Alaska 2006

Alaska, Mentasta Village Report June 2006
Mentasta Camp-Youth Hike Up Mountain
Our time in the Athabascan village of Mentasta, in interior Alaska, was amazing! Our friends Howard and Yvonne Echohawk have been going to this village for nearly twenty years serving the youth and people of the community. It is the only village in Alaska that has not had one suicide in the past twenty years. This is remarkable when compared to some of the other villages. They credit this fact with the goodness of God as they have labored to present the gospel in terms that make sense to the people. In addition the traditional chief was a committed believer for many years and his wife, Katie John, now nearing 90, has continued as a wonderful and powerful example of a genuine follower of the Jesus Way! Kath, Daniel and I fell in love with the people. I spoke several times and at the closing gathering we prayed for the creativity of the Holy Spirit to be released in the community to give birth to new traditional songs, dances and music that are born out of the soil and soul of the people for the
glory of the Father. This was a very powerful time as dozens stood, young and old, many weeping, asking God to be used as creative instruments.
Youth Singing At Mentasta Village
Athabascan Elder With Young Girl
On Sunday afternoon back in the town of Delta Junction, the Echohawks hosted a traditional powwow in the middle of town on the main highway. Junior Pratt, Pawnee, who is a Southern Baptist pastor brought a dance and drum team from Oklahoma. It was great as nearly 300 people showed up. Between songs there was a very clear presentation of Jesus Christ. I shared for about ten minutes asking people to consider who God was and what there relationship to Him was. Daniel danced in his Grass Dance outfit and we all had a fun time in the circle.
We are planning to go back next year and take a team with us. We would love to take a Native team to do the VBS program for the kids, as well as serve in the kitchen and work with the teens. It would be ideal if most of these team members also danced, drummed and sang. It will be the week before or after June 21, the summer solstice. Pray about joining next summer.
JR & Family
Athabascan Youth at Mentasta Village
Three Young Girls at Mentasta Village


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