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Village Blog


Posted by Ryan Walter on

Tanalian Bible Camp - Port Alsworth, Alaska

Tanalian Bible Camp’s vision is to equip and see hope-filled Alaskans glorifying God by leading healthy families and communities. Tanalian Bible Camp (TBC) exists to build up the Body of Christ in rural Alaska by providing evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and leadership development through camps, conferences and Biblical mentoring. As a TBC camp volunteer, you will experience TBC’s vision and mission, as well as much more that only God can reveal to you through serving our Lord and Savior at TBC.

Who is Tanalian Bible Camp ministering to?
• Village Bible Church typically serves during primary camp that consists of eight to ten year old Southwest Alaskan children. There are multiple camps held throughout the summer ranging from primary camp through high school age. We are called to show love and share the truth of the gospel with these children. The camp is the children’s highlight of the summer and they desire to return next year because of the hope, love and encouragement we share.
• The camper’s home backgrounds vary widely just as they do in our region. Native Alaskan’s identities are heavily associated with their family, village and tribe and children are certainly raised to respect and trust elders. However, no individual person or family is immune to the impacts of sin and the brokenness it causes. Alcohol abuse is one example of how families can be torn apart and a parent, or parents may need to leave their remote village for treatment, while other family or foster families will care for the children. Additionally, most Alaskans do believe in and experience the supernatural or spiritual realm, but evil and false spirits will and do enslave people from the one and only true Spirit that gives true life and comfort. These are just a couple of the many issues plaguing Alaskan villages.
• The Port Alsworth Community both serves TBC and is ministered to by TBC’s vision to provide an everlasting hope that glorifies God through service and fellowship. Port Alsworth is one of the most unique communities in the United States because God is glorified and elevated above all else. You will be encouraged by the love and joy seen every day in Port Alsworth.
• If God calls you to serve at TBC, you too will be ministered by the TBC Staff and other volunteers. While every day is full of fun activities biblical teaching and application, you will experience a significant amount of time to have fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You will learn, share, pray, worship and have fun experiencing God together every day!

Who is called to serve at Tanalian Bible Camp?
• Everyone who follows Jesus Christ is called to evangelize and disciple others and God may be calling you to serve at TBC in the future. While working with and showing love and compassion to children is a necessary desire, there are many opportunities to serve campers directly and indirectly
• TBC needs adult and junior counselors, activity directors and kitchen, facilities and landscape work crew members. Consider using your God given gifts, talents and experience at TBC, or maybe God is calling you to leave your comfort zone and use you in ways that will show God’s glory and new gift or talent that God plans to reveal to you through camp service.
• While TBC is an excellent opportunity for all ages to serve, you need to be approximately 16 years old to serve in most capacities.
• Volunteering at TBC is also an excellent and amazing way for an entire family to go and serve God. Families do come and serve TBC together because there are roles and responsibilities for all ages and experiences.

What will God do in your life as you serve at TBC and experience God’s beautiful creation in rural Alaska?
• I’m not sure for each person, but I can guarantee you will grow closer in your relationship with Jesus and something significant will impact your heart and life both at camp and shortly after returning home!
• You will meet followers of Christ from churches around the United States and possibly around the world. I was fortunate to serve alongside a team from Moscow, Russia. God’s truth and love spreads around the world and He has no boundaries as to where He may be calling you and others to share His good news.
• God created an incredibly beautiful landscape in and around Port Alsworth, Alaska. You will be in awe of the beauty and ability to experience Alaska as you serve at TBC. Climbing, hiking, sight-seeing, fishing, canoeing, swimming and much more while surrounded by one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
• You will also experience an amazing flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth as you fly between and above mountains, all the while scanning the terrain for waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, rapids, volcanoes and wildlife. It will be a memory and experience that even pictures or videos cannot describe!

What did God do in and through my life as I served at TBC?
• I have served at TBC during the summers of 2013 and 2016. TBC is a part of who I am because it is the place God took me to hear, understand and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s redemptive plan for my life culminated in 2013 as He opened my eyes and heart to the truth of His Word, promises and love only found in Jesus Christ. My life changed forever due to the God’s work through Tanalian Bible Camp’s ministry and mission as they shared and showed the living hope they had and could only be found in personal relationship with Jesus.
• In 2016, God called me back to TBC. This time, God’s mission was to use me to make Him known through biblical truth and actions of love, which was somewhat missing during my first trip as He was using others to reveal Himself to me in 2013. It was evident that God was preparing me for another trip to Alaska as I shared many of my experiences before and after coming to the saving faith in Jesus with the campers. God has gifted me with the ability to humbly share who I was and who I now am in Christ through the power of using real life experiences and analogies that can be easily understood by all ages. All the glory goes to God for the wisdom and grace He’s provided so I can serve and be a vessel of Jesus Christ while at TBC. While my heart’s desire is for all to come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, I want our youth to come Christ at an early age so they can avoid years of shame and pain that sin causes and be able to enjoy God’s love and grace early in life so they can spread the good news with others for the rest of their new life.
• Serving in rural Alaska will strengthen your relationship with God because you will be serving those who need Christ, alongside fellow believers and you will be temporarily disconnected from the distractions and temptations that media, technology and the rest of World can throw at you.

Please prayerfully consider being a part of a short-term missions Alaska team serving at Tanalian Bible Camp!!!

~ Ryan Walter