Just Getting Started

Tags: Alaska, Canada, SEND North, Story

People must have thought he was crazy, leaving behind his music, career, and comfort of home to take his young family into the bitter remoteness of Alaska. Vince Joy, born 1910, knew the Lord wanted to use him in Alaska, far from his New Jersey home, to spread the Good News. In 1937, Vince and his wife, Beckie, with their son, moved up to Copper Center and began village ministry. God moved Vince to start the Central Alaska Mission, and 80 years later, God is just getting started.  Join me for a moment as we look back on what God did through the leadership of our founder, Vince Joy.

Vince Joy had a knack for people, a keen eye for learning, and a provoking desire to follow God’s leading. Vince saw as a reality whatever God put in his heart to do, which resulted in the birth of several ministries.  In 1956, Vince established what is now known as Cross Roads Medical Center in Glennallen, Alaska. In 1964, the Christian radio station KCAM went on air. And in 1966, months after he passed away, his dream of the Alaska Bible College was born.

One of Vince Joy’s closest friends and fellow missionary, Joseph Virgin, reflected on Vince’s vision and personality in a 1993 interview with Bill Schneider and David Krupa*. “Vince was exceptionally talented,” he said, noting how Vince was incredibly outgoing, which helped him to relate to others. “He was just one of those guys who was fun to be with… he enjoyed life to the fullest.”  However, Vince also had a laser focus which on more than one occasion brought tension when he saw an opportunity when all others saw was an obstacle. 

In Alaska, one such opportunity was using a plane to expand the reach of the ministry.  So Vince Joy became a pilot.  Many thought the expense of purchasing and maintaining an aircraft was too great. It took many years, but Vince didn’t stop until God provided him with a PA16 to expand the village outreach.  Vince called it The Good News. Vince was not afraid to use every last drop of his talents as a pilot, singer, and preacher for God’s glory. With a fitting name, Vince brought joy and hope wherever he went in his plane, by dogsled, or by any other means necessary.

Vince sudden death in 1966 sent shockwaves through the entire CAM organization, but through this God showed that He was just getting started! CAM would go onto merge with the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade in 1971, later renaming to SEND International, but it never lost Vince’s vision and passion to the share the Good News. 

Vince Joy made the absolute most of the time he was given. “Lord, I give up my own purposes and plans, all my own desires, hopes, and ambitions, and accept Thy will for my life,” Vince said in his written covenant with God. “I’ll follow on, my King!” Vince writes, “I’ll follow Thee, come what may, until my life’s work on earth is done, then… eternity with Thee! Amen.”

Vince Joy's labor has lasted 80 years because God continually sent us passionate and determined followers of Jesus.  So much of the 60/70 Window is still without a Gospel witness which is why our vision is set on making disciple-makers.  Pray with us for more fully devoted disciples so God's kingdom will continue to grow in the Far North.  We truly believe that God is just getting started!

*To listen to the whole interview,

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