What's Happening?

Life on the road is never boring! Whether it's a birthday party or a fall outing, read these articles to hear about the recent fun the team has been having.

The Inafuku family to Hawaii via SLC

TARGET: HAWAII  |  PREPARATION: UTAH

Inafuku

KEVIN AND MISTY INAFUKU

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Thankful for our friends Kevin and Misty and how the Lord is leading them to Utah.

With a burden for the islands of Hawaii where Kevin was born and raised, God has aligned an opportunity for their family to begin equipping for church planting. In preparation, they will be working with a strategic church planting team in Utah. Their 5 year goal is to learn church planting in SLC...the most unchurched city in America...and then be sent on to multiply churches in Hawaii.

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WATCH HERE...TO LEARN AND SEE MORE ABOUT THE PATH THAT GOD IS LEADING THEM ON!

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PARTNERING

Please consider partnering with them by praying, giving, or joining here.

FOLLOWING

Join them on their journey by following their family blog here.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Year in review | by Anna Grace Galkin

Merry Christmas,

Well, I'm not quite sure what all goes into a Christmas letter, as I've never written one before, but I've been put to the task anyways. So I will try and not be too unorthodox as I attempt to sum up this past summer and semester in the lives of the Galkin family.

After finishing up our 2015 spring traveling semester in Minnesota, and before heading out to Salt Lake City for the summer, my mom and dad celebrated their 15th anniversary by taking an Alaskan cruise! This week long excursion completed my dad being to all 50 states. If I had gone along with them, it would have been my 46th state, but us kids were all at our Grandma Roland’s house in Colorado.

We had a great time with uncle Jonathan and Grandma! We went to an IMAX, did some major garden planting, just hung around and jumped on her famous trampoline!

Before the business of our summer in Salt Lake started, our family took about two days to hike around and have fun at Arches National Park (one of the five national parks in Utah)!

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Living in a house this summer was definitely something different for us, and we got to see God provide for a lot of our desires! When we were first moving in, we were unexpectantly given some couches and a number of small furniture items that ended up being a big blessing.

Staying in one place for nearly 5 months, and in a house with neighbors was, I believe a huge learning step for me and a gift to our family. It brought ministry opportunities that we would never have experienced to the same extent while traveling. We love our neighbors and are excited to see our relationships with them grow! So many different world-views represented just in our little neighborhood.

These past three summers William, Lilly, David, Eliana and I have all been able to be on City Recreational Soccer Leagues! With my dad as my coach and mom shuttling rides and watching games, we have all had some awesome inroads to share the Gospel and develop relationships.

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One of those weeks a Back Yard Bible Cub was stationed at our house, and my mom, along with some other ladies ran it and gave the Gospel to many kids from our neighborhood!

For four weeks out of the summer youth groups from across the USA came to SLC for a week of what is called Plant Camp. They are involved in a lot of city-wide outreaches, sessions, and fun activities many of which my dad is a big part of organizing, and me and my brother William were able to tag along.

Being a part of Gospel Grace Church, we were able to watch a few be baptized and join the community of Christians there. Among them, Lilly and David shared their testimonies and were baptized!

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Near the end of August all our team flew into Salt Lake for a few weeks of team training before we hit the road again! Among the seven team members, came four newbies, Hillary Rankin, Jessica Bowers, and a married couple, Jordan and Shannon Allen! The first few weeks were spent with lots of music practice, team meetings and bonding time… Towards the end of team training, all of the team and a former team member squashed into vehicles alongside tents, gear and food for a twoday camping trip! Besides hiking to an awesome cave, where we found stalactites and a 250ft drop off, we had some great food and time with each other that will long be remembered!

With the start of team training, school also started. I began the ninth grade, William seventh, Lilly sixth, David fourth, and Ellie in first grade.

Our first meeting this fall was at Grace Baptist of Twin Falls Idaho, where my dad grew up. Before we left, we did two things we have never done before. Our entire team along with my Grandma Galkin and uncle kayaked down the Snake River Canyon and explored the rugged western beauty! Then, the next day we ran/walked a 5K Color Run along the canyon rim!

Two weeks later, after going down to a friend's church in Elko, Nevada for a week, we drove to Denver, Colorado. This was my mom’s home church and where my Grandma Roland currently goes. We enjoyed some special time with her and my Uncle Jon.

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Throughout this past semester from out west, to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, and Tennessee, one thing that has been specifically encouraging to me is to see pastors or church members that, by God’s grace, have stayed faithful to their community of believers.

To one who has traveled all her life, seeing those that love the Body of Christ through thick and thin is a great blessing and example!

The Lord has kindly let us see and be a part of His saving-work in quite a few people this fall. He has let us build great relationships with team members, and has helped our family love Him and each other more.

We ended up in Roswell, Georgia for our Thanksgiving/Christmas break and have enjoyed just chilling, getting ready for Christmas and hanging with our cousins, aunt and uncle that live here! While here, Dad was able to fly to Salt Lake for an Enrichment Conference at Gospel Grace for a week, and saw his Mom in Idaho for a couple days. We finished school the 18th, and my dad, who is taking an apologetics class, just finished his last paper due before the break!

Leading up to Christmas, our family has been reading through a devotional, reminding us of the Advent of Christmas- the Coming of Christ. I am reminded that the contents of Luke 2 are a reality. A reality that happened 2000 years ago, that affects my life now, and can give hope to all sinners. Even though I sin constantly, its punishment does not condemn me because of my standing with God through Christ. I am so thankful for this real gift that was given at the birth of Jesus and the eternal value that it has in my own life.

We love you guys, and we are very thankful for all your prayers! We hope you all have a great Christmas!

- Anna Grace Galkin

   

On Water and On Land

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Twin Falls, Idaho

“You guys are spoiled!” This was Will’s comment to the team after taking us kayaking and running a 5k in the same weekend. There is a beautiful canyon in Twin Falls, ID called the Snake River Canyon. On Friday the team grabbed some tandem kayaks and went down the river. We raced, had water battles, had a melodious serenade by Spencer who stood up in his kayak, which of course made him the next target for splashing! Laughter with friends is a gift, and we are thankful that this team is one that laughs together. Once we kayaked up river, we stopped at a rocky shoals area. The water was low enough that we could get out, sit on the dry rocks, and eat the lunches we packed. Exploration after lunch was only natural. So we set off to explore the pools of water, different rocks, and jump-off points that were exposed due to lower water levels. Eventually, we found the perfect spot on the rocks for everyone to do cannonballs off of into the water. Then we made our way back to the kayaks and headed back down the river. The sights of the canyon were beautiful. We were thankful for the opportunity to enjoy another large, yet small piece of God’s amazing creation together.

Saturday morning, we arrived at the rim of Snake River Canyon. We had all signed up to run (or walk) a Color Splash 5k together. According to the man opening the race, this was their “first, annual Color Splash.” A few of the team members shared a chuckle. We each grabbed our allotted color packet, only one, while Will went ahead and asked for extra. Then a pre-race color war erupted among us with laughter! There was one casualty inflicted by Shannon upon the poor, unsuspecting Jessica; as powder flew from every which direction, it traveled along the line of sight and made its way into the eyes! However, in Shannon’s defense it was innocently unintentional. As always, laughter could be heard from everyone in the group. As each team member finished the race, the welcoming party for the remaining members grew until we were larger and cheering more loudly than the workers waiting to throw color on the runners crossing the finish line! We concluded the event with another epic color battle and much laughter: no casualties this time!

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We have tracked many miles since Twin Falls, ID, and our journey is far from over! In the last three weeks, we have traveled over 2,000 miles. We are so thankful for the safety God has given us and never want to take that for granted. We also praise God for these times of fun and laughter, for they are merely extensions of His grace displaying His love and delight in His children. 
 

Camping | The Ultimate Team Bonding

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Words that come to mind when we recall our camping adventure last week:

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This trip was greatly anticipated for months by certain team members and greatly dreaded for months by other team members. It was definitely a comfort stretch for some! As we began packing all of our gear up, we double checked that we had everything that we would need--from toilet paper, to the steaks, to the canoe, to baby wipes, to the guitar. It all went quite smoothly due to everyone pitching in some major help.

We arrived at the campsite on Sunday evening and unpacked, set up camp, and built a fire before the sun set. Shortly after, we broke out the hot dogs, condiments, croissant dough for sliders, Nutella, strawberry jelly, honey, marshmallows, chocolate, Reece's, and graham crackers. We spent the evening laughing, eating, talking, singing, and simply enjoying one another. We turned in somewhat early so that we could be ready for the next full day.

Monday morning came, and most of us woke up to the sounds of a crackling fire and the bustling of breakfast prep. Will and the guys on team joined forces and made everyone coffee, eggs, bacon, and pancakes. No person has had a better breakfast! After clean up, we spent some time as a group together in prayer and meditation on the Word. Thankful for the time we set aside to reflect on Christ, meditate on Scripture, talk about prayer, and pray for each other. After our time of prayer, we all geared up for our hike to "The Cave"! With backpacks full of water, snacks, sweaters, cameras, and one bandaid, we set out on our trek.

Little did we know what we were in for.

As we scaled one of the mountains, the steepness was a challenge for our team. Former team member Matt Reid led the way. At one point of our ascent, it was so steep that some of us were sliding down instead of progessing up. In addition to scrapes, cuts, tears, and fears, all the more present were helping hands, encouraging words, whistles of success, and high-fives of victory as the last of our team members made it to the top of the most challenging section of our hike. A sigh of relief and accomplishment was exhaled by all.

We made our way across the spine of the mountain, yet we had a difficult time trying to figure out where the cave was. Without a map, we were going by verbal directions from previous hikers. After much exploration, Christy and Matt finally found the cave! We all made our way up to where they had discovered its mouth and began to make our way, one-by-one, into the cold and dark center of the mountain. Thank goodness for flashlights and headlamps! We explored every crevice, hole, and tunnel. The hike down was obviously easier, and we all arrive back at the campsite with only a few scrapes, cuts, and bruises. Praise the Lord for the safety that He gave us! A five hour hike would make anyone hungry. Steak time! We had a gourmet meal of marinaded meat, corn on the cob, fried potatoe slices, soda, and chips. We all were WELL taken care of!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of canoeing on the lake, playing card games, sitting around the fire, following a herd of sheep, and fellowshipping with one another. We ate a leftover and "whatever-you-want-to-roast-over-the-fire" kind of dinner; played our own version of Mafia; sang songs around the campfire, and hurriedly packed everything up because we heard the storm rolling in. It rained and poured throughout the night, but no one blew away, and all tents stayed intact. The rain held off just long enough for us to cook a solid breakfast (what's better than more eggs, left-over steak, bacon, and pancakes?) before we had to pack everything away in the vehicles. With all of the able hands available, we packed up our entire campsite and were headed back to Salt Lake City within roughly an hour's time!

A quick stop at Starbucks made the rain and wetness much more bearable AND memorable. We unpacked and cleaned everything off in the rain once we arrive back in SLC. A shower, a cup of hot coffee, and a cozy evening was in order that evening.

And thus ended our incredible camping trip! Looking back, we all learned things about ourselves, about each other, and truly enjoyed being together even when the adventuring became pretty crazy. We are thankful to be back and now focus on getting ready for heading out to our first church to serve with. Praise the Lord for times of rest, investment, focus, and fellowship with one another.

It was voted that camping should be put on the calendar as an annual team activity!

   

Farewells and "See You Later"s

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Spring Summary + Summer Plans

What an incredible spring semester! I think we would all agree--it flew by so quickly. We will greatly miss those who are officially departing from our team, but we look forward with anticipation and excitement as we see God directing their steps and guiding them to the next chapters in their lives. Below are short summaries of what each team member will be doing this summer...and some beyond.

JESSICA GARRISON has traveled with us for two years. She has had a valuable role on team as the music coordinator: she arranged music, had a huge part in producing our latest CD “Each Day I Live”, and led music practices. She also taught piano lessons to the Galkin girls, Anna Grace, Lilly, and Elli. We will miss her piano playing, singing, and fabulous accordion skills! As a team, we really appreciate her joyful spirit, bubbly personality, and love for the Lord, others, and life itself. She is a joy to be around. This summer, Jessica will be planning for her upcoming wedding on August 15th to John Moon and will also spend a month in Salt Lake City helping with Plant Camp. Once she and John get married, they will become permanent residents in SLC and immerse themselves in the people of the city and the work of the Lord in Gospel Grace Church.

JOHN MOON is going to be greatly missed on team. We have really appreciated his hard work ethic, his love for the teens, and his desire to serve. He is probably one of the most disciplined team members, which has been an inspiring challenge to all those around him. John is finishing up his 4th full year with us. Some of his many responsibilities included teaching teen pre-services, planning for Plant Camp, and playing many of the following string instruments: guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and a little bit of banjo--none of which he was proficient in when he first began traveling on team! He is moving out to Salt Lake City this summer to begin working with State Farm, while also being a vital part of Plant Camp. He and Jessica are to be married at the end of the summer, after which he will continue his full time job, be an intern at Gospel Grace Church, and pursue a seminary degree.

AARON BOYCE is also moving out to Salt Lake City this summer where he will be helping with Plant Camp. After the summer, he hopes to find a job in the area while also interning at Gospel Grace Church. He is praying that through this opportunity, the Lord will show him how he could best serve in future church planting endeavors. Aaron has traveled with the Galkins for 2 years and has acted as Will’s personal assistant. He has been an invaluable asset by taking care of scheduling, planning of events, leading worship, playing the double bass, and singing. We greatly appreciate his attention to detail and his desire to serve others before himself.

JONATHAN BAKER has been a wonderful part of team life these past 3 years. He is a peacemaker, always has a listening ear, and has a willing, servant's spirit. It has been a blessing to see God get a hold of his heart and teach him foundational truths about grace and his position in Christ. Jonathan took care of all audio/visual and technology needs and could help in any technological situation. It was often, "Baker to the rescue!" He is moving to Wisconsin in May where he will be starting a new job, serving at Brookside Baptist Church. Jonathan will be getting married on August 8th to Lauren Samuels. We are looking forward to seeing how the Lord uses this couple in a local church context.

JILLIAN BLACKWELL has traveled for one year on team. She took care of the ministry resources and ran the online store. In addition, she had a huge part in singing and playing the flute and penny whistles for services. She is marrying Gabriel Josey On May 25th, just two weeks after the team goes their separate ways. They will live in Louisville, Kentucky, where Gabriel is pursuing graduate work. Jillian has a job lined up for the summer with possible teaching opportunities available for the fall. We are thankful for the year that God allowed Jillian to serve on team and for us to have seen the Lord work in her life.

DANIEL MULDER has traveled on team for a year and a half. This summer, he will be in Salt Lake City serving as an intern at Gospel Grace Church and assisting in the Plant Camps that will be taking place in June. In August, he will join back up with the team to begin preparing for the fall travels.

SPENCER SHELBURNE has traveled for a whole year so far and will also join back up with the team in Salt Lake City in August. For the summer months, Spencer will be serving at Camp Calvary in Pennsylvania as a staffer.

BETHANY WESCOTT has officially finished her first semester on team! For the summer months, before she also heads to Salt Lake City to meet back up with the team, she plans to work and to spend time with family and friends in North Carolina.

The GALKIN family and their little dog Snickers will be in Salt Lake City for the summer months as they continue investing in the community around them, serving at Gospel Grace Church, and having a big part in Plant Camp.

Stay tuned to hear more about the team and the upcoming changes that will be taking place in the near future. We are beyond excited for the new team members who will be joining us come August and look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store!
 

Spring Newsletter

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Click here to Download our Spring Newsletter

   

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