We asked God to narrow down our search for a mission field to one organization and one place. He narrowed it down to Alaska Village Missions (AVM), and AVM had one village opportunity: Port Graham, Alaska. Here are some interesting facts about Port Graham:
Location: Port Graham is located on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, about 35 miles southwest of Homer (as the crow flies).
Population: 150 people, most of whom are Native Alutiiq.
Language: English and Sug’stun
Access: Put on your wings–air or water–because there are no access roads to Port Graham. But once you arrive, you will can hop an ATV and zip around the village.
School: The local K-12 school has two teachers and 33 students.
Businesses: There is a post office (mail is flown in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), small health clinic, community center, library, K-12 school, Christian Church, Russian Orthodox Church, two small grocery stores, and a fish hatchery.
Living: The Native culture and subsistence lifestyle of fishing, hunting, and berry picking are still in practice today.
Weather: 29” of rainfall and 56” of snowfall annually; temperatures reach a high of 70° F in the summer, and drop to a low of 0°F in the winter (Ahhhh, that’s perfect! ;-)).
Night and Day: Yes, it has long hours of darkness in the winter (Steve uses a happy light and takes lots of Vitamin D!); and extended hours of light in the summer. In the dead of winter, the amount of light is approximately 6 hours; in the summer, we see 19 hours of light.
Prices: Gas $5.50/gallon, Milk $9/gallon, Butter $6/pound, Cat Litter $45 (compared to $12 at Costco), a plane ticket for the 15 minute ride to and from Homer is $162. Yikes!
Church: The church we serve has 15 members (including kids!).