Lance and Corina Kramer of Kotzebue, Alaska
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Kotzebue, Alaska, in the Arctic Circle
Today I enjoyed a wonderful church service at the First Baptist Church of Kotzebue. Although the service began at 11:00 AM, it was still dark when I arrived at the church. There are only about 3 hours of daylight each day now here, and even that daylight is minimal. A very cold wind blew this morning a cross Kotzebue, causing snow drifts to pile high everywhere. Above, ravens as huge as vultures spread their wings and rode on the ever-present air currents, ceaselessly searching for food scraps and dead carrion.
But inside this church, Christian hearts were warm and friendly as members greeted one another warmly. I was also given a warm welcome as a newcomer here. Today was their annual Christmas play by the children, and everyone was excited. We sang some traditional Christmas carols, and then sat back and enjoyed the adorable play.
Finally, it was time for the service to be over. We joined one another afterwards in the church basement for a delicious potluck dinner. I was proud to bring my "morsel of moose" stew. It was so delicious that the bottom of the serving pan was scraped clean by the end of the dinner.
I experienced the most amazing encounter with a very special man of God and vision for his Inupiak people, Lance Kramer joined with his wonderful wife, Corina. Lance is an incredible person! He is a true son of the Inupiak people, who has maintained their cherished and ancient culture and survival skills essential for survival in this harsh environment. Coupled with years of studying the Bible and performing years of dedicated Christian outreach, he is a mighty man of God with great compassion, vision and concern for his people. A modern "Maniilaq visionary".
Who is MANIILAQ? Maniilaq was an incredible prophetic person among his Inupiak people in the 1800's. Not by missionary preaching, but by Divine revelation of the Holy Spirit, Maniilaq began to know and enter into fellowship with the Father and the Son and receive divine visions and prophecies for his Inupiak people.
Maniilaq had visions of modern planes and boats coming to the land of his forefathers here. Maniilaq received Divine revelation of the Father and the Son, even the word "Abba." He refused to be involved in the occult aspects of shamanism, but instead wanted the pure Divine power coming from the Father. You can read more about the great Inupiak prophet MANIILAQ by going to the following websites:
Lance has a burning passion to reach the precious youth among his people. In fact, Lance and Corina have opened their home wide to children besides their own, to love and mentor and disciple them as well. He has also helped to form YOUTH CAMPS for the youth.
Katigvik Bible Camp
Lance is often invited to speak at various Christian functions across Alaska and other locations. With his unique combination of knowledge of the ancient skills his people possessed to survive and conquer the frigid Arctic, coupled with the more modern revelation of the wonderful grace of salvation and peace with God through Jesus Christ, Lance often finds himself in high demand to come and minister.
Lance ministering the Word of God
In my years of travel across the United States for my journalism, I have spent much time at various Native American tribal reservations. I greatly enjoy and appreciate Native people's, their cultures and traditions and wisdom, and their art both in music and other native crafts. And now that I am here in a genuine Eskimo village, I have enjoyed their beautiful Native skills and crafts and handiwork. Some of the intricate and beautiful Native handiwork and creations are to be found here in Kotzebue, and throughout the neighboring villages.
"PARKEES" or Native Eskimo parkas are very popular. They incorporate rich and beautful hides of locally hunted animals like caribou, moose, lynx and wolverine and more into their intricate parkas. Large furry hoods to protect the face and head are essential because of the bitterly cold Arctic wind that blows across the tundra here. As a skilled hunter, Lance takes care to harvest the hides of all animal he shoots for meat, and then they can be used for beautiful Eskimo creations like the parka below.
Lance has learned all the traditional skills of his people, including operating the TRAP LINE. Even today, he told me he will go out to check his trapline to see what animals the traps have captured. Hopefully, there will be lynx today. For those readers who think this is cruel, think again. In such a cold and bleak climate, they cannot have large farms to grow food to eat or survive.
The Inupiak have survived on what God has supplied to them through Nature for thousands of years. The meat of these animals feeds the village. The hides from these animals provide warm winter clothing just to survive. Nothing goes to waste of the animals they kill to survive. These people could not survive without this.
Lance Kramer and Corina and their wonderful family
You can now contact Lance and Corina directly, both by telephone and email.
W.I.T.H. AK. Ministries
P.O. Box 1384