David Gamble has served as a church planter with the North American Mission Board for the last 10 years in Anchorage, Alaska, but he told Louisiana’s Baptist Message that he is constantly reminded about his roots by the continuing encouragement he receives from his home congregation of Wood Springs Baptist Church in Grand Cane, Louisiana.
Before Gamble and his wife, Kristi, relocated to Alaska, Wood Springs Baptist provided financial support to help the couple prepare for the journey northwest, he said.
Since the couple moved there, Wood Springs has shipped a trailer for use in the ministry, contributed money to help refurbish a mission hub that teams use while in Anchorage and the nearby Wasilla area and mailed or emailed hundreds of notes.
“They encourage us in so many ways,” Gamble told the Baptist Message. “We are enjoying our time here and love serving the Lord in Alaska, but there’s something special — even 10 years after moving up here — when somebody from your home church encourages you. Sometimes you feel alone and forgotten on the missions field, but then we get re-energized when you hear from people in Louisiana who ask how they can pray for you.”
The Grand Cane congregation prays for the Gambles and other missionaries before beginning Sunday morning worship services, which draw an average of 25.
They also contribute money to the Gambles as well as missionaries in Mexico and Africa, and last year collected 132 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for distribution to children in other countries.
Eva Gamble, a long-time Wood Springs member and a cousin of David Gamble, said praying and contributing money toward missionaries allows them to play a part in gospel work taking place in other areas.
“We get to share with David and the others in their ministry and that is something special — knowing we played some part in someone accepting Christ in another state or country,” she said. “We are gung-ho on missions. Souls get saved and that’s the ultimate reason why we do what we do anyway.”
Gamble was raised in DeSoto Parish and worked as an engineer before he and his wife surrendered to missions work in Alaska. He started Sand Lake Fellowship in Anchorage in 2013 and expanded his ministry in 2018 to include a facility that houses missions teams.
Sand Lake Fellowship, which was averaging 35 people before the pandemic, recently began meeting with the congregation of First Baptist Church, Anchorage, which drew 30 for Sunday morning worship services in March 2020. Since they began meeting together for services, attendance has increased to an average of 90, including a high of 111 for Easter.
Gamble said he is excited about how God will use his church and the missions house and invites Louisiana Baptists to join him in reaching those in the Great Frontier for Christ: “Come join us and be a part of what God is doing here.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Brian Blackwell and originally published by Louisiana’s Baptist Message.