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Aldersgate United Methodist Church

Serving In Alaska
July 20, 2019
Community: Fairbanks
Partner: Corinthian Baptist Church
Staff: Mel Frecceiro (Trollman), Joshua Scott, Daniel Gallahorn, Kayla Parmley

Welcome to Alaska!

by Mel Trollman | July 24, 2019 2:56 AM

We arrived in Anchorage safe and sound. After eating dinner at a local restaurant called Arctic Roadrunner, we headed to the downtown area to shop and explore for an hour. Many of us found the items we were looking for right away! It felt good to eat and stretch out a bit after a long day of travel.

We then headed North about 45 minutes to Wasilla. We spent the night at a church there where another PPM team is serving this week. They knew we had an early travel day the next morning and needed to go right to bed, so they actually blew up spare air mattresses and had our lodging area all set up for us! What a nice way to be welcomed to Alaska!

Welcome to Alaska!

Roadtrip to Fairbanks

by Mel Trollman | July 24, 2019 3:03 AM

We ate a 5am breakfast (don't worry, our bodies tricked us into thinking it was 9am) and loaded the trailer with our luggage. Off we went, a 6.5 hour drive with all our stops. The ride to Fairbanks was incredible, with lush vegetation, fields of purple fireweed flowers, and the rugged Denali National Park to observe out our windows. The views were no less than breathtaking! We also made some strategic stops to stretch, take care of business, and of course eat a second breakfast! (Or was it an elevensie?)

Roadtrip to Fairbanks

Moose Stop!

by Mel Trollman | July 24, 2019 3:06 AM

We of course had to pull over and gawk at the local wildlife. This was a mama moose we encountered on the drive North, and do you see her calf standing beside her in the bush?
Moose Stop!

Meeting Our Leadership

by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 2:21 AM

After arriving and settling in, we had a brief meeting with Adam and PPM staff, chatting about the week ahead, guidelines and the God moments we should be looking out for throughout our week. 

Then Pastor Tillary and a woman from the church named Dorthy met with us to share about the church, the community and general Fairbanks area. They and numerous others from the church are incredibly hospitable, rolling out the welcome wagon, providing us with fresh towels, ice and cooking each night of VBS. We have felt so loved on from the moment we arrived!

Meeting Our Leadership

First Night of VBS

by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 2:28 AM

We had enough time after arriving on Tuesday to prep for our first night of VBS. Our team divided up in groups to lead different stations and other elements of VBS. Pastor Chris in particular took on the task of acting in the skits as Ranger Chris from the Safari with his puppet animal friend, Elvis.
First Night of VBS

Paint Prep

by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 6:51 AM

We spent a large portion of our first day prepping the sanctuary for the painting we will be doing. In this picture you can see one of the PPM staff members sharing with our team all the varying tasks to get started. We moved heavy benches to one side of the room, moved chairs and all other smaller items out, and covered doors, windows and so one with plastic. We made really good headway!
Paint Prep

Food Prep

by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 11:19 PM

We've been taking turns helping out in the kitchen with cooking, food prep and cleanup. In this photo we are making a Mexican Lasagna. We're all giggling at the funny slurp sound the cheese mixture was making.

Food Prep

Visitor's Center

by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 11:27 PM

We went with our new friend Dorthy to the Fairbanks Visitor's Center. She introduced us to a lady named Dixie who was an old student of hers. One of the many things Dixie is known for is that she created a traditional fur parka that is on display at the Smithsonian Museum! We saw a photo of it at the center.

Visitor's Center


by Mel Trollman | July 25, 2019 11:35 PM

The Visitor's Center has a beautiful museum inside. The main room has a cabin with a surrounding diorama that shows the local wildlife. There is also an actual size section of the Alaska pipeline, samples of beautiful Alaska Native artwork and many other cool items on display that show off the local cultures.

Group Photo

by Mel Trollman | July 26, 2019 3:02 AM

We were all hanging out in the parking lot chatting with Pastor Tillary and Dorthy. It seemed like a good time for a group photo. And notice the tall church roof! That is what we are painting on the inside of the building. Wow!

Group Photo

Making Friends

by Mel Trollman | July 26, 2019 3:08 AM

One of the unique things about our VBS skits is that we have a mini host, Elvis the Elephant. Elvis shares a lot of back and forth dialogue with Pastor Chris.

We've started to notice the kiddos are attaching themselves to different members of our group. Mia is one of our group who seems to be a kid magnet!

Making Friends


by Mel Trollman | July 26, 2019 3:13 AM

Dancing is a big part of our VBS program. We have numerous songs with motions that we all like to dance along with. Even the adults and parents get involved!

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Tracey Schaaf

July 26, 2019 12:16 PM

In my thoughts and prayers! Enjoy and safe travels!

Chris Ruggiero

July 25, 2019 6:58 AM

Can you post pictures of faces not just the back of everyone’s heads? Also every pic they are sitting. Lol

Vivian Gaz

July 21, 2019 7:21 PM

Dave and I want to wish the team safe travels as they depart enroute to Alaska. Our prayers will be with you as you serve the Lord this week!

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