Changing People's Lives
I felt so humbled that God would have actually used me to help my friends.
When I was eight years old and I couldn’t go to junior camp because I was too young. Many people here in Alaska call Camp Polaris, “junior camp.”
I went there to drop off my older sister and cousin, and when I had to get back in the boat to leave I started crying. I wanted to stay at camp so bad with all the other kids! They were having fun, they had a schedule, everybody seemed happy, and I wanted to be there, too!
When I turned 9 I finally got to go to camp. I was so excited and absolutely loved being there! I went every year until I was too old for camp. There were many fun and interesting experiences I had there, but one that I especially remember happened the summer I was 14 years old.
We were all in the cabin, and some of the boys wanted to tell ghost stories. It was around 12:30 in the morning and I told them that I just wanted to go to sleep, but they started telling ghost stories anyway. Our counselor was asleep, so he didn’t know what was going on.
After a while, things started getting really scary. One of my friends was sitting in the corner very quietly. After the last ghost story was told, he jumped up and ran to the other side of the cabin where I was. The only beam of light that was showing through the door was shining right by my bunk bed, and he wanted to be there beside me. “Chad,” he said, “I don’t know what happened, but I’m really scared—something happened to me.
I was scared, too, and said, “Let’s get a Bible!” I started reading the Bible to him, and another friend joined us on my bunk because he was scared, too. I kept reading the Bible, but I could see that my friends were still scared, so I said, “Let’s go outside.”
Angels on the Mountain
The moon was shining brightly and we could see the lake and the huge mountains all around us. As I looked up at those tall mountains, I remembered the Bible story about when Elisha’s servant was so afraid because they were surrounded by their enemies. Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant, and God answered his prayer. Suddenly the man saw angels in fiery chariots all around them.
Remembering that story, I suddenly blurted out to my friends, “You guys, look! Look at the tops of the mountains! All the angels are on this mountain!” You could just see my friends calming down. We went back into the cabin and fell asleep.
The next morning, I felt so humbled that God would have actually used me to help my friends. I was telling myself, “I can’t believe that I was a part of that—I’m too young for God to use me.” But now I know that God did use me to help my friends—you don’t have to be “old enough” for God to use you—you just have to be willing.
Camp Polaris is really old and worn down now, but I know that people are trying hard to get money to build the camp back up again. God has used that place to help so many people who live here, and people from all over Alaska have heard about what a wonderful place it is. I believe that if we keep on building it up, making it an even better place, God will keep on using it to change people’s lives for the better, like mine.
We are so happy that Camp Polaris was chosen to receive part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter. Even though the children love coming to camp now, I know that they will be even happier to have mattresses to sleep on, and real toilets and showers.
Chad Angasan, a native Inuit/Aleut, is a Global Mission Pioneer pastoring in the village of Togiak, Alaska.