“A Light in Dark Places”

By Esther Hylden

    The sky was cold, the air chilly and the spirits of the fish workers in Naknek, Alaska were downcast that summer of 2013.  People from far corners of the world, (Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sweden, China and many more,) had come to work in the fishing industry to earn much needed income, and now the fishing was poor.  With time on their hands, the workers filled the little town of Naknek.  The bars were filled to overflowing; fights often broke out as tempers ran high.

    In the middle of Main Street however, there sat a haven, an oasis…so to speak, known as The Net.  Nothing fancy, grey, three rooms…a small kitchen, storage room and gathering room, The Net was a place to go when one was cold, lonely and hungry…inside was a fresh pot of coffee, cookies, a listening ear and words of encouragement given to those who entered.  Quilts were given to those who were cold, fresh warm cookies were given to the hungry, and God’s Word was shared with many lonely and discouraged people.  Bibles and tracts were given away, and when people left that humble building, their hearts, body and stomachs were warmed.

  James 2:14 states:  “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such a faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, Is dead.”   

Fall marks the beginning of the “dark” season in Alaska.  The days are short, and spirits often sag, as one grey, rainy, gloomy day follows another.  However, shining out amongst the gloom there is “Light!”  Daily the KAKN Radio Station shares God’s Word with all who tune in, with Pastor Bob Lee serving as the Station Manager.  Pastor Jeff Swanson and Pastor Jeremy Crowell bring God’s “Light” to the two Naknek congregations and to the remote areas of Alaska, as they minister in Word and deed, often handing out quilts to those who gather at the little churches and meeting places.  Smiles stretch from ear to ear, as bodies and spirits are warmed by a handmade quilt and words of hope from God’s Word.

How can you help?

  1. Pray, Pray, Pray!
  2. Send financial support
  3. Send Quilts ( they used up their supply last summer)
    Send quilts to:  Pastor Jeff Swanson
    PO Box 501
    Naknek, AK 99663
  4. Come and help!   ( If God is calling you to come and help, contact the Home Mission Board )

“I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 13:47

I pray that God will use us to bring “Light” to Naknek, to  the family next door, to work, to the checker at the grocery store…and to all those who remain in the dark.

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