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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Winning in the Wilderness

By Ken Horn
Oct. 21, 2012

Alaska is big … really big. Because of this, and its proximity to Russia and Canada, it is home to many people groups and cultures.

I recently joined Assemblies of God Executive Presbyter John Maracle, who also serves as president of the AG’s Native American Fellowship, for a couple of weeks in the Last Frontier, visiting some exceptional ministries with proven track records.

Two of these were wilderness camps ministering effectively to two different people groups.

The first camp is called Agaiutim Nune (Camp AN for short). Named by a native pastor, these are Yup’ik Eskimo words that mean “the place of God.”

The concept of a no-frills wilderness camp for native children evolved from several realizations. District camps were too expensive and distant for most villagers. Even if they attended, they would easily feel out of place. Camp AN does its best to emphasize native culture and lifestyle.

Life in the villages is difficult. Conditions can be harsh.

The Yup’ik people of western Alaska rely on fish to survive. With low salmon runs in recent years, the high cost of living in remote villages, and limited employment opportunities, the Lower Yukon region has been considered an economic disaster zone.

These villages, like those inhabited by Native American Athabascans (those featured in our second report, on Camp Nahshii), face high rates of suicide, domestic violence and alcohol abuse.

They need the hope these camps bring them.

BGMC and Speed the Light equipment, and Light for the Lost materials, dot the campgrounds.

Each year at Camp AN, three sessions are held in three-week blocks — Kids Camp and Teen Camp, followed by a unique combination. A family camp and an in-depth teen discipleship camp are held during the same three weeks, meeting separately except for evening services.

On the final Sunday, a grand finale is held with all the churches of the Yukon Delta invited.

We arrived during the Kids Camp, where David Boyd, national BGMC director, was the guest speaker.

His report begins on page 6, followed by my report on Camp Nahshii.

Ken Horn

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