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My first missions trip to Alaska took place on May 27th 2019.
I flew into the Fairbanks Alaska airport getting there at about 5:30 am, rented a car and started to explore Fairbanks.
My first goal was to verify in person the differences in prices from where I live to there.
My first stop was a Walmart in Fairbanks where I also learned that gas was about $ 1.00 more a gallon there than at home.
As I walked through the Walmart looking at items I normally would buy at home, the prices were on average about 30 to 50 cents higher.
Then I stopped by the Fairbanks Rescue Mission and talked to the director and received a tour of the facilites but did not take any pictures or videos.
The tour was very informative and I must say I was impressed.
They have programs in house to help get people back on their feet if they choose to be a part of them.
Then I decided to leave Fairbanks at around 12 noon and start heading towards Delta Junction Alaska.
On the way down the highway I stopped at the town of North Pole Alaska and ate at a McDonalds.
A small double quarter pounder with cheese value meal there was $ 11.22.
Almost $ 3.00 more than back home.
I then made at stop at Santas House.
It was basically a well stocked gift shop for people interested in tree ornaments and such.
The next hour was spent driving towards Delta Junction.
I spent some time looking around Delta Junction which was basically a very small little area on the highway system.
At this point, I knew I was in trouble. I only had about $ 800.00 left and the cost of the motel rooms was going to be more than I had in itself.
In short, I did not have enough money to be able to do everything I wanted to do while there in Alaska.
So , at that point I decided to get done what I needed to get done as fast as I could before I ran out of money.
I drove on down the highway towards Anchorage but decided to stop at Palmer and stay in a small hotel for the night.
The next morning, I started my trip from Palmer to Anchorage.
I stopped at a Bass Pro Shop in Anchorage to check out some boats and prices of camping gear and then headed on into town.
I drove around the city for a little while and stopped at the center park to take some pictures of the Veterans Memorial there.
I then decided to head on down to the Town of Kenai where I hoped I was going to stay the night.
Once I got into the Town of Kenai ( about a 3-4 hour drive ) , I stopped at the Walmart once again to check on prices of camping gear and other items.
What I learned the hard way was my phone basically stopped working after I left Anchorage.
I had cell phone tower coverage from Verizion and only A.T.and T. was covered down there.
I did not have enough money to buy a second phone for emergencies while in that area which ment if I had car trouble or was in a wreck or got hurt, no one would know what was going on.
It also ment I had lost contact with my family back home which was keeping a eye on me just in case I had trouble and I had no way of letting them know I was okay after I left Anchorage.
I stopped at a Real Estate office to see if I could get some help trying to locate some land to look at.
The gentleman I spoke with was very helpful and we took the time to go over all the property that was listed in the whole Kenai Peninsula.
At that time, there was no land to be found that met my needs.
I really wanted to stay in the area for the night and explore some more, but I knew if I did, I would have a very worried grand daughter at home because she had not heard from me.
Also the motels in the area were starting at about $ 150.00 for the night which would have eaten well into my budget , making even one night rough on me for the rest of the trip.
So I decided to head back to Anchorage but before I left I stopped at " Love Inc of Kenai " and made a video of what they do there.
I was very impressed with their set up and they were super nice.
Once I got back into the Anchorage area and could use my phone again, I let my family know I was okay and started looking for a place to stay for the night.
Again, the motels were to expensive and I ended up going back to the motel I stayed at that last night for $ 80.00 a night which was the cheapest I could find in the area.
At this point, I had done everything I had set out to do for the trip.
After a night of rest and some much needed prayer with God, I decided to start making my way back to Fairbanks that day.
At this point I still had 4 days left in my trip.
I had two options.....
1.) I could buy a small tent, sleeping bag and pillow and basically stay in a cheap campground for 4 days doing nothing and going stir crazy
2.) I could go back home early.
I was making the 5 hour drive from Palmer to Fairbanks going past Mount McKinley and stopping to take some videos and pictures along the way.
About 2 hours into that drive, I decided to call Alaska Airlines and try to get a earlier flight back home.
There was one seat left for that night at midnight that basically costs me about $ 500.00 to change to, but that option was cheaper than staying in Alaska for 4 more days so I bought my ticket to leave that night.
I drove back up to the airport, turned my car back in at around 2:00 pm and paid that fee and sat around the airport for the next 10 hours waiting for my return flight back home.
I ended up making it back home in the hole ( negative ) $ 250.00.
God took care of me though and was watching over me the whole time.
He placed 2 people in my life the next day after I got back home who helped me with that $ 250.00 and a huge weight was taken off my shoulders.
At first, I will admit, I felt like a failure.
I was looking at all the things that seemed to be going wrong with the trip, especially the lack of money to get done what I felt like I needed to get done.
After a few weeks I began to understand that that trip taught me exactly what I needed to know.
Firts of all , God was with me, watching over me, taking care of me. I was alone physically but somehow I felt God's presence, His love and a peace kept me focused while I was there to complete the task I needed to complete.
God had choosen for me a almost brand new Toyota Corrola with about 8,000 miles on it that received great gas milage.
That 40 miles to the gallon saved me a lot of money during that trip and most of all it was a very reliable car that was not going to break down on me in the middle of nowhere.
God granted me a safe trip and with the exception of being thrown up on by a air sick little girl as she was running down the airplane isle to try and make it to the bathroom, it was accident free.
I knew , this was not a vacation for me. I was not there to relax and do nothing.
I had a job to do and I got it done.
I praise you Father for watching over me, protecting me and sending people to help me along that trip.
Thank you for my friends and sponsors for coming together at the last moment to help me pay for that trip.
I could not have done it without their help.
God asked them to help me, and they listened and did help, and I am so thankful for that.