Chris and Kotya have an older empty house that came with the property that they purchased to build their own home on, that is where we slept while out there. We were so comfortable we could have spent the whole summer out there, well at least I could have. :-)
One of the highlights of this trip for me happened on Sunday. Aleknagik has been without a regular pastor for many years but last winter they had the blessing of someone preaching regularly all winter. (Sorry can't remember his name.) He went to Bethel for the summer, perhaps to fish? Anyway, I asked Kotya, "Will there be church tomorrow?" "No, because we don't have a pastor this summer. If there is church, the bell will ring." How cool is that?
Early Sunday morning Doug and I got up and went out to walk up to the airfield, and check out a bit more of the village. As we were walking down to the dock area the church bell began to ring! We stopped, listened, and then walked back up towards the church where we met Joe-Joe for the first time. "Is there going to be church this morning?" "If people show up, I guess we can always worship," Joe-Joe replied. Cool!
We all ended up in church together that morning because after Joe-Joe finished teaching Sunday School to the children, one of them ran to the bell and rang it before he could stop her. "I was not expecting to lead church today, the kid that rang the bell got me into a position I didn't really want to be in." We laughed. There was about thirteen of us there that morning. We sang, heard a special from Kay and heard testimonies. It was all such a blessing to me.
Joe-Joe's testimony of being pulled out of alcoholism when he was saved encouraged my heart. He spoke so well of his love for God. He said that one day he ran out of gas and the Pastor was going by and stopped to help him. His heart was touched by his care for him, which he felt he did not deserve. Shortly after that he repented of the way he had spent his life and made a turn around. He read the Bible and from his talk/testimony I could hear the salt of God's word. "God came and shined a light in the dark place where I was and He saved me." I am so thankful for the fellowship of other Believer's wherever we go.
God redeems those willing to see sin as sin; turning away from sin and daily living life challenged by the life-changing Word of God. When His Word is shined into our dark lives it is filled with Light. There is joy and peace in abundance for those that will see themselves as they are - the lost, the needy, those who Christ lovingly paid the blood price to win back from the bondage of sin. There is no other way to God the Father that God will accept - except for the gift that our True Friend came along side us to give by dying and rising again.
Pray for Joe-Joe and for the believers in Aleknagik, for we have a powerful enemy that skulks around looking for ways to dim the Light that shines, making it of little effect to those still lost in darkness. And wherever you are Believer... shine brightly, for you have been given the Words of Life Eternal! Keep getting together Aleknagik Christian's, and keep encouraging each other to stand firm until He returns.
But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Do no err, my beloved brethren." James 1:14, 15, 16.