|Galena SEND North Team doing bush style Church planting.|
How far is the nearest 'like faith' church to where you are sitting right now? I'm not talking about the church that you necessarily attend. I'm talking about the closest church that shares at least the basics of Biblical Christian faith and practice where the Gospel is being preached and God is being worshiped. Could you walk there if you wanted to? Do you pass one or five as you drive to your church? What if you couldn't get there by car, or by walking? What if you had to fly, boat, or Snow Machine (Snow Mobile for non-Alaskans) if you wanted to attend church? Would you go?
Many of the villages in bush Alaska have no church presence whatsoever. Most that do have a church have one that probably does not have any type of pastoral leadership. Many villages that have a church may have one that is not of "like faith and practice". And so as one believer in a village recently told me, "My wife and I mostly stay at home on Sunday and try to study the Bible by ourselves, or we'll watch videos that our family sends us." For this couple the nearest church of like faith and practice is 36 miles by air, or 51 miles by river...one way! How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Rom 10:14-15)
Galena Bible Church has been under such a blessing from God over the past several years that we are now to the point where we are healthy enough to give attention and resources towards planting and supporting churches in surrounding villages. As you may recall we've made several trips to Ruby (41 air, 50 river miles from Galena) to support and encourage a mission church in that village. This past week we took 7 gift bags (soft sided ice chests with Gorilla-tape, a flashlight, chocolate and such) to Nulato and gave them to the faculty and administration of the city school there. We had a warm reception from the entire group and found some possible opportunities to connect again with that village.
On the Galena front, this past weekend was quite the busy one. A team of seven guys came out from ChangePoint Church in Anchorage and helped with our Youth Group Kick-Off, YoungLife Club Kick-Off, physical ministry to members of the church, and hosted an Airsoft Event for dorm kids that had over 70 participate! Including the ChangePoint team we had almost 80 people in attendance at church yesterday! Amazing!
Things you can be praying for:
- Discernment as we seek the Lord's direction for missions out of Galena Bible Church.
- Provision - as Moose season is upon us. For perspective sake: 1# ground beef in Galena = $8. Average adult bull moose weighs 1200# and has 560# of meat.
- Protection - moose hunting involves lots of boating, and time in the woods.
- Personal - We just found out that my Grandfather (one of my three Spiritual Mentors) has terminal cancer. Pray that the members of my extended family who are not believers would see how he finishes and follow his example. Pray for me as it is very difficult to be away from them in this season.