North of the Arctic Circle nestled in the upper Kobuk River Valley is the Native village of Shungnak. Where hunting, fishing and living off the land is a necessity. Life in the villages is quite different from the city, suburbs or even small towns, here in Alaska. Literally everyone knows each other and often they are related.
The Shungnak Adventist Mission hosted Tobin Dodge, Delta Junction and North Pole churches pastor, for a 10-day evangelistic series in September. With his wife, Virlyn, and their six children, Dodge brought a special focus on family issues and relationships and offered ways to break Satan’s bonds.
Nature threw a curveball as a wave of caribou migrated over nearby Brooks Range. When the caribou migrate, the locals go hunting. Despite this interruption, several community members attended the meetings, along with up to 20 children each night.
Each evening began with a soup supper and joint meeting for adults and children during which Dodge described various character traits by comparing them to different types of animals. Then the children got to enjoy their own special program while the adults continued to learn more about practical and direct information about family life. Each nightly topic was focused on family related issues: from how to have good relationships, family/parenting improvements, avoiding addictions, considering better health choices, and several more…
Shungnak has a rich history of ministry, with a steady Adventist presence there for many years. While they looked forward to seeing their own home, the Dodge family felt the pull of heart strings as they boarded the plane to leave. They took with them the bonds of friendship they forged with both their missionary hosts and new friends in the village.
They met great people and experienced a new way of sharing Jesus. Each day was a variety of visiting, helping with different work projects, playing games & sledding with the village children and holding nightly meetings.
Even though it was a good adventure, the enemy was actively trying to keep people from being able to attend. However, this was the beginning a new direction in evangelistic endeavors in the villages. We ask for your prayers and support as we expand the reach of the Adventist message and ministry in the villages of Arctic Mission & to God be the Glory!