Greetings to the first update from Kako.
Rebecc and I safely arrived at Kako and hit the ground running.
Many things to prepare for camp, and also some big things broke/needed to be fixed as we arrived.
We have a wonderful team from Tennessee area and beyond.
They are here for 2 weeks. They came to help with kids camp, but also came with the mindset
that they would serve in anyway that would support Kako.
That was a good thing, because our hopes for having camp starting June 3rd did not prove to happen.
We are working hard to get some needed
permits from the state, and it has been a slow process.
But the team has had a Christ-like attitude and has trusted God and has been happy to serve camp in preparations and maintenance.
They have also had the opportunity to visit villages, and have visited 9 so far this week.
I am continuing to fill the role of camp director for the first couple weeks of camp, and am blessed to work with the staff and the team in continuing to
get ready for camp next week, if the Lord permits.
Many projects are happening.
Usual Honda projects to get some more running. We have about two running, and have 3 more that could be made to be
running with some work.
Worked on the rappelling tower some more to update and inspect it.
It is holding up really well, and looks better than ever.
I just wrote up a narative, to send out via E-mail, as well, and it is below.
Kako Retreat Center
A narrative by John Erickson
It is springtime in Alaska, nearly full blown summer. In days the bare trees have burst forth, and the brown grass is giving way to green.
All around this camp in Alaska, things are buzzing with preparation as in many years past. Somethings don't seem to change much.
When I come up to Kako,
buildings need to be fixed after the harsh winter, machines need to be worked on, and people need to hear the gospel. These things have been going on at
this camp for many years, as people like Dave and Vera have poured out their lives in this ministry.
Sharing the gospel is always free of charge, but fixing things like the Honda 4-wheelers and equipment to maintain camp has never been free. Neither has
fuel to fly the airplanes been free, to bring people to and from this place.
As I write this, a verse is rather near and dear to me.
It is John 21:18
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt
stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not."
I may not be very old, but I feel like I am kind of experiencing that in a new way.
You see, it seems that camp directors always seem to get hurt sometime during the summer, and have to wear an ankle brace or something. As camp director
for the beginning of camp this year, I have too experienced this first hand. Playing some games to allow us to get to know some of the folks that just
arrived from Tennessee to help with camp, I twisted and sprained my knee.
It is kind of humbling to be using crutches(Which I have never used before) and basically being able to do none of the things I had hoped to be doing.
Now I have to ask people to help me get someplace, or get food.
What does the next verse in John say? "...Follow Me."
Even though I may feel pretty worthless/useless right now, am I still willing to trust and rely on God?
I think many of us are being reminded of this question right now.
What do I mean by that? Well, I will tell you.
This year, we had some unexpected things come up. For example, we became aware that we needed to comply with some water rules and regulations for our well
water. We continue to work through this , as we work diligently to update and upgrade our filter and treatment systems. The state of Alaska has also
basically told us that until we get to a certain standard and get permits that we can't legally have Summer Bible camp for the native youth.
This is something that hit us very unexpectedly, as teams and people from all over America have already committed to come up and some have already come
up for the summer.
Right now we have a fairly large team from Tennessee the area. It is such a blessing to see their love for Jesus. These young people are ready and
excited to work at camp.
We have all, and I mean ALL, had to submit to God in this matter. We plan our ways, and course, but God ultimately directs us. We had hoped to have
camp this week, but instead God chose to not allow camp this week, and we have been able to go and have outreach in villages and do some much needed work.
Like I mentioned earlier, it takes money to support this ministry. For many years, our fuel bills have been increasing with the cost of everything else.
And for years, this ministry has been dependent upon God allowing people all over America to help cover the costs of this work.
This year, because of some changes in billing, and other big projects, like some work that needed to be done on the airplane, we only have enough fuel
for part of the planned camp.
We want to follow Christ. For many years, I feel this ministry has been a light in a very dark land. I believe that this is a powerful light, and not
only are the youth that come blessed, so are those that come to work here.
What I am trying to say is that I believe it is worth it to invest in this ministry. If folks don't know that there is a need and opportunity to support
us, how can they give? There is a need!
I don't know the exact numbers, but I know it runs something like $60,000 to buy the fuel to fly the airplanes and buy the food for this camp. That is
a good start for the summer. That seems like a lot of money! But as I am sure you have read about in other fund-raising letters from other people, we
say things like, if just 200 people gave $100, that would total $20,000, etc.
Anything is helpful, and we are trusting God to supply!
It seems that in our human minds, it is imperative that funds come in very shortly, if the summer Bible camp is to continue and function.
One thing that I like about Kako is that it often seems like this is the spring-board for missionaries. I know and have seen many people come up to
Alaska, and end up at Kako, because it is open to all, and we welcome people. They come serve with us, and get so fired up that they come back to Alaska
again, either for summers or full time. It is an amazing place for all levels of Christians to come and serve, and learn about the needs of Alaska, and
be able to serve in a place that can often seem like a foreign country. We have a family here right now that is doing just that. Getting their feet wet,
experiencing a little bit of what it is like to live in the bush, as they prepare to head into the mission field full time, serving in mission aviation.
The Kako webpage has been revamped and is much nicer. We plan to post pictures weekly of camp, Lord willing.
Please check things out, pray about how you can help, and pray that the Lord of the harvest would continue to send forth labourers and support the ministry.
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