Chad Reimer- YWAM Arctic Mercy- Homer, AK 8/15/11
Fireweed is starting to inhabit ditches and fields here in Homer meaning summer is almost over around here. The seasons of ministry are kind of changing too, going from student focused discipleship schools to mainly staff outreach. We are in a key time period to start one of our long term visions of having a boat that would be able to give us access to many villages all over Alaska. But we were praying and seeking the Lord and God gave us Nehemiah as and example, we are to build and fight at the same time. We will be getting information packets out so we can start fundraising for this project that would enable our ministry to getting to the countless villages that arent on the road system. We will use this boat to bring construction material to repair churches and homes, to bring teams to villages to do conferences, but most importantly to bring real people to minister on a 1 on 1 relationship/ discipleship level.
We are also at a time period where I believe God is about to break through again in a deep way on St. Lawrence Island which is our main outreach location. There has been a lot of sorrow and pain that has made a people so desperate for something greater and I think that this desperation is going to start evolving into lasting change. There have been 4 suicides in the past 8 months in Savoonga, this has brought much brokenness. Many whom we minister to have lost the people closest to them through these deaths. There is a pastor in Savoonga who has preached all these funerals, plus many more in the past 2 years. I know that seed has been planted through these hard times, through the faithfulness of this pastor who is reaching out to this community with Jesus. Continue to pray for him and his family as they minister and pray that our next trip out there can be refreshing for them.
Our mini DTS went really well, with huge breakthrough in the minds, hearts and souls of our students. More freedom to love God and love their neighbors. We had 2 students from St. Lawrence Island, which was really awesome. We battled the fear that kept them in the dark corner, the shame and guilt that was hidden leading them to the cross of Jesus and His embracing arms. Showing them the Love of God and the power of truth and faith in that very truth. The outreach portion of the Mini DTS was at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) in Fairbanks. A gathering of natives from all across Alaska to celebrate culture and to connect.
We had a group of 15 people from one of our staff members home church in Texas join our trip to Fairbanks for WEIO. We went as volunteers to really be able to plant seeds of reconciliation, love, and faith in people from all over Alaska. We were invited by a native run ministry that has long been involved with gathering volunteers for the event. During the 5 days that we were there we were involved with setting up equipment for events, taking care of elders, running the merchandise table, helping native artists set up their booths, and much more. But that isnt what really made this a outreach, relationship and discipleship have always been Gods strategy. Being an authentic lover of God and showing genuine love for your neighbor really opens hearts up, we got to pray for people who were going through hard times, people asked us who we were and we got to share with them, I told athletes that I was praying for them, we just got to go above and beyond what people would think a volunteer would do and with true joy doing it( I got to carry dead seals in for the seal skinning competition and a few other kinda gross jobs). The board of directors who are all influential native leaders gave us a “key to the Olympics” and invited us back anytime we want. We got to see some of the God given cultural characteristics come out like the way that the athletes “competed” not acting selfishly but all helping each other out giving tips but at the same time really giving their best effort in the events. God showed up in a lot of ways through the way our big group was willing to jump in and do anything and to do it for and with Jesus. A lot of the fruit of our actions wont be seen for a while but we get to plant seed and in due time we get to see harvest. And we now have contacts in many villages.
Fall is knocking at our doorstep and with it quite a few opportunities are knocking also.
Most of our staff have gone on outreach with a YWAM team coming from Kona called the circuit riders. They are going from Fairbanks, AK to Valdez, AK visiting cities and villages (I believe that we met some people from those villages at WEIO) along the way. They are visiting churches bring a strong emphasis on revival in the church leading to love for the lost, then proclaiming the word on the streets believing that God will move in power to bring the lost to Jesus.
Our hockey camp registration is gaining speed and we have more hockey players pre registered than we had total last year. The hockey rink manager even though he isnt a Christian (that we know of) loves our camp so much that he wanted us to do 2 this year. This has been our best opportunity to share the gospel with unchurched kids here in homer, and I know the top notch hockey training provided by YWAM Hockey is having effect on our hockey teams. Our hockey camp dates are Sept 22-25.
Right now I am serving the base here in Homer, keeping our building and property maintained and starting to prepare to hand over the “ head of maintenance” role over to the next person as I leave in late December. I am still not sure how long I am going to be away from here for, but it is likely that I wont be able to get another tourist visa so I might start the religious workers visa process (which took other staff members here a year and half to get). I am not giving up by any means, and actually feel like im fighting for this place, for these people now more than ever. We are planning on sending a team of YWAM staff to St. Lawrence Island for the months of October and November which I am very excited about, and already preparing for. But this season is very much a season of keeping my eyes open for the opportunities that God has prepared for me and in the power of the Holy Spirit walking out in those good works.
God is shaking the things that can be shaken, and refining those willing to be refined. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” God has shown me laying down my life for my brothers, I cant begin how much it hurts to help carry the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ but there is joy too. The power of faith is striking me, the scripture says faith in grace is what saves. Gods love is even more striking, a infinitely powerful majestic God choosing to love a broken and rebellious people. He is worthy of undying trust even when the world around us is being shattered into a million pieces.
I just want to thank you all for your support both in prayers and in finances
In Christ firstname.lastname@example.org
Chad Reimer 907-299-6255