Kotzebue, Alaska is a very special place, filled with amazing people. I am always meeting people with incredible tales to tell, and skills and talents that never seem to end. The longer I am here, the more Kotzebue reveals it's hidden treasures from among it's people.
One group that continually amazes me are THE KIDS OF KOTZEBUE. I have encountered them repeatedly through Lisa's precocious son, 17 year old Solomon.
Solomon loves Jesus His Savior! And Solomon also loves his local high school, filled with committed teachers from all over America who have come to dedicate their skills to helping the kids of Kotzebue fulfill their dreams and goals in life. He is actually on his way to becoming valedictorian in the high school this year, by God's grace.
Both the school superintendent, Norm Eck, and the principal, Mike Lane, are doing an amazing job alongside the teachers in transforming the gifted kids of Kotzebue into junior dynamos of learning, intellectual prowess, various skills, and perfecting their talents further through shop and music classes.
Solomon gets along great with these village teens. Full of life, humor, mischief and amazing talents, it is always a special night for us when Solomon invites his friends over for my special treats of moose pizza and brownies.
This past Saturday night, Solomon invited the gang over for pizza and ice cream and brownie cake. Actually, it was his brother Adam's pre-birthday party we were celebrating. But the word got out in the village, and soon we had a houseful of Solomon's friends over to help Adam celebrate!
Laughter and smiles and fun conversation filled the living room. But then, Solomon pulled out an electronic keyboard that the school loaned him so I could teach him piano. And one by one, these amazing teens sat down behind the keyboard and began to play with skill and finesse that they never told us about before!
Then, they all started to sing. One young man, Levi, pulled out his cell phone and played a Gospel song he had downloaded, and everyone started to sing, even raise their hands to praise God! They replayed that song again and again, and they all sang that song for the longest time. It turned into a Gospel music night!
Here is the song Levi played for us, that got all the kids praising Jesus. It is really an old southern Gospel song speaking of repentance and being baptized and turning to Jesus Christ:
That did it.
Solomon and I have now decided that every Saturday night will be GOSPEL MUSIC AND PIZZA NIGHT for the amazing kids of Kotzebue! Prayer and Christian testimony and ministry will always be included.Also, we want to soon have Christian movie night with edifying Christian movies that will minister to them. (They have no movie theater here in Kotzebue. Hmmm...maybe that is a good thing after all!)
What a wonderful way to do Christian outreach to these precious young people...right in our home. I love it. Solomon is learning how to minister to his friends and to pray with them, or to take them to Brother Lance Kramer for prayer and deeper counseling at his home.
Pray for these amazing KIDS OF KOTZEBUE. They have a tough challenge before them, survival in the Arctic Circle. Life skills for them include learning how to hunt and fish, hunting on a perilous ocean for whales and seals and walruses, mushing dogsleds or riding snowmobiles over the snow and ice. But God seems to favor these people, and has poured all kinds of talents, skills, beauty and grace into these precious children.
As in every other community across America today, these youth have their struggles with alcohol, drugs, and the temptations that assault young people daily in today's world.
But with Jesus Christ as Lord of each one of their lives, they can experience victory in every area and soar to overcome to achieve great things in their world and for the glory of God. Bringing life and hope into their lives through proclaiming Jesus Christ to them is the greatest gift we can give to uncertain youth today in a dark and perilous world we live in.
I so desire to be a part of what God is doing here among the Inupiaq people of Alaska and the Arctic Circle. Pray for them, pray for me and our success in reaching into their lives with the love of God and the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives for His glory.
-Pamela Rae Schuffert reporting from Kotzebue, Alaska