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  • Kelli Foreman

What Happened in 1898?


Baptist Mission was established in 1893 and we learned last week that this endeavor was anything but easy. A disconnected island in Alaska, Kodiak still has its challenges today. Just this week we saw empty shelves from one end of the grocery store to the other. Inclimate weather forced the barge to bypass us leaving the produce section empty and all the milk shelves are still without product. I can only imagine what the late 1800s must have been like.

(The above photo is Kodiak in 1898, notice the absence of trees. photo by R.G. Slifer.)

Just five years after the first child was received at the Kodiak Baptist Mission came the Spanish American war. There was hardly a mention of it in the Kodiak history. Much more time was spent discussing the work that went on to keep the Mission going. I’m sure though when the war news arrived in Kodiak many of the citizens stood around sharing opinions, making speculations and eager for the next wave of news to sail in.

Kodiak Baptist Orphanage’s days overflowed with activity. A boys’ and girls’ home kept the missionaries and children hard at work ensuring enough food was being stored to get through winter. I can imagine them all working side-by-side, the missionaries teaching the children how to do things and I expect the children teaching them a thing or two as well. In the midst of the trials of the country and world, their work went on unabated.

This week I came across a great post it simply said, “Reasons why I’m not panicking. 1. GOD” Toby Mac. It’s so simple, yet so true and important. Whether in the face of war, peace, uncertainty or rest God is at the center of all we do as Christians. God is at the center of all we do at Kodiak Baptist Mission. He dictates our days and organizes our schedules. I’m sure at times the missionaries must have wondered if this was really mission work, but when God has called you to do it, I fully believe it truly is. We are still sharing life with the children of Kodiak, their families and our community. We’re a long way away from the 1800s but some days don’t seem so different.

Kelli Foreman, Kodiak Baptist Mission

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