Alaska: Life-changing encounter at Crab Fest

Go Now Missions team with other volunteers at the Crab Fest at Kodiak, Alaska.

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The Lord began my summer of service with an amazing week in Kodiak, Alaska, at Crab Fest.

Recently, my Go Now Missions team and I served alongside missionaries from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and Missouri. Every year, the city of Kodiak holds Crab Fest, an event that brings families together to have tons of fun. We partnered with Frontier Baptist Church and Kodiak Island Outreach to staff a booth where we gave away hot chocolate, New Testaments and small toys for kids. What seemed like a simple booth turned into a life-changing experience for both the people of Kodiak and myself.

Dangerous work

More often than not, the men in this town are fisherman who work long months at sea, catching salmon or crab. With unsafe sea conditions and the risk of death, this occupation is a large stressor for families of Kodiak. This is where the beauty of Crab Fest fits in perfectly. Crab Fest is a time when families are together, where fathers are safe, and everyone can focus on having a good time. 

Throughout the first two days, we handed out our free drinks and invited people to the Burger Bash we were having on Saturday night at the church. This opened the door for many conversations at Crab Fest about Christianity and even more at the Burger Bash.

I had the opportunity to speak with a young man named Justin on Thursday at Crab Fest. He said we would hate him for saying he disliked Christianity, but we continued talking with him and invited him to our Burger Bash. After not seeing him all day Friday and Saturday, we looked up from our burgers Saturday night surprised to see him ride up on his bike. This led to a conversation that significantly changed my life.

Questions about Christianity

I talked with Justin that night for more than an hour, answering every question he had regarding Christianity. At times, Justin wanted to debate me, but the Lord guided me to speak only words coming directly from his Holy Spirit.

I explained to Justin through my testimony how the Lord wiped me clean of sin, an act of grace we all need desperately. After talking with me, I directed Justin to Pastor Gary Elmore and Scott Belmore of Alaska Missions who continued the conversation about Christianity.

Justin left that night, not showing any advances towards Christ. On his way out however, Justin said: “Thank you. You have given me a lot to think about.” I praise God for this statement because it is evidence of a seed planted for him to potentially give his life to Christ.

God can use us

The biggest thing I took away from this experience is how God worked through me. Because I grew up in a Christian home, I often do not think I have the ability to say something that will impact a life. This taught me that if I am ready to respond, God will use me as a vessel for his words to make an impact on lives. In times of doubt and weakness, I will remember that the Lord will use me in ways indescribable by relying on his truth.

Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, is serving in Alaska with Go Now Missions.

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