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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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More than 1,100 volunteer to "give a year"

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 - 3:26 PM CST

Volunteering 1 year
More than 1,000 young people crowd forward to volunteer one year of their lives to missions.

As the third World Missions Summit concluded, students responded, with 1,148 young men and women coming forward to declare their intent to give one year of their lives to missions.

Held December 28-30 at the Fort Worth (Texas) Convention Center, the World Missions Summit was a cooperative effort between Assemblies of God World Missions and Chi Alpha, the AG ministry to college students.

Themed "Because I Care," the summit gave students and other attendees an opportunity to experience what life is like in different countries, worship, eat with a missionary and pray for the nations.

Throughout the conference, the regions of Africa, Northern Asia, Asia Pacific, Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean set up interactive encounters known as Windows to the World so students could experience the smells, textures, noises and sights of that part of the world and learn about opportunities for missions.

Chi Alpha and XAi (Chi Alpha International) also conducted encounters to inform and recruit students to work with American and international students. University of Central Arkansas students, dressed up in circus and carnival costumes, paraded around the convention center urging students to attend the Chi Alpha experience focusing on the American Dream.

"The American Dream is not really what it seems," says Jennifer Schiefer, who is on staff with the University of Central Arkansas Chi Alpha. "The American Dream is rooted in self-provision and in self-service, and you cannot start down the path of self-service and end up at the Cross."

worship at TWMS
Thousands worship during the third World Missions Summit.

Those who attended the American Dream experience were ultimately asked to make a series of four life decisions in what was most important to them in life, marriage, legacy and career. At the end, they were given a new pair of glasses and asked if they were willing to trade in their life decisions for a new perspective on the American Dream.

World Missions Summit Co-Director Scott Martin says the summit wasn't only about challenging students with the motto "give a year and pray about a lifetime," but also helping them become selfless and more focused on loving others.

"It was about the circumcision of the hearts and minds of this present university student generation; the cutting away of the fleshliness of a self-absorbed culture," Martin says. "It was about every participant walking away with a knowledge of their responsibility to fulfill Jesus' mandate to reach the lost around the world."

During the Summit, Chi Alpha also announced Feed One (feedone.com), its humanitarian branch and new partnership with Convoy of Hope. "We want to partner with Convoy of Hope to give our students the opportunity to meet the real needs of children and be part of the global movement to eradicate hunger on the planet," says Boston University Campus Pastor Lynn Breitenbach, who earlier joined other campus pastors in Haiti to launch the partnership.

Second-year graduate student Nikki Nuttal from the University of Illinois says the messages given during the summit were different than what she has heard before, calling them blunt and challenging. "This is Jesus. This is the Bible," she says, echoing the tone of the sermons. "This is what it says. Take it or leave it."

American Dream
Chi Alpha presented the "American Dream," where attendees learned that the American Dream isn't all it seems to be.

Kathryn Tetley, a sociology major and junior from the University of Missouri, says God is teaching her about the different ways and opportunities she can serve.

"God's really been testing me on what I am willing to do and what I am going to do," she says.

Eurasia Representative and Vice President of Global Teen Challenge Kevin Tyler says he loves watching the students accept the baton being passed down to them.

"This is the generation that is going to get it done," he says about the students. "You can tell that God is at work."

Authors: Melanie Lynch

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