34 Miles From Russia

Because of you and your generous financial gifts during 2020, the Arctic Mission Adventure ministry was able to weather the financial challenges of COVID-19! Without your support, AMA workers like Yupik pastor Petu Koonooka, who lives on the western tip of St. Lawrence Island in the village of Gambell, would not be able to minister to the people in this small village. Learn more as Koonooka shares an amazing story of how God used him to teach the Gospel of Christ 34 miles from Russia.

We have videos we show on Wednesdays, Sabbath and Sunday evenings. We were watching Amazing Fact’s Revelation Now series. Last night before the meeting, I was compelled to pray. It was like God said, "Petu, talk to me!" So, I prayed about the study we were about to have and asked Him to use me to show Him and to reveal who is being convicted to be baptized. I asked for His leading and guidance.

The meeting started. As the video presentation began, I realized I had mistakenly picked one we had already watched, so I had to look for what was next. It turns out we had skipped Doug Batchelor’s talk about baptism.

The meeting started out with one more person than usual. We had a total of 12 participants. While the video was playing, I ran to the parsonage to staple the guide on baptism and get the decision cards.

But you must know this first. It was bingo night, the first bingo the village had done in many months. Four of the participants who came were big bingo fans, but they decided to come watch and study about God instead of going to play bingo! No wonder God said to me, "Pray and talk to Me."

We passed out the decision cards. Five individuals marked they wanted baptism, and one wanted to be rebaptized.

Skipping an episode was not a mistake after all. God’s work and guiding made sure we watch the right video. It was all prepared by God. He made sure I was ready by telling me to talk to Him. Our God leads, brothers and sisters.

Now I ask for your prayers that the individuals stay convicted by the Holy Spirit to make preparation for their baptism. I want to say the right words and do His bidding again and again. Satan is working because he knows he doesn’t have much time left, but God is working even harder to present Himself to our friends in Gambell to prepare them for His Second Coming. Please pray for our village and church in Gambell. In Jesus' name, amen.

Hear directly from an Arctic Mission Adventure volutneer.

Originally printed in Native Ministries NW Newsletter, 2021 first quarter