To kick off my summer trip recap, we are going to start by traveling to Point Hope Alaska.On June 17, I traveled alongside four other individuals to a remote village at the very most western point of Alaska called Point Hope. The village of Point Hope can only be reached by plane. And, when I say plane, I am talking about a teeny, tiny, ten passenger plane. And this plane was not our first, or our second, or even our third. It was our FOURTH plane of the day. The team boarded this tiny plane with a handful of strangers and lifted off for our destination.
Once we arrived at Point Hope we were greeted by Pastor Ulyussi Johnson, or as he prefers to be called UL, and his wife Aana. Pastor UL moved to Point Hope 40 years ago and in that time had his life transformed by Jesus. Since then, has felt called to love the people of Point Hope. Aana Johnson is a Point Hope Inupak native and has seen many changes both practically and spiritually in Point Hope.
In Point Hope during the summer, many of the parents leave to fish, hunt, and collect seagull eggs. While the village has made technological advances, the majority income still comes from the land. During this time, many children stay with older siblings or older relatives. Because of this, Global Passion partnered with Pastor UL and Aana to strategically host a basketball camp for 70 kids over three days.
For a village that is named Point Hope, there is a significant amount of people in searching for just that: HOPE.
Pastor UL is not only a pastor but the Village Appointed Counselor, meaning if anyone in the village has a mental health, emotional, or psychological issue they come to him. He shared with us the overwhelming amount of people who are affected from a multitude of mental and physical issues from depression to addiction. Leaving many people in Point Hope asking the question “what is the purpose?”
For our team to put on an event for all the village children to attend that was fun and safe, was a huge win for Pastor UL and Aana. What was clear is that many of the children we encountered have not yet attached to this hopeless mentality. What a great opportunity to share the HOPE of Jesus with people living in a place desperate for it. People living in a place where the sun does not set in the summer, but are also living in spiritual darkness.
One of my favorite stories from the camp was of a family of four sisters. They each came to the camp and it was clear that the oldest, Tracy, only 13 years old was taking care of her younger sisters. We noticed by the second day when she was at camp we could see her just being a kid and having fun.
The wonderful people that we go to serve is just one of the reasons Global Passion sends people. The second is to put people on airplanes and watch God make missionaries of them. In Alaska I got to see this happen up close. One of our travelers Esmie Flores, came to Alaska on her first missions trip. In her own words she describes her experience:
My experience going to Alaska is something I will never forget. For one it was my very first mission trip. I was able to experience so much and see things from a different perspective.
Not only was I being used to teach others about who God is, and how much he loves us. I myself was learning who God is more and more. I was able to see how much he loves me. Reassuring me that He’s a;ways with me. That he still has a purpose for my life no matter how much I think I am broken. I was able to share with others all that I had learned about God up until that very moment. And witness as God’s love flowed through me into their lives. Feeling God’s hands working through me is something I will always cherish because it's a reminder that he can use me no matter what I’ve been through in my life. This mission trip was an answer to my question about being called to be a missionary.
After the trip Esmie told me she knows she is meant to be a missionary.
This is our heartbeat at Global Passion that the next generation would be called to go and help them get there.
Until all have heard,
My name is Marissa Deraya; Global Worker with Project Rescue serving women and children of Spain.
Let's Stay Connected!
Subscribe to My Newsletter