Name: Chris Kopp
Residence: Galena, Alaska
Occupation: Pastor of Galena Bible Church
Years lived in Alaska: I was born and raised in Alaska, but since moving back to Alaska, I’ve been here 11 years
Current Location: Galena, Alaska
Date of Photo: March 11, 2021
Temperature: 20 F/Outdoors
Current Weather: Sunny and Clear
What first brought you to Alaska:
What brought me to Alaska was my parents in the sense that I was born in Alaska and grew up here.
How has Alaska captured your heart?
What’s captured my heart about Alaska is the sense of purpose that you can have here. For me, as a pastor, the pastoral need of people is just so evident and needed. People just need hope, and need help. People need the influence of the Lord. And so, the opportunity that I have to share that, most places outside of Alaska have lots of resources and lots of options. And within Alaska, there’s not that much. And so, it seems like just lots of people come because they feel like they are needed. There is a place for them. And that’s really just capturing my heart about the state.
Describe just one of your favorite “Best Days” or “Most memorable experiences” in Alaska.
One of my most memorable experiences was one of the first Sundays that I was serving here, within the first couple years. It was a super cold January. It dropped down to -30 on Christmas day, and didn’t get above -30 until Ground Hog’s Day. And in the middle of that, we had the coldest day that I’ve experienced since we’ve lived here. It was -70 degrees. It was on a Saturday, and just things were breaking and we were exhausted, and been helping people get water lines thawed and sewers thawed, and just needed to go play with my kids. And so we just decided, “You know what? We’re just going to bundle up and go outside, even if we only stay out there for 10 minutes. We’re going to stay outside.” And, playing with the kids, things get super slick, so running their sleds down the middle of the road, and just having a blast in that.
Then, the following day was a Sunday. And just thinking, “Man. Nobody’s going to be at church. Should we, should we have church? Or shouldn’t we?” And we just decided, again, we just needed mental health. We just needed to be with our church family. And apparently, 25 other people felt the same way, because we had 25 people that showed up on a day it was about -68. And most of those folks walked to get to church on that day, because no vehicles were starting. And it was just one of those distinctly memorable days of seeing our church community just want to be together even when it was really hard to be together.
What in Life do you know for sure?
What I know for sure in life, is that I’ll give an account for every moment, for every word, for every thought. I’ll give an account of that before God. And the opportunity that I have to share the hope of Jesus with people, either by example in my life, by the way that I love people or care about people, by the words that I say, I know for absolute certain that I will give an account of those. And so, I do my best to live in such a way, knowing that that account will be given.