Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 4, 2021

Behind the Scenes in Alaska

Anchorage is a long way from Houston. However, like the Bayou City, Anchorage is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the nation. Beyond the diversity of the indigenous population, Alaska is home to peoples from all over the world. They are here along with their respective heart languages and world views.

Alaska is home to some great churches but is the least church-attending state in the Union. And sadly, this beautiful land of the midnight sun has the highest rate of suicide per capita in the country — nearly twice the national average. Suicide is the leading cause of death here for people ages 15 to 24. There is much need here.

To help ensure that both those who move to or already live in Alaska have an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus, Kingsland’s missions ministry entered into a strategic partnership with GraceWorks Alaska in 2015. Founded by my friend Scott Kirby, this ministry hosts mission volunteers to work directly with non-churched children and their families.

Managing and moving so many volunteers from Point A to Point B is no easy task and one that requires a lot of vehicles. And GraceWorks has a lot of vehicles that get a pretty tough workout on Alaskan roads.

Every year, before the volunteers begin to arrive, GraceWorks must ensure that all of their vehicles are in good repair. That’s where we come in. Our missions ministry and men’s ministry work together to mobilize a team annually to service the GraceWorks fleet — doing tune-ups, oil changes, and some vehicle-specific maintenance.

Servicing vehicles is a behind-the-scenes but necessary part of what it takes to advance God’s purposes in the biggest state in America. What we do helps ensure that those who come to serve with GraceWorks have safe and reliable transportation to make it to and from their respective ministry sites.

With more than 30 vehicles in their fleet, ours is one of two teams who have committed to the important task of caring for the GraceWorks vehicles. We tag team to make sure that every service item is addressed over the span of two weeks. The work has its surprises and challenges but is always fulfilling.

We begin our day with team devotions and then head to the garage after breakfast. We spend long days crawling under vehicles, bent over under hoods, making supply runs to the local auto parts store, and addressing vehicle-specific repairs. It’s always cold in the garage but the thought of making it possible for volunteers to advance God’s purposes in Anchorage and beyond warms our hearts.

Sometimes being the hands of Jesus means grabbing a wrench and crawling under a vehicle on a cold garage floor. This is all about more than tune-ups and oil changes. Ultimately it’s about advancing God’s purposes and making Jesus known in a place blessed with breath-taking natural beauty. I am grateful for our team and our partnership with GraceWorks Alaska.


  1. I’m blessed by how you all use your gifts and talents for the LORD, as you faithfully serve others. I’d really like to share one of your stories on my Holiding His Hand blog site. Please pray about it and let me know. The blog site is Thank you and God bless!

    • Thanks so much for your readership. Yes, feel free to share or repost any of my blogs on your site. I will follow your link.

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