Hey, everyone! I would like to share some of the things that we have been up to these past couple months, and what God has been doing in my life.
Our youth summer camp on the Yukon River, Camp Nahshii, went extremely well. I am grateful for the youth that came and experienced God’s presence and power. After Camp Nahshii, we had a team from Fairbanks come up and build a frame for additional rooms and office space onto our facility. I have learned so much from all of these projects.
I have also been working on college courses (15 credit hour semester), through Southwestern Assembly of God University, this month. It has been a very productive month.
God has been giving me energy, and an excitement for the things ahead. We have had a consistent core of youth who are wanting more of God in their lives, and want to be more involved. He has given me fresh vision for the youth ministry and ways to implement that vision. I am also in the process of planning the XChange Conference 2015, and then the New Year’s All-nighter outreach, which are both powerful ways to build relationships with the youth in Ft. Yukon, and impart into their lives. God is also encouraging me to go deeper into the Old Testament, and has been teaching me allot from it.
Overall, I am excited for what the rest of the year (and 2016) will bring. Please keep us in prayer, up here, as we continue to develop disciples in the faith, bringing the light and life of Christ to the Yukon Flats Region, and eventually, the entire state of Alaska.
- Pastor Joshua Niemuth
This Summer has been crazy busy! We have been working hard to prepare for the Arctic Winter, finish our office/housing expansion project, and get ready for upcoming Fort Yukon outreaches.
We have been overwhelmed by the blessings of our Heavenly Father, throughout this whole building project. Fairbanks First Assembly of God helped to finance the materials for the building project, as well as send workers to frame it in. They worked tirelessly for 6 days, completing the task that they had set out to do. Meanwhile, other members of their team hosted a kids Mega Sports Camp at the village gymnasium. We could not have begun to attempt this project without their awesome support!
After the work team departed Fort Yukon, the building had been framed in. What remained was the insulating, wiring, interior siding and flooring, etc. Within a few weeks of their departure, Grayland Short (the father of our Missionary Associate, Cheyenne Norberg) flew up to help. He wired up the office and both bedrooms, completed the outside deck, and fixed a MAJOR electrical problem in the existing parsonage, which could have been a disaster. We were blessed by his visit and we look forward to having him up again in November.
We were also blessed to have fellow AG U.S. Missionary, Pastor Terry Hull, come up to Fort Yukon to speak at the church and help us install our new HughesNet Satellite Internet system. This system will enable us to have better control of our internet usage and bring the costs down quite a bit. Pastor Terry Hull is a good friend of ours and an amazing Alaska Missionary. We are so glad to be a part of the Alaska Ministry Network and the Intercultural Department of Assembly of God U.S. Missions!
Pastor Joshua and I were asked to join the Fort Yukon Volunteer Fire Department, this past month, and we accepted. Within a few days of accepting, there was a house fire. The FYFD was able to put out the fire within a few hours. We look forward to continued training and equipment to be able to serve our village in this important way.
Over the next few weeks we have the opportunity to build up our support team! Pastor Joshua and I will be ministering in Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska, and sharing about the exciting things that God is doing in the Yukon Flats region of Alaska! Please keep us in prayer, as we travel, speak, and meet with people about joining our support team.
Throughout the past few months, God has impressed upon me the importance of each of our support team members, especially those who give $25 per month or less. Not to diminish the sacrificial giving of those who give more than that, but to emphasize how VITAL those who give $25 or less per month are! As I was looking over our finances, I began to add up the contributions of those $25 per month supporters. And, do you know what I discovered? If all of our support team members who are giving $50 per month or more continued to give and we ONLY lost those who give $25 per month or less, we would be out of the field immediately! That is how important EVERY person on our support team is to us!
I want to encourage you, whether you give $200 per month, $50 per month, or $10 per month, that your monthly giving is an ANSWER TO PRAYER and that God is using your gifts to reach the lost in the Yukon Flats region of Alaska!
If you haven't joined our monthly support team yet, please consider it! You may feel that your giving doesn't matter if it's not $100 per month. DON'T LISTEN TO THAT LIE!
If you would like to be a part of this exciting ministry, please click here: GIVING.AG.ORG and make a monthly commitment. If $10 per month is within your means, right now, we absolutely welcome your support!
Thanks for everything you do for us!
Please don't forget to pray for us!
- Pastor Jeremiah Niemuth
Lead Pastor's Update:
Alaska always amazes me! We can be -50˚F to -70˚F in the Winter, regularly sitting at -30˚F, and then, in the Spring, the temperature shoots up to almost 80˚F in the afternoon. Alaskan's don't really like the heat. Not many of us invest into air conditioners, since we are ridiculously cold for a large chunk of the year. That mean, when it gets up in the 80's we just sweat, like I am right now. However, you know what this weather is great for? That's right, you guessed it... boating! There is NOTHING like being out on the Yukon River, with calm waters, on a hot day, riding along, at 30 mph. It's beautiful, refreshing, and FUN! Seriously, you all should come up and give it a try!
We just got back, a few days ago, from the first boat trip to Camp Nahshii of the year. I am happy to report that there is no major damage to the camp structures and the camp is looking good. We are ready to start getting teams in there and building improvements for this year's youth camp weeks!
We have had a blast doing DAILY ministry, here in Fort Yukon, while adjusting to a new member of the family (our daughter, Araya Joy Niemuth). Whether it's helping a student with her math, praying with an individual in an abusive relationship, preaching from the Word at church, or counseling teens as they allow God to transform their thinking, God has been using us to make a great impact for His kingdom, up here. We are excited about the steps ahead, as we enter into a Summer with building projects, camps, kid's events, and internships. Please keep us in your prayers and consider joining our monthly support team.
I am also proud to report that we currently have 4 people in our ministry team that are pursuing ministry credentials or higher education through the Alaska School of Ministry (part of the Alaska Ministry Network), here in the village. We also have two staff members, myself included, pursuing Bachelor's Degrees through two Assembly of God Universities (Global University and Southwestern Assembly of God University). We are excited about the ministry opportunities, as well as enhanced personal benefits, that being a student of God's Word provides.
- Pastor Jeremiah Niemuth
Ministry Intern Update
The summer months have finally arrived! Winter was fun, but summertime on the Yukon flats makes for so many amazing ministry opportunities, projects and soaking up the sun! The last few months have been continuous AKSOM (Alaska school of ministry) working at the school, and a trip down to Anchorage for Alaska Ministry Network Conference.
Currently I am finishing up my last week at the school here in Fort Yukon, and am also finishing up my last AKSOM course before my certified ministers test! I'm currently working on "Bible Doctrines; a Pentecostal Perspective" being almost finished with the course, it has been enlightening to grow in my knowledge of the Word of God, and in perspective of what His word says. I'm looking forward to my licensing courses!
In light of that, I was able to make it to network conference in anchorage a few weeks back. While there I was able to connect with family, and friends and even see some of them receive recognition for credentials! It was refreshing and encouraging to be surrounded by so many incredible men and women of God and to be poured into by them! Conference is something I look forward to every year. In coming back to The Fort (Fort Yukon) we are getting ready for the hustle and bustle of summertime, and I am so excited to see what God has in store for Summer 2015!
- Cheyenne Norberg
Associate Pastor update
Hey, everyone! These past couple months have been so good; God is doing some amazing things in people! We were able to take three young teens to Winter Xtreme from March 27th-29th, where they were impacted by God and had a great time building relationships with us and the TGM staff. There were some great God encounters. One of our kids also ended up winning the ‘Stuff-It’ Championship, which was super awesome.
Since then, two of those three youth have been becoming more active in their relationship with God and have been spending more time with the staff here. We have continued to do youth group nights in the gym- that has been going very well. This past month’s focus has been on serving God and doing His will starting in the home with family members. Two of our core youth have been faithfully serving on kid’s night and with worship on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Reach discipleship nights have been very instrumental in teaching youth how to be committed and faithful in their study of God’s Word and prayer. The most recent Reach night we had occurred outside around a fire, with s’mores and fun times.
At the end of April, we were blessed with the opportunity to attend the AK Ministry Network Conference from 27th-30th. The conference was a very encouraging and refreshing time spiritually for me, and I was recognized as a licensed minister that Thursday night at the credentialing service. We were also blessed to have the AG General Superintendent George O. Wood speak at the conference. I am even more excited to continue youth ministry in the Yukon Flats!
I will close with a very cool story. I was at the school, and one of the teachers approached me and said, “The kids in my class were quoting you from your message you shared a couple weeks ago.” I was surprised, so I asked what they were quoting. She said, “I have them writing reports about their lives, and they quoted that you said ‘God is the Author of your story, and He knows it from beginning to end, so follow His script.’” Praise God! Thanks you for reading this, and for your support and prayers for us as we continue to change the Yukon Flats for the Kingdom of God!
- Pastor Joshua Niemuth
My kids (Lucas and Araya) are such a blessing to me! They make each day more exciting, more enjoyable, more meaningful, and just... more. Some days are tougher than others, but the joys and satisfaction that they bring to our life it WAY worth it.
If you have kids, tell them that you love them, tell them that they're smart, tell your daughters that they're beautiful, tell your sons that they're strong, tell them regularly.
Some parents tell their kids negative things, but most just don't tell them anything, which can be just as harmful. Speak positive and encouraging things to your kids, even when they're babies and toddlers. It's less about how much they understand and more about building those habits and behaviors in your own life and in your family.
We are proud to announce the birth of our baby girl, Araya Joy Niemuth, born February 25th, 2015.
Due to some irregular pains and high blood sugar levels, Sharnay was flown in to Fairbanks about 8 weeks before the birth, so that the doctors could do more regular check-ups on her and the baby. She is so happy to be home with a healthy baby and she is busy getting settled back into the flow of things, here in Fort Yukon.
Thank you all for your prayers and support! We are working on putting together another newsletter ASAP. Please keep us in prayer as we "press on towards the goal, which Jesus Christ has called us to".
Well, 2014 is gone. It's hard to believe that it went by so quickly, isn't it? It seems like just yesterday we were boating kids back and forth from Camp Nahshii and working on projects outside, here in Fort Yukon. Now, the snow is knee deep and it's -40˚F out there. Even so, one of our volunteers, my associate pastor, and I just came inside from a nice exhilarating time outside, cutting and splitting logs of firewood and getting it stacked in the entryway of the church. Just like anywhere else in the world, life and ministry must go on. If we barred the doors and stayed inside whenever it was below zero outside, we'd be indoors for several months straight. That's not the kind of ministry that God has called us to do, up here.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of ministry events, travel, family time, and weekly ministry here in Fort Yukon. With Sharnay expecting our second child in just a matter of weeks, we have flown her into Fairbanks so that she is close to the hospital when the time comes for the delivery.
Our associate pastor, Joshua Niemuth, and our ministry intern, Cheyenne Norberg, have been very busy with all sorts of ministry activities, over the past 3 months. Here are their updates:
Associate Pastor Update:
"Hey, everyone! So God has been doing so much in me and through me here in Fort Yukon. Ever since I boated up with my stuff on September 11th, this new chapter of my life has been one adventure after another.
When I first got here, I spent the first week or so getting settled in, and helping out with things at the church. Then, I prayed about a new name for the youth ministry: The Comeback Student Ministries, with the theme verse 2 Corinthians 5:17 - “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” I believe this is what God is speaking to the younger generation- that there is always hope available for anyone.
Later in the month, I started youth group, and have been averaging 3-5 kids every week. Two of the girls, Alyssa and Jamela, have been very consistent and have been showing signs of maturity as they seek after God and are open to what He has for them. They have recently been volunteering to sing for worship on youth nights and Sunday.
In September and October, my focus was on what the youth name means- making the ‘comeback’ from death to life in Jesus. I preached on the 2 greatest commandments, and how this is God’s purpose for us. The following week was the plan of God laid out, from creation to the fall, then to redemption. After that, it was about hearing God’s voice and choosing to follow it. The 2014 XChange Youth Conference took place from the 24-26th of October, and it was awesome. We had a couple of volunteer leaders fly up, Leon and Abby Osborne, and they did great. We had about 25 kids come throughout the weekend, and young people were touched by God.
In November, the theme was being who God created you to be, and not letting the world shape and mold you. Pastor Jeremiah had a men’s event on the 15th called ‘Take Aim.’ We had several youth come to that and we were able to build relationship with them.
In December, I was able to spend some time with my family, and was encouraged and refreshed as we did fun things together. On the 20th, we had a youth Christmas party, with about 17 kids. We played Christmas games, had a gift exchange, food, and punch.
At the end of the month, we had our annual New Years all nighter. We spent 5 weeks fundraising to prepare, and even longer in planning. It was totally worth it. We had 43 kids come and have a blast. Wright Air pitched in and gave all of our volunteer leaders %50 off their flight tickets. The police officers offered to keep the grounds safe as well. It was a fun and exciting alternative atmosphere that kept the kids away from substance abuse and partying in other places. What a great way to start the year 2015!
The theme for this month of January will be the power of prayer, and how, as God’s children, we should be excited to know Him more.
God has been speaking to me so much about His will for my life, and giving me a deeper passion and excitement to reach the Yukon Flats region for Him. As I continue to serve and work here at Ft. Yukon Assembly of God, God is always finding more and more ways to bless me even beyond what I long for."
Ministry Intern Update:
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:9-13
"Moving to Fort Yukon has collectively shown me the beauty of Gods heart for the lives of his people. After helping with camp Nahshii for the last two years I had fallen in love with the interior of Alaska, the kids and the need for Gods love in the villages. I felt a call on my heart to move to Fort Yukon and serve Pastor Jeremiah and Sharnay. After sharing with them, two and a half months later I found myself in an internship, moving to Fort Yukon. I never thought that coming here would change my heart the way it has in these last few months.
While being here God has opened door after door, wether it be in relationships with the people, opportunities to share Gods love and even work in the school as a teacher. God is so good! He has surpassed any expectation I had before moving here, and continues to surprise me. While in my internship I have been enrolled in Alaska School of Ministry, taking biblical courses with the intent of credentials. I have also been helping out in children's ministry, youth ministry and women's ministry. This month I started a part time position at the school as a Sp. Ed aid, spending one on one time with a child, helping them with schooling and being there for them. It has been an incredible opportunity to get to know the people of Fort Yukon and to build relationship with them. I am so thankful and so eager to see what God has in-store for this next year."
God is ALWAYS faithful, when we live in obedience to Him. One of the things that I've learned through 8 years of ministry, here in Fort Yukon, is that God's promises, provision, blessing, and presence comes with the condition of obedience. He offers ALL of Himself to us, AS WE submit to Him as Lord and Ruler of our life.
Too many times, in an effort to contradict the stereotype that "all Christians do is tell me a list of do's and don'ts", we've failed to share the WHOLE gospel with people. I know I've been guilty of it. We think that, somehow, it will be easier for people to come to God and put their trust in Him if they feel that there is nothing required of them. Have you ever flipped through one of those "Promises of God" books? Have you noticed that there is a MAJOR part of the promise that's usually missing? The part where God says "If you...". We love to read about what God says that HE will do for us, but we fail to pay attention and adequately teach new believers what WE must do in order to be eligible for that promise. I believe that this plays a large role in the amount of frustrated, disillusioned, and bitter Christians that are filling our churches, today. They feel like they were let down. They were told that "God promises this in your life, just because you said the sinner's prayer". They were not told to "Count the cost". They wonder why God's promises are not being seen in their lives. They continue to wonder, "Why did God not come through for me. Why did He let me down?". All the while, the pastors and evangelists continue to preach about the wondrous promises of God, failing to mention that the "Promises of God" are completely dependent on OUR obedience to Him and our submission to His leading in our lives.
The thinking is that it doesn't matter how they come to Jesus, just that they do. We tell ourselves that Jesus will fix their wrong thinking and the Holy Spirit will mature them. Am I the only one that sees that as lazy and underhanded? Yes, I believe that God can and will speak to individuals who have been "tricked" into saying the sinners prayer. But, I also believe that those "tricks" set new believers up for failure, bitterness, and unnecessary hardships. And people who are struggling with these issues are usually not preaching the gospel to their friends.
To teach someone that God loves you "just the way you are" is one of the biggest lies in the church, today. God doesn't love you just the way you are. The way you are, before you repent and give your life to Him, is sick, twisted, spiritually dead, and sinful. It is because God DOESN'T love you just the way you are that He sent His son to die for you. God loves YOU, as a person. He loves you so much that He created a perfect, awesome plan for your life that involves you dying to your flesh and being ALIVE in Him for all eternity. This plan does NOT include you living your life for yourself, choosing to fill your life with things that don't please God, or "kinda" being a Christian.
As you share your faith with others, don't hold back. As I recently heard Pastor Mark Zweifel say, in regards to figuring out who you should share your faith with; "Proximity equals responsibility." In other words, those who you have relationship with, live with, work with, and interact with are part of your responsibility to give them a chance to be introduced to Jesus. Let's build our churches by preaching the life-changing gospel of Jesus in it's entirety, producing strong, committed, "sold out" men and women of God. It's much easier to multiply the body of Christ when the people who we win to Jesus are becoming people who win others for Him as well.
Thank you all for your prayers and support! We pray that the Lord fills your life and your ministry with an abundance of His peace and presence, as you live to know Him more and make Him known to those around you!
- Pastor Jeremiah Niemuth
Welcoming new help!
Last month, we were honored to welcome new helpers into the ministry here in Fort Yukon, Alaska! We are so blessed to add Pastor Joshua Niemuth (Associate Pastor) and Cheyenne Norberg (Ministry Intern) to our ministry family.
Pastor Joshua has been working hard to create a vibrant youth ministry, which is focused on 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation, the old is gone, behold, the new has come” . With this verse in mind, The Comeback Student Ministries was born.
This youth ministry is dedicated to discipleship. Pastor Joshua believes in raising up leaders, for this generation, who will walk righteously before God in all their ways.
We are excited to see the many changes in the lives of the youth, as they come to know God and pursue a life that pleases Him.
Sharnay and Cheyenne will be taking some of the youth girls from Fort Yukon to the annual Alaska Ministry Youth Conference, in Anchorage. They will be flying from Fort Yukon to Fairbanks and then driving down to Anchorage.
Pastor Joshua will be spending the next few weeks getting ready for a youth conference that we are hosting here in Fort Yukon. This event has ministered to between 40 to 60 middle school and high school students, annually:
Northern Region Minister's Advance
This month, we flew into Fairbanks to meet with the other Assembly of God ministers of the Northern Region of Alaska. We had a great time of fellowship, worship, and teaching. It's always great to build stronger relationships with fellow Christ followers and church developers. Pastor Joshua was asked to play the drums during worship, on the first night of the conference.
"TAKE AIM 2014"
On November 15th, we will be hosting a men's outreach event called "Take Aim" here in Fort Yukon. This event will be filled with awesome foods, manly competitions, outdoorsy prizes, and more. We are looking forward to seeing the men of the community get involved and spend time in a God centered, manly atmosphere.
Thank you for your continual support! We greatly appreciate each financial gift, special card, care package, and many other blessings that you send our way. We pray that God would bless your life, as you continue to pursue His purposes.
Pastor Jeremiah Niemuth
Summer 2014 has almost passed us by, already! It seams like we barely started planning the Summer and now we are planning for Winter. Not to say that this Summer wasn't filled with amazing testimonies of God's greatness! With Camp Nahshii, Creation Camp, construction projects, and visits from some pretty great teams, like Voices of Peace Ministries and Maranatha Full Gospel Fellowship, we've had a full plate.
These are the campers from Camp Nahshii:
After Camp Nahshii, we hosted a gospel music ministry team from Wisconsin called Voices of Peace Ministries. This team did a great job of meeting the needs of the community and ministering to our people, both young and old. They brought with them a huge supply of Bibles, warm winter socks, handmade wooden toys, and Coffee:
Next, we hosted our Summer camp for K-5th grade kids, here at the Fort Yukon Assembly of God church property. This year, we used a Wild West themed curriculum called SonWest Roundup:
After everything winded down from Creation Camp, I took the boat and headed back down to Camp Nahshii (60 miles down river) to help the team finish packing up the camp. When that was done, we packed the boats with the gear that doesn't stay out at camp for the Winter and headed down to the only bridge that crosses the Yukon river in Alaska (150 river miles from Camp Nahshii). It was a long, hard trip. We had winds, rain, waves, and a few boat malfunctions, but we made it.
Praise God for His protection and provision on our family and staff, this Summer. We saw many people come to know the Lord, Holy Spirit baptisms, and genuine life change moments. We are looking forward to what He has in store for us, this Fall and into the Winter.
Thank you for your prayers and support! God has used you, in so many ways, to answer many prayers out here in the Yukon Flats region of Alaska.
- Jeremiah Niemuth