"One Woman's Journey," part #2

Tags: SEND North, Story

(The following is the second in a four part series. A member of the SEND North team shares her perspective on the path into missions which God has led her on, from child to church planter.)

I Need Thee Every Hour

 I entered the dark yellow and red Cessna 180 donning a light jacket, thin gloves and cheap boots—hoping this was enough to brave the  forty below temps.

 Before entering the plane we said goodbye to the couple serving in this western Alaskan village—people we now call mentors and friends.

 Our pilot wore a raccoon-style winter hat and smile on his face. It took only a few seconds to realize this man enjoyed laughter.

 After a 30 minute flight and a strenuous snow-go trip to the house with toes and fingers numb—I realized my attire wasn’t adequate for this unusual bitter, sharp cold.

 I met the pilot’s wife who immediately showed me to the woodstove with zeal—instinctively knowing the searing icy pains that pricked my now numb body.

 I’m sure she’s familiar with the ignorance of first-time bush visitors.

 We spent only a few days with the church planting couple in this remote village—enough time to see the work God had done through them.

 I like this couple.

 Months later we find ourselves in a village nearby—larger in size and more diverse in its mix of outsiders and native peoples.

 Our barn-like roofed home housed several animals before our arrival, be it dog or cat. Familiarity was gone with most white folks “outside” for the summer. We cleaned our fur-infested and damp, stale-smelling home for weeks before it was livable.

 With the five-mile races and kid's activities accompanying our first 4th of July in the village, we met many villagers who were used to seeing strange faces come and go.

 This couple will be like any other white outsider—the adventure is fun for a while but they always, eventually leave.

 Forcing ourselves out of our comfort zones was hard in this diverse village. Rather than being submerged in native culture we found ourselves spending more time in church activity and white-busyness.

 The desire in our hearts grew each day and week—a desire to be immersed in the flood of native culture.

 To go where there are no witnesses for Christ—to go where His Name isn’t elevated and worshipped.

 Two years later God confirmed our calling to live among the lost in the remotest of the bush villages.

 Friends made and friends kept—we were blessed in this community.

 Yet we anxiously await the time when the Lord opens up doors and we find ourselves sharing the Gospel with the isolated sheep of Alaska in the far North.

 This we know moving forward: We need Thee every hour.