The Warren Family
Greetings in the Name of the Lord,
Summer is passing by swiftly, and with much left to do before winter, it seems we do not have enough time in a day to get everything done, even with the days seemingly endless, with no true darkness during the height of the Alaskan summer. We know the bitter cold and long hours of darkness are coming, so we are gathering drift firewood off the banks of the Yukon and its tributaries, setting nets for salmon, picking berries, making sure we order dry goods months in advance to ensure we receive them before we need them (The Corona Virus ,;’c,,,,, goods very far in advance of the need for them. We used to place orders two to three weeks in advance.), preparing for ,the upcoming hunting season, preserving the foods harvested, winterizing the building, doing mechanic work on the vehicles, etcetera. These physical activities remind me of so many verses in the Bible reminding us of our Lord and Saviour’s imminent return: II Peter 3:10-14, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night… Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God… look for new heavens and a new earth… Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” John 9:4, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man may work.” We know the Lord is coming soon, and there is so much spiritual work left to do here in Saint Mary’s, we must not get carried away with this world and it’s cares, we must stay focused on preaching the Gospel, caring for the souls of man that the Lord puts us in contact with. The church building, vehicles, and other worldly possessions are just a means to the end: the end is to give glory and honor and power to God, by going where he says to go, and preaching his Word to the world.
Therefore, in light of the labor to be done before the Lord’s return, we come to the issue of laborers to do the work. Alaskan bush villages have a great need for laborers, preachers of the Gospel. I encourage you; look up a map of Alaskan Cities, towns, and villages. Right now, depending on what map you use, there are about 250 bush villages, with only 23 of them having Independent Baptist Churches in them: Utqiagvik (Barrow), Wainwright, Point Lay, Point Hope, Kotzebue, Selawik, Kiana, Nome, Unalakleet, Saint Mary’s, Bethel, Napakiak, Dillingham, King Salmon, King Cove, Kodiak, Cordova, Craig, Hyder, Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Haines, Fort Yukon, and Kaltag. Of these, four are without Pastors. A few other communities are reached on a regular basis by circuit ministries, such as Remote Alaska Missions, and others on an irregular basis. The communities I know of being reached in this manner are, Atqasuk, Healy Lake, Beaver, Tanana, Ruby, Galena, Nulato, Steven’s Village, Rampart, Pitka’s Point, Mountain Village, Pilot Station, Kwethluk, Napaskiak, Kasigluk, Nunap, Tuluksak, Akiachuk, Shaktoolik, White Mountain, Hoonah, and Tatitlek. Brother Bruce Claypool, the pastor of Bethel Independent Baptist Church, in Bethel, Alaska, and Brother Josh Roach, the pastor of Alpine Baptist Church of Sutton, Alaska, have been able to visit almost 60 villages over the years between the two of them, some many times, some only once. As a preacher of the Gospel, it is almost overwhelming to realize the number of villages without churches, and a great struggle to decide which one to go to for the current month, as the great amount of time and money needed to travel in the bush will only allow at most three trips by plane, boat, or snowmachine a month, and usually no more than one.
I am asking Pastors to prayerfully consider mentioning this great need to any preachers in their congregations. If any preachers are interested in coming to Alaska on a survey trip to go to some of these villages with empty pulpits and villages with no churches, I will personally help arrange a trip to whatever village they desire to go to, accompanying them to villages in this region, and getting them in contact with missionaries in other regions of the state to go to villages farther afield from me. At the very least, they will get to preach the Gospel in villages that rarely hear the Word of God proclaimed, and at most, they may find their calling from God for the rest of their lives. On my next furlough, I pray that I will be able to go before the student bodies of several Bible collages to present the need for more preachers in bush villages in Alaska, please pray with me in regards to this goal. We need more preachers to spread the Gospel in Bush villages before the Lord’s imminent return!
I know of no church pastored by a Yupik man on the Yukon River, please pray for a saved Yupik man to surrender to preach, as I have no doubt that God has called some to the ministry. This is our end goal here in Saint Mary’s, to see a man from the community surrender to preach, and be trained to take my place, so we can move up or down river to another village to start another church.
My family and a saved boy who comes to church flew over East to the road system and went to His Servant’s Bible Camp, hosted by Independent Baptist Church of Anchorage. Brothers Bruce Claypool and Job Hale flew my wife and the kids to and from Bethel on their small planes so they could catch a larger plane to Anchorage, which we greatly appreciate. We are grateful for the effect the camp had on the kids, helping them to grow in the Lord.
Another reason for the flight to Anchorage was for Kezia, our 5 year old daughter, to go to the dentist to have a tooth with a large cavity pulled. The last few years we have had dentist work done, we were able to have it done for free by a saved dentist in Washington State, saving us much money, but he has since retired, so we had to pay for this tooth to be pulled. When everything was said and done, we wound up paying just under $5,000.00 for this to be done.
The Honda ATV is all paid for, thanks to the generosity of several churches and individuals, and is on its way to Nenana to be put on the barge as I write this letter. Praise God for the generosity of those who gave! We look forward to using it in the ministry to haul firewood and gravel for the church from the Yukon River, and when the Corona Virus goes away, in the building of a church camp.
In Christ, Israel J. Warren Psalm 34:6
The Warrens Cell: 907-438-6446 Email: email@example.com Mailing Address: PO Box 143 Saint Mary’s, AK 99658
Sending Church: Ind. Bap. Church of Anchorage, 1801 E. 68th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99507 Phone: 907-562-3004
Support Address: Faith Baptist Church c/o M.A.J.D. (include missionary’s name in note on check) PO Box 329 Cropwell, AL 35054 Phone: 205-365-3165
NOTE: Please send any personal correspondence, such as cards and letters, directly to our PO Box. Thank you!