KICY: A Dream Come True

They’re celebrating in Nome this weekend!

Quite long ago (in 1910)
a Swede named Axel Karlsson
was laid to rest in Una’kleet
before his dreams came true.

Just listen to this true-life tale
(but unlike Jonah and the whale)
this man who had a call from God
was swallowed by regret.

He longed to share redemption’s plan
with Russians so they’d understand
how much God loved the world He’d made
and sent His Son to die.

But Axel found himself in jail
until a man named Alf Nobel
negotiated his release
escorting Axel home.

But Russia still was on his mind.
What could he do? How could he find
a way to realize his dream
to take the Gospel there?

And then a thought! The USA!
Alaska would provide the way
to reach the Russians from the east
as if through their back door.

And once he reached that land up north,
he won three converts, then a fourth.
And when revival swept the coast,
he had a flock to lead.

Then Axel died. So too his dream.
A vain pursuit, or so it seemed.
But dreams God plants don’t ever die,
though sometimes they must wait.

Five decades passed, then (my-oh-my)
a miracle! K-I-C-Y
went on-the-air one Easter morn
and what seemed dead found life.

That town once known for panning gold,
for serum runs and arctic cold,
became a broadcast hub of sorts.
In Nome the tower stood.

It beamed its signal to the west
and you can likely guess the rest.
Through Russian language programming
that old Swede’s dream came true.

This weekend there’ll be lots of cheers
as those in Nome mark fifty years
since K-I-C-Y first began
transmitting the “good news.”

Across the Bering Straits it beams
reminding us that God’s sweet dreams
may not pan out the way we planned,
but always comes to pass.
* Believe it or not, 19th century Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel helped arrange for the release of Axel Karlsson from his confinement in Russia. What is even more amazing is the fact that for six hours every night K-I-C-Y broadcasts the Gospel in Russian with a directional signal of 100,000 watts across the Bering Straits into Eastern Russia and Siberia.

** The fascinating history of K-I-C-Y is published in a book titled “Ptarmigan Telegraph” available at

*** You can listen to K-I-C-Y live by going to