Alaska’s “Gospel Angels” Wing Salvation to Frontiers

October 01, 2002 | Melchizedek Ponniah

Alaska, more than any other U.S. state, is an “unreached territory” with regard to the Third Angels’ Message.

Among Alaska’s 225 indigenous villages, only about 10 have received more than a passing encounter with Adventism. The challenging task ahead calls for reaching people of more then seven different native language groups.

So far, the Alaska Conference has established a presence among three indigenous people groups, in 11 villages. But of these, only eight have regular or volunteer staff on site. These villages are far apart and inaccessible, except by air. But the Conference is beginning to receive offers from youth and Pathfinder groups in various parts of the U. S., who wish to reach out to these villages.

To help meet the challenges of unentered areas, Adventist World Aviation (AWA) and the Alaska Conference this year have entered into a partnership agreement to help improve the quality of life for these forgotten people, by sharing the Advent message with them.

A Church-supporting ministry located in Berrien Springs, Mich., AWA provides aviation and communications support to those serving the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the forgotten peoples of the earth.

Aircraft may be the most effective means of transportation to reach these unreached people groups, in our backyard. AWA’s airplance fleet in Alaska currently includes a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 182.

Cessna 206

The Cessna 206, a 1976 six-place aircraft model, is being rebuilt to meet the transportation needs of those ministering to Alaska’s native population. Structural work on the airframe and wings has been completed, and refurbishing of control surfaces continues. A factory-remanufactured engine has been installed, with an overhauled prop and accessories.

Final assembly, paint, interior work, and some additional avionics must be completed before launch, but soon it will be ready to provide transportation among the unreached people groups and villages of Alaska.

Cessna 182

On May 11, a 1958 Cessna 182 was dedicated for God’s mission in Alaska. A group of more than 50 people gathered at the Andrews University Airpark and surrounded the mission plane, as Dwight K. Nelson, senior pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church, offered the dedicatory prayer.

In that prayer, Pastor Nelson mentioned that the Cessna is a “mechanical angel that will join those angels of Revelation 14.” As he concluded his prayer, he said, “For the great state of Alaska, we claim the promise that is inherent in the First Angel’s Message, that the everlasting gospel will go to all the indigenous villages.”

AWA missionary pilots Clifton Brooks and Andy Klein, with volunteer pilot John Payne, helped ferry the mission aircraft from Berrien Springs to Anchorage, Alaska.

You Can Help

You too can help reach the 225 native villages in Alaska. Consider the following ways:

• Adopt a native village in Alaska.

• Serve as a volunteer teacher, doctor, nurse, Bible worker, or pastor.

• Donate an aircraft or ham radio gear to Adventist World Aviation.

• Become a prayer partner to help reach the unreached in Alaska.

“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world.” Will you partner with God to reach out to these unreached people groups, within our borders? Please join Pastor Nelson in praying that the Lord will use these “celestial messengers for an apocalyptic mission.” •