InterACTION - April 2016 The Greatest Search And Rescue Mission Ever

By John Tramm

Two men lifted the wooden cross and placed it into a hole in the ice. I glanced to the left at the river – it was strange to see such a large area of open water in January. Normally frozen over by now, this year the Yukon was split down the middle by a strong swift current that contrasted with the frozen ice all around it. A forceful downriver wind blew. “Lord, please help the wind to calm so my words can be heard,” I prayed.

The man had disappeared several weeks earlier, a victim of losing the trail at night and driving into the open water. The search had been thorough at the site. We did all we could do to find him. His snow machine was found quickly, but the body was never recovered. The search was ended, and I was asked to do the memorial for him.

Water was poured into the hole where the cross was placed, then three huge blocks of ice were set at the base to secure it. Perhaps seventy-five people in heavy parkas and snow gear carefully tread across fifty yards of glare ice to where we stood. Just beyond them more than forty snow machines were parked. Many had sleds behind them filled with tents, ice augers, probing poles, hooks and other ice fishing gear that had seen heavy use over the past two weeks.

Around us the snow-covered hills laden with spruce, and the willows lining the river glowed in the early afternoon sun, providing a conspicuous reminder of the reality of the One who created such beauty.

A semi-circle formed around the cross. Flowers were handed out to all the people present. “Let’s come in closer so we can all hear,” I called above the wind. It was blowing too hard to use notes. Again I prayed silently, “Lord, help me to remember and give me the words to say.”

The service was short due to the wind and cold. I shared the story of the greatest search and rescue mission that has ever happened in the history of the world. The cross was a great visual in sharing how Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection provided the way for people to have a restored relationship with God.

What was the impact of that message? The Lord knows. One thing is certain – people in the village are watching how we live, and that can open doors for them to hear about Christ. Village mission work involves striving to live day-to-day in such a way that God’s light shines brightly to all those around us. Pray for the work of the gospel in the villages of Alaska, and for those of us that serve in them, that we would display the love of Christ in all that we do. †

Village mission work involves striving to live day-to-day in such a way that God’s light shines brightly to all those around us.

Missionary Profile: John & Jen Tramm

John and Jen both grew up in Minnesota where they met and were married in 2003. The Lord began to lay on their hearts a burden for mission work in Alaska, and in 2013 they joined InterAct Ministries as missionaries. For their first year on they field they served in Fairbanks assisting with ministries at the Fairbanks Native Bible Church. They spent the summer of 2014 in the village of Ruby in western interior Alaska. By the end of the summer they felt the Lord leading them to live there full time. John and Jen are passionate to see people grow in their relationship with God through Christ so they may glorify God in all they do and impact the people in their families, communities and beyond. They have three children, Maria, Hans and Gloria.

InterACTION is a monthly publication of InterAct Ministries

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InterAct Ministries


Created with images by FairbanksMike - "Paul's Snowmachine" • Tim Pierce - "frozen (042/365)" • Simon - "rangiswanger horn allgäu winter"

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