Two Mission Projects are Presently Happening in Arctic Canada
The miracle has happened! We give all the glory to God for the completion of the Arctic Hope Centre in Naujaat, NU. The building will serve the local congregation as their church, and will be the headquarters for BPEA’s Arctic Hope Project. We envision young men and women coming from communities throughout Nunavut to receive healing and wholeness, and to be equipped with leadership skills and vision so that they can take hope back home to their generation. We also realize that He uses people to accomplish His purpose. I am so thankful for the support, prayers and encouragement of so many partners. Watch the video to get all the details.
Jeff Fransky and his local Inuit builders at the Arctic Hope Centre in Naujaat, NU!
Over recent years, we have recognized the need to inspire and equip both present and future leaders to effectively reach out to their own people. The Inuit church community of Repulse Bay was also in need of a new building to conduct their services, so we have undertaken the massive task of building a facility that would serve both purposes.
The Arctic Hope Centre during the construction stages!
Through the generosity of our partners, all the necessary funds needed to purchase building materials and furnishings were raised and shipped to Repulse Bay. This is a major miracle! The construction process began this year, and will be fully completed next year.
As of July 7th, 2016, the inside framing of the Arctic Hope Centre is complete!
Arctic Hope Director Steven Carleton and his ministry team will return to Cape Dorset, NU on November 4th, 2016, to continue a series of Arctic Hope Projects, designed to reach the emerging generation of youth who need to find hope for the future and healing from their past. Many of these youth have been negatively impacted by physical, sexual and emotional trauma, and some have either contemplated or attempted suicide.
They will receive loving, intensive Christ-centred counseling from Spirit-empowered professionals, and will be equipped with leadership skills to go forward with hope and vision for their communities. This is a vital undertaking as we invest in these precious young lives, and in the future of Cape Dorset. We believe that, through this five-year Arctic Hope Project, the emerging generation of Cape Dorset can become influential leaders in all facets of their community. We have a vision to see Cape Dorset become an example to other communities in the Arctic, free from the scourge of suicide and despair, and filled with hope. Please partner with us to see this amazing vision become reality!
Local leaders continue to engage the youth and help them find ways to become positive, contributing members of their community. Steven and the Arctic Hope team will be returning to Cape Dorset for two more courses in 2016, and will be expecting to have a Youth Conference in each course as well as working with 20 more Inuit youth to start developing their leadership skills. For more information on the Arctic Hope Project, click here!
The vision for Canada’s Arctic is becoming a reality!
For over 40 years, the Prankards have been ministering in the Canadian Arctic, evangelizing, mentoring, training leaders and funding the building of churches in several Inuit communities in the north. They have a BIG vision to see a new generation of Inuit set ablaze for God in the Canadian Arctic.
Bill Prankard was disturbed by the high rates of suicide, hopelessness and other social problems that have plagued the youth of Nunavut for many years. In 2015, through prayer, BPEA launched the Arctic Hope Project, which targets the needs of Nunavut’s young people. Highly qualified Christian professionals conduct ten-day programs for specially-selected young people in key Inuit communities. The program is designed to minister to the deep hurts young people carry from past traumas, and to give them hope for the future. Local community leaders and clergy join in the effort, and provide outlets and projects for the youth to contribute their time and talents in positive ways. The young people receive on going follow-up and encouragement in their spiritual and emotional growth. Our purpose and prayer is that the emerging generations will become a positive influence on generations to come.
Arctic Hope Project:
Hopelessness – that is the pervasive mood among Canada’s Inuit youth, and expresses itself through depression, addictions, abuse and too often, suicide. It was shocking to learn that, according to 2013 statistics, the suicide rate among young Inuit men is forty times higher than Canadian youth in the south. Add to that the young people who have contemplated or attempted suicide, and the figures are astronomical.
Over the past forty years, Bill Prankard has poured his heart and life into the people of Canada’s Arctic, and has seen countless hearts transformed, healed and equipped. But the present crisis among Inuit youth impacted him so greatly that he felt compelled to respond. The Lord impressed on him the desperate need for young people to be inspired to rise above the challenges and make their lives count.
While the ministry centre in Repulse Bay is being built for this purpose, he concluded that we cannot wait. We must begin now. We must see these young lives in Canada’s north healed and made whole, and equipped to impact their generation for good. That’s why we have established the Arctic Hope Project under the direction of Steven & Becky Carleton.
Steven is Inuit and has personally experienced and overcome the trauma of abuse through the power of God and the godly counsel of Bill Prankard and others. In recent years he has been involved in the implementation of many government-sponsored programs to help Inuit youth. As he served, Steven recognized the missing spiritual element in all these endeavours. With Steven’s leadership experience, and Becky’s administrative skills, we know the Lord has uniquely prepared them as Directors of the Arctic Hope Project.
In December Steven traveled to Iqaluit and Cape Dorset, NU, where he shared his testimony and encouraged students in schools. He also met with government officials, principals and clergy, to coordinate the first Arctic Hope Project in Cape Dorset. It will consist of a 10-day program for young people that includes one-on-one counseling by qualified ministries, helping them overcome the effects of past traumas, imparting spiritual values, encouraging them to dream big things for their future, and equipping them with the tools to see those dreams realized.
We believe that, through the Arctic Hope Project and the transforming power of God, we can see suicide virtually eradicated in Nunavut, and young people filled with hope for the future! God bless you as you invest in these precious lives that desperately need to know they are loved and are filled with potential for the future!
Arctic Russia Special Christmas Mission 2015:
A heartbreaking tragedy took place in Arctic Russia recently that compelled us to send our Russian missionary, Igor Bogomol, to the devastated village of Tovopogol. Zhenya and Nadya, a precious Inuit couple whom we reached for Christ during a mission trip several years ago, were found drowned while out in their little fishing boat. They leave behind four children aged 7 to 19. Igor made the mission on our behalf, to provide ministry and practical help to these orphaned children, and to distribute generous supplies of aid to the villagers during the Christmas season.
Thanks to partners who responded to this unexpected mission, Igor ministered to the orphaned children and provided for all their needs, plus gave generous supplies to their aunt who is now raising the two youngest, even though she is already struggling to provide for her own six children. While in the region, Igor delivered foot, warm clothing and even gasoline to several poverty-stricken families in Tovopogol and Aksarka. Of course, he made sure that each family received prayer, Gospel literature and heard the Word of God. He was pleased to see that many of the Inuit we had formerly reached are still faithfully serving God, and the house church in Aksarka, under the leadership of Evdokia, is going strong. In spite of the many challenges of alcoholism, violence and poverty, God is at work in the hearts of Russian Inuit!
Thank you partners and ministry friends for blessing the ends of the earth! Igor and the Russia team make periodic journeys to isolated regions of Arctic Russia on BPEA’S behalf. Please remember them with your prayers and support of BPEA Missions.
Igor Bogomol delivers food and clothing to isloated Russian people before Christmas, 2015
Steven Carleton and the Arctic Hope team completed the second Arctic Hope course of 2015 on November 6, 2015! It was another powerful time in the Arctic and young lives were impacted with the message of hope.
The course began with the Arctic Hope-Youth Conference at the Cape Dorset Full Gospel church on Friday night, October 30th. Travis Holownia of Resurgence Ministries in Edmonton was the youth speaker, and he spoke about God’s ability to impact and change lives with hope and love. Braden Scharfenberg, the Worship Director at the Global Prayer House in Medicine Hat, Alberta, led worship for the youth conference. There were over 50 people from the community that came and were impacted by God’s Spirit, and many of them were young people. They heard about what God can do with their lives, and that God has a plan and purpose for their lives.
Over 80 Inuit youth from Cape Dorset attend the Arctic Hope Youth Conference on Nov.1, 2015
Braden Scharfenberg and his worship team held Music Workshops on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Young people came and had their music skills sharpened by the teaching and training from Braden’s team, as they learned how to play bass and acoustic guitar, and drums. Two of the young people that attended the workshops asked the pastors of the Full Gospel church if they could be a part of the worship team. It was a practical way to teach young people how to worship the Lord with instruments.
Braden Scharfenberg of the Global Prayer House in Medicine Hat, AB, teaches Inuit Youth how to play Acoustic Guitar during the Arctic Hope Youth Conference.
The Arctic Hope course began on Monday, November 2nd at 10:00am. Steven had asked young people from the youth conference to come to the course. Seven teenage boys came to the Emotional Resiliency Workshop with Reepa Evic-Carleton, and they all learned about how to become a healthier person. They learned about healthy relationships, healthy boundaries, good decision making, and the effects of allowing trauma and pain fester in our lives. Steven talked about what it was like for him after he was abused and what decisions he made that were good for him and ones that were not. Steven also said that there is live and purpose after traumatic events, but it is a process with people and with the Lord.
Seven Inuit boys attend the Emotional Healing Workshops led by Reepa Evic-Carleton of the Mamisarvik Healing Centre of Ottawa, ON.
It was very unique to have only males in the Emotional Resiliency Workshop. These boys were very ready to work on overcoming their pain, and the Youth Mental Health worker told Steven that she was very surprised to see that representation. One of the boys in the workshops was directly related to the 11-year-old boy that committed suicide last year. The 11-year-old boy was the reason that the Arctic Hope Project started.
Tagak Curley did not make it to Cape Dorset due to weather in his community, but he sent his encouragement to the Arctic Hope young people. One of the things that he said was that what these young people were doing is historic and very important for Cape Dorset. He said that they are doing something new and fresh that the community had not yet seen, and also that they must continue to make themselves leaders.
Ryan, Chris and Lorne are Inuit young men helping with the construction
Our Arctic Missions Director, Steven Carleton, travelled to Naujaat, NU (formerly Repulse Bay), to be with a wonderful mission team from Selwyn Outreach Centre of Peterborough, ON. This team will be conducting special ministry to the children, youth and adults, and are giving their labours to help erect the new Arctic Hope Centre building. Please agree in prayer with us for a bountiful harvest of souls and a powerful demonstration of God’s love and power that will impact this Inuit community that is so dear to our hearts. Pray also for favour for the team that will work alongside our construction foreman, Jeff Fransky, on the construction of the Arctic Hope Centre. It is our vision to see this facility used as a lighthouse for the Gospel in the community, and for many young lives to be transformed and equipped to reach their generation for Christ.
To accomplish this vision, BPEA has been undertaking a massive project to build a new church facility in Repulse Bay, which will also serve as our Arctic Healing and Training Centre. Promising young leaders will come to be healed emotionally, spiritually and physically, then return to their communities to minister to hurting youth who have been caught in the bondages of addiction and abuse. We believe God will use this new generation of leaders to break the curse of suicide, which is at epidemic levels in the north.
Thanks to the amazing generosity of our partners, we were able to purchase and ship the building materials to begin the first phase of the project as soon as the snow melts in the spring. The remaining interior building materials needed to complete the building will cost about $35,000. Please agree with us for the provision of these funds so that the facility can be completed this year. Even as the building program is taking place, we are moving forward to begin the leadership training program.
Michael & Darlene Clark are a special couple with Arctic Missions experience, who had agreed to move from Ottawa in March 2014 to lead the ministry in Repulse Bay. Through the generosity of friends and partners, the Lord has already provided the funds to support Michael & Darlene each month. We are now believing for an additional $2500. per month to cover the cost of their living accommodations. They will not only minister to the local believers, but will also oversee the building project and help coordinate the logistics of the Healing and Training Centre.
We invite all our Inuit friends from across the Arctic to join us in Repulse Bay from March 13th to 16th, for a great Arctic Holy Spirit Conference, as the Clarks begin their ministry. It will be a great opportunity for northern pastors and leaders to meet them, as well as to celebrate and join in faith for the fulfillment of this Arctic vision.
May God bless each of you richly for investing in these precious lives and for your faithful prayers on behalf of this vital project.
Do you have a heart for the people of Canada’s Arctic? Are you looking for a way to use your construction skills to bless a northern community? BPEA needs your help in Repulse Bay!
Over the past two years, thanks to the generosity of our partners, all the materials and furnishings for a new church and healing centre have been paid for and shipped, and the lot prepared. In early June, contractor Jeff Fransky, along with local volunteers, began construction of the new facility. This is a major undertaking and we are believing God to lay it on the hearts of volunteers with a heart for missions to sacrifice one or two weeks of their time to assist Jeff in getting the building completed. If you are gifted in this area, Jeff and the Repulse Bay congregation need you! This is a Mission Project in which you can invest your talent and labours to bless the north!
Jeff Fransky and some local men finishing the north wall of the Arctic Hope Centre in Naujaat (Repulse Bay) in the summer of 2015
Contact email@example.com or call 1-888-344-6333 for details
Your prayer support and financial partnership are just as vital as those who go to help construct the facility. Let’s all do our part to bless this precious Inuit community and further the work of the Kingdom!
Bill Prankard with Jeff Fransky
God has been moving powerfully in Repulse Bay, NU, and the little congregation has outgrown its old church building. We are also working to establish an Arctic Training Centre to equip promising young men and women from across the Arctic to reach their generation for Christ.
By joining our vision with the Repulse Bay believers, a new facility will serve both purposes. The local congregation and other Inuit churches sacrificed substantially to purchase the materials and pay for shipping to build the foundation and outer shell for the new building. In order to complete it, $100,000 in additional funds are required to install electricity, heat, flooring, plumbing and the inside structure. With as much volunteer labour as possible for these areas, we are keeping the cost of completing the building at a minimum.
During this process, BPEA sponsored ministry leaders Michael & Darlene Clark to live in Repulse Bay throughout 2014. They mentored both present and future leaders, established effective ministries to the children and young people and encouraged the local congregation to reach out to their community. Thanks to the investment they have made in the lives of the Repulse Bay congregation, the local leaders will assume full responsibility of continuing the work they have established, and the Clarks will return home in time for Christmas.
The barge carrying building materials for the Repulse Bay church and Ministry Training Centre is about to leave Montreal, bound for the Arctic. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our partners, as well as Crossroads television ministry, we had $60,000.00 to purchase the materials to begin the first phase of the project.
Also, key ministry people are joining forces with us as we make plans to establish the curriculum for the Training Centre, where promising young leaders from across the north will come to receive personal heart healing, followed by specialized equipping to prepare them to minister to broken, hurting youth in their own communities. Only $40,000.00 more is needed to purchase the building materials for the final phase, and we're believing God for this additional miracle by the spring of next year.
On October 4th to 7th, our Missions Director, Luke Price had a rewarding weekend of ministry with the believers in Repulse Bay. You can read all the details on our Ministry Updates blog. The visit also gave Luke an opportunity to finalize plans for the arrival of the building materials, as this exciting project becomes reality! We believe that the Ministry Training Centre will be a powerful tool to break the curse of suicide, hopelessness and despair that has plagued the youth of the Arctic. May God bless each of you richly for investing in these precious lives and for your faithful prayers on their behalf.
Luke Price left for Repulse Bay in mid-August to minister in music and the Word at an area-wide Gospel Festival. The Gospel Festival features Inuit singers and musicians, but the organizers had requested that Luke join them, and use the opportunity to inspire the youth to rise up and demonstrate the power of the Spirit to their generation in the north. This is the community we have chosen to partner with to construct a new facility that will serve as their local church, and will become the headquarters for a powerful Inuit Training Centre where we will bring young leaders from communities across the Canadian Arctic, to train and release as powerful healing evangelists to their generation. The north desperately needs positive young role models who can minister to youth who live amidst an epidemic of addictions, despair and suicide.
At his stopover in Winnipeg, Luke was informed that the plane had mechanical problems, and after 4 days and many attempts to find alternate means of travel, Luke was forced to return to Ottawa. Although he was unable to complete his intended mission, he is re-scheduling another mission to Repulse Bay to coincide with the arrival of the barge carrying the building materials for the new Church/Training Centre. We believe that, through the generosity and prayers of committed partners and friends, we can see this vision become reality, and can see hundreds of young lives rescued and transformed!
Luke & Bill had an amazing few days of God’s Fire in Cape Dorset, NU. It began with Bill leading a memorial service for the pastor's 25-year-old son, who disappeared 7 years ago. He was never found, and was presumed dead but Martha, the pastor, hadn't felt it was time for the memorial until now. Even in grief, blessing emerged, as several accepted Jesus for the first time after Bill shared the gospel
In the final service, Luke led worship, preached and shared his amazing testimony. Young and old were profoundly touched and went forward for prayer While in Cape Dorset they spent time talking with the pastors about how our ministry can help to address the problems of drugs, alcohol and depression that have bound and stolen the lives of many Inuit in Cape Dorset. It reinforced the need to establish the ministry Training Centre in Repulse Bay, to develop young leaders who can effectively reach their generation to see communities transformed.
From Cape Dorset, the team traveled to Pangnirtung, where once again they poured into the lives of young and old. Then they ministered in Iqaluit and believed God for a mighty outpouring of His Spirit on young and old. After Luke ministered on the final evening, he received this message from a young woman who was deeply touched: “I would like to thank you guys for coming up here to Iqaluit and Pang to help people out!! And to get to know God more!! The things you two said were like spot on!! I'm still amazed!! And my hunger is even more for our Father God!! Keep up the amazing work you guys!! You truly touched my heart with your testimony!! I am excited for what God has planned for me!!”
Missions like this are important as we strengthen and bless the local church and reach out and touch lives in the community. But we have to do more and we cannot delay. Lives are at stake and we must see them saved. We need to have an army of healing evangelists all over the north, carrying revival fire with them to see communities transformed. Canada shall be saved and that includes the north!
Luke and I leave on August 26th to minister in three Canadian Arctic communities that are experiencing significant and tragic circumstances.
POVIRNITUQ, Arctic Quebec: We are returning to this Arctic community to reinforce and encourage the believers who were so powerfully impacted during our ministry to them last year. A good work has begun, but there are still many desperate needs that can only be met through the supernatural, bondage-breaking power of Christ. Please join your faith with ours to agree for a mighty move of the Spirit.
CAPE DORSET, NU: This northern community on Baffin Island was one of the first Inuit villages where we took the Gospel nearly 40 years ago. Although there are still many dedicated believers, violence and social ills have reached crisis stage. We are responding to the pleas of both political and spiritual leaders to bring the only solution to such desperate conditions – a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. We believe that chains will be broken, and that they will be empowered by the Spirit to see their community made whole.
Last year we witnessed many dramatic miracles take place as we ministered in this community that has had desperate physical, spiritual and social problems. Yet, many suicides and violent deaths have occurred since then. This evil epidemic must be broken! As we return, we need a dedicated army of intercessors holding us up in prayer, and generous partners to sow into the mission.
Each of these communities reflect the great spiritual needs throughout the Arctic. That is the primary reason that we must get the Ministry Training Centre for young leaders established in Repulse Bay. We will bring promising young leaders from these communities to Repulse Bay to receive personal healing, spirit, soul and body, and to be mentored and trained to become influential spiritual leaders in their own communities.
The summer is fleeting, the Arctic fields are white and ready for harvest! I ask you to stand with us, to give generously, and believe for strongholds to be broken!
Travel to and from the Arctic is always an adventure. Early blizzard
conditions threatened to delay our arrival, but the Lord cleared the heavens
and we arrived in Arviat just minutes before the first service was scheduled
Many precious Inuit, several of whom are our long-time friends, gathered for
the Friday evening service. As I preached the Word and Holy Spirit moved
powerfully, several testified of healing and breakthrough in their lives.
During the day on Saturday we taped a number of reports and messages that
you will be seeing on our website, http://www.bpea.com soon. I believe you’ll be
blessed, encouraged and challenged by them.
The Saturday evening service had a youth emphasis, and as our team member,
Luke Price shared his powerful testimony of how God rescued him from
addiction, near-death by suicide and hopelessness, it made a marked impact
on the young people. They streamed to the altar in tears and Luke laid his
hands on them, that they too might experience the same transforming power of
God in their lives. I had been crying out to the Lord, asking Him to show
us how to reach the younger generation, especially in the Arctic, and I saw
the answer literally demonstrated before my eyes.
The Sunday morning and evening services were marked with the tangible
presence of the Lord as I ministered and laid hands on everyone in the
overflow crowds that had squeezed into every available space. How hungry
the Inuit are for the fire of God – and they received! Something fresh and
powerful has been ignited in their hearts, and I believe it will continue to
spread across the Arctic tundra, fulfilling the vision that Jesus “shall
have dominion from sea to sea, and to the ends of the earth!”
Puvirnituq UPDATE: October 2012
Tonight I had the honour of ministering in Povirnituq. I had never
known anything about the North until 7 years ago when I heard Bill
Prankard tell stories about these amazing people. It was then, as he
told me about the prevalence of depression and suicide among the
youth, that God put the Inuit people in my heart. Though my life
growing up in rural Ontario was different in so many ways, my own
struggle with depression and attempted suicide immediately connected
my heart to these youth.
I cannot express how grateful I am to have had the privilege of
sharing the story of how God miraculously saved my life. Through an
encounter on my bathroom floor while on the brink of death God came to
me, gave me hope, and healed me from depression. Tonight, I was able
to impart that same hope to so many young people. I was able to share
what an amazing destiny and purpose is on the life of every one of
these precious people. I was able to tell them about the amazing
Heavenly Father they have, who loves them unconditionally. The altar
was filled with young people who came to receive prayer and I know
many lives were changed tonight. The same God who radically changed my
life at the age of 18 is doing something major in Povirnituq.
To everyone who has sown into this trip and has supported the team in
prayer, I cannot thank you enough. Together we are changing lives at
the ends of the earth.
October 20, 2012, 12:06 PM:
We left Montreal first thing this morning on Air Inuit to travel to Puvirnituq arctic Quebec. I first visited this community approx 35 years ago and at that time they were not used to having visitors from the south and the message of the Gospel accompanied with the healing power of Jesus seemed foreign to them. Some of the leaders went on the radio to tell people to stay away but most of the community seemed to come to the 3 days of meetings in the school and many were touched in body and soul and that was the beginning of a wonderful move of God that had a major effect on the entire community. Since then there have been major problems that are typical in many northern communities.
On my first visit there was no airport just a landing strip, no running water etc. I knew things would be different this time but I was not prepared for what greeted me.
When I walked down the stairs of the plane and my feet touched the ground I literally felt like I had arrived home. We walked into the brand new airport terminal which is absolutely beautiful and everyone was so welcoming and warm including the mayor.
The first service was a time of celebration with people being healed and having joy restored. Many experienced God including a who group of ladies who were girls when I first came and they all had given their lives to Christ then and 35 yrs later they are still going on in the faith.
I am so excited to be here and so thankful for every partner who prayed and supported to make this trip possible.
UPDATE: May 2012 - Trip to Iqualuit and Coral Harbour
Forty years ago, when we were launched into healing evangelism ministry, the Holy Spirit put the mandate of Psalm 72:8 on my heart, and I knew we must declare and demonstrate His dominion, not only “from sea to sea”, but also “to the ends of the earth.” That’s why it seemed so appropriate that, just days after our 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration, we conducted Stand On Guard services in the Canadian Arctic.
We had the privilege of ministering at Iqaluit Christian Fellowship, where we had sowed thousands of dollars last year to help them construct the new building for the thriving Inuit congregation. Many believers wholeheartedly committed to Stand on Guard for their people and the nation, and as the Spirit of God began to move, many were powerfully touched and healed. A visiting leader from Grise Fiord, the most northerly community in the Canadian north, was set free from bondages and returned to his village with fresh determination to see the fire of God ignite his people.
From Iqaluit, we flew to Coral Harbour, NU, where each evening people testified to receiving notable miracles and responded to the challenge to Stand on Guard and take back what the enemy has stolen in their families, community and in Canada. On the final evening we saw an explosion of Holy Ghost fire as we laid hands on every person.
Last year we sent thousands of dollars to Repulse Bay, NU, to erect a new church building, but they are believing for additional funds to complete it. In this special Stand On Guard year, let’s partner with them to establish another beachhead for God in the Arctic, and see His glory cover the land at the ends of the earth!
UPDATE: April 2012
Gwen and I have been privileged to travel all over the world over the past 40 years, and have seen God’s mighty power poured out in lives everywhere we’ve been. But no memories are more thrilling than the times we have spent at the ends of the earth with our precious Inuit and First Nations brothers and sisters. Over the years we’ve had the privilege of introducing the Good News and the supernatural power of God, establishing churches, equipping leaders and providing practical assistance to many northern communities. We also continue to provide monthly support to missionaries Ray & Juanita Whalen in Nain, Labrador, and often send teams into the north to work with local leaders to impact their communities for Christ.
In 1974 Bill Prankard began a missionary outreach to Canada's remote northern First Nations and Inuit settlements. Many communities are accessible only by air, and had not been touched by the full-gospel message.
Countless people received Jesus as their saviour, were healed and filled with Holy Spirit. As house churches grew, the Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association provided literature, equipment, training and support, and built churches in several communities.
Today, there are dozens of thriving Inuit and First Nations congregations throughout the north. Revival is sweeping through the Arctic and hundreds of precious Inuit are being transformed. Villages that were once devastated by alcoholism, abuse and suicide, are now experiencing the joy and liberty of Holy Spirit.
On several occasions, mature Inuit believers and leaders have accompanied Bill to one of the most inaccessible and untouched regions of the world, Arctic Russia. It is so rewarding to see those who had been the target of our mission efforts now becoming missionaries!
Summer Ministry in Arctic Russia
In August we sponsored 3 passionate young men consisting of our Russian worker Igor Bogomol, a pastor in northern Russia, and a Nenet believer, all with the name Igor, to undertake a mission outreach to the Inuit in the Salekhard region of Arctic Russia. Over the years we’ve been privileged to go as well as send teams into this area that is ripe for harvest. During that time, many have come to Christ, been delivered of serious addictions and grown in their new-found faith as we have poured into their lives.
The team focused on 4 particular communities where we have had past ministry: Aksarka, Tovopogol, Chapayesk and Laboravaya. In addition to taking the Gospel, they distributed food and clothing to needy families, and encouraged the believers we had reached on past missions. One of those believers was a young woman in Aksarka with no legs whom our team had led to the Lord a few years ago. They had also agreed in prayer with her that the desire of her heart – to marry and have children – would be fulfilled. The team was thrilled to report that she is now happily married and has two little ones!
When they visited Tovopogol, one our believer friends there shared the sad news that suicide and drownings while drunk have continued to plague the village. The town is full of desperately needy and broken people, and while we rejoice with those who have found Christ over the years, we know there is so much more demonic activity that must be broken! Pray for these dear native people, that they will experience Christ’s deliverance and salvation.
They were blessed to visit with Evdokim, a strong, vibrant believer in Chapayesk, who has won many of her people to Christ, and has helped them grow spiritually. In spite of hardships and sickness in her family, she continues to stand strong and declare the Gospel to her own people.
The last community that the team visited was Laboravaya, where we encountered extreme opposition from the mayor for many years, but we continued to go, and as a result, saw several families come to Christ. The Igors were thrilled to report that the Christians are still standing strong in faith. They also met a young woman whom they had prayed for last year, that her skin cancer would be healed. Although she didn’t receive Christ at that time, this year she was excited to report that God had totally healed her, and had the medical reports from Moscow to confirm it! She was more than ready to give her life to Christ this time, and introduced the team to her sister who is suffering from lung cancer. They prayed for the sister, and she also gave her life to Jesus!
While the world may know or care little about the Inuit of Arctic Russia, God has not forgotten them. His love is reaching them at the ends of the earth!
Recently I reported to you that our Russian team’s planned mission across the tundra to the isolated Nenet village of Ust Kara was in jeopardy because of weather and transportation complications. Many faithful partners responded and believed with us that God would make a way where there is no way, and He answered our prayers in a very unexpected way!
Neither the weather nor a suitable mode of transportation became available, but it just “happened” that some young women had journeyed from their home in Ust Kara to Vorkuta where our team was located. Igor found them, and had an opportunity to minister to them. They have also agreed to deliver all the supplies that the team had intended to give to the needy families in the village. He also visited several Nenet families closer to Vorkuta, shared the Good News with them, and provided warm coats and other gifts for them.
Igor reported that they made good use of the time they spent in the region, reaching out to as many hungry hearts as possible and blessing them in practical ways. Although our plans weren’t accomplished, God’s plans were. Thank you to all who prayed and gave. Lives have been transformed at the ends of the earth!