Covenant Youth of Alaska is a relational outreach and discipleship ministry for Alaska youth and young adults. Part of understanding CYAK's mission, vision, and values, and what we do, involves understanding the context in which our ministry is working.
The Context: Alaska is BIG! Its so big, that every man, woman and child in America could have one acre of land, and there still would be 800,000 acres of wilderness remaining! If you superimpose a map of Alaska over the lower 48 states, Alaska would reach from the East to the West. Though Alaska is extremely vast, its population is only approximately 660,000, making many villages and communities extremely remote, and only accessible by plane, boat or snowmachine.
The Crisis: Currently, Alaska Native youth have the highest rates of suicide, teen pregnancy and sexual abuse in the country. The United Nations considers the death by violent accident rate equivalent to a war zone. Because of Alaska's remote geographical location, the struggles of Alaska Native people groups are not on the national radar.
Our Response: In 1992, Covenant Youth of Alaska was formed in response to this crisis through the Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska. Today, CYAK works in collaboration with churches and ministries for the cause of ministry to young people in Alaska.
Adam first volunteered with CYAK in 2001 and Shirleen first volunteered with CYAK in 2003. Since then we both volunteered regularly with CYAK. Since October 2015, Adam has been the Director of Operations. This position requires fundraising 100% of his salary.
This video is a taste of a CYAK. This was a Jr. High retreat that Shirleen and Adam were the speakers at in Western Alaska.