Answering the Call

April 01, 2009 | Edward Dunn

Bill and Elouise Hawkes were attending the Carolina Conference camp meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C., and responded to an appeal to be missionaries. Every evening they listened to Ken Crawford, Alaska Conference president, give an ongoing mission story of experiences in bush Alaska, especially about Savoonga. Their hearts were touched when they heard about the needs of the Yup'ik people in Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, who have been doing their best to cope with their village's high teen suicide rate. After Elder Crawford's third presentation, the Hawkes volunteered to move to Savoonga to work with village leaders and develop a suicide prevention program.

The Hawkes drove from Durham, N.C., 4,780 miles through ice and snow to Anchorage. They are both nurses with years of valuable medical experience caring for people of varied cultures. While they waited in Anchorage, they took specialized training in depression recovery and represented Adventist Community Services, helping at the local homeless shelter, serving evening meals.

On Feb. 16, Bill and Elouise landed in their new home in Savoonga, which is just 55 miles from the mainland of Russia, and were greeted by their new church family and village members. Please pray for them as they serve the Lord and the people of Savoonga.