One of the things that makes Messiah Lifeways unique is its exceptional team members who live out our core values both on and off the clock. Each year, Mel Miller, Director of Construction Services, donates his time and talents by joining a team of people on a service trip to Alaska through LightShine Ministries. The groups go to some of the most rural areas of Alaska and help build youth ministry summer camps, work on drug and alcohol rehab centers, help native communities, volunteer with the World Eskimo & Indian Olympics, and more.
Mel recalls a story from one of his trips he will never forget. In 2015, Mel and his team were working at Globe Creek Camp, a Christian ministry camp one hour north of Fairbanks in the interior of Alaska, when smoke began to fill the air. Miles from cell service, a few members of the team drove nine miles to the top of a mountain where there was cell service to alert someone that a wildfire had started. On their way back to the camp, a fire marshall told them they couldn’t drive back because the fire was too strong and dangerous. Unwilling to abandon their teammates and explaining that there were others at the camp, the fire marshall told them to proceed. When they arrived, all 10 team members were there in a circle, holding hands and praying. They knew their teammates were in trouble and the fire was spreading quickly, but thankfully they were all able to escape to safety.
After firefighters arrived to protect the camp, they returned the next day. The fire raged on for weeks. Amazingly, 32,000 acres around the camp had burned, but the camp itself remained completely intact. It seemed as if God had preserved those 40 acres so that all of their hard work escaped unscathed.
We are tremendously blessed to have team members like Mel who act courageously, live responsibly, and love generously on a daily basis. If you’re interested in volunteering with LightShine Ministries, visit lightshineministries.org or join the group for their monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at Manheim Brethren in Christ Church in Mount Joy.