Camp Meeting Provides Spring Break for Village Youth

June 17, 2016 | Lynette Goude

Spring break in Togiak became an adventure for the 23 youth who enjoyed a trip to Dillingham for camp meeting in March. It isn’t a great distance — 78 miles — but to get that size of a group plus seven adults by air in small planes with an 80-minute round-trip flight time took a good percentage of the day. 

David Solomon Hall, a pastor from Reno, Nev., held his audience captive while he shared his story of being unwanted as a baby and how Jesus treasures each of us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. Jesus doesn’t care about our past; He has a special new name for each of us and wants us to have a new life with Him.

Jesus saves His best gifts for His friends, like He did for Lazarus. When surveying the youth later about their camp meeting experience, their responses included:

  • “Pastor Hall’s stories were awesome; he didn’t preach.” 
  • “He was telling my life story.” 
  • “He was the best.”
  • “He didn’t push his religion.”
  • “I love Pastor Hall.”

Saturday night the group had sandwiches from Subway — 15 kids said it was their first Subway.   

Hall was able to make a Sunday visit Togiak, population 850 and located on a bay on the Bering Sea. An enthusiastic entourage gave Hall a tour of the village, including its airport, school, fish plant, dock, three churches, two stores, one gas station, city buildings and a post office — all connected by 11 miles of gravel road. 

One youth showed Hall the four houses where she has lived since her grandma died last year.  The Adventist mission church provides these youth with a place of stability and love. They come together weekly, with an average of 35 for Teen Night and 18 on Kid Night. These young people amaze the local church family.

The camp meeting trip was an opportunity to get a glimpse of what Jesus wants to do for people, to escape the challenges of village life for a short time, and to see life without the pressures to drink and do drugs and snuff. This trip was a highlight for many young people this year.