In February 2022, the annual Arctic Camp Meeting launched throughout rural Alaska. Alaska Conference staff and guests traveled to villages such as Bethel, Utqiagvik and Dillingham to enjoy this very special time of year.
In March, Tandi Perkins, development director, and Brenda Campbell-Johnson, communications director, had the opportunity to worship with members of the Dillingham and Togiak churches for their combined camp meeting.
Friday evening, March 11, began with a Singspiration gathering, a special occasion in the Alaska Native culture. Singspiration is a time of song and testimony where people lift each other up through sharing their personal struggles and triumphs. Songs of praise were sung in both the English and Yupik languages, and a message was given by speaker Monte Church, former North Pacific Union Native ministries director.
While the Dillingham and Togiak churches are small in membership, they are rich in genuine connection and love for Jesus. Led by Todd Parker, pastor, and wife Eugina Parker, visitors witness their warmth and caring for the people and community they serve. Parker regularly makes the 35-minute trip by plane to Togiak village to minister to faithful members while Eugina shares her talents by supporting the church and school. Arctic Mission Adventure is blessed to have a dedicated couple who demonstrates the “hands and feet of Jesus” in their daily walk.
Yet, God was not done blessing the community for its faithfulness. Students, staff and parents from Mount Pisgah Academy in North Carolina chose to come to Dillingham for their spring break trip. The group of 26 traveled to the village at the edge of Bristol Bay to support the school and community. The group presented a Jasper Canyon Vacation Bible School for children. More than 30 kids attended, and most were not Adventists.
The Mount Pisgah group also shared their construction talents to complete school repairs and paint the gym. By God’s grace, when head teacher Sueal Cunningham discovered the boiler in the school wasn’t working — with the weather at 19 degrees — a volunteer was able to get the heat working.
The Dillingham Church enjoyed the spirit of the Mount Pisgah staff, students and parents. Church members and members of the community worked together to arrange for the visitors to enjoy snowmobiling, sledding, supper and a bonfire. The evening ended with worship shared by Scottie Deal, a pastor from the Carolina Conference. God blessed the group’s interactions, and now two Dillingham youth are interested in attending Mount Pisgah Academy.