Some of you may know, but for those of you that don't, Joel and I are planning a trip to Alaska this summer with our church for a mission trip. We are totally pumped about this trip. You may be thinking..."A mission trip to Alaska?" "Yeah right!" Well, we kind of thought that too, but have found out in the last couple months that Alaska is a huge mission field, I mean huge!!
Our trip is set for July 29th through August 8th. We are going to a TINY city of 313 people called Elim. WOW, I thought Upland was small, but 313 people!! We found out that this town has no roads (as most towns in Alaska don't). This part of Alaska is called 'Bush' Alaska. We have to fly in and fly out since the only road is out the 'fish camp'. This is what the people will be doing the days they are there. They go to 'fish camp' and catch most of their fish for the year at this time. Our basic reason for going is to just bring encouragement and support to these people. We are also going to be working on the pastor's house as it needs a lot of work.
The statistics in 'bush' Alaska are absolutely out of this world.
The suicide rate of those in Alaska is 8 times the national average.
Alaskan natives make up 19% of the state's population, but 41% of the states suicides.
This obviously is just a huge problem. Some kids within the churches we have there have been making suicide packs and 3 kids have already died.
I will save more stats for a different post, but just wanted to keep you updated on what some of our plans are for the summer. Stay tuned for post #2!
PS-on the map of Alaska, Elim is located very close (a little East) of NOME.