As part of “Salmon Frenzy” in Kenai, Alaska, we helped fishermen for three weeks during dip-net season. While I was there, I noticed that Alaskan culture is quite different than the southern culture. People are more stand-offish.
When Brenda, our supervisor, told us not to bring up spiritual conversation with the fishermen, I was a bit taken aback. I thought that was why we were there. She asked that we do everything we could to serve them and love them.
So, that’s what we did. We didn’t say who we were or why we were there, other than to help them catch their fish. People were blown away. They would not stop asking us, “Why are you here?” Over and over again, the doors opened for us to talk about the love of God through Jesus. But instead of going at it with an agenda, the conversation was on their terms. They asked the questions and we simply answered.
One day, as I walked down the beach, I saw five guys sitting around a campfire. I began a conversation with them and offered them hot dogs and water.
Two of them, Matthew and David, walked with us to the tent and got some water. They were probably in their early 20s. Matthew kept asking me: “Who is paying for this? Are you taking donations? Why did you come all the way from Texas to do this?”
I got to tell him that God showed his love to me by giving his son, Jesus. I told him that my life is changed at the realization of God’s love. He asked me if I paid to come. I told him how God took care of it by using other people who also realize his love.
We hung out with Matthew for a couple of hours, talking and playing ultimate Frisbee. Later, we played praise and worship music and listened to testimonies in our tent. Matthew came to watch me sing and stayed for a while. Pray for Matthew that God would bring him to a realization of his grace.
Abby Wood, a student at Howard Payne University, served as a Go Now Missionary in Alaska.