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Golden preaching

2 Ricks take Alaska mission trip

By Michael Butler

Rampart and Stevens Village in Alaska are approximately 4,400 miles from Tallassee. You can walk there (non-stop) in 58 days. It takes roughly three days (again non-stop) to drive there. Thank goodness that the Wright Brothers came along.

Rick Dorley and Rick Golden from Westside Independent Baptist Church in Tallassee just recently returned from a missions trip to the Last Frontier.

"Rampart was around 21 degrees below zero and Stevens Village was 18 below. If you dress appropriately you'll be fine," Golden said of the icy climate. "We were 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. It is beautiful. We got to see the Northern Lights. It's like a moving rainbow at night.

A road of snow and ice

"Rampart has no church. Stevens Village has an Episcopal church. We got to preach to the Athabaskans. It was a blessing. It was 30 miles up the Yukon just to get to them and 30 back. So, you're looking at 60 miles on a snow machine. The ministry is going to the remote parts trying to reach the ones that otherwise would never hear the gospel. It's just a different world. You've got to prepare for everything. You don't have any margin for error."

Golden and Dorley dined on moose and salmon and visited homes along the Yukon River.

"Some are welcoming. Some aren't," Golden noted. "Some are polite and decline anything to do with you. Others really don't want anything to do with you."

One of the locals named Leroy was ill and welcomed Golden and Dorley into his home. They cut and split wood for his cabin.

Leroy's cabin

"Praise the Lord to have the opportunity to talk with Leroy and have prayer with him," Dorley added, "also to share the gospel with a couple named Henry and Jennie and pray for their salvation.

"In Matthew 18:12, Jesus speaking of sheep says, 'of a man has a hundred sheep and ONE of them goes astray. Will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the ONE that is lost.' What a joy to have an opportunity to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the few in the interior of Alaska. All of the danger, money and effort it takes to get to these native people is worth it. Jesus died for them too. How shall they hear without a preacher?"