More from the Ad-on Eskimo
As the dancing ended, the Shaman stepped into the center and began to beat his drum in a different way. Ayit knew this was to call the spirits, and this knowledge made him afraid and unhappy for he knew that these spirts were both powerful and evil.
He backed away from the circle and as he turned to walk away, he noticed another man leaving the ceremony. As they walked away into the village, the man came to Ayit and introduced himself.
“I am Kalowi. I see you left the circle while the shaman was calling his spirits. Why did you do that?” Ayit felt the good heart of this man as he looked at his kind face. He was different from most of the other Eskimo men whose faces were hard.
“I do not like what the spirits do, forcing people to worship them, then punishing them, demanding sacrifices and bringing sickness and calamity.”
“My friend,” said Kalowi, “I have good news for you. Let me tell you about a different spirit, it is the good Spirit of the living God. We have called him Apa, but we have never known him. So He came to earth and lived here as a man so He could save us from these evil spirits.”
Ayit was now fully alert and said, “The shamans tell us the spirits created the world, but I don’t believe it—the world is too beautiful to be created by evil spirits.” He was silent for a minute before saying, “I’ve been seeking the good creator God. Maybe this is him!”
“You are right,” Kalowi said emphatically. “Apa, his son, Jesus, and his Spirit created all, including the land and sea, animals and people. But all of us people have chosen to disobey Apa, so he had to separate himself from us. Then Apa sent his son into the world as a man, and he took the punishment we deserve for our bad actions. He came to set us free from the spirits here who torment us.
“Now Apa wants a personal relationship with each of us. The teachers here have a book they say God sent to them. They call it The Bible. I cannot read their language, but they tell me some things from the book; and I like it.”
“What is a book?” asked Ayit.
“It is like many pieces of seal skin sewed together with little pictures drawn on it; these tell stories.”
“What do the pictures tell us? What does this book say?” Ayit asked eagerly, his eyes alight with curiosity.
“That this God is the good One who rules the world. One of his names is Jesus.”
“Aha,” Ayit broke in. “So, just as I thought, there is a good Creator God, and Jesus is his name. This God I have been seeking!”
“Yes, He is,” Kalowi assured him. “As I said, Jesus came to the earth to save us. He had to die to take the punishment we deserve. He died but then he rose from the dead.”
“How is that possible?” asked Ayit in a shocked voice. “No one can die and then come back.”
“Because He is the Creator God, He has the power to rise from the dead. And when He did, He secured for us eternal life.
“However, we must each accept His forgiveness of our wrongs, along with repenting of our sins, and ask Him to come into our lives as our Boat Captain and Savior.”
Ayit looked thoughtful. “If He created all this beautiful world, with the trees and mountains, the sun and moon, all the creatures of the sea and land—then I will trust Jesus,” he said and with that he bowed his head and prayed to this good Creator God, Jesus, asking for forgiveness and surrendering to His leadership. He raised his hands to the heavens where the Good creator God lives and gave thanks.
“I feel free!” said Ayit as he lowered his hands, “like a burden has lifted from my shoulders.”
“That’s exactly what happened,” Kalowi said. “The burden of sin, of condemnation, and of control by the spirits has been removed. Now you can live in the freedom Jesus offers you!”
Together they walked to the teacher’s house where Kalowi told the teacher what had happened. The teacher, of course, was ecstatic. Having lived in the village for seven years, Mr. Campbell was able to speak some of the Eskimo language and was able to pray in Yupik Eskimo for Aiyt and his new life.
picture: Eskimos drumming and dancing