Tok Members Hear the Clarion Call of Christian Education

For years members of the Tok Church in eastern Alaska searched for avenues in their quest for a church school. In 2010, after reading a book on Madison College and using the resources available, a plan was formulated. When Elias, a fourth-grade church member, heard Francine Lee, who felt strongly that a school was needed, speak of starting a school, he badgered her at every opportunity.

In August 2010, the shoestring venture began in Lee’s home. School was half days, leaving her time to work at her store and the local clinic. Today, the school operates 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., four days a week. The Lees use every room of their home for devotions, science and studies. Even the yard, garden and greenhouse are used. Since that tiny beginning, 19 children have received a Christian education. This year 12 children in grades two through eight and Elias, now a senior, are attending Arctic Light Academy (ALA). Though Lee is the only full-time staff, others assist by grading papers, listening to little ones read or instructing as needed. Several donate financially.

Ellen White’s words in the Advocate dated May 1, 1890, continues to motivate Lee and her husband, Don Jr.: “The destroying angel is about to go forth again, (as in Egypt of old) … Parents, if you wish to save your children … Gather your children into your own houses; … Establish church schools … [E]stablish schools for the children wherever there are churches. Where there are those who assemble to worship God, let there be schools for the children. Work as if you were working for your life, to save children from being drowned in the polluting, corrupting influences of this life.”  

We in Tok have heard the clarion call. As others express an interest in sending their children to ALA, additional space is critically needed. To facilitate this growing enterprise, the Tok Church launched a building project in May 2018 that includes a multipurpose room and space for the school ministry. The addition was closed in before fall temperatures dropped to 20 below zero on Oct. 31. Construction continues inside with the hope and prayer it will be completed by August 2019.

Featured in: January/February 2019