God Plans Ahead
Arctic Mission Volunteers serve in villages where the cost for basic food items is double, sometimes triple, what one pays in the Lower 48 because bush Alaska is not tied to any road system; all supplies must be flown or barged into the villages. In Selawik, a family can purchase a dozen eggs, a loaf of plain white bread and a half a gallon of orange juice for the low price of $25!
To help offset these costs, we obtained permission from the village elders to run a food bank. Each month, we serve between 10–15 families consistently because of the donations of so many friends.
Last Thanksgiving, the Eagle River Church youth shipped 750 pounds of food they had collected from their neighbors. We were stunned! My husband and I prayed that God would direct how to use this food for His honor and glory. Little did we know that God was going to use this food in a mighty way.
Two days after the food arrived, Alaska was hit with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Although our village was not directly impacted, we were cut off from food and supplies coming in from Anchorage as the city scrambled to recover. The 750 pounds of food allowed us to serve more than 30 families, with food to spare.
But God was not finished. The government shutdown in February gave us a second opportunity to share food with our community. Eighty percent of our village depends on government benefits such as food stamps to meet their needs. When the government shutdown, these benefits were delayed, affecting many families with small children. But God had planned for this. With the food left over, 35 households received food for their families. We are in awe to think how God in His mercy used His children to send food way before we were going to need it.