Early years/The Beginning

The Camp AN site is a marvelous story of God’s desire to reach the kids, teens and families of Western Alaska. With no prior camp or ministry of this type in the area, God set His finger on this land. It was a gift given to the Assemblies of God missions outreach in Alaska. This land was totally untouched by any kind of development, reachable only by boat via a tributary of the Yukon River.

The project was assisted greatly in the early days by Sonny Joseph, pastor (until the time of his death in 1997) of the Yupik Assembly of God in Alakanuk, Alaska. Pastor Joseph helped us with the first trip into the area and then ran supplies back and forth in his boat, as the camp did not yet have a boat.

Pastor Sonny Joseph also named the camp in his native language of Yupik Eskimo (a dialect from the Yukon Delta area). “Agaiutim Nune” means “The Place of God.” Camp AN was first open for campers in 1996, and it was expected that approximately 30 to 40 children and teens would attend. However, the Holy Spirit had other (better) plans, and 61 campers (children and teens) showed up from nine different villages. The following summer, 83 kids and teens attended. Today, we typically minister to over 100 children and teens each summer. God moves mightily by His Holy Spirit in the lives of these young people as they “come apart” to fellowship, learn, and worship God.  The first camp was very primitive to say the least.  One large 38’x62’ tent served as kitchen, dining hall and chapel.  Several army tents had been secured for sleeping and a small portable gas generator provided very limited power.  Over the years God provided better equipment. With each year, additional workers came from across the nation.  For the coming camp in 2014, we anticipate constructing a 50’X100’ new facility that will house the kitchen, dining hall and chapel.

Location

Camp Agaiutim Nune is located on the Akularak River, a slough 17 miles up the Yukon River from the village of Emmonak. It is set in a beautiful natural setting in a completely undeveloped area of the Yukon Delta region—a rustic camp presently using tents for all of its facilities. Electricity is provided with the camp’s own diesel generator.  Such amenities as running water or sewer, telephones, stores, or any other convinces are not available in the area. All of our supplies and equipment are shipped from Anchorage into the village of Emmonak then taken by boat the last 17 miles to the campsite. All drinking water must also be brought in from the village of Emmonak. Our only neighbors are a handful of fish camps and the wildlife in the area.  The setting of the camp is left in much of its natural landscape on the banks of the river among the willow trees.

 

Ministry

Of course, a lot of what goes on at Camp AN is just plain fun! That is part of what camping is all about. So while our campers enjoy that part of the experience, our primary purpose is to lead people into a life-changing experience with the living God. There is nothing more important than people connecting with God on a personal level. Each year, we see campers receive Christ, become filled with the Holy Spirit, and discover God’s purpose for their lives (some realizing and responding to a call to ministry).

Each morning campers have a small group time with their coaches in Bible devotions and prayer.  Later in the morning, there is a chapel time with singing, Scripture verses, and lessons from the Bible.  The afternoon is mixed, with a second time in learning Scripture and recreation.  Every evening we meet for a special time in the presence of God in the evening service.  Each service is marked with singing, worship, skits, the ministry of the Word of God and an altar time.  Around the altar, campers and camp workers together seek God and many lives are changed for eternity.  The camp coaches also find time to individually share with each camper of their group, answering many of life’s questions and finding answers from God’s Word the Bible.  One of the main spiritual ingredients of the camp is that it is bathed in prayer throughout the year by many who are praying for the camp, the campers and the workers.