Strasburg Assembly of God, Strasburg, Virginia - is sending Christmas card with a message of salvation as well as stockings to our troops in Afghanistan.

Clute First Assembly of God, Clute, Texas, and Brazoria County Dream Center - is encouraging everyone to spend less on themselves and give the extra to help those in need. The church is also partnering with Brazoria County Dream Center to help provide food and gifts to at risk families in its area.

Calvary Assembly of God, Elkhart, Indiana - for the second year, Calvary served a sit-down Thanksgiving meal to approximately 200 people in our community. The church's desire is to provide a Thanksgiving meal plus a dinner experience for the entire family.

New Destiny Community Church, Stanley, North Carolina - teamed up with other churches to hold a holiday dinner and Christmas program for 200 men at a local prison.        

Eastside Assembly of God in Tucson, Arizona - is partnering with White River (Arizona) Assembly of God to provide toys to the children of the Apache Indian Reservation. Church members are providing new toys, with age appropriate labels, for the reservation children.

The City Limits Assembly of God, Allentown, Pennsylvania - gave away more than 1,000 live Christmas trees in a December event, which also offered live Christmas music, free hot dogs and hot chocolate.

Central Assembly of God, Springfield, Missouri - delivered grocery bags filled with all the menu items for a Thanksgiving meal to more than 250 needy families and presented more than 1,300 Christmas gifts to the children of nearby elementary schools - schools located in a low-income portion of the city.

Evangel University, Springfield, Missouri - raised more than $2,600 and collected more than 1,800 pounds of food through its annual Christmas concert, benefiting the Salvation Army. Student athletes and faculty also volunteered as bell ringers for the local Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, Texas - the women's basketball team provided gifts for the children of the White Mountain Apache tribe in Whiteriver, Arizona; the men's and women's basketball team rang bells for the local Salvation Army; and the school is encouraging staff and faculty to give to the local United Way.

Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri - students shared Christmas with the community by going out to different locations and singing Christmas carols.

Shekinah Temple Assembly of God, Waterford, Michigan - the church has obtained an "urgent needs list" from a local faith-based pregnancy center and many in the congregation have purchased items or donated funds for the needs on the list.

The Flint Dream Center, Flint, Michigan - will continue to pass out clothes such as new jeans, new coats and hats as well as $25 gift cards for the kids.

Central Assembly of God in Muskegon, Michigan - is reaching out to supply 42 families with Christmas dinner and presents for their children. The church will also provide gifts for 30 Teen Challenge children as well as widows and their children in the church who have need.

Christian Trinity Church, Eastpointe, Michigan - is hosting the Macomb County Homeless Warming Center the week of Christmas for around 80 guests to enjoy seven nights of warmth. Around 1,120 home-cooked meals will be served. Money donations have provided gifts of personal items, bus passes and gift cards to McDonalds.

Eaglevision Ministries/International Dream Center of Lansing, Michigan - is again distributing more than 1,000 toys and other items to ex-offenders and others for their children's Christmas experience.

Troy Assembly of God, Troy, Michigan - is reaching out to eight needy families with children both in the church and community with Walmart gift certificates to help purchase Christmas gifts.

First Assembly of God, Saline, Michigan - is participating in Baskets of Blessings, a compassion outreach ministry that collects food in baskets for those in need during the holiday season. Along with a Bible, the church delivers the food to families with whom they also have prayer with before leaving.

Northville Christian Assembly, Northville, Michigan - purchased more than 160 gifts for five needy families with 25 children and helped to feed the homeless.

Grass Lake Assembly of God, Grass Lake, Michigan - held a food drive to stock the local food pantry, and partnered with the Grass Lake Ministerial Association Angel Tree project to provide food, utility credits and Christmas gifts to local families in need.

Oasis Community Church Assembly of God, Ithaca, Michigan - sent 70 Christmas Shoe Boxes to Samaritan Purse Project; chose eight families within its community to have a Christmas dinner, games and inflatables for the (25) kids and gave gifts to the families. Also has a tree set up that's now filled with mittens, scarves, hats and gloves to take to a local agency to distribute and provided 25 fruit baskets to the elderly in need.     

Lake City Assembly of God, Lake City, Michigan - is handing out 40 bags of candy to its immediate neighborhood, inviting their neighbors to Christmas services.

Rochester Assembly of God, Rochester, Michigan - gave 130 bags of groceries to bless several families in the area and the Lighthouse in Pontiac for their Thanksgiving Food Drive. Collected toys to bless Courage Church in Detroit with their Holiday Outreach to the children of Detroit. Organized a Giving Tree to bless three families from the area.  Gave $1,000 each to Power Kid's Co. and Salvation Army over and above monthly giving for their Christmas Projects. And the church's children raised money to purchase Christmas presents for their adopted child from Compassion International.

Beaver Lake Community Church, Lachine, Michigan - "Pickin' For People"  (Bluegrass/Country/Gospel musicians who donate their time, travel and talent), a ministry of the church, is raising money for the church's food pantry as well as several other pantries and food distribution services throughout Northeast Michigan. The musicians are also performing at several nursing homes.

The Gateway Church, Spring Lake, Michigan - is hosting a Personal Care Product Giveaway to provide families in need with one month's supply of personal care items that include shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toilet paper, cleaning products and more. More than 5,000 items will be given away.

Dearborn Heights First Assembly of God, Dearborn Heights, Michigan - its "Bread of Life Food Bank" ministry, which feeds over 200 families weekly, is having a toy drive to give as many gifts to the children of these families as there are donations.

Auburn Hills Christian Center, Auburn Hills, Michigan - has given $1,000 to a ministry that gives baby showers for women in shelters; has sent a $50 Christmas gift sent to each missionary supported by AHCC; delivered a hot meal, jeans, thermal undergarments and socks to residents of a homeless shelter; received a Christmas benevolence offering for those in the church struggling financially during the Christmas season; held a winter coat drive to benefit those in the community; and is receiving a love offering to bless Hurricane Sandy victims at Christmas.

Authors: AG News

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