My name is Tom Denlinger and I am co-founder and Ministry Director of LightShine Ministries. I grew up in a Bible church in Pennsylvania who supported missionaries in Alaska. When I was a teen, God gave me a vision for working with the people there and years later my family and I made our first trip. Since that time we have taken many people to Alaska to help ministries there achieve their goals in reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe our ministry is important not only to those we serve in Alaska but also to those we bring to Alaska. Our past team members have learned the thrill of serving people. This is what Paul taught in Galatians 6:2:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NKJV
In other words, our sacrifice in serving others is what God wants us to do. And when we love and serve people, Jesus told us that we would be blessed.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13: 14-17 NKJV
Please read on. This is how our ministry works …
PEOPLE … specifically, people who are followers of Jesus. The Bible teaches that those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ and have been regenerated by Him are part of His Body which is the church (1 Corinthians 12: 12-19; Romans 12: 4-12). Within the Body are many members which have different functions. All of these members have one goal which is to function within the Body which brings glory to the Head which is Jesus Christ. According to the scripture given above, every member of the Body of Christ has been been given at least one spiritual gift at the point of salvation. Here is more from Ephesians 4, verses 7-8 and 11-13.
“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (vss.7-8).
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (vss.11-13)
Here are some serious questions for you.
What is the purpose of your life?
Have you given yourself to following Jesus? If so, what are you doing for Him?
Are you actively involved in doing works of service in the Body of Christ?
I guarantee you that God has a specific place and purpose for your life and I want to encourage you to seek God in finding out what that is.
PRAYER and Bible Study… is our connection with God. Please pray for us that God would give us wisdom as He did to Solomon. Pray that God would grant us safety in building Bible camps and churches in Alaska.
PROVISION … Every time we run a trip, our team members must raise the money needed to pay their expenses. Transportation and food are the two primary costs. Many times LightShine Ministries also purchases or rents tools and purchases building materials and supplies to do the job. Of course there are administrative costs and ministry expenses in planning these excursions and preparing the team to do the work. The cost of every trip is determined by us to cover all expenses.
Remember, we are giving our time to other parts of the Body of Christ in order to build their ministry to the people in the specific place. These trips are not a vacation for our team members. They work! Believe me. Ask someone who has gone with us before. So when people give to send them to do a specific job, they are giving to God’s work in other parts of the world.
We are a ministry that serves local churches in remote areas by helping them build camps to minister to their people. Our calling is unique. Men and women who do not feel gifted to preach or start churches have been encouraged throughout the years by using their hands to serve the Lord by working with us. We make it our goal not only to minister to the church we are serving but also to encourage our team members as well.