InterACTION - January 2016 Fairbanks Native Youth Share Their Faith In The Village

By Tim & Larissa Zook

Last winter the Lord put a burden on our hearts to take our youth group at Fairbanks Native Bible Church to the village of Husila for a mission trip. Some great missionaries who have lived and served in the village for a long time had invited us out years earlier with an offer to host a mission team.

Another draw to that particular village was the fact that Tianna, one of our youth group graduates, is from there and her grandma, mother and brother still live there. Tianna and her husband Charles serve alongside us in our ministry now. So after much prayer with this couple, we decided to make the trip during Christmas break when the village would be having their annual races- dogsled, snowshoe, ice picking, and many of the locals would be out and about.

We found a missionary pilot willing to fly us out just for the cost of fuel. One unique aspects of our ministry is that we have funds ready to use for ministry at all times. Our supporters give regularly and 100% goes to the youth ministry. Because of this the teens did not have to pay their way.

We had just finished a study on sharing our faith with others and decided that the only requirement for going on the trip would be for the teens to share their story of how they gave their life to Christ in front of the youth in Huslia. Seven teens accepted the challenge and worked on writing out and then sharing their stories in front of the youth group in Fairbanks for practice.

During our five days in Huslia we hosted three big youth events. We played indoor and outdoor games, brought them fresh fruit and pastries to eat (which is either extremely expensive or not even available there), taught the salvation message and had the teens share their own stories of salvation. Three of our teens led the worship time during the Sunday service, and Tianna and Charles shared their testimonies. We wanted to participate in the local activities too! So we entered our own boys and the teens in the snowshoe contest. It was a lot of fun!

After returning home we wanted the teens and leaders on the trip to share what we experienced in Huslia with our own church. The following Sunday we stood before the congregation and each shared his or her most meaningful memory. Tianna shared that this had been her first mission trip and it was incredibly meaningful because it had been to her home village. She also said it was the first time sharing her testimony, even to her mom. God be praised for using us to do what we are not capable of, to accomplish things we never dreamed of. †

"...we decided to make the trip during Christmas break when the village would be having their annual races–dogsled, snowshoe, ice picking, and many of the locals would be out and about."

Missionary Profile: Tim and Larissa Zook - Fairbanks, Alaska

Tim, originally from Pennsylvania, spent a lot of time woking with teens in his local church and as a camp counselor in Maine. He spent a year studying at the Word of Life Bible Institute where he received intense Bible training. During a work trip to Alaska in the summer of 2001 he was introduced to the Fairbanks Native Bible Church (FNBC). God placed a love in Tim’s heart for the Native teens of Alaska, and he moved there the fall of 2002 to be the church’s youth leader. Larissa, originally from Alaska, had been working with teens for several years at her church and during her time at the Master’s College. Tim recruited her to help him with the girls in his youth group. She and Tim were married in 2005. They now have three boys, Merrick, Elliot, and Reuben. Tim and Larissa have been working with the teens of FNBC and many others throughout the community since 2002. They also serve in other capacities at the church.

InterACTION is a monthly publication of InterAct Ministries

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