New Bible Workers for Gambell
Mike and Fran Hansen spent more than 25 years in the Springfield, Mo., area serving as Pathfinder leaders, directors and area coordinators. They had been on mission trips to La Vida Mission and the Bristol Bay area of Alaska and fell in love with the people and their culture.
After a move to the Yakima, Wash., area with their son, Eric, and his family, they received the opportunity to serve the community of Gambell, Alaska. After much consideration and prayer, they decided to make the move to work with the Alaska Conference in the Suicide Prevention Initiative on St. Lawrence Island.
Arriving in June, the Hansens met with church and community members, co-sponsored a Vacation Bible School with the Presbyterian Church, and received a grant from the Kawerek Wellness Program to expand programs for youth in Gambell. Along with story hours, movie nights and other fun activities, the Hansens are planning to bring Navajo youth from Holbrook, Ariz., to Gambell next summer for a two-week day camp. During the camp, they will work again with the Presbyterian Church on a VBS, have a basketball tournament, go berry picking and watch native Yupik dancing. They hope this will be the beginning of a cultural exchange between Gambell and the different groups in the lower 48.
The community has been receptive to the Hansen's presence and many residents are willing to participate with any event or activity that will help their youth. The Alaska Conference has been blessed with their willingness to become a part of the Arctic Mission Adventure.