December 24

Shining for Jesus in Alaska

Sara, Abigail, and Miriam live in Alaska, the largest and coldest state in the United States. “I was still little when we moved to Alaska. Later we moved to this town to tell others about Jesus,” Sara says.

The family lives in a small village north of the Arctic Circle. [Locate the Arctic Circle on a globe at 66 degrees north latitude. Explain that north of that circle the sun barely sets in the summer, and barely rises in the winter. However, there are long hours of twilight.] In the summer the days are long, but in the winter nights are long and the days are dark and cold. 

Some people think that everyone in Alaska lives in homes made of ice called igloos. Igloos are dome-shaped shelters made by stacking blocks of ice into a circle with a small door on one side. [Demonstrate using sugar cubes and “cement” the cubes together with icing.] Igloos are temporary shelters used once by hunters and fishers. If they are built right, they can stay warm inside during even the coldest days. 

But Sara’s family doesn’t live in an igloo. They live in a wooden house that stands on stilts several feet above the ground to protect it from water when the frozen ground thaws in the spring and summer.

Making Friends 

The sisters like to invite their friends over to share popcorn and fruit and play games together, especially during the long, cold, dark days of winter. “We also like to play in the snow and dig snow caves,” Abigail says. 

Summertime doesn’t last long, but the days are long and the nights are short. The sisters like to take advantage of these sun-splashed days to play in the patches of tall grass that surround the village and pick the wild berries that grow there, too. “We eat blueberries, salmon berries, cranberries, raspberries, and even the wild green onions,” Sara says.

There aren’t many roads in the far north, so when Sara’s family wants to go somewhere, they don’t drive a car. “In the winter we take snowmobiles that glide across the packed snow. In the spring and summer we take a boat or ride on a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle,” Sara explains. “And if we want to go very far, we have to fly.”

Fun Sharing Jesus

Sara and her sisters keep busy all year long sharing their love for Jesus with others. “When our friends visit, we use our Bible felts to tell them stories,” Abigail says. 

The girls also help their friends act out Bible stories. “It’s is a fun way to teach them about God,” Sara says.

Although Sara, Abigail, and Miriam and their parents love working for Jesus in Alaska, it sometimes gets lonely, for they live a long way from their grandparents and aunts and uncles. Let’s pray for Sara’s family as they share God’s love with others.


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