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Making disciples among the unreached
     

Year End Report

Tags: SEND North, Story

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Paul, Timothy and the others experienced opposition and opportunity while traveling though Asia Minor. Their opposition was formidable: plots, abductions, wide?spread idolatry, even a riot, but the opportunity was considerable too: preaching daily in a local school, abundant manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s power and, eventually, planting the church at Ephesus.

Opportunity for ministry is always welcome; opposition…not so much, yet it’s interesting to note in Acts chapter 19 and elsewhere, the opposition was eventually overcome; sometimes it even created the opportunity for ministry. 2012 has been a year of both opposition and opportunity for SEND North. The opportunity is evident from Bristol Bay to Canada. Outreach efforts have led people to faith in Christ in significant numbers. New believers were baptized in remote Alaskan and Yukon Territory villages. Others are growing in their faith through the discipling efforts of church planting team members. Local fellowships are growing too; one Alaskan village church is planning to knock down walls and expand their building next summer; another has begun reaching out to other communities in their region.

God has been at work in other areas. Dr. Eileen Starr’s ministry, Practical Positive Parenting, continues to have an increasing impact, providing families with practical advice and Biblical principles blended together into one program. The SEND North team has grown in 2012 with the addition of three new families. This year we took a brief look behind us and celebrated our 75th year of ministry. Then we turned around and prayerfully peered into the future, conducting an on?site survey of Yellowknife as a possible base for increasing outreach in the Northwest Territories. God continues to provide opportunities.

Opposition has also been present. One of our families experienced local resistance to beginning regular church services in their predominantly Russian Orthodox community. Another village in western Alaska has been ravaged by successive deaths, most were untimely or self-inflicted. Over the past 24 months, 22 of those months have involved death, grieving and funerals.  All across the Far North addiction, violence, abuse, tragedy and death have remained major obstacles to church planting efforts. Other forms of opposition and difficulty hindering our over?all ministry include the remote locations where we live and work, the harsh climate (already this winter some of our team members have experienced minus ?40 to ?60 degrees below zero), the seasonal darkness and the high cost of living and serving in this great, wild land. In the past year everything has become more expensive, including gasoline ($8?10 per gallon, or more), food, commercial air travel and SEND North’s aviation ministry expenses, essential to serving and supporting our village families.

In Asia Minor, those many years ago and across the SEND North field today, opposition and opportunity are concurrent. In Paul’s time the opposition led to further opportunity, a factor we have not yet witnessed today, so pray.  Pray that God will turn these forms of opposition into new opportunities for the advance of the Good News. He may use these difficulties to motivate others to join in the work. The increasing financial costs may prompt donors to give. The remote location and harsh climate may cause churches and individuals to assist our church planters in their work.  The  devastation resulting from substance abuse, violence and despair may be the issues God uses to call more workers into this harvest field.

[button link="http://send-docs.org/north/features/push-back-the-darkness"]Pray For God To Turn Opposition Into Opportunity[/button]

That’s just the kind of thing He specializes in.

*locations and certain details omitted or altered for privacy.