Dillingham Church Members Reach Out to Remote Villages

A group of church members in Dillingham are focusing on ministry to the surrounding native villages. Building on the long history of Adventism in Bristol Bay, they are following up on business contacts, going door to door and holding Bible studies to cultivate relationships.

Dillingham school teacher Rod Rau and his wife Brenda fly their airplane to the village of Ekwok every Sabbath afternoon, weather permitting. Years ago Adventists held services there in a small building, now in disrepair. The Raus are building interest by conducting a weekly sing-a-long in a room in the city office.

The village of Manakotak is where Margarita Moreno and Florie Jewel carry on their ministry almost every Sabbath. As an owner of a local clothing manufacturing business, Moreno has used her business as a means of distributing printed materials, videos and DVDs for outreach. Building on these contacts, the team gives Bible studies and visits people's homes.

The village of Togiak has been the special interest of local Dillingham pilot Jim Bingman. For nearly ten years he has flown to Togiak almost every Sabbath to support the group of Sabbath worshippers there. Mae Syverud and Gavin and Judith Thomsen join Bingman in that ministry too. Thomsen is the lower-grade teacher at the Dillingham Adventist School.

Wendell Downs, Dillingham pastor, and his wife Linda participate too with bimonthly visits to Togiak and flying support. Downs or Bingman typically drop the Manakotak team off on their way to Togiak.

The three airplanes utilized for this ministry belong to Bingman, Raus, and Adventist World Aviation (AWA). The airplanes are based at the new AWA mission aviation hangar at the Dillingham airport.

February 01, 2007 / Alaska Conference