Urban vs Rural

Tags: Alaska, Canada, SEND North, Story

It is interesting how one leap of faith opens doors one never knew was possible.  Then that open door leads to another and then another.  SEND North does ministry in rural Alaska and Northern Canada.  Our rural focus made people wonder why we moved our headquarters to Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest city.  Some people feared that being in the ‘urban sprawl’ would lessen our focus on the remote far north.   We found the opposite to be true.

We made better ministry connections in this urban hub to strengthen our rural church building focus.  The same holds true in Canada.  The Canadian team’s ministry coach lives in the city of Whitehorse.  They find this location helps them to better connect with the teams in the surrounding rural communities.   You may remember when we planted our first team in the city of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.  We’ve made many connections in that urban center which is opening doors of ministry in up to five remote communities in Nunavut. 

We see, now more than ever, that urban centers are intertwined with rural life in the far north.  It is not urban vs rural, it is urban and rural.  The SEND North field of ministry stretches across the “60-70 Window” from western Alaska into the northern Canadian Territories and this includes the urban areas of Fairbanks, the “Mat-Su Valley”, Anchorage, and the Canadian cities of Whitehorse and Yellowknife.  These cities will be considered in SEND North’s new endeavor entitled “Urban Ministry.”  We believe there are many more ways in which God can use ministry in one area to boost ministry in the other. 

Right now we are in the initial discovery phase of this new endeavor, and Greg Joyce is leading the charge. 

Greg and his wife, Kim, have over 20 years of rural ministry experience in the far north, and four years ministering in Anchorage with our Logistics and Support team.  They are uniquely qualified to open this new venture.  Greg describes his role this way, “My goal in Urban Ministry is to determine who lives where, what ministries are present that may effectively reach them, and how we can be involved in seizing the opportunities that exist. Big goals, with eternal consequences.”

Please pray for God’s hand of guidance as we look to Him to open more ministry in all areas of the ‘60/70 Window’.

If you want another take on this expansion, check out Dr. Barry Rempel’s final ‘State of the Mission’ speech at the 2016 conference.

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