Tentmaker Wanted Native Americans Embrace Adventism
It was a cold and windy day with almost freezing temperatures when Rick Binford, pastor of the Savoonga, Gambel, and Selawik churches, conducted a baptism outside the little Adventist church in Savoonga, a village of 800 people situated along the Bering Sea on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Eight Siberian Yupik native people gave their hearts to the Lord after a crusade held Sept. 24–Oct. 9 by Brian and Denise Bechthold, Gospel Road Evangelistic team. The Bechtholds are evangelists for Native Ministry for Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
Binford pastors these small congregations in addition to his responsibilities with the Nome Adventist Church and school. The logistics and expense of air travel between the communities limits the time Binford can spend in each place. The village needs someone who would be willing to move to the area and encourage these new Adventists for up to twelve months.
Growth in Adventist Native Alaskan churches is best accomplished through extended relationships with strong Adventist “tent makers” who are willing to live and work side by side with the people in their villages. “We have several remote communities in Alaska that would benefit immeasurably from the presence of someone willing to become a “tent maker” in order to lift up our Native people,” stated Jim Kincaid, Alaska Conference Secretary.