World Eskimo & Indian Olympics – 2021

July 17-25

(l-r) Emily, Jay, Katie, Morgan, Laura, Mark

This was our 8th year that LightShine Ministries worked with the World Eskimo and Indian Olympics (commonly referred to as WEIO).  People from all over Alaska and beyond travel to attend the games.  The Olympics are held in Fairbanks every year. This past year, the games were cancelled due to statewide pandemic restrictions.

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WEIO has it’s own board of directors that provides direction to our team.  During our time at the games we aim to fulfill whatever responsibilities we are given with loving hearts and willing spirits.  This may include setting up for the events, handing out water to the elders and athletes, helping vendors set up and tear down, etc.  It is important that individuals who sign up to be part of the team understand that we typically arrive at WEIO around 9 in the morning and often do not leave until after midnight.  Therefore it is important to have the ability to spend large amounts of time on your feet.

During our time at WEIO we partner with Youth With A Mission Arctic Mercy.  Their team is led by the Director of YWAM Arctic Mercy, Scott Smith and his wife Barb.  The two teams spend a lot of time together.  It is crucial for team members to understand the importance of working together.

It is truly an honor to serve at these amazing games.  It is our prayer that Jesus’ love will shine through in every thing we say and do as we volunteer at WEIO.

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One thing that our team must always remember is that we are there to serve and learn as representatives of Jesus Christ. The differences between the indigenous culture and our own can become obvious in things such as how you shake hands or make eye contact with those you are talking to. Our goal is to share the love of Christ by serving others and it is also a time of learning how God works within other cultures to bring about His glory.

WEIO runs for four days (Wednesday through Saturday). The team usually has a day of sightseeing around Fairbanks, but this is secondary to our purpose of being there for WEIO.

Click Here to learn more about the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

Your Team Leaders are Mark & Laura Raifsnider. Mark & Laura have four children and have been married 14 years. They are deeply committed to missions in Alaska and this will be their 6th time leading a team there. If you have any questions, please send an email to: or you can call Mark at: 717-224-3358

CLICK HERE to read our COVID Guidelines & Policies.

Thank you so much in helping us partner with Youth With A Mission in this ministry!