The overwhelming message from the Alaska church planters at the Heartland National Church Planting Conference was that God’s people 1) Pray for Alaska and 2) Go to Alaska. Prayer and laborers are the greatest needs, according to the men who have learned how to live off the land and have raised their families in remote Alaskan villages.
This Summer we are taking a small group of the Teens of Faith up to Unalakleet, Alaska to visit a long-time missionary named Pat McCoy and his wife and son. The McCoys have hosted one or two groups every Summer for several years and are eager and excited to host our group. They and the villagers are often starved for fellowship because of so few connections to the “lower 48.” Our time on the missions trip will be spent ministering as best as we can, and gaining a burden for this needy field. This is not a sight-seeing trip nor is it a vacation, so we are only taking those teens who are serious about going and who will put in the preparation that is asked of them.
Last night in the Teens of Faith we detailed our expectations for them for the next several months. The requirements include much of what they have already been faithful at already – daily devotions, weekly Wednesday night meetings and monthly Saturation Saturdays. Requirement sheets will be filled out weekly as we track their progress on a points-based system. As long as they maintain a certain average, they will be able to go at a dramatically reduced rate (rate depends on how many people go). A more firm decision will be made mid-March as we see who is committed, and a final decision will be made early April.
The most important areas to earn points are as follows:
- Daily devotions
- Weekly Wednesday night meetings
- Monthly Saturation Saturday
Smaller point totals and bonus points are given for bringing guests, bringing your Bible to church, and additional Saturday door-knocking, but the easiest way to maintain the average points will be just to stay faithful in devotions and church.
The following are the meeting notes that we handed out:
We leave Monday, July 29 and return Tuesday, August 6. We will most likely stay the first night in a church in Anchorage, Alaska, and then head into our missionary on Tuesday, July 30.
Unalakleet, AK. A large village (compared to others) of about 700 people—mostly native Inuit people.
All Teens of Faith. We will be staying with Missionary Pat McCoy and his family. The men will stay in separate bunk-rooms from the ladies.
This is a missions trip. We will be helping a veteran missionary as we minister through Bible School for the village kids, outreach, and church services on Sunday. The people and the missionaries love to have guests from “the lower 48,” and a lot of what we will do is simply fellowship and help them reach their village.
We don’t know the full schedule yet, but according to Bro. McCoy, here’s what typical church groups have done before:
- Day 1 – settle in
- Day 2 – visits, flyers
- Day 3-5 – Kids Bible School program
- Day 6 – Church
Depending on the travel dates, these events might change a little, but this is basically what we’ll be doing. We will probably be exposed to families wrecked by alcohol addictions, drugs, suicides, and more.
See weekly sheets. Daily BIBS, weekly sheets, and monthly door-knocking will be required in order to go. By April we will know the final numbers of those who are committed to going (based on the weekly checkup sheets.)
For those who are not able to maintain the minimum average number of points, you will be able to purchase your trip for about $1,400. More firm numbers will be given mid-March after we have had several weeks (after tonight) to determine how many will be committing to the weekly assignments.
Parents going will need to pay the full $1,400 before April 1. Teens who meet the daily, weekly and monthly requirements will most likely go for free, depending on our mid-March numbers. Costs mentioned are all-inclusive, including food, lodging and airfare.
Bro. Ryan and Mrs. Jamie
The following is the requirement sheet that the teens will fill out weekly. The sheet on the last Wednesday of each month will include their involvement in Saturation Saturday (or one Saturday door-knocking per month), as well.