The Warren Family

Oct, Nov, Dec, 2023 Newsletter

Greetings in the Name of the Lord,

During the first part of October, we recovered from the busy time of August and September, when we were busy putting up moose for the winter, distributing meat to elders and needy families, logging firewood, and having our 7th Anniversary Revival with its attending spiritual warfare. Summer and early Fall are the busiest times of life in Alaska, and you are slap wore out by the time October rolls around. 

In the prayer letters this year, I will be high lighting different areas of Alaska, bringing out the need for more preachers in the state. I have been greatly burdened by God in getting the word out in regards to this, and ask that those preachers who have any influence in Bible colleges, institutes, or schools, pray about reading these letters in front of your students during a convenient time. The distances are vast, the souls who’ve never heard the gospel many, traveling is by plane, boat, or snow machine, with rare instances of small road systems connecting a few communities once you’ve flown out to the regional hub. So many younger preachers have come up to Alaska, and with the spiritual oppression, physical darkness of winter, incessant rain and overcast skies, having to do your own mechanic work, kill, dress, and butcher your own meat, with the Devil attacking their families, wind up packing it in and going back to the Lower 48. We need some who will make Alaska home, not just a work place, not be afraid of the physicality of the ministry here, knowing there is hard manual labor involved continuously that is not required in a ministry where you came from, getting comfortable and learning how to minister while being the minority in a different culture, not letting your family stay cooped up and get cabin fever, trusting that God will replace your family and friends with the people you minister to, always looking for the next guidance from our Lord in the ministry, and striving towards these ends, not becoming complacent with the lack of progress, or the old “mantra” “____ has never been done in a bush village before.”, and giving up on ministry goals the Lord God Almighty gave you. We need some men like this. Put the word out please, as I cannot leave the ministry here in Saint Mary’s to do it myself.

In the last week of October, I left on a trip to South East Alaska, a region I have never visited before. It was a survey trip, not for me, but for young preachers who are being led of God to minister in Alaska. I get a lot of calls with questions about South East, but have never been able to answer them completely, having never been there. The Lord burdened me with visiting, so I began preparing in 2022. South East Alaska, like the rest of the state, is mind blowingly huge, so I began praying about which region of South East to visit. I felt led to go to one of the larger hub communities, one I could fly out of Anchorage on a large plane and get to in one day, and then go to smaller communities as time and money would allow by small plane, ferry, truck, or boat.  I was able to preach in two communities there, and visit many smaller ones. Two churches, Gateway Baptist Church, of Ketchikan, Pastor John Judson, and New Hope Baptist Church, of Craig, Pastor Roy Anania, graciously put me up and hauled me around, in addition to providing insights into the spiritual temperature of the region, letting me know of ministry opportunities in their area, something only locals can do. Both of these churches need a younger preacher who is led of God to come and minister with these older Pastors, and eventually take the church as Pastor. One of the sad realities of Alaska is the high number of churches with no pastor, as the last one had to retire due to bad health, age, or the Lord taking him home. Many times, these churches die out after several years with no pastor, the saved adults stopping coming to a church with no pastor, no new converts being saved, children growing up out of church, and the immensely difficult task of breaking spiritual ground in an Alaska community must start all over again. I mention these two churches, as they need a younger preacher to come be an assistant til the pastor turns it over to them. Neither of these communities are on the road system, only reachable by plane or ferry. They are in a large community, however, and have large stores, gas stations, restaurants, mechanic shops, etc., so one would not have to know how to hunt and process game, mechanic on their vehicles, etc., as I do here in a smaller more remote village. The cost of living there is about half again as much as the road system of Alaska, so not as much as out here, in remote Western Alaska. This is due to being on the Pacific Ocean, along a shipping lane, and having access to large ships and ferries able to bring goods, keeping the costs down. 

I also went to many smaller communities down there, and many without churches were open to the idea of starting one. So many communities are without churches in Alaska, and a man had better listen to God on the matter, or your feelings will lead you astray.  One of the smaller communities that would be more open to a preacher coming out would be Metlakatla, they are the Southern-most community in the Panhandle of Alaska, a Native American community. An Independent Baptist Church was started there about thirty years ago, and the original pastor died, the second pastor left several years ago, and an elderly man who lives in the community has been filling the pulpit for many years. He is not called to preach, but graduated from Bible college when he was younger.

I talked to pastors in other large communities in Alaska, and found that the community of Kake, also had an Independent Baptist Church a few years ago, but no longer does now. Many people in the community are saved, and desire a man to come start a church.

I am grateful for all the help that was given by churches and individuals down there, places to stay, vehicles to use, meals prepared, fellowship enjoyed, wisdom offered on different communities, camaraderie in the spiritual battle. I pray that all preachers with other preachers under their authority share this letter with them, and all preachers who hear this letter and are looking for the Lord’s will as to where God wants you to minister: please pray and ask God if Alaska would be his will for you. If you have any questions, please call me.

For the first time since we started Faith Baptist Church, we didn’t have to have someone fly in to fill the pulpit while I was gone, as two of the teens called to preach, Daylon Tunutmoak and Jubal Warren, filled the pulpit and led the singing while I was gone! Praise God! Please pray that God will continue to protect these young preachers, as well as Ricco Sallison, who has moved to another village upriver, Galena, to attend boarding school in accordance with his parent’s wishes.

As I traveled back to Saint Mary’s in mid-November, I had some dental work done in the big city of Anchorage, was delayed a few days by bad weather, but eventually made it back home, thank God. The dental work done on my teeth was bad however, resulting in an infection in my jaw, and necessitated buying another ticket and flying back to the road system to have it corrected. Bad weather set in, and once again I was a few days late getting home. If anyone knows of a dentist that does free or discounted work for missionaries, please let us know, as we have spent around $20,000.00 in travel expenses and dental fees this year.

In late November, we had a baptismal service, baptizing 5 adults, 2 teens, and 1 child! These precious souls had all made professions of faith, and were willing to make their faith public. God is good! Pray for their growth in the Lord.

Rebecca, my wife, held a craft bazaar, met many people there, and was able to reach out to some. A new couple is now attending church. Pray many will come to church and decide to accept Christ as Saviour. In December, we had many new visitors attend church as well. 

In Christ, 

Israel J. Warren

Psalms 34:6

Contact Info:

The Warrens Cell: 907-438-6446 Email: north2sitka@gmail.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!