A Chapel at Crab Fest – not your typical festival booth
Curt and his dear friend, Richard, manning the About My Father’s Business booth at Kodiak Crab Fest 2017.
Amongst the noisy joy of carnival rides, the air thickened with the aroma of fair food, and crafters selling their wares, there was a small chapel – the Come As You Are Bible Chapel – where fools for Jesus made themselves available to pray for your miracle. Curt Waters and his brothers and sisters in Christ served the Lord by praying for every individual who asked for it.
People were healed and saved at this festival booth. Amen.
Tapestry: Boat chapel an anchor of faith for Waters
Seines, skiffs and net reels look natural on the deck of a boat, but a chapel? What is that doing there?
In the summer salmon fishery, it’s a very natural part of the Mar del Norte, skippered by part owner Curt Waters. He tells inquirers that he’d rather have a chapel on his boat than an anchor.
“That pretty much sums it up for me,” he said.
Waters, who uses the boat as a tender during the salmon season, said putting the chapel on the stern was an answer to prayer, a means of providing a house of worship for the crew, who often couldn’t make it to church on Sundays, and a fulfillment of prophecy.
Waters said that prophecies “over this community (indicated) that there would be an awakening, a revival.” The building of the chapel is a “manifestation of what has spoken over the church,” said Waters, who attends the Kodiak Assembly of God Church.
Until Sunday, Dec. 8, 2014, at 10:30 a.m., going to church was not a high priority for Waters.
On that morning “the Lord came down, tapped me on the shoulder, woke me up and started me on an amazing journey,” Waters said. “Through that journey, He forgave me my sins and showed me what repentance was.”
Since then amazing “miracles” have taken place in Waters’ life, he said.
“I look forward to every day, thinking, ‘He’s going to do something else today.’ Every day seems to be better than the day before. Not that’s there’s not a bump or two in the road.”
Waters said he’s known about the Lord for a long time, but he actually started seeking him on that morning in December.
Attending church and hanging out with other Christians helped Waters walk the steps of faith, but once the salmon season came, he and his crew were faced with the possibility of going without that worship and fellowship.
“We knew that God had a special plan for us, but part of it, we thought, was going to church every Sunday and learning more about God.”
Then Waters and his crew realized that, “Wherever two or more are gathered, the Lord’s there,” he said.
“We can have church any time we want. It doesn’t have to be Sunday. Sunday has very little to do with it. Any time we can have church (and) pray. We ended up praying that the Lord would give us a place and time; that things would come together.”
And they did. In quick order.
Within a week a chapel was built on the stern of the boat.
“Some plywood showed up, paint showed up,” Waters said. “My brother and I pounded the nails.”
Before the boat commenced with the salmon season, members of the Assembly of God and other Christians inscribed Scriptures on the wall of the chapel. They gathered in the small chapel to pray God’s special blessing on Waters, his crew and those who entered the sanctified place.
Those prayers have borne spiritual fruit, Waters said.
“We have prayer meetings inside (the chapel.) We have … a (prayer) hot seat. If someone needs prayer, we put that person in the middle. Everybody stands around and prays for them. We’ve seen some amazing things happen because of that.
“People came in there and got saved. We’ve laid hands on people and have seen the Lord heal them in a lot of different ways.”
People have been healed physically, but more importantly, emotionally and spiritually. One young lady, who had been plagued with fears that she had disappointed the Lord, was liberated to see that “the Lord built the chapel specifically for her,” Waters said.
“She realized that the Lord wasn’t disappointed in her. I got to be there for that moment. That moment cracked time. There’s a point where the natural catches up with the supernatural and we saw that miracle.”
Waters said that the response to the chapel has been overwhelmingly positive.
“99.9 percent that see it, welcome it; some of them are intrigued by it,” he said.
A few people have referred to the chapel as a hot dog or Kool Aid stand, but the comments have been “nothing that I can’t get through,” Waters said.
Besides witnessing to the Christian faith by hauling the chapel during the summer, the Mar del Norte, along with two other boats, carries a Christian flag.
“It makes life on the boat different,” Waters said. With the boat under that flag, “You treat it differently.”
Waters has been fishing in Kodiak for many years. He came here in 1982 out of high school in San Diego.
He’s skippered a number of boats, including the Dominion, the Marcy J, Buck ’n’ Ann, Miss Leona and the Laura, and has been working on the Mar Del Norte 12 years. He has been part owner with Bob Krueger for the last four years.
Waters takes the chapel off the boat after the end of the salmon season and stores it for the winter.
The first year he kept it by the Assembly of God Church, but, because it “became a fort for some of the kids,” he stored it on his property at Salonie Creek this year.
“It gets modified a little each year,” he said. “Next year it might be a little bit bigger,”
Waters believes strongly that God has supernaturally blessed all those who come to the chapel. Through his witness, he’s been called a “warrior for the Lord.”
Waters defines a Christian warrior as “anyone who hears God’s word, speaks his word, is obedient to what he says for you to do. All are warriors for the Lord. It’s a fight we’re in; not in the natural, but the supernatural. The Lord does need people to show up every day and go to work for him. I’m proud to be one of those.”