When God Moves: A Story From the Northernmost Town in the United States
Picture a two-story pink house with a small yellow house sitting right next door, right in the center of a well-traveled part of town. Little did anyone suspect that these buildings would become God’s answer to the prayer of a small group of Adventists in the northernmost town in the United States.
For many years the group of Adventists in Barrow (now Utqiagvik), Alaska, had been exploring options and praying for a church meeting place. Each potential location was a bad fit or the sale would fall through. Something to understand about Utqiaġvik is how difficult acquiring a building is, as is constructing one. Yet, these Adventists continued praying that God would open a door for them to have a building of their own.
Fast forward to Aug. 20, 2018. One of the Adventists who was praying, “Please give us a building,” noticed a pair of buildings on a plot of land had come on the market. She quickly shared the news and contacted the conference office and church pastor. Providentially, a group — including Celesta Babb, pastor, and her husband, Zack, as well as Jim Jensen, Alaska Conference treasurer — was already scheduled to visit Utqiagvik that weekend. Immediately the group voted to make an offer for the property with the idea of turning the larger building into the church meeting place.
The seller, however, decided to go with another offer. The church family continued praying for God’s will, asking that if this building was the right spot that it would come back on the market. On Sept. 6, 2018, miraculously, it did!
With the leading of God and the work of the Utqiagvik group, Alaska Conference office and the North Pacific Union Conference, along with donor support, the building was purchased by the Alaska Conference. On Oct. 23, 2018, the Arctic Adventist Group met in their new church home.
The lesson in this is that God has a plan and sometimes it takes quite a while to materialize. In Matt. 7:7–8, Jesus encourages those listening to ask, seek and knock. Utqiagvik Church members have, year after year, boldly come before the Lord and done this very thing. Now, the door has quite literally been opened, and each time the Babbs visit their church family in Utqiagvik, someone expresses thankfulness and joy for God's answer.