Hydaburg – Mission Accomplished, Foundation Laid

Our first trip to Hydaburg was about learning, listening and building relationships for future ministry.

Building a relationship is always the first step in earning the right to be heard in someone’s life. The people of Hydaburg were open and friendly. Their hospitality was exceptional. And the food – oh the food – was amazing. They fed us breakfast and lunch, every day.

Hydaburg is the home of the Haida Tribe of southeastern Alaska. This small village of 300 people is nestled near the southwest corner of an island – Prince of Wales or POW. POW is to the north and west of Ketchikan. It is a three-hour ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis, the only port on POW.

We attended “Culture Camp”, July 23-27. The purpose of Culture Camp is to educate the general public about the ways of the Haida People. We learned so much about the people, their culture, and their history. Booths were set up to teach the skills the Haida People had acquired throughout the thousands of years of their existence. Using cedar bark for basket weaving, making moccasins from deer hide, constructing drums, and small replicas of canoe paddles were the favorites. On each item, skilled artists would draw traditional depictions of the animals and birds that play a significant part of their culture and history.

We gained a great appreciation for the Haida People. There are problems in the village to be sure, but for this important week, they put their best foot forward and put on a fabulous party.

I want to say a word of thanks to our team who sacrificed a week away from their families and paid a good portion of their way. To Heighlan Bouma, Shannon Granger, Jeremy and Jennifer Scott, Derek and Mindy Thom and Terri Treend, I say job well done! And I want to recognize two special little girls – Ellie (23 months) and Olivia (six months) Thom. These two will always know that their lives were dedicated to reaching the world for Christ. Cudos to Derek and Mindy for making taking the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth part of their two daughter’s spiritual heritage.

For this first trip to Hydaburg, I say – Mission Accomplished, Foundation Laid.

I’ve got more to share, so please stayed tuned.

~Pastor Gary

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