2012

In 2012 we had the privilege of assisting H.O.P.E. in Alaska Ministry with a first-ever youth camp for the villages surrounding Bethel. The camp consisted of a week-long introduction to the Hope that is found in Christ. This was a unique opportunity for many of the youth to be removed from the hardships of village life while experiencing love and hearing about Christ. We were able to incorporate many native activities into the camp schedule. This allowed the natives’ misconception that Christ is opposed to their culture, to be overcome. We were able to take the youth subsistence fishing, cut fish, build a fish rack for drying fish, sew fur, and cook several native dishes--all while building relationships and sharing the love of Jesus. We broke into small groups every day after breakfast and had a devotional time in which students were able to share some life experiences. We, as staff, were able to listen and minister quietly with a listening ear. Many of these youth get little or no attention at home and very few have any idea what unconditional love means. It is through these camps that they are able to experience Christ’s love through us. By the end of the week many were open to hearing about Christ and 80% made a commitment to take the Hope that they found in camp home with them.

 

2011

In 2009 the team began work on the fence around the graveyard in the village of Napakiak. During the 2011 trip the team completed the work started in 2009. Throughout the week it was our plan to hold evening services at the local church in Napakiak. However God had a different. His plan was for us to not hold services for the village but to minister to the children of the village. Towards the end of the week we held two mini VBS sessions for the kids, which consisted of songs, testimonies, skits; and the opportunity to pray with each and every child individually. God moved in a powerful way and is continuing to do so.

 

2010

The purpose of the 2010 trip was to reach out to the villages along the Kuskokwim River through a basketball tournament. Being that basketball is such a popular sport in the Bethel area it drew the attention of many youth as well as their parents. The tournament was held in the village of Napakiak where the previous year the team started rebuilding the fence around the cemetery. In between games, team members gave their testimonies and performed human videos displaying the love of Jesus. A prayer tent was also available for anyone requesting prayer. The Book of Hope and bags of rice were again distributed in fish camps while team members prayed with the people.

 

2009

The purpose of this trip was inspired during the 2008 trip. While at the local store, one team member noticed a glass jar at the checkout counter with a little note saying the locals were collecting donations in order to rebuild the cemetery fence. There was discussion of how we could bless the people of the village by doing a service project--purchase and put up the fence ourselves for them. We did just that as well as held a VBS for the children at the church. We also visited fish camps where the Book of Hope and bags of rice were handed out. At several fish camps, there were several people who remembered some of the returning team members from the previous year and shared updates of prayer requests from the previous year as well as new ones. At the conclusion of the week, the village hosted a celebration potluck in appreciate of the fence. Along with our team being presented a bottle of seal oil, the village chief shared with us what the fence project meant to him. "When I look at this fence, it makes my heart smile. It will also make the heart of my people smile. Little did we know how much of a ripple effect that fence project would have and the doors that would be opened by it and continue to be opened by it.

 

2008

The purpose of this trip was for the team (comprised of youth and adult leaders) to build up and encourage Bethel Assembly of God’s youth group. A basketball tournament was held in Bethel for the youth of Bethel and the surrounding villages. Between games, testimonies were given from team members and human videos were performed proclaiming the saving hope that is in Jesus Christ. Services were held in the evening for the community with an emphasis on the youth of Bethel. Fish camps were visited where the Book of Hope and bags of rice were handed out while team members prayed with the people.