This year has been especially memorable. Its the first year that I am an official missionary associate under the Intercultural Missions department, as well as my first year as a credentialed Assemblies of God minister. Being in Fort Yukon has broadened my heart for missions. I had never thought that I would baptize someone… let alone baptize them in one of the coldest and most dangerous rivers!
Now, in my last update I talked about Winter X-Treme in March. Shortly after one of the services one of our girls came and started asking me about baptism, I shared with her what it meant, and why we do it and to my surprise she asked if I would be able to baptize her when the river broke.
I didn't expect that! I explained to her that it would be a few months from now (Everything was still frozen.)
As summer came around our team here in Fort Yukon was working with This Generation Ministries to gear up for our annual summer camp: Camp Nahshii.. time was in short supply! I talked with the girl a few other times about baptism more in depth and we went over scriptures and stories in the bible regarding baptism.
June was packed with preparation for Camp. With work teams, lots of freight coming through and endless boat trips from circle to fort yukon, and then to camp. While all of that is going on we are still doing full time ministry in Fort Yukon- building the hype for camp! The month before flew by and before we knew it, July was here! Camp Nahshii was is in full swing! There was so much going on! Anyone who has ever staffed at a summer camp can tell you, “long nights and early mornings!” The services were impactful and youth were experiencing God! One of the nights during middle school camp, 3 girls approached me after service and told me that they wanted to be baptized. (all were from Fort Yukon) I talked with them briefly and explained that we would talk more, later. (I’m pretty sure I almost exploded with excitement for these young girls!)
I had never baptized anyone before, and the thought of it made me so nervous. I’ve seen it done so many times, and I knew what to say, and how it was done. But I wasn’t confident. So I began to look at scripture and read the stories from the bible about baptism. God totally changed my perspective and heart about it. I was looking at it from a “this is a right of passage into the christian world” point of view and my heart was just broken in awe of how beautiful and simple baptism is! Reading the story of Phillip and the Eunuch, “As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:36-38. In biblical times baptism was, “I choose Jesus, and now I want to be baptized, right now..” they stopped everything they were doing and went down to a river or stream or any source of water in where you could be submerged, and they did it! There is so much freedom and beauty in choosing to live for Christ. In looking at scripture it was as though I was re living the moment I chose to be with Jesus forever. There is nothing like it. Camp was over, and an eventful river season was coming to a close. Pastor Joshua talked about baptism at one of our youth night services and we did the baptisms for the two girls the following weekend.
Here we are in August, and I am so thankful for what God has done this summer and I am privileged to be a part of the plan God has for the Yukon Flats of Alaska! Know that your prayers and your support are making an impact. God is “I AM” He never stops working and providing for His people!
I still have a long way to go to raise my missionary budget. Currently, I am only at 16% of my total operating budget. Please consider joining my team and helping me GO so that ALL can know the love of our God!
- Cheyenne Norberg