Greetings, Salutations and Blessings! There's lots
more to tell, so let's get right to it!
fox-trapping, the treating of the pelts, the preparation of the furs prior to
their sale at the Seattle Fur Exchange was an arduous endeavor, but the returns
were nothing short of spectacular. Dad and I had trapped a total of
208 arctic blue foxes, not counting a number of white foxes, and some red foxes
that had somehow made their way over the ice to the island from the mainland
during a severe winter when the sea ice froze. (They were not native
to the island at all.)
turned out to be a banner year for fox pelts and Dad's methods of cleaning,
tanning and prepping the pelts caused them to be exceptionally nice and sought
after by fur buyers. He received an average of $53 per
pelt. It netted more than $10,000. Dad saw the benefit of
the Christian television programming for the remote communities in Alaska and
felt that those funds should go into our beginning of bringing the 700 Club and
other Christian programming into the Alaskan bush.
was the next place to bring Christian programming. I left Saint Paul
in the Spring of 1977 to go to Anchorage. In the summer of that year
I met the VP and Media Director for the Arctic Slope Regional
Corporation. He asked if I would be willing to move to Barrow (silly
question!) and spearhead the television and media operations for the regional
corporation. Barrow did not yet have television, but there was
serious discussion about creating a cable system for the
community. The regional corporation wanted television studios built
so they could create commercials that could be used statewide and nationwide to
promote the various entities the corporation had created.
had, in the very few years of its existence, already created a global
construction company, and had invested heavily in the oil infrastructure of the
state. Thus, the need for being able to create their own television
commercials to advertise and expand their abilities, both nationwide and
globally. I wasn't sure how the Lord was going to orchestrate my
involvement in the building of these studios into bringing television in
general to Barrow, but the city's desire for a cable system was a natural
the summer of 1978, the building of a cable television system became a
reality. Satellite television was still more than a year away, but
just as had been done at Saint Paul Island, we were able to set up a series of
commercial video machines so that we could bring in the same video tapes from
Anchorage for daily television, and it was ready-made for the same video-tapes
Scott Hessek was providing me from Virginia Beach.
is often the case, when you have the first beginnings of television in
communities where television has never existed, our efforts were a bit hokey,
and we often missed time lines for programs because of mechanical glitches and
human error. Nevertheless, the 700 Club, along with Kenneth
Copeland's program became some of the very first programs to begin airing in
Barrow. It paid dividends spiritually. The additional
spiritual input into the community began to produce growth among those who saw,
listened and heard with their spirits as well as their ears.
won't go into any depths in this series to talk about the gradual expansion of
CBN and the 700 Club throughout the remote communities -- that's for a
different time -- but let me share just a couple of anecdotes.
November of 1979, we finished construction of a ten-meter (40-foot) satellite
dish that would bring in satellite programming and eliminate our kluged-up video-tape
process for airing programs. When the satellite was plugged into the
ever-expanding cable system, the very first television program to air was the
became a ready-made opportunity for us to begin duplicating and generating
multiple video-tapes on a daily basis that could go to different communities at
the same time and reduce the lag time begin live airing and the time that the
communities could see the programs. In the meantime, I had traveled
to many villages and set up tiny transmitters, broadcast antennas and
video-tape machines similar to what we started with at Saint Paul Island.
1981, with the assistance of Lyn Barnes (who was Director of National
Ministries at CBN) we were able to move our CBN operations to Fairbanks and be
much more centrally located for serving the growing and expanding network of
tiny stations throughout the arctic and central Alaska.
received a report from one of the villages on the Kuskokwim River where the
video tapes were being played in a community center (they did not yet have a TV
transmitter, but had requested that we go ahead and send the 700 Club
tapes). It seems that when the program was airing live (and the
village was watching the tape three weeks later) Ben Kinchlow
had delivered a prophetic word concerning a person with a very specific
crippling disease. In the prophetic word, he said that God was
healing the person of that disease NOW! The gentleman with that
affliction in the native village who watched the video tape three weeks after
it was recorded received his healing instantly as he heard the prophetic word.
It was evidence of how Holy Spirit is not limited to our concepts of time and
the same time period, Dad was serving at the request of the denomination as a
"District Presbyter," and he traveled back and forth to each of the
communities where my parents had pioneered. His active promotion in
each community of the expanding television ministry spurred more and more
communities to request the building of local TV transmitters.
1983 almost all of the communities now had their own tiny TV stations and each
one of them had satellite antennas that gave them the capability of watching
live programming. In late April or early May of that year a decision
was made to begin disbanding many -- if not all -- of the local outreaches for
CBN and centralize everything for their programming (with satellite
communications now the mode of reaching the nation). When we left
CBN that year we had grown to serve 42 communities throughout Alaska with
Christian television including the major cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks and
Juneau. The $10,000 seed that came from our fox-trapping had
multiplied beyond anything we could have imagined.
sort of gotten things out of sequence here in this story-telling, so let's see
if we can get back on track.
1984, Della and I decided to take my folks to Hawaii. We invited
Della's parents to come at the same time (they had never met my parents) but
only Della's mother came, and our oldest son, Chris, came as
well. Back in the 1940's and early 1950's, Dad was known to wish
that "some day" they could go to Hawaii for
a vacation. 40 years had gone by since we moved to Alaska, and Dad
and Mom had never really taken a real vacation. Sure, they had done
a lot of traveling, but it was all ministry-related; there was no relaxing
vacation at any point.
we stepped off the plane in Honolulu and Dad smelled the fragrance of the
flowers that abound, he looked at us and said -- very emotionally -- "I
know I've gone to heaven." We were able to give our parents the
kind of vacation they'd always dreamed of. But that vacation was
going to come with a revelation that took us by surprise.
and I were sitting on the beach at Waikiki watching Dad frolic in the water
with Chris, having the time of his life, when Holy Spirit spoke to
me. "Your Dad has two years to live. Six months
before he dies, he will be diagnosed with incurable cancer and told that he has
six months to live."
couldn't have been more shocked. I turned to Della and shared with
her what Holy Spirit had just said. We talked about it and both felt
that it was something to keep to ourselves -- that we were being prepared ahead
of time so that we could minister to the family appropriately as the time
the same time, Dad had repeatedly confessed throughout the years that he would
live for 70 years. The first time I heard him say that where it
actually registered what he was saying was in my early teens. I
argued with him saying that first of all, God's promise in Genesis 6:3 was 120
years. Furthermore, he was taking what Moses was recorded in saying
in Psalm 90:8-10 out of context where he prefaces his comment about man's days
being seventy years saying that "our days are passed away in thy
wrath" because of sin and disobedience to Him. Somehow, my
arguments never got through -- not until he was 69 years old and he realized
that his health was beginning to fail.
Della and had altered our plans, put our household goods in Anchorage in
storage and gone to Saint Paul Island knowing that Dad was going to need help,
and that there were things that needed to be accomplished prior to his passing
so as to minimize my mother's needs. We hauled and cut up logs and
lumber that had floated up on the beach, as well as lumber left from Exxon's
construction projects on the island. It enabled us to literally fill
a building Dad and I had built that was 12 X 16 X 8 with firewood.
World War II, a barge loaded with coal had been unloaded on the island for the
use of the Army's lookout station and what later became the Weather
Bureau. The coal had been abandoned throughout the years, covered
with blown scoria and overgrown with grass. Mom had discovered it
one day in her walks about the island, and we dug up and hauled several tons of
it to store in the basement and in the garage in buckets and bins.
was making trips back and forth to Anchorage by this time to see the
doctor. Saint Paul Island did not have a doctor. There
was a clinic of sorts, manned by a P.A. to care of routine issues, but he
lacked any real facilities. Nothing had been diagnosed yet, and
although a number of tests had been run, the medical reports were inconclusive.
in 1985, the family doctor in Anchorage told Dad that although he couldn't
prove it yet, he was convinced that there were tumors that needed to be taken
care of. Dad decided to fly to Tulsa, Oklahoma to Oral Roberts' City
of Hope hospital. The physicians there planned for surgery but when
they opened him up on the operating table, they closed him right back
up. When he awoke from the anesthesia, they told him that he had
cancer spread throughout every one of his major organs and that removal was
impossible. They told him he could expect no more than six months to
that point it became clear that Della and I needed to return to Anchorage, get
a home and prepare to take care of Dad. He was going to need
repeated blood transfusions and needed the ready access to medical
care. Dad's sister, Avis Daniel, (we called her "Auntie
A") flew back with Dad in order to take care of him. She had
schooling as a nurse, though she had not practiced in many
years. Mom remained on the island temporarily to continue the
ministry until the Alaska Missions District could find someone to take care of
A began calling every major ministry requesting prayer for
Dad. After 40-plus years of ministry, and the reports of the
miracles that literally spanned the globe, his name was fairly well known and
people like R.W. Schambach and John & Dodie Osteen (Joel Osteen’s parents) called him on the
phone to encourage him and pray for him. Dodie
Osteen had been healed from cancer and wanted to share her experience of
healing with Dad. For the first time in his life he realized the
mistake he'd made by repeatedly confessing that he only had 70 years to
live. Although he attempted to change his confession and speak the
truth of God's Word concerning our life spans, it was
too late to undo a lifetime of a wrong confession.
Good Friday of 1986, barely six months before what would have been his 71st
birthday, he changed addresses and went home to be with the
Lord. The nurses at Providence Hospital in Anchorage remarked that
they had never seen such peace in someone who passed away. Dad died
with a smile radiating his face as he saw the angels coming to receive him.
funeral was delayed as announcements went out so that people could make travel
plans to be at his funeral. Indeed, there were people who traveled
from around the world to be there. In spite of the fact that the
denomination at that time struggled with the idea of the five-fold ministries
as described in Ephesians 4:11 (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor &
Teacher), Dad's longtime friend and pastor from North Pole, Alaska, Ralph
Miller, wrote and published a piece which he shared at the funeral titled, My
Friend, the Apostle.
still more to share. Mom continued the ministry at Saint Paul Island
for another 14 years until her passing in the fall of 2000. We'll
try to wrap this up next week.
I remind those
of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call takes place on the
first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our
call-in number is (712)
775-7035. The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have difficulty getting in to this
number, you can call (559)
someone answers and asks what your original call-in number was, you can give
them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by
conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference
number is (605) 562-3140, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these gatherings available by Skype
or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can
dial (605) 562-3149, enter the same access code and listen in
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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